Road to Xiamen

What a dramatic and rocky start of the day.

First, we hijacked someone’s transport unintentionally (at the Shenzhen hotel) and we had issues with our train tickets. We nearly couldn’t make it to Xiamen (not again!!!). It was a close call and almost a deja vu. 2 years ago, Tracy and I were didn’t make it to Xiamen and we ended up in Xian! For a moment, I thought fate was replaying itself when the ticket officer told us they couldn’t issue the tickets due to a typo. Luckily for us, we managed to replace the invalid tickets with 2 “standing-tickets” and boarded the train just in time. What a frustrating morning at the train station. Not to mention a terrible driver who smoked and talked on the phone when driving.

The train from Shenzhen North Station to Xiamen North Station took about 3.5 hours (1st Class Seat: RMB181/adult). Traveling at a top speed of 215km/h, the ride was extremely comfortable, clean and smooth but don’t expect any in-train entertainment or fine dining. My only complain is the frequent ear-pressure that can be very uncomfortable. The train crossed many wetlands, streams, hills, farms and gigantic electrical towers.

This was supposed to be another “surprise visit” masterminded by Auntie Amy. We wanted to surprise my cousin Leon and family but my auntie accidentally let the cat out of the bag 2 weeks ago (and she thought her son was dumb enough not to see through her trick). Last week, my cousin Leon revealed to me that he knew about the surprise and asked me to carry on with the act. Now, this is getting quite complicated and confusing. To surprise or not to surprise?

Leon picked us up at the train station. My parents were so delighted and surprised to see him. We spent a couple hours back in the hotel to unpack/chat/rest/recharge and the grannies started their chattering and nagging ritual the moment I flashed my gears & toys. Usually when I travel, my hotel room is always empty. It is so good to see my room packed with lots of people. It was chaotic, noisy but full of family love and warmth. For a second, I thought it was CNY (and not Christmas)!

We didn’t spend much time touring Xiamen today. It was purely family gathering and dining. Leon treated us an awesome/sumptuous dinner with many “never-seen-before” dish decoration. In total, we had 20 over dishes! Thanks bro for the wonderful hospitality and generosity!

There is something unusual with the weather. Winter isn’t that cold in Xiamen. At a cozy 24°C, there is no need for us to wear any thick winter clothing. The weather is just perfect for me! Hopefully the haze clear up by tomorrow so I can start flying my drone and explore this small dynamic island of Xiamen.

What a tiring and eventful day. I am looking forward to a great and relaxing Christmas Eve tomorrow!

3 Responses to Road to Xiamen

  1. roymacaraig says:

    Hi! My name is Roy Macaraig and I write for Smile Magazine, the inflight magazine of Cebu Pacific Airlines based in the Philippines. Every month, I am responsible for finding contributors who can say a few things about our destinations. I wanted to check if you would be interested to provide some information about XIAMEN. The info you have on this blog post is more than enough and I am sure that answering our short survey will be a breeze. If you are interested, please write me back and we can coordinate via email. Thanks in advance and more success to your blog. 🙂

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