This place has taught us a load about traveling in a country where you don't speak the language. We suggest always having a phrase book which of course we don't have!!!! We found a cheep hotel with the help of some guy who gets commission for it but this place was on the outskirts of town, so obviously not may travelers come here. It was made more evident when we went for a walk, Nae had guys always just looking at her "breasts" and Shaun was stared at like an alien, I think dreads aren't very common here at all!!!! Everything here is a mission! Buying a meal involves using the few really helpful phrases in the lonely planet and pointing at other people's food. The only problem is that you never actually know what you are eating. All good though eh, the Chinese live long lives so it can't be all that bad. China is such a place of contrasts, really nice areas and buildings right next too slum-like places and so much smog, it's amazing to see. It was real strange at first but after a while ya just get used to it. Also the fact that you can smoke anywhere, in elevators, restaurants, shops.... Is pretty crazy. On our second day in Guangzhou we decided to head inland to Guilin. Off to buy tickets, yet another mission. We didn't have enough coin so had to find a bank, the one we found was of no use as we have to use a bank of China apparently, so off to find one of those, then back to buy bus tickets for the over night sleeper bus. What should have taken 20 mins took us about 4 hours, lucky we don't have anything better to do these days!!!!! Another experience was getting followed by beggars, no matter how many times we say "No" in Chinese they keep persisting, which the locals (and we) find very amusing. Lucky for us, the police told her to bugger off so that took care of that. Then was just a matter of checking out a shopping mall in town, while waiting for our bus.
We found a Naturally New Zealand ice cream shop so had to invest, big grins from Nae on the ice cream idea!!!! Clothing etc is cheap over here (about 1/5 the price) in most shops, but when you get to the markets they are even cheaper (about 1/10 or more of the price in NZ), its dirt cheap but you cant always find what you want at the markets so when ya see something ya like I think ya have to buy it.
After 2 days in Hong Kong we decided it was time to hit up mainland China. We took a train to the border. We skipped Shenzen, and went straight to Guangzhou.