We’re in southern China!
The land here is beautiful. A couple videos from the train don’t really do it justice, but at least give a glimpse of the land.
And pictures from later in the trip of similar scenery
The boys were back at it, playing Uno after awakening in the morning.
The leaders also sorted the kids into groups: One group of 6 boys, and two groups of 5 girls, split mostly by age (I think there was one 13-year-old in the younger group, and one 12-year-old in the older group). My group is the younger girls group. Sunny, or Li Laoshi, has the older girls, and Ron, or He Laoshi, or Xiao He, has the boys. Can you tell it’s hard for me to know what to call them? If you’re counting, you’ll realize that the total is only 16 children, when I said there were 17. Number 17 was four-year-old Tian Tian, who was accompanied by her mother. Thus, there were actually 18 paying tourists on the trip. All the other kids were ages 10-16.
My group of girls: Angela, Angie, Penny, Selina, and Jenny. I had a really tough time learning to tell those last three apart, especially Penny and Selina, who had matching hair styles! In the end, it came down to Selina’s always carrying her Betty Boop bag.
Once we arrived in Guangzhou, we made a nice line behind the tour group’s flag and found our way to the bus that will take us to the Hong Kong border. I wish I’d thought to get a picture, because it was the last time we did that for the whole trip!
Unfortunately, the bus had a problem with a tyre, so we spent over an hour waiting for and getting it fixed. We had lunch in Guangzhou before finally setting out for Shenzhen.
When I’ve crossed the border in the past, it’s always involved going through customs to leave China, walking across a bridge over a very small river, and then going through customs to enter Hong Kong (or vice versa, of course). This time we took a short bus ride between the two customs stations, on a road within sight of the bridge, and indeed I think we used the same acutal buildings, too. It makes me wonder why the switch? Just because the tour group thinkgs a bus is better than walking the tens of meters over the bridge? Or did China choose the bus and close the bridge entirely?
We were late getting to Hong Kong, so our visit to the Science Museum was sadly scrapped. Instead, after we visited Hong Kong Baptist University (no one could seem to figure out why, not even the local tour guide), we loitered in the museum’s lobby for five minutes and then had dinner at a restaurant advertising “Beijing-Style Food.” We go all the way to Hong Kong to eat food from home?!
In the evening, we visited three tourist attractions before checking into our hotel and falling asleep. Pictures and commentary below:
The Walk of Fame
I snapped a photo of this one because her name is Lily Flower! It’s not the same characters as my name, though. Technically, the first Li is her family name, and Li Hua is her given name. Or his, for that matter; I really don’t know. But still… I also saw a couple kung fu movie stars’ stars, in amongst all the names I didn’t recognize, but I really don’t care much about them, so I didn’t waste my battery on flash to take photos of their stars.
My main interest was the nice view of the city. And the presence of a Pacific Coffee near the end of the walk, where I could buy a bagel and a thick slice of cranberry-pecan bread for the next two morning’s breakfasts!
Sorry the videos aren’t all that thrilling, but I’m afraid it’s the best I can do with my digital camera and no time to plan shots or ability to zoom while filming
Next we went over to Hong Kong Island and drove up the side of a mountain to an overlook where we could see back over the buildings on both the island and the mainland. It was amazing and somewhat scary to me to see all the houses, schools, even tall apartment buildings, fastened on the side of that mountain. One of my girls was so scared by the curvy mountain road that she hid her face in my arm and wouldn’t get out to look around when we stopped. I don’t really blame her; I was somewhat freaked out by the speed with which one of the busses took a road just like this last time I was in Hong Kong.
Then it was back down the mountain, to some kind of golden flower.
Both the overlook and the flower were crawling with tourists, their buses, and people with digital cameras, laptop computers, and high-quality printers, who would take your picture in front of the sight and then print it on glossy paper and sell it to you in a nice commemorative folder. There were also people at both sights protesting something, and/or trying to spread their b’liefs. I couldn’t quite tell which, and their display was unattractive enough that I avoided it. I was more interested in the 7-11-type shop inside the large, mostly-deserted, building beside the plaza. I found there, which I searched for cranberry juice (there was some, but not worth good).
There was also a display of photos from the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China.
Finally we checked into the hotel, where I was paired up with the one older girl who didn’t speak much English. I was glad to get to know her, and thankfully she had a good electronic dictionary/translator!