We mistakenly thought we would be well rested after spending the previous day leisurely taking in the sights (sounds and smells) that Hong Kong had to offer. However, we unfortunately hadn’t factored in the unofficial ‘Symphony of Car Horns’ that lasts for the entire duration of the night…EVERY night.
The journey across was pretty quick, much quicker and more efficient than immigration from mainland China to Macau, just basically a walk over a long bridge. Around 8am we checked into the ‘Cosmic Guesthouse’ …”The crystal-clean, quiet, friendly and secure ‘Cosmic’ is a consistent favorite with travelers…” read the description in Lonely Planet.
After a suitable party-fuelled recharge in Guangzhou (well, what else is there to do there) I was heading to Macau for my own little bit of family history, and some amazing egg tarts (mum had gone on and on about then for ages, so I figured I simply had to try them!) I checked into the Victoria Hotel for the best nights sleep I’d had since the toy town in Mongolia! As with most hotels in China, I was highly amused by more Chinglish signs.
Twenty Eight Hours Later – sounds like the introduction to a horror story doesn’t it? Well it felt like it…I am NEVER doing 28 hours on a hard sleeper train EVER AGAIN! I finally arrive in Guangzhou – dubbed the ‘European Party Capital of China’.
After experiencing Shanghai by day – discovering that the markets are much better in Beijing, but much cooler in Shanghai (they even have underground markets in disused storm tunnels) – and by night discovering strange grimy bars by the names of ‘Logo’ and ‘The Shelter’, marvelling at midnight dumpling makers hard at work on our way home and living out our Eurovision dreams at numerous KTV bars. It was now time to rock the suburbs.
Saved the last of my pennies to afford a flight from Beijing to Shanghai, still not sure if I would have been better off getting the train…either way it was still like being in folded into a tin can next to a furnace. But it got me to my destination eventually (after a 3hr delay)
Having spent most of the evening listening to Michael Jackson CDs on repeat it was a little too late when some of us attempted to party hard in Beijing.
Considering it was almost 3am and without anything vaguely resembling a ‘club’ near our hostel, we headed home and called it quits as we had an adventurous day starting at Summer Palace planned for the next morning.
Today we tried our hand at Chinese handcraft before heading to the train station in an attempt to book trains from Beijing to Xi’an and Xi’an to Shanghai. We didn’t have any luck and I nearly caused a riot by not letting a tramp push in front of me…cultural differences.
And we thought hard sleepers were evil…we quickly re-assessed this thought when we sat down on these hard seats…and remained there for the next 6 hours!
At 1.30pm we assembled in the ‘Multi Function Purpose Room Hall’ for some renditions of traditional Chinese folk music by a funny little Chinese man in chinos, flanel shirt and a cowboy hat.