So right now im in a pretty familiar situation of sitting round in a fairly uninteresting city (shezhen) waiting for a train to a hopefully amazing city (guilin/yangshuo). Basically the perfect time to make a quick update. I arrived in Shenzhen on wednesday morning and crossed the border into Hong Kong by foot, and took the train to Kowloon peninsula where id decided to stay.
Hong Kong is stunning really, green hills inland (after the flatness of beijing this was really cool) and an amazing skyline looking across to Hong Kong Island. Stayed In Chunking mansions which is apparently the mecca of cheap accomodation in Hong kong. Its just got hundreds of 'guesthouses' going up about 17 floors.
My particular room was really dirty and had absolututely no natural light (the window looked onto an old elevator shaft)! By the time I arrived I hadnt showerd since leaving Beijing but I think the smell of my room overshadowed that! Anyways I sorted out my visa really easily, and used my time in Hong Kong to sort my life out a bit! It felt so good to be in a place where everyone speaks English! So I posted a massive box of stuff (books, dvds, clothes) back to australia, which was a weight off my mind (and my back..HAHA!...yeh anyway...) Didnt really do much else, saw the Harry Potter film and did some shopping and just relaxed a bit before heading back into China.
Yup so yesterday I came back into China. Got scammed again! This time out of only $30HK (about 2 pounds so nothing really).
It was some guy offering to show me the right way to go to get my train, which was useful. Of course I was really suspicious because all the time theres always people trying to take advantage of tourists, and usually obvious but I figured id keep an eye on him and then bust him at the crucial moment. Or something. Anyways he stuck with me right until id going through gates (like those in the London underground) and I hadnt spotted anything so I figured I might have been wrong and he was just being helpful. Trouble is when I got to the other end it said my ticket only cost $4 not the necessary $35, which I had definately paid. I remembered later he had my ticket in has hand for a very brief moment (he kinda grabbed it off me to 'show' me how to insert into the gates), and he must have switched so he could go back and get a refund I guess.
Basically this whole thing is starting to piss me off because it seems the only way to completely reduce the risk of this stuff happening is to completely blank everyone who tries to talk to me. But then whats the point in even coming here? One things for sure is ill have to lose that knee jerk reaction we kind of develope that if someone is attempting to be friendly then im obliged to act polite in return. Under normal circumstances if someone has decided to walk with me and talking to me it would be rude just to say 'im sorry but I really dont trust you'. Now I think I have every right to my own space and the right to tell someone to leave me alone!
So thats that. Ill just quickly mention how much better the accomodation in Shezhen was last night than in Hong Kong before. For an extra 3 pounds than the HK room (about 13 pounds overall) I had a spotlessly clean modern room with two single beds big TV, big bathroom etc. Wish id taken photos of both cos they really were complete opposite ends of the spectrum . Just highlights the difference between Hong Kong and China in terms of costs I guess. So thats it. Now in 2 and a half hours I get the train to Guilin/Li River/Yangshuo area which is supposed to be one of the most picturesque areas on the planet. Should be good!