Let the adventure commence
I was not thrown into the deep end. This is how I could sum up my first experiences of China.
I was travelling with Marianna, it was easier to laugh off some strange situations, and there was Tomek, familiar with various local ways after living in Zhaoqing for more than a year. Supported by friends I did not find China a challenging destination. Not yet, at least.
A journey from Zhaoqing via Guangzhou to Haikou on the Hainan Island was a part of the trip that concerned me the most from the beginning of planning. Two train journeys in a day with an overnight 12-hour epic odyssey and the fact that the train will be loaded onto a ferry across the sea. Yes.. the adventure was about to start.
Our train to Guangzhou was delayed. How did we know? Well, firstly we could not enter the platform (they are very controlling and strict about it in China) and secondly the sign displayed by my app for “delayed” corresponded with the same sign on the train board.
What a nightmare! We were getting hungry and there was no way we could find any shops or places to eat at the station. Trapped there and surrounded by people, who were constantly staring at us we just had to grin and bear it.
In Guangzhou we had to take a metro to another train station and find a place where we could leave our backpacks for few hours… and quiet frankly that was a bit of a mission. After half an hour we finally found the storage place, which was literally round the corner, as well as the right part of a station where we would be catching our sleeper train in the evening. Relieved and backpack-free we had something to eat and took a metro to the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall to do a bit of sightseeing in that area. After few hours we only managed to scratch the surface.