Sunday, July 30, 2006


I arrived in Guangzhou from Hong Kong and went through customs again in the train station. Then some tourism guy started chatting to me about my hotel and how it had closed. Hmmm. I just ignored him and hopped on the subway. Quite far to my destination Shaiman Island. I came out the subway and staggered around trying to get oriented, eventually dragged the guide book from the bag and pointed at the Chinese characters, and the I was pointed in the right direction. I asked somebody else again and she look terrified at the prospect of the "foreign devil" talking to her!

This island use to be a trading post for the British at one point and has a few old colonial buildings. It is a bit quieter than the rest of the town, with less traffic and more trees. There is an adoption centre on the island and this means a lot of foreigners, mostly Americans, pushing prams about with Chinese kids. Lots of signs up in the shops "Free Baby Stroller!" etc.

I headed into town for a look about, I found a large park and had a stroll through that. It was bigger than I thought, and I popped out a different exit. At least there are signs pointing towards the metro. A good system for getting about. I had a look at the train station and decided I would get my tickets from the travel agent instead of trying here. I wasn't expecting the travel agents to be so busy, it was mobbed everybody is going on holiday it seems. Eventually I managed to procure a sleeping ticket to Guilin.

That night I had a look around the waterfront. This is lit up with lots of neon, not quite Hong Kong style however. Lots of old(ish) people doing ballroom dancing on the esplanade. Or skating, cycling, exercising or walking backwards (I think, they think that it's good for you). I jumped on the ferry and headed across to the other side, quite a lot of bars over here, but not that busy on a Tuesday. A few bands playing some tunes, not very good though. There is even the occasional country yokel type gawping at the female singer.

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