The original plan was to enter China by ferry leaving the port in Incheon, South Korea and arriving to Qingdao, China. However, due to time constraints, Caleb and I purchased tickets to Qingdao from a low-cost airline which came out cheaper than the ferry. Early Sunday morning, we boarded JeJu Air at Incheon International Airport and landed in Qingdao an hour later. The flight was bumpy and I questioned the plane’s ability at one point. But thankfully we arrived safety in Qingdao.
Once we got off the plane, we asked around how to get to the train station from the airport. We wanted to catch a train to Beijing the same day. We found an airport shuttle bus that stopped by the train station but needed cash to purchase the tickets. So Caleb and I headed to the nearest ATM and withdrew some Chinese Yuan. As we were walking back, Caleb stopped abruptly and gasped. He then set off running across the airport. I came to find out that Caleb forgot his debit card in the ATM and ran back to the machine to find it. Unfortunately, the machine swallowed the debit card and would not give it back. After several calls, Caleb ended up canceling his debit card.
After Caleb’s debit card situation was sort of figured out (he would be borrowing from me until further notice), we headed out to the Qingdao train station. At the station we found out that all trains to Beijing were sold out. We decided to stay in Qingdao for the night and purchased train tickets for the next morning departing at 7 AM. By this time it was past noon and we had not eaten anything. We stopped by a local fast food pavilion by the station and managed to order vegetarian food. We then headed out to find a hostel and look around the city. Qingdao is a seaside city with beaches, but we were too tired to get in. We ended up checking in at Qingdao Nostalgic Themed Hostel and took a four hour nap.
After a good night’s rest at the hostel, we headed to the train station early in the morning for the 7AM train towards Beijing. The train went up to 300 kilometers per hour and took three hours to get to Beijing. The passengers were mostly Chinese, but unlike the other countries, they did not stay quiet. It was significantly loud. It was like every person in the train was speaking out loud. The level of noise in public areas did not subside thereafter.