Nicola's Eastern Adventure travel blog

28th April

Rudely awakened by a light in my face and my ears being assaulted by traditional chineese music on max volume. 6am time to get off the bus in a place which is deffinately not a coach park but there was a taxi nearby and we had a translation saying we know how much this should cost, please don't take us the long way round. He first driver we showed it to just left but the second accepted the price. The room was alps already ready for us and we went for a shower and nap. We also had a tv with an english speaking channel so were hoping to see the news on Bangkok but all we got was a program comparing the difference between English and chineese weddings!?!

Ventured out for another day riding the subway, found some good street food (although we think mine contained arteries) and then just followed the lonely planets recomendations of where to see Including a memorial park for something of historical importance to louise, a bar street, and shaimen island! What a name. It was meant to be a leafy reserve but it, like everywhere else in guangzhou, was in the process of either being demolished or rebuilt. However we did find the advised 'medicle centre' and decided to treat ourselves to an hr long full body massage for only £6.80! They tried to trick us into a more expensive option by offsetting the translations with the price list and tryinging to confuse us but we got it sorted and went to our room where we were asked of we would like ladies or gentlemen. Slightly worries we said ladies and 5minutes later two men entered the room lol. I told them we didn't want them. We could hear them laughing down the corridor. The massage was intense, more deep muscle than relaxing on my neck and back (probably needed it though) but also got a leg, arm, head and facial massage. At points I was close to gigglig as she was slapping my scalp and posiionig me into bizzar streahes where my legs were just too big for the room and kept hitting the wall but overall it was well worth it. We then thought we may as well have a pamper day so had a cake and got talked into trying threading on a plastic stool in the middle of the street. It hurt so bad we both had tears in our eyes and kept pulling away from the women who we were paying 50p for the priveladge. Louises also tied a load of stuff to her head which was not needed to keep her hair back which made us laugh through the whole experience. Didn't distract wholely from the pain. 

We went to the main shopping street which was overall disaapointing as we imagines markets rather than shops with megaphones and neon lights but lou got two new tops so my a total disaster and we found some more good street food although I had noodles with oyster sauce and prawn wantons even though I don't like seafood as a rule. Language barriers and offset translations on the menu but it wast too fishy so I could deal with it. 

The tube ride back was interesting though as we couldn't remember the name of the stop we got on, then went the wrong way and then when we were close to where we thought our stop was, some helpful chap old us we were going the wrong way so four line changes later we got to where he suggested, slightly worried we walked out of the station thinking 'this is good, I recognise this' we did recognise it because it was bloody shaimen island. Turns out we were heading to the right  station before the interferance which was only 4 stops from our starting point! We just got in a taxi after lauging at eachothers expressions of realisation. 

Got back to the hotel after a search for snacks (everything in this city is a mission) and decided we would just ask where to get a bus to Macau tomorrow then go to bed. The receptionists were the most unhelpful and confusing people in the world. This coupled with slow Internet connection and the route to Macau not being as straightforward as once thought meant we had to spend 3hrs in the lobby bullying them to wrote down translations for us. Tomorrow is going to be a long day. We seem to be walking into the abbis with little information and a gigantic language barrier. We are basically relying on two scraps of paper with rough translations of place names written on them. Thank god for the lonely planet. Were also slightly concerned that the translations may not say what we think they say as, by midnight, the receptionists were wishing they had never let us check in.

However before bed I did complete my first aucessful skype call with my family. It was throughly brilliant. Wish I'd discovered it earlier. Put me in a good mood for tomorrow.


29th April

It's raining so much it's likely to be the end of the world. Knocked the planned walk through the orchid garden on the head and were web put of trying to find a recommend resteraut. Guanzhou (Canton) is meant to be known for it's amazing food and we don't feel fulfilled with this but were cutting our losses and gettig out. The peiking duck we went on a hunt for in peiking was unbelievably dissapointing, were not prepared to let the same happen to lou dave dish of cantonese sauce.

Had a 10min walk to a cashpoint and got drenched then realised we probably didn't get enough out. Were trying to only get minimal as Macau and hong kong both have different currencies to china and eachother.

We asked the hotel to book us a taxi to which they replied 'no one can help you' this could be the theme of the day. The translations worked in the taxi to the bus station and buying a ticket and getting on the right bus to the ferry port.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that there are tv's on every form of transport, even taxis (citv) and round-the-door busses (bustv)it's like everyone needs entertaining all the time. On long distance busses they always seem to play highly inappropreate films.

So when we got dropped off we were in the customs port for leaving china to hong kong and Macau and just followed signes for foreign passports and got stamped out of the country without having a ferry ticket, which was worrying. But relief when we found a cashpoint at the other end and got our hong kong dollars which all hava HSBC printed on them. Did you know it stands for hongkong shanghai banking corporation? Little fact for you there.

Anyway when we got to the ticket office we found out the way to Macau was to travel All the way through hong kong then get a ferry?! So we decided to go as far as hong kong and settle then if we fancy Macau another night we can go and leave our backpacks in the hostel in hong kong.

It was odd as you just get the hong kong metro and your there. Not sure what I expected but the exit from china was underwhelming. When we got out of the station in Kowloon it was a totaly different story though. Stupidly busy and full of neon lights and noise. We got hastled straight away by Indian men trying to sell us a guest house which was lucky as they directed us to chongking mansions which is an infamous tower block full of guest houses Which we wanted to stay in anyway. We didn't take their room out of principle and shopped around abit. Got ourselves a dive of a room. I think there all about the same standard and although were paying more than we have for any hostel so far, this one is very scummy and were sharing a dubious dorm with one clearly mental old man who wakes from sleeping with a start and then starts writing, rubbing the pages with his hands then hitting his head. He does this for hours on end then sleeps. 

We decided we needed a drink took the metro to central payed £10 for two and made them last. Were begining to miss china although when we first got here we got so excited that everywhere had English translations, western toilets AND western plug sockets. 

After paying £4 for some porridge oats we will have for breakfast tomorrow we took some comfort in wathing corrie catch huddled round my itouch having to pause it everytime someone used the sink as my speakers arent that loud. Desperate times.


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