Let’s say you’ve just entered China from Kazakhstan and decide to open the fat Lonely Planet to check out what to do and see in the country. You read the introduction and the ‘when to go’, find a warning about the public holidays from the 1st until the 7th of October and think to yourself: how bad can it be? Well… bad! Massive crowds at the trainstation, tickets that open up for sale 10 days ahead are sold out in a couple of hours, etc. This meant that I had to spend some more days in Urumqi until I could get a ticket to do two night trains back to back and cross the 2500km to Xi’an; an ancient capital of China at the end of the Silk Road.