Where I Slept: Dunhuang-Turpan, China

Posted by on Jul 23, 2009 in Western China, Where I Slept | 2 Comments

Dunhuang-Turpan, China

Dunhuang-Turpan, China (overnight train) | 23 July, 2006 | $23.98 USD (train ticket)

This sleeper train took us from a town about two hours outside of Dunhuang to a town about one hour outside of Turpan. The train line wasn’t laid down in the most convenient route for tourists but its relatively easy to find a minibus to make the rest of the journey. This train trip was only about 10 hours, not including the extra three hours of connecting buses. Two days earlier I met a Taiwanese woman getting off the overnight train between Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. We shared a taxi around Jiayuguan tourist sites and a bus to Dunhuang at the end of the day. We traveled together on this train to Turpan, meeting up with a man from Paris who we would pal around with for a few days.

During this train trip I slept across from a Chinese lawyer who gave me his business card “just in case.” The Chinese who saw me talking to the Taiwanese woman were fascinated and treated her as much as a foreigner as me while, at the same time, insisting Taiwan was part of China. Although Turpan was around 104F (40C) the train was air conditioned and we didn’t feel the “furnace of China,” as its called, until we stepped off the train.


  1. Ann
    July 24, 2009

    I have not slept on many trains but this doesn’t look too bad for an overnight, clean and air conditioned! Patrick and I took Amtrack from Chicago to Portland, OR just this past May. It was a 46 hour trip mainly due to all the stops along the way. We had a sleeper car with a bathroom which was nice. I’ll have to send you some of the pics. It was an interesting mix of people we saw/met on the train and some really small towns as well. One of the stops was the geographic center of North America, Rugy, ND. Who knew? I guess now I can say I have been there.

  2. Megan
    August 14, 2009

    I was surprised how nice some trains were. Chinese trains can go either way?I once paid tourist class from Beijing because I’d waited 10 days and there were no normal tickets available. That one had a flat screen TV at the foot of the bed.

    I’d love to see pictures of the train. I would take more train trips in the US but they’re usually more expensive than flying!