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Newer Page 40 of 901 Older Full Trip Report
China Hong Kong Guangzhou Train

15 April 2019

Procedural challenges

Today was a day of many challenges, and associated crap photos of nothingness.
It was again raining when I woke up, I splashed around in Hong Kong looking for breakfast, which was a custard tart.
Generally I then go to the airport / train station / bus stop way too early, not today.

I thought I had left myself plenty of time, I was walking to the new high speed rail station just down the road, and sure enough I was there 2 hours early. Oh well, I am always early, or so I thought.
First you clear Hong Kong customs, in Hong Kong, there was a line but this was ok, they dont really check anything.
Next up you enter China, while in Hong Kong. The first thing to do is have your finger prints taken, there are lots of places you do this yourself and it issues you a ticket after scanning your passport, and attempting to scan all 10 fingerprints. I watched everyone else do this without issue, but for me, no fingerprints. I HAVE NO FINGERPRINTS! Now, I do recall having issues doing this in Japan also, but generally it works after 4 or 5 goes. Here I tried 10 machines, none would even register one of my fingers and it needs all 10! I went and got a cop, time to try out my mandarin. He tried to help and was genuinely intrigued, even putting his fingers on the reader after my passport was scanned, which seemed to be working, I thought for a minute I would enter China with his finger prints but he took his hand off in time.
Eventually he escorted me to a customs officer, who tried again to take my fingerprints, still no go. They found this very amusing, looking at my actual fingers to verify they were not robotically smooth. After laughing for a while they let me in anyway, with minutes to spare.

The train to Guangzhou was only an hour, there would have been a view but there was dense fog. Hopefully when I do the return trip in 6 days time I can enjoy the view. Strangely as I type this I have Hong Kong news on which is broadcasting live from clear blue sky, how is this possible? Here the fog is down to the ground and its raining, but I digress, the fun was only just beginning.

Checking into my hotel apartment was very challenging. Thankfully I had already studied the complex instructions to find the check in desk, it is actually in a big shopping mall, and requires going out a fire exit between Uniqlo and H&M, really!
All was going fine, but then they scanned the wrong visa in my passport, and we spoke in Chinglish for a while until they realised their mistake. They seemed very very concerned I had entered China on an expired visa, once I managed to grab my passport and show them that the newer visa is on an earlier page in my passport, that drama was solved. They dont have to call the police. Speaking Chinese actually helped here.
Then I had to get into my room, very slow lifts, 31st floor. Key does not work, back down I go. The guy on the desk understood when I told him the key didnt work, I even took a photo of my door and door number. He didnt seem to do anything and handed me back the key. I asked if it was now ok, he said yes (shi) but he did not look convinced! Of course it still did not work.
So I have now been up and down the slow lift 4 times, I go back to the desk and tell him I knew he had not fixed it, get the boss, I raised my voice. The boss came out in a flash, came up with me, could not open the door. Next thing a maintenance man comes, levers the panel off the door, plugs in a USB cable and we are all go. While I had the boss, I checked that the tv worked, no. Maintenance man again, changes the xiao mi streaming stealing tv box in about 5 minutes.

So finally after many challenges, I have a huge room in a great location in a street with about 10 giant malls on top of a subway station that is apparently a few blocks from the main shopping area.
I will be here for 6 nights, I have no plans, I dont think there are many mountains!

China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - Powdered milk formula is not just an issue in Australia, Hong Kong also does not like too much of it being exported. Unlike Australia, Hong Kong actua

Powdered milk formula is not just an issue in Australia, Hong Kong also does not like too much of it being exported. Unlike Australia, Hong Kong actually has to import it. Here in Australia we have way too much milk which is going to waste and we still dont want to sell it to Chinese people. It makes no sense to me.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - Once you have gone through all the customs and assuming your fingers have fingerprints, you enter the departure hall. There are no shops! None. You ar

Once you have gone through all the customs and assuming your fingers have fingerprints, you enter the departure hall. There are no shops! None. You are technically in mainland China at this point.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - The train was just like any other in China. I saw photos of orange colored ones that looked higher than the normal ones, but mine was the standard CRH

The train was just like any other in China. I saw photos of orange colored ones that looked higher than the normal ones, but mine was the standard CRH thing.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - Here I am at Guangzhou South station, between the trains.

Here I am at Guangzhou South station, between the trains.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - The station is absolutely enormous and new. It is connected to the metro. I had no issue getting cash out and getting a Guangzhou metro card. It is ab

The station is absolutely enormous and new. It is connected to the metro. I had no issue getting cash out and getting a Guangzhou metro card. It is about 30 minutes on the metro to the middle of the city, and it was packed.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - Now for some photos of my strange hotel apartment, on English websites its called JiaJia mix, but theres no signs saying that at the hard to find rece

Now for some photos of my strange hotel apartment, on English websites its called JiaJia mix, but theres no signs saying that at the hard to find reception area, where it is called Yi Min Hotel. As you can see I get a washing machine.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - And a full kitchen.

And a full kitchen.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - Bed and a small couch, everything you could want! The internet is super fast too. Some reviewers complained their room was dirty, mine seems fine. Oth

Bed and a small couch, everything you could want! The internet is super fast too. Some reviewers complained their room was dirty, mine seems fine. Others complained they didnt get fresh towels and sheets daily, I dont care about that. It is very cheap, well located and huge. I had many check in issues but they were keen enough to help once I threatened to kill someone.


China-Hong Kong-Guangzhou-Train - Here is my 'view'. My view is all fog. The rain seems particularly heavy right now. Now to work out where the hell I am.

Here is my 'view'. My view is all fog. The rain seems particularly heavy right now. Now to work out where the hell I am.


NewerPage 40 of 901OlderFull Trip Report