Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
374Trip End Mar 15, 2007
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Hoofing myself and my backpack down to the harbor side I spent a little time checking some emails at a internet cafe overlooking the harbor. A guy on the PC next to me asked where I was headed after seeing my backpack so he told me the best way to get to Yanshuo from Shenzen by train, plane and just about any other kind of transport apart from bus. On telling him of my plan to take the overnight sleeper bus he gave me a sympathetic look as if I was some helpless family pet about to be put down.
I went into the China Travel Service branch just to query the bus time and cost and got given a handy slip of paper to hand over at the ticket office in Shenzhen with the details of what I was wanting. After spending the last few days in Hong Kong with English being widely spoken I thought that this was a little unnecessary - how wrong I would be.
Trading in my Japan Lonely Planet at a 2nd hand travel book shop in Kowloon I then used the last remaining value of my Octopus card on the train to the border and prepared to cross over into China.
After trying to explain to the border official where Yangshuo was (I should have just put Beijing or something on the arrival slip) I stepped into China and into a world far removed from what I was used to even though it was only a short distance from the highly developed hub of Hong Kong.
Wandering around the wrong bus station for half an hour I finally found my way to the long distance bus station - hey the sign just said bus station how was I to know there were two.
By this point I was hot and tired from walking around with my pack an getting a little paranoid at the stares from the Chinese which I knew would happen but though Shenzhen being so close to Hong Kong would see many foreigners but I guess we are still something of a novelty to most.
Finding my way to a ticket office I just handed over the slip of paper I had been given without even trying to explain what I wanted and thankfully that got me a ticket to what I hoped was the right destination. Waiting around for the departure area I met Namoi from Israel who was also heading to Yangshuo to go rock climbing so being unsure myself which bus to board I trusted her instincts and boarded the bus she chose before settling down in a very comfortable and modern sleeper bus for the long journey to Yangshuo.