Published: October 3rd 2007September 28th 2007
Looks like Guinness, tastes like cr@p
I wish I could have stayed a bit longer on the beaches of Sanya, sipping cheap beer and coconut juice, but my last few days in China will be spent making my way to Hong Kong International Airport as quickly as possible. I’ve covered an amazing amount of distance in a month but unfortunately, I am out of time and need to rush.
I had decided to travel through Guangzhou and Shenzhen from Sanya in order to cross the Hong Kong border and fly home. I was born in Guangzhou so I should have a special attachment to the place, but I really don't. I have only spent a very small part of my childhood there, and visited once or twice in my life. For me, the "going home" meant going back to California, this is not my home.
Guangzhou is one of the wealthiest cities in China. For that reason and a much improved transportation network in the last several decades, millions have flocked to Guangzhou to seek their fortunes. Mandarin seem much more widely spoken than Mandarin, ironic that Cantonese seem to be falling out of favor in the Canton region. In a strange way, Guangzhou is
Vibrating Condom - 30 yuan
Aside from the usual toothbrush and shampoo. My hotel conveniently offers a wide range of sexual aides available for a small price if you use it. Neat-O!
kind of like the New York. The people here seem hurried, less polite, and less willing to lend a hand. Asking for directions often resulted in abrupt answers, nod, or points. Bargaining is normal in China, but the process here seems to be more contentious and confrontational. There were times when I felt that it was easier to haggle if I pretended not speak Mandarin or Cantonese and just punched numbers on a calculator. I can't believe that's what I had to resort to. I'm told that petty scams are plentiful. Be careful of counterfeit money, I got stuck with a fake 100 Yuan bill in Guangzhou. Not sure how I got it.
Shenzhen on the other hand, felt like the a Chinese Las Vegas or Atlantic City. I exited the train station and walked right past a “massage parlor” (which seemed to be everywhere by the way) where a middle age hooker came out to try to pull me by the arm into her establishment. The fact that I was uncombed, unshaven, had not bathed for several days, and looked like a bum apparent didn't matter. I'm told Shenzhen is where people from Hong Kong come to shop,
Provided by the hotel in case of fire. 150 yuans or die of smoke inhalation, your choice.
sin, and indulge. Crime doesn't seem to be as bad as the stories you hear, but all the same, I did not flash any valuables or used my camera as frequently.
There are very few youth hostels in the area. The places that advertise themselves as hostels that I've found turned out to be hotels - some of which were of questionable character. I ended up paying more than anywhere else in China for a room. Truth be told, I did not like it here. Some people have loads of fun here and my experience here may not be typical of what other travelers experience. So, if you want to visit Guangzhou or Shenzhen, by all means and do it. There’s nothing like seeing the world through your own eyes as oppose to hearing about it from someone else.
There are more photos below