We left Hong Kong quite early in the morning, and then got the metro to the end of the line in Hong Kong. The last stop is pretty much only a border crossing, as there was no way to leave the station except going over to China! We walked up to the Hong Kong border patrol and they stamped our passports, and that was it, we were in no man’s land between China and Hong Kong. We then had to walk a fair bit, over a river (which I’m guessing was the border between Hong Kong and China), and then we had to fill in arrival cards for China and cross the border. That was the most tense bit, as if your refused entry your pretty much stuck in no man’s land, with no way to leave!
Once we got over the border we were then in Shenzhen which felt really lacking in personality, and we just boarded our train to Guangzhou. It was a really nice train, so different from the Indian trains! When we arrived in Guangzhou we got the metro and then walked to our hostel through rain and cold! I really hadn't felt cold for such a long time, it was actually quite nice. That evening we literally just went across the street and got some fried noodles as we couldn't be bothered doing anything else.
The next morning we got up really late and then tried to go for Dim Sum, as Guangzhou is where Dim Sum was created. We wondered around for ages trying to find anyone who spoke English, or had pictures with the Menu, but no luck! We eventually just went into a nice looking restaurant, and sort of hoped for the best!
We were given tea, and the Lady serving us showed us we were supposed to wash our chopsticks and bowls with the tea, and then presented us with a menu entirely in Chinese characters. We decided on 3 things, based on what order we thought a menu would be in such as starters, mains, and desserts. Some of the menu had a star and a thumbs up, so we chose 2 of those and one ordinary one too, for good measure.
The first thing that came out was some sweet buns, which were delicious; we then had some meat dumplings which were quite nice. We started to get excited thinking we had sort of cracked the menu. We waited ages for our last course and when it came we were very disappointed! It looked a lot like a scented candle. It was a clear jelly like substance containing beans. It was sweet but really not nice. We left most of it. We then just wondered around a little in the evening.
The next day we met a new friend who is from Guangzhou called Choppy (his English name), and he took us out for some really good Dim Sum! It was all delicious.
He then showed us around the park, the market and a Buddhist temple. The Buddhist temple was really cool as it had golden statues of all the monks who had gained enlightenment. Each statue was very different and gave you a glimpse of them as people.
In the evening we went for food called hot pot which was a really interesting idea. You basically get a pan of boiling flavored water (you choose the flavor) and then you cook your own meat and veg in it. It’s a really social meal to have!
We then met our new friend Dominic in the evening (who you will hear about a lot), the next day we all decided to try and do some cultural things together. The lady in the hostel said there was the Chen Clan Academy, which she insisted was something to do with Jackie Chan, which couldn't have been further from the truth. It was a folk Art museum, and some interesting things in it. We then walked down the river and saw the French colonial buildings, and that was about it for the day!
On the way back Dominic introduced us to the Chinese supermarkets. They are crazy. They have everything you could ever want in them, e.g. meat sweets (which Andy bought). We then bought some Chinese rice spirit baijui which was about 70p for big bottle, then went back to the hostel to drink with Andy, Dominic, and Choppy.