Asia | China | Yunnan Province | Ruili – The road to Ruili
I went to the bus station in Xiaguan early in the morning to get a bus to Tengchong, and ran into two Chinese backpackers who were heading the same way. The three of us left our luggage, and started figuring out how to kill time until the bus departs at 7:30pm.
Wang Rui is a free lance phtographer/travel writer who has a law degree, is working on his MBA, and has just finished a trip mostly on foot from Tibet to Yunnan. Ajian is a preppy looking Shanghai guy that you wouldn’t expect to be backpacking, but managed to walk through the Tiger Leaping Gorge with what he called ‘a moment’s bad decision’.
After lounging by Er Hai Lake in a bamboo chair for the day, we returned to the station but couldn’t find the bus in the lot. We asked around, and someone finally told us that the road to Tengchong had been washed out by rain and the bus was cancelled. What about tomorrow then? The answer was,’Why don’t you come back and see.’
We speed walked to another bus station a few blocks away, hoping they’dhavea different story. They did. the bus was still running, but all seats are sold out. I really didn’t want to return to Dali again having killed a whole day. I could go to Liuku, but the roads there could only be worse off.
‘What about Ruili?’
There’s a bus leaving in an hour and there were still seats. It would take anywhere between 12 hours to 1 or 2 days to get there. That’s better than turning back though. We got on, quite proud of our spontaneity.
Less than an hour after we were on the road, we got stuck in traffic. There’s a landslide ahead. Since frustration couldn’t get the buses moving anyway, I opened the window by a crack to let the thick cigarette smoke out and fell asleep.