Whirlwind China Tour. Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shenzhen.
A retelling of my whirlwind China tour covering Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen. Sometime in 2009 I decided to visit Malaysia to see my step mum and little bro.
At the time Air Asia had a promotion of cheap flights from Malaysia into China, so I went on a whirlwind China tour before heading home. I don’t usually like short “holiday” type travelling but it was a good deal.
The first place I went to on my whirlwind China tour was Guangzhou. There was a trade festival or something at the time.. didn’t mean much to me. Most memorable part about this place was when I went on a little exploration walk and ended up getting lost for about 6 hours.
The First Stop on My Whirlwind China Tour… Guangzhou
The thing about China is that not many people speak English, so it was a mission trying to get back to where I was staying. I did see a pretty cool park and some kick ass random places though. I finally found someone who could speak English. Usually at times like this I ask for directions to the closest metro, but apparently I was way out (you can cover quite a lot of ground in 6 hours of walking.. I’d say about 20km) but the lady did point me to a bus which would take me to the nearest one.
For some reason the Chinese have 50c (5 mao) notes, I thought a note would be enough for the bus. After the bus driver yelled at me in Chinese for 5 or so minutes I replied with, ‘I don’t speak Chinese’ (Wo bu zhi dao zhonghua), he shook his head and I guess just let me ride the bus out of good will. I didn’t feel bad about ‘ripping’ him off cause at lunch I’m pretty sure the person charged me double what was clearly stated on the menu. When you cant speak the language its kind of hard to argue the cost of rice and pork. Anyway, I got back safe.
My next stop on my whirlwind China tour was Hong Kong. Cool city, like an Asian New York. Went and saw the lazer show on the river (it plays every night) and got a picture of a bronze statue of one of my idols (Bruce Lee). Also went to a park in the he city (I like parks) and saw some monkeys and stuff. The one thing that really sticks out in my head about HK is that the taxi drivers are nuts. The doors open automatically and they don’t seem to give a f*k about pedestrians. In fact, I think my guy only had one eye.
Where Not to Stay in Hong Kong
Also, I stayed in a dump of a place, and I don’t usually care too much about accommodation but do not stay in any place located in the Chung King Mansion. It’s that bad that when I refused to pay cause of all the badness that happened, they didn’t even try to fight it and actually asked me to put in a good review. They’ve actually made a movie about drug dealers and stuff in this place, and it is called the Chung King Mansion. (I haven’t seen the movie but a friend of mine in Brighton, UK had a copy on her coffee table)
Lantau Island is just of of Hong Kong, I think you can just catch a bus over. It is well worth the visit. Its a big Buddhist themed park (not a theme park). They put on free Shaolin Monk shows amongst other things.
Disney Land Hong Kong
This was not part of my whirlwind China tour but I did go back to Hong Kong last year for Christmas, only for three days. I went to Disney Land with my little brother and step parents. Not a fan of Disney Land although the mountain roller coaster was cool, and the Aladdin song ‘A whole new world’ played as I stepped into the princess castle. Sounds gay but it was a magical moment. Also learnt to draw Winnie the Pooh, cant remember how to do it now though… so I guess I didn’t really learn.
Next (and last) stop on my whirlwind China tour was Shenzhen. I took the train across. Apparently you need a different type of visa cause Shenzhen is a trade hub. Luckily you can just buy it upstairs, unluckily I didn’t have enough and needed a cash point. The security guard said I needed to go back into the Hong Kong side to get it, but the Hong Kong security guard said I couldn’t go back. Kinda got stuck Tom Hanks style for a few hours but after some talking to supervisors they escorted me to get money from Hong Kong, then Back into ‘limbo’, then finally into Shenzhen.
I did much of the same walk around exploration. There is a miniature “world” there that you can go explore but I missed it. Apparently its pretty good so I’ll have to go back one day.
In fact, although I was only there for a short time, and did have a few mishaps, I really enjoyed China and will definitely have to spend some extended time there again.. maybe teach English or something.
The following link is a short video I took of the Shaolin Monk Demonstration in Hong Kong
Hong Kong 09 (5)
Have you done a whirlwind China tour before? We’d love to hear about your experiences (or anything else you want to say) in the comments 😀 .