Sunday, April 15, 2012

Final Stastics

I've run the numbers and come up with the following statistics about my journey. Whether or not you're the type of person who thinks in numbers, I hope this will put the trip into perspective a bit.

Number of days (including first and last): 92
Number of cities visited: 53
Number of provinces visited: 32
Number of provinces not visited: 1 (Tibet, due to restrictions on foreigners entering in February and March)
Combined population of the cities I visited (urban areas only): 172,560,038* (≈2.46% of the world's population)
Number of different street foods eaten: Uncertain, though I estimate at least 300
Number of times I got sick: 0
Number of miles traveled by train, bus, or boat (no planes) within China: 16,736 (26,935 kilometers) (Note: For perspective's sake, this is slightly more than the overland distance from Lisbon, Portugal, to London, England, with a stop for lunch in Vladivostok, Russia, along the way.)

This is about half of my train tickets.

Average number of miles traveled by train, bus, or boat each day: 186 (299 kilometers)
Longest single train journey: 1,596 miles (2,568 kilometers); 34 hours and 30 minutes (Urumqi - Xi'an)
Amount of time spent on trains, buses, and boats within China: 16 days, 14 hours, and 30 minutes
Amount of time spent on trains in "hard seats" (no bed): 13 days, 1 hour, and 43 minutes
Average amount of time spent in each city (omitting time spent on trains): 33 hours and 7 minutes
Number of hotel nights paid for: 5
Number of nights on overnight trains: 17
Number of nights hosted by friends: 14
Number of nights spent Couch Surfing: 53
Total money spent (including plane flight and two visas): $2716.87
Money spent within China: $1426.87 (≈$475 per month)
Money spent on intercity transportation within China: $697.38 (≈$12.91 per leg of the journey)
Money spent on hotels: $61.88 (≈$12.37 per night)
Money spent on food, intracity transportation, and other sundry items within China: $667.61 (≈$7.42 per day)
Books read: 5.5 (A Passage to India, Moby Dick, Never Let Me Go, The Great Railway Bazaar, Silas Marner, and half of Tristram Shandy)
Pairs of pants used: 1
Number of times I shaved: 1 (the day before I flew home)

The last picture before I got it shaved off for 10 RMB.

So there you have it. My China trip by the numbers.

*This is only a rough estimate, as the population of Chinese cities is notoriously difficult to calculate. This information came primarily from Wikipedia, with other sources used when necessary.


Thomo said...

Best dish?

Frank Kasell said...

That's a tough one, and people always seem to be asking. There were a lot of great dishes, so this is just one of a panoply of favorites, but I was a big fan of the Tian Shui Mian (甜水面) in Chengdu. The name literally means "Sweet Water Noodles," and it was amazing. Chengdu is famous for the "mala" flavor, which is a mixture of two spices--one "hot" spicy and one that delivers a numbing sensation. This dish had a mala sauce, but it also had a healthy dose of sugar on top of the thick-cut noodles, which gave it a really nice mix of flavors. As I say, that's just one of my favorites; there were many, many good street foods.

Ginny said...

Which dish surprised you the most and which city was your favorite to visit?

Stafford said...

What about weight loss/gain?

Frank Kasell said...'s hard to say what surprised me the most. It's sort of a lame response, but I'm tempted to use the same dish that I cited as one of my favorites: the Tian Shui Mian (甜水面) in Chengdu. It was such a surprise because you expect everything in Sichuan to be so spicy, and yet this had a really sweet flavor to it. It catches you off guard. My favorite city to visit is much easier to answer: Jiujiang. It's a city that would likely be very low on most people's to-visit list, but it was my home in China when I was an English teacher, and I have very warm feelings towards it. Other than that, I really enjoyed Chengdu, Beijing, Chongqing, Kunming, Qingdao, and Lanzhou.

Frank Kasell said...

Stafford: Though I don't have precise data to back this up, I think I stayed almost exactly the same weight. I counterbalanced all of the fried food with a lot of walking.

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