Neither even existed. There was no bus leaving from the airport. Heck, the airport was so small that there was no ATM, no restaurants, and nor was there even a Family Mart inside.
So when that option failed I decided to pull up DiDi and get an estimated cost from the airport to my hotel.
330RMB—that’s insane! It couldn’t be right. So I pulled up Apple Maps to check. A 2-hour drive? Even more ridiculous!
I sat there for a while, charging my iPhone up while trying to think of options. It reminded me of The Martian—one of my favorite movies—when Matt Damon is stranded on Mars and contemplating every option he has to survive. Yeah, it was just like that.
I’d ask a clerk if there was a train station in the city. He looked at me like I was crazy. ‘Do you know this is Wenshan?’, he must have thought.
And outside of the airport? Darkness. No taxis. No illegal taxis. No people moving in and out or passing by. In fact, I was the only one in the airport outside of the few staff getting ready to head home.
By 9pm a security guard said the airport was closing, and asked if I needed help. He called 3 drivers, but they all would turn down the late and far-reaching 2-hour drive. Hell, I even heard one of them laugh at the request.
Then another worker came. He suggested that I stay in a nearby hotel for the night and head to Puzhehei the next morning. He’d even help call a driver to take me to the hotel.
That seemed like my only option. While we waited, though, I took to DiDi to see if I could still get a driver, and thankfully someone answered the call within 3 minutes. Hey, I didn’t mind the price or long drive, I was just determined to get to my hotel.
It was then that we were suddenly joined by a female airport staff member that spoke perfect English. Hallelujah!
Together, they’d tell the DiDi driver—a young, early 20’s looking lad—exactly where I wanted to go, call my hotel to update them with my schedule, and even exchange numbers with the driver and take photos of his car and license to ‘ensure my safety’. Dope!
In the end, I expressed how extremely thankful I was for their help, shook their hands, and was off to Puzhehei in the pitch-black darkness of the night.
Thanks to the staff at Wenshan Airport in Yunnan, China! You rock!