I took my first train trip, overnight from Beijing to Xi’an. Arriving at the station you have to find your train on the big board – it will tell you the waiting room to go to. I had booked a “soft sleeper” – the highest class of tickets. I had a bed in a room with 3 others, two sets of bunk beds. An older guy – who offered to share his whiskey with me, a young gal, and a very quiet middle age man. Each room has a thermos pot – and hot water is available at the end of each car. As soon as locals get on the train they all start to eat – and everyone makes big containers of Ramen noodles. Ride was a bit bumpy and noisy by times, but I did sleep. I came to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors and they are amazing. How they ever put the pieces together to reconstruct them is beyond me. Each one is different – and I was surprised to see they appear to be over 6 ft tall. I rode the local city bus (15 cents) to the railway station to catch a bus to where the warriors are, about an hour from the city. That bus cost $1 each way. Girls at the hostel told me to take the 103 bus, last stop is the station. I got on, lots of people with luggage – a good sign. We got to a stop, they all got off, I followed them, over an overpass, and right to a bus terminal!! Oops. Back on the bus and got it right the next time. I was able to navigate my way back to the hostel, by city bus, after dark – and am proud of it! Smog is bad here too – I have a sore throat. 16 hour train trip south tomorrow night -should be warmer in Chendu.