This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I found only one person in all of China that offered anything remotely resembling encouragement regarding the pending train ride. Other than Henrik, all the expats (and a few well meaning local Chinese) looked as if something painful had just happened to them when I offered the suggestion on train travel. It would soon follow that most of these folks hadn't actually been on the train in the past 10 years.
1972 miles over a period of 38 hours.
Left Kunming at 8:49pm 6/8 ... Arrived Beijing 11:30am 6/10.
I highly recommend the trip if you want to get a little idea on the extent and variability of the Chinese landscape. The first two days are simply awesome mountains, bridges, rivers, fields and crazy little villages. The third day is moving toward the center of the flat smog-filled industrial complex that is Beijing. There is no sun visible in the sky, and I wonder when (and how far and wide?) they will switch off the factories for the benefit of the Olympic tourists?