Day 316 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 4-8

 

The lovely Jill and me.  Cheers!

The lovely Jill and me. Cheers!

You may be wondering why we are going to Erlian, China and then across the border to Erenhot, Mongolia.

A simple answer is it is inexpensive.  We basically have to leave the country every 90 days for Jill’s tourist visa not to become illegal.

We have choices where we can go and what we can do.

We’ve been to Malaysia twice and love it.

However, we are planning a big trip this summer to Europe and wanted to save some cash so we decided to do the Erlian Visa Run (as it is known around here) instead of going to Hong Kong or some place else that would have been much more expensive.

Back to our journey:  We hung out in the cabin for a bit and relaxed.

Sadly, Jill’s Kindle decided to poop out on us and we didn’t want to distract our cabin mate, Zheng, with our idle conversations, so we decided to hit the dining car and see what was going on there.

It was a fairly spacious place and we were the first to show up.  It opened at 1030 so we were right on time as we walked in at 1030 on the dot.

As we hung out, and drank some water, the expatriates that we met in the Beijing Railway Station showed up and we welcomed each other.

Other expatriates and Chinese or Mongolian nationals showed up also.

We decided it was time for a beer and just watched the beautiful scenery fly by.

Now, beautiful may not be what you expect from a trip to Inner Mongolia but it was, especially just outside of Beijing.

There are a lot of mountains outside out Beijing and it is quite beautiful, and when the pollution cleared up as we exited the city, it became even more gorgeous.

As we meandered north, we actually saw some vineyards and wineries.  I have been told the the Chinese wine market is the largest in the world with the Chinese drinking 1.2 billion gallons of wine a year.  And they have really just learned about wine in the last 10 years so this will be the biggest market ever seen in a very short time.  Red China loves Red wine.  Especially if they can add Coca-Cola to it.  Yes, I’ve seen this happen before.

Anyway, two expatriates entered the dining car and they didn’t have anywhere to sit so we invited them to sit with us.

Jill and I were very glad we did.

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