This was the first time I slept on a night train. After two hours in a 300 km/h bullet train from Yangshuo to Liuzhou, we spent 16 hours in the night train to Chengdu.
In the top level beds, headspace is extremely limited, and you have to bend your neck and body in weird ways every time you want to drink some water. Once you find a way to store your luggage or twist your body around it (think of sharing your bed with a pet), it’s fantastic. The subtle movements and the sound of the old half-decayed tracks put me to sleep like a baby.
It was also officially the hardest bed I’ve ever slept in, and I’ve gotten used to it by now. All the Chinese mattresses I’ve encountered so far have been harder than any other bed I’ve touched before.
For hours on end, I actually wandered around the train with people from our group, having deep conversations about life and stuff and marveling at all the other carriages that didn’t have any beds in them. All these people trying to get some sleep by squishing themselves into every available corner like spineless cats made us appreciate our hard beds even more.
In Chengdu, to me, the first thing that stood out was the insane number of high-rise buildings. It’s hard to believe anyone is still living outside one of them, they’re just everywhere. And Chengdu is only one of many multi-million people cities. The Chengdu area is the most populated area in the world, so arriving from Yangshuo was probably intensifying this impression.