I must admit China is one of the most underrated countries recently. The last time I stepped into China was about 5 years ago but man, has that country progressed so much. Perhaps I shouldn’t say China but Guang Zhou in particular.
My main purpose of visiting Guang Zhou is to attend the annual Canton Fair, but of course, my parents had to slip in a few days of leisure because they do enjoy traveling. As this was going to be the first year I would attend the Canton Fair, I really did not have high expectations as to how Guang Zhou was going to be like. My parents are annual Canton Fair go-ers and I’ve only heard about how tired they were after each trip.
My journey started in Singapore, where I transited for a few days to visit my grandma. I frequently make trips down because she’s currently residing there where her doctors are. Fast forward a few days and I made my way to Guang Zhou, transiting in Hong Kong.
One of the more economical way to travel to Guang Zhou from Hong Kong is by train. It costs about $200HKD and you can purchase the ticket online. You will be boarding the train from Hong Hum Station and there is a direct bus straight to Hong Hum from the airport.
Everything’s bigger (not necessarily better) in China
Everything’s possible in China too.
I knew I was in China the moment I stepped foot in China. First of, the smell. Just like Jakarta, Guang Zhou’s smell was rather unpleasant. Perhaps it’s the upkeep of the station or… I’m not so sure. The smell just gives it off that I’m not longer in Hong Kong. Secondly, the people. They seemed like they’re always in a rush, always pushing and never queuing up. Forget about your personal space because Asians are comfortable getting close to each other. All of these characteristics really do remind me of Indonesians as well, so I really don’t feel far from home.
What really surprised me, however, was how the city improved over the years. They are more ahead and advanced in comparison to Jakarta. As you may already know, China has blocked almost all overseas websites/app – so no Facebook, Instagram, LINE, Tinder, etc. They have an app called WeChat that does everything! E V E R Y T H I N G. From paying for your purchases at the stores to ordering food at a restaurant to being your Google Maps, seriously. Here’s a video by New York Times that I came across the other day.
Technology aside, their public transportation has also been more accessible, wayy way way better than Jakarta, from what I noticed. I’m not sure if you have the same assumption than a lot of my friends, but my friends think of China being a very unsafe place. Hello…? You are staying in Indonesia. I’m sure Indonesia is heaps more unsafe than China.
Secondly, the reason why I say China isn’t as unsafe as you think it is is because I think that China is richer now. I’m talking about the people. We can’t deny that China has been richer over these few years and it’s been crazy. I know you know what I’m talking about. You see Chinese people everywhere now, especially when you travel to European countries, you’d be shocked by what they spend on and how they spend. That aside, the locals in Guang Zhou are more fashionable and they look more put together. Although, I have to admit… Chinese and their fashion sense. Haha, they really are something.
… Except for this girl. She’s way too cool.
My main purpose to head to Guang Zhou is for their annual Canton Fair. These past few weeks, I’m sure you’ve seen a few of your friends take trips down to Guang Zhou for this very reason. I admit, it’s really interesting and I think every one should at least visit the place one in their lifetime. They say China produces everything in the world. When you come here, you will be dead sure of that fact.
Sometimes we see “Made in Korea” “Made in Germany” “Made in Japan”, nope. We tend to forget that China can definitely print “Made in ____” as well. Come here and you’d understand why. It’s a sad fact, however, that customs in Indonesia is really strict. That’s why not a lot of people are keen to do this.
It was a really interesting experience, the Canton Fair has halls and halls and halls of consumer goods, etc. You’ll be amazed at what you can find. Minimum order? 1000 at least.
In the next post, I’ll be discussing on the places to eat/visit and places to shop in Guang Zhou and Hong Kong. There are just way too many things to blog about traveling! I’ll have to break it up into a few sections :
- Food & Cafes (soon)
- Shopping (soon)
- Haul (soon)
Here’s a snippet of the videos that I’ve gathered during my trip. Enjoy 🙂