Wednesday, 23 October 2013

To China and beyond

We did the long 12 hour trip to China yesterday. We were picked up from the hotel at 7am and whisked off to the railway station for the train ride to Lo Wu, the border town. From here we went through immigration and into China via Shenzen. This city has gone from being a fishing village of 2000 to a city of 7 million in just 30 years. It was the first area in China to be opened to the west, presumably as it was so close to Hong Kong and near all the supply routes to the West.

It is very busy and very modern. Like a storybook city of the 21st century, the people flow like a tsunami into its environs to work. The age of most of the inhabitants is under 30, and they come for 5 years or so to make money, then go back the thousands of miles to their own regions and start their own businesses. It is true, the only grey hair and wrinkles I saw were on Western faces !

We visited the terracotta warriors exhibition which is always fascinating, and then we were taken to the museum. This was so interesting with very lifelike and modern exhibitions of life in pre communist China which were so beautiful, and then the same detail in scenes depicting the rise and flourishing of the communist era. Our guide was very 'thorough' in his explanations of the value of each time !

The inevitable attack on the amazing shopping mall at Lo Wu came after a gorgeous dim sum lunch where we ate dumplings of all varieties, delicate rice dishes and deep fried prawn wonton, which were as light as a feather. We sat with two lovely Australian couples who were on our tour, and who were such good company!

Sara proved to be a doctorate level bargainer, and almost all we bought was around half the price first asked, so that proved a great financial boost ! She was quite ruthless in her walking away if the price was not right!

We were brought back to the hotel by 7pm, and I fell onto the bed and breathed a sigh of relief for my battered feet ! Sara proceeded to go out again to the night markets along Nathan Road - what a pro ! perhaps it comes with the Hong Kong roots !

Festivals 500 years ago

Life in rural China

Chinese Opera original costumes

Our lunch !

On the way back to the hotel !


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