After travelling in China for the last 2 months, we have done our fair share of long distance coach journeys. Each time we travel by coach, it seems that something more ridiculous happens. From eardrum destroying Chinese house music to drivers that clearly allergic to road rules, here is a round up of funny things that happen on Chinese roads......
1. The locals carry on HUGE bags of stuff. Laundry bags full of bedding, big sacks of food, bulky electrical items like heaters, you name it. Apparently when it comes to luggage on a coach, the bigger the better.
2. Passengers are constantly shouting on their mobile phones, hocking and splitting into plastic bags. Proper Chinese-style.
3. The driver spends half the time on the other side of the road, overtaking on blind bends, trying to peek past the car in front. When you are a thousand meters up on the edge of one of the worlds deepest gorges this really is terrifying!
4. The driver stops umpteen times to pick up parcels along the way. Locals shout him a couple of yuan and he delivers it at the other end, a little entrepreneurial side job if you will. Sometimes you are waiting for someone to turn up with a package on the side of the road for half an hour. Grrrrr.
5. People seem very confused by their seat number. Even though everyone has an allocated seat, it seems that the front ones are somewhat in high demand and so the seat numbers become a bit ‘hazy’.
6. Everybody chain smokes. Thank goodness it’s not on the bus itself but only at stops. Locals have a habit of smoking with fags in between their teeth, looking a bit wannabe John Wayne, pacing in front of the windscreen.
7. There are demo music videos blasting out on repeat. The songs are terrible. There is a group of traditional dancers that they cut to every song, dancing the same dance. It is honestly the loudest and most annoying thing you have ever heard. For 5 hours.
8. Every local farts at least once during the journey and it smells bad. Enough said.
9. Drivers are God on long journeys. If they want to listen to Chinese house music on full blast for 5 hours, stop 20 times for private jobs or just call their whole mobile phone book, no one can stop them.
10. The service stops consist of an old lady selling snacks on a pop-out table, a trough toilet with no walls, and some luke-warm hot food that definitely might hospitalise you if you ate it. Eat some steamed monkey nuts instead, you can't go wrong with those hot nuts.
11. There are always animals in the road. Pigs, cows, dogs, yaks, donkeys... you name it. And it always decides to cross just as you are driving past, obviously.
12. Drivers use their horns all the time. They use it to tell other drivers where they are on the road, to tell them when they are making a crazy overtaking manoeuvre, to tell them when they are annoyed with others overtaking. Horns are a universal language in China.
13. The coach gets washed at every stop. That might be 3 times on a 4 hour journey. Why you might ask?! Well there’s no obvious answer, just stay out of the way of that hose.
14. Sometimes there are no roads, just bumpy old dirt tracks. Roads are constantly being rebuilt, gigantic bridges just pop up in the middle of nowhere and as a result the temporary road surface is always a funny one. Just take some padding to sit on!
15. Most of the road signs are translated into English, but badly. ‘Don’t drive off cliff’, ‘no rubbish drive car’. Very helpful indeed.
16. Rocks are falling. Nearly every road we seem to go on there are always signs for rocks falling, and above you is a crumbling cliff edge with ginormous protruding rocks sticking out the side. Please please don’t fall on us, falling rocks that are always falling.
Do you have any funny stories of travelling on Chinese coaches? If so let us know below in the comments box!
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