Last night me and Georgia switched hostels and relocated from North Point to more central Hong Kong, an area called Causeway Bay. We were staying at the YesInn Hostel so that when we were due to meet our tour group at 7am the following morning there it would be much easier. I had slept the worst I have slept since being away. I caught some Z’s between 12-2am when suddenly I was shaken by the vibration of what seemed to be one of the sleeping Giants in BFG snoring. From then on I listened to one of my favourite meditation mantras at full volume on my earphones to try and drown out the sound of sleeping beauty in the corner but to also send me into a peaceful slumber. There is no science behind it whatsoever but listening to soft mantras whilst drifting off to sleep definitely enhances the vibrancy and longevity of my dreams. By 5:30am, three hours later I had still not slept, eyes feeling achey and raw I think I nodded off from then until my alarm went off at 6:40am.
Downstairs we were greeted by one of the first of our many tour guides, a Turkish guy called Servet who had been living in Schenzen for three years studying Economics. He like many of us loved travelling so decided to do some tours part time along with his studies. At this point we met 3 other members of our tour group, all English, a couple and a solo traveller. We walked to the Tram stop close by to head to Admirality where we were catching the Peak Tram to Victoria Peak to get a clear view of the city from a height. We climbed the near enough vertical track built by the British in the late 1800’s to reach the top. Around 11,000 use the Peak Tram each day for residential and working purposes. As it happens the fog was so thick today that when we reached the vantage point we could only see about 4 feet in front of us, let alone the sprawling city beneath. I found it really funny but at the same time vowed to come back when I returned to Hong Kong in little under 4 weeks to catch the cityscape at night. We then met the remaining 4 people on our tour, 2 other solo travelers and 2 mates. Departing from the hostel at about 11am we headed to Schenzen North Train Station. After a long cafuffle getting the Hong Kong and Schenzen metro, going through border, security and passport control we made it. Our train to Guilin departed at 14:53pm and I am currently writing this half an hour in the 3 hour journey. The bullet train is just as impressive as it was the first time I used it.
By 6:15pm we had arrived in Guilin. We met our new local Tour operator called Sally. She showed us promptly to the minivan we would be travelling in for the next 2 hours to Yangshou. Dusk has passed and rain started to pour as we exited the city centre. The remaining couple of hours of our journey to Yangshou enlightened me in acknowledging that China is definitely still a developing countries. Something it needs to develop quickly is its road safety. Servet had told us in the morning that 700 people a day are killed in road collisions across China. I thought today it might be 711 as the journey transporting the tour was deadly. Cars were almost crashing into us, there were no street lights, the roads were uneven and muddy and lorrys were steaming full throttle past us constantly. For me it was one of those situations where you’re counting down the minutes before it ends.
Eventually the treacherous journey ended and we were in Yangshou, a haven of Karst mountains, lively bar streets and a traditional charm.