Hong Kong/Macau/Zhuhai/Guangzhou

31 Dec

It is a pity not we have not been travelling much this year. In fact the Hong Kong/Macau/Zhuhai/Guangzhou trip that we took in late September/early October was the only vacation we have taken in 2014. Nevertheless, we have had a couple of staycations in between so it wasn’t too bad.

Lau Fu Zi

Lau Fu Zi

We have been to Hong Kong many years back. I remember taking my little sister along with us. She was in secondary two that year and today she is already a married mother of two and that was how long ago.

Anyway, I have been too ambitious while planning this trip. It was a bad idea to have squeezed in so many places in a week and the frequent shuttering from one city to another was a little tedious. I have also prepaid for all our accommodation and thus, we were not able to stay in a place longer than our initial scheduled timeframe but nonetheless, it was quite a learning experience though.

sunset in Guangzhou

sunset in Guangzhou


I have known very little of Guangzhou before this trip. Touching on the grounds of Bai Yun International Airport twice does not counts. Both times were on transit, one occasion to Sanya and the other to Chengdu.

I used to be a huge fan of a local actor, Qu Yuwu. He is from Guangzhou and I have always been dreamy of his hometown but this trip has changed my thoughts entirely.

We were lost the minute we stepped out of the train station. I was two hundred percent sure that the hotel that I have booked is within the vicinity but the absented-minded me had forgotten to translate the name of the hotel and address into Chinese and we have approached at least of people for directions. Many have shrugged and shook their heads, some said ‘wo bu zhi dao’ (I don’t know) and the others pointed us North South East West.

We finally hit the jackpot and found our hotel down the bend less than 100m from the station an hour later but when I cheerfully approached the reception with our booking, the lady behind the counter grabbed it before I could speak and proceed with the registration head down. It was only half way through her writing that she asked for our passport and deposit. Even so, she did not even bother to look up and make eye contact. Then she mechanically handed us the key and breakfast voucher and murmured that the breakfast that was inclusive with our room booking is only available for one person and the other has to pay! And that it, she considered herself done and left us!

While in the room we found that the safe could not lock so we rang the housekeeping. The same lady attended to us picked up our call and sent someone over. The handyman pounded on the door and grumbled loudly as he worked on the safe and then left without having a word. After he left, we saw that the safe still could not lock and we rang the housekeeping again. The same lady picked up the call and before I could finish my sentence, she snorted, “the safe is spoilt and I don’t have any room to change so you better make do with it” and hang up!

Gosh, I wasn’t even asking for a change of room or anything! What’s wrong with her? Fortunately this lady is a legend. While the majority of the people that we have encountered there weren’t exactly friendly or helpful, they weren’t as rude either.

saw this inside Ikea in Guangzhou, it says "make sure you talk talk with them" haha!

saw this inside Ikea in Guangzhou, it says “make sure you talk talk with them” haha!



The train ride from Guangzhou to Zhuhai was a real eye opener. There was no law and order, everyone was pushing and squeezing and people were shouting and talking at the top of their voice. The group of seated passengers where I stood, ate throughout the journey. They would pass the food around and then throw their waste conveniently onto the floor.

The location of our hotel is good. It is near the border as what we wanted but unlike the impressive pictures that we saw online, the hotel is very old and run down and our window opened to a flight of stairs. Everything in the room, including bottled drink and toothbrush has a price tag and condoms are strategically placed in the bathroom and bedside tables, all for sale.

Zhuhai is very much like Guangzhou, a wholesale heaven but the weather was terribly hot. It was much hotter than any day in Singapore and at 35 degree Celsius, all I wanted to do was to take cover and hide.



Bad timing. It was China’s Golden Week holiday and the entire place was flooded with people from the Mainland. Weird as it seems, they were filling up drug stores and pharmacies and loading baby milk powder rather than of trying their luck in the casinos.

Like its neighbor Zhuhai, the people in Macau aren’t very friendly either but hack, this place is a gem! There is so much vibe, so much to see and so much waiting to be discovered! If I have known it earlier, I could have omitted the rest of the places and spend the entire week here.


the umbrella revolution

Hong Kong

We were there during the early days of the Umbrella Revolution. Some roads were closed and many tourist populated places were affected. We were surprised at we were done with Ladies Market within five minutes because many vendors were not opened for business but that’s okay, we aren’t much of a shopper anyway. Instead, we visited all the sites of the demonstrations and the protest has fuelled some food for thoughts. I salute these hot-bloodied youths and admire their courage and love of their own country and nation yet, being a politically immature Singaporean, I couldn’t take my stand. Such protest would have been stopped even before it could start in Singapore.

I was stopped by the custom while having our luggage checked at the airport because they have detected a little piece of Victorinox Swiss Army in one of my pouches. Instead of simply discarding the item, the custom officer has tried to help by calling the airline ground staff to come over to pick them and safe keep for me while on the plane. We waited for a long time but the staff did not turn up and so to avoid missing the plane, I decided to forego my most precious travel essential and hurried our way to the boarding. However we were still too late. The ground staff told us that the gate has closed two minutes ago and the plane has flew off without us.

And the drama did not stop there. Since we were considered officially departed, we will need the immigration to grant us re-entry but the immigration officer on duty refused to release us. He demaned for concrete information of our next departure date and flight details but for Christ sake, why he just couldn’t understand that we would need to get out from there in order to go over the counter to book another flight? So there we were, struck inside the freezing arrival for the next couple of hours before we finally have had our next flight confirmed and free to go. But we have no where to go in the wee hours and since ours were the first flight in the morning, we camped at the airport and slept a bit on the chairs at Burger King.


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