Trip Start Jul 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
7 days inn

Flag of China  , Guangdong,
Friday, October 9, 2009

    The bus ride there took only 2 hours, which was the shorter journey of the epic trip to Inner Mongolia. Our first stop was Guangzhou, the capital of the south of China. It is a very important and big city in the Guangdong province and acts as a very important port. The city itself is amazing. Reminded me of a premature New York.
    When we got off the coach our first destination was our hotel, ClubInn. I was travelling with one of my colleagues from school, Christina. Neither of us knew the city as we had only been there once before when we arrived and had only travelled through. We both agreed that it was wise to get a taxi to our hotel, because we definitely would have got very lost if we attempted to walk it. The traffic was terrible. It took us 27 minutes to travel 1.87km (i remember distinctly because i was getting irritated by the price of the fare rising for no reason). After an hour or more in the taxi and 14 km later, we arrived at our hotel. It was very nice, and considering we had booked it that day on the busiest day in China, it was quite cheap too, always a bonus.
    We decided to go for something to eat and ended up getting a Tuc Tuc (motorbike, tricycle, taxi thing) to the centre of town. We were also attempting to meet up with some friends from the TTC program who were off to Hong Kong the next day. Agreeing to meet up at the bar district, Christina and i looked at the map and discovered that there was many bar districts in Guangzhou. We chose a random bar district and thought it was worth a shot. 
We ended up at a lovely (but expensive) lounge bar that actually played decent music. I ate Burritos for the first time in China and i was immensely happy. After dinner, Christina and I walked along the river, because i wanted to avoid paying for a taxi. I pretended that i knew where i was going yo Christina and we must have walked for an hour before i eventually admitted i didn't know where we were and ended up getting a taxi anyway.
    We attempted to meet up with friends at the bar district, but didn't end up meeting up for a drink. We tried calling but none of them answered. Coming to the conclusion that the were in a club with loud music and not being able to hear their phones, we decided to go back to the hotel. The failed mission to meet with other others wasn't a big mistake; it was the first time that i could appreciate the beauty of Guangzhou. You could see the whole city line from the bar district, there were barrages chuttering up the river, I even welcomed the sound of an incoming plane. On the way back from the hotel we got a text from the others as they had obviously just thought to check their phones. I discouraged Christina to turn back to see them because we were already half way back to the hotel and it was getting on a bit.
    Next morning, (after waking up fully clothed, not under the sheets and with all the lights turned on) we decided to explore Guangzhou with the little time we had before the train. After a free buffet breakfast we got another Tuc Tuc to the central business district, and the onto the shopping centre. When considering the intensity of the traffic from the day before and the fact that it was national day i had planned for a slower progress to the centre, but it was smooth drive in. It was Chinas national day, the most important date in the year for China. 
Shopping was rather dull, (although there was initial excitement when we got interviewed by a television crew and then later asked for a picture with some cute giggly Chinese girls) and my only purchase was a national geographic for the long train journey ahead of us.
    After shopping we went back to the hotel because time was starting to act against us for the train to Hohhot. At the hotel i really enjoyed a book on local photography so i decided to hide it in my bag for later reading and inspiration. When considering it had the name of our hotel on the from cover i presumed that they would have had plenty to spare if any went missing. Before we got a taxi to the train station, Christina and I went to the shop to stock up on supplies for the 40 hour train journey. We had asked the hotel to order us a taxi so we went back. Upon our return they were ready for us, asking us directly about the missing book! 
    “oh we thought it was a gift” i said in a unconvincingly surprised voice
    “do you have it” the receptionist replied obviously wanting to get to the point.
    “I’ll just get it, i put in in my bag...” 
I walked over in shame, regretting that we hadn’t paid for the hotel earlier. I handed it over to her saying “sorry”, but not actually meaning it. 
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