Tag Archives: China

My Least Favourite Place: Guangzhou, China

As you all know from my last post about China, I absolutely love the Mainland, so what better way to spend a long weekend than in Guangzhou?! Due to rather unfortunate circumstances regarding a passport (how does it take twenty working days to process a work visa in China?), Craig was unable to come to Hong Kong. Though being in China during a long weekend is the absolute last place I’d want to be, here I was making the trek via the Intercity Through Train from HK to GZ.

For those that have not made this trip before, let me put it bluntly; it sucks. You need to get to the Hung Hom MTR Station (about 50mins from where I am on the island) then hop on the train (you better have bought your ticket ahead of time, otherwise good luck catching the next one) for two hours where it feels like the maximum speed doesn’t exceed 40km/hr and the bright lights throughout the train never shut off regardless of what time of day it is.

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Oddities Of The Mainland And How They Can Help You Appreciate Hong Kong

As a Canadian expat living in Hong Kong, there are many everyday things here that drive me absolutely mad. Take, for example, how it is socially acceptable here to violently suck back your boogers into your throat and then spew them out on the side of a crowded street. Or, perhaps, how most of the population is incapable of walking down a street at an appropriate speed or in a straight line; I swear some people have eyes on the back of their head and will purposely move right in front of me when I am trying to pass them..

Before this post becomes a full-on rant about everything I dislike about HK, I’ll get back to my point. If you are feeling fed up with all of Hong Kong and you just need an escape, don’t worry! Just take a quick trip to Mainland China and you will be begging to head home within hours of getting through immigration. Or, immigration might just be enough to make you want to call it quits right then and there (picture hundreds of people pushing themselves off the train, running up the stairs, and pushing anyone and everyone in front of them to be the first in line).

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Meeting The Big Buddha On Lantau Island

My first off-the-island adventure was to Lantau Island (the largest island in Hong Kong!). This island is immediately to the west of HK and we took a ferry to get there and the MTR to get home. The airport and Disneyland are actually located on this island. The island is not heavily populated and mostly caters to tourists.

The Big Buddha is a huge pull for people to travel to the island and there are many trails for the adventurous hikers who are looking for a new challenge. Once up there, there are many sights to see – temples, incense burning areas, beautiful architecture, statues of warriors, and the Buddha of course.

If you’re catching the ferry, head to Central Ferry Pier to Pier 6 (Mui Wo). The view during the ferry ride was beautiful – you were able to see cityscape on both the Kowloon side as well as the island. When you are in the city, you don’t really realize how big it is. Hopefully you can try to go on a day when it’s not as smoggy. Quite the rarity in Hong Kong, but not only will that make your ferry ride much more scenic, it will also make the Buddha visible (kind of why you want to come here in the first place..).

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