I was about to post what an uneventful (pleasant) trip to Macao I had when I had occasion to find out what happens when a passenger loses a ticket. In short, you go to the ticket office, show your passport, and buy your replacement ticket. You can then get a refund in the place where you bought your ticket. I had removed my overcoat with the ticket and remembered it before forking over the 337.50 RMB for another full fare ticket.
This is the Zhuhai Railway Station. It is right next to the border crossing (Gongbei Port).
So the cost of a bullet train (Gaotie) ticket from Guiyang is less than a plane ticket. On a good day, the plane ticket costs about 900 RMB round trip (rt). The Gaotie ticket costs 675 RMB rt every day.
Comparing plane vs train is interesting. The plane is about 1.5 to 2 hours flight time compared to about 6 for the train. The train takes about twenty minutes for the security check and boarding time, while the plane takes two hours to be safe. At the destination the plane needs another hour to park and retrieve bags. It’s about five minutes for the train.
This is the Gongbei Port border crossing. It takes about five minutes to walk from the railway station into the border crossing building.
I need to cross the Chinese border every 60 days to stay legal under my tourist visa. So arriving by plane in Zhuhai or Shenzhen still leaves me at least an hour from my border crossing (Hong Kong airport is cost prohibitive). The Zhuhai/Macao border crossing is only a 5 minute walk from the train station. The two parcels are literally adjacent to each other. There is no need for a taxi or bus.
They have a massive park in Jinyang of Guiyang. The sure plant a lot of mums.
Years ago I got hooked on China and eventually started this blog . . . I love this girl’s take on Shenzhen. She reminds me of what was like when I first came to China, about 17 years ago. Where’s Poppy is the real deal. She is pretty and pretty casual. You really get a feeling about why expats come to China and decide to stay for awhile. She talks fast, so if you are like really old, you probably should have a cup of coffee before you watch these videos. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxJ9TBMoAL4 and https://youtu.be/OuiAsTwq6x8 .
This recent release about Shanghai made me ask if Guiyang is Competitive in bragging rights for “Best City”.
Shanghai Promotional Video
Retired person that I am, I can live anywhere. I’ve chosen Guiyang because I think Guiyang is Competitive. Guiyang has a lot to offer as shown in the following link:
The Shanghai Promotional Video is incredible art. It has no English or Chinese. The themes are broad. I hope we can get one for Guiyang that shows Guiyang’s beauty, technology, and people. That kind of project seems appropriate for this Blog. Perhaps it will come when Guizhou recognizes it’s own resources and potential. Guiyang is Competitive, for sure.
The Miao People are scattered across Southeast Asia and really have no homeland of their own. The Miao People of China are Hmong. This minority people is responsible for extraordinary arts and crafts, which are extending throughout the world – an accelerating commercial success. Recently Facebook was shocked by a video about Miao Dancing on Water: The Chinese Art of Bamboo Drifting.
The Miao People migrate throughout Southeast Asia and, as the result of the Vietnam War, have settled in the USA and other Western Countries. The clothing, jewelry, dance, and music are all very distinctive, as is the Miao language itself (Hmong-Mien).
This culture is very “nature” oriented and the Miao culture has spread with the environmental movement and is becoming increasingly poplar in China. Google has posted an awesome array of Miao photos at:
Google Search of Miao and Hmong:
This web site has featured a variety of articles on the Miao Phenomenom:
Tour Guizhou Search on Miao
Part 93 of the Theo Goumas China Blog is ready: Visit:
Hong Kong Part 2
I visited scenic Guizhou locations with Rocky last fall. It was very nice. Rocky likes kick boxing. That’s why when he wanted an English name it was obvious what the English name should be. He is determined to learn English. I try to practice with him as often as his time permits, but at 66, my Gung Fu isn’t that good anymore. 🙂
On November 27, Rocky (Yue Ke Quan) and his girlfriend (Sun Ling) took me to Xiuwen Xian. It is a small town in Xingfu Cun. It is a very beautiful place. We just did a simple day trip, practiced English and Chinese together, played in the leaves, and came back. Good time.
We had some fun with the Ginko leaves. Sometimes I visit Rocky at Chang Po Ling National Forest Park. He likes to run laps there totaling about 5 kilometers. Rocky stays in shape. He had two years in the army and he is now in the police.
Part 91 of the Theo In Guiyang blog post is now out. This is a massive body of work describing what it is like to be a foreigner in China, and in Guiyang. In Episode 91, Theo makes his way to Shaolin, and posts some beautiful pictures and narrative at:
Theo’s China Blog
Episode 92 is out: Part 92
This episode is about Theo’s trip from Guiyang to Hong Kong and his first day in Hong Kong.
Sixteen years of coming to China and I still get this language thing screwed up. When you are talking to someone in English, make sure they say the information. If you ask a question, no matter how good their English may seem , the answer is often likely to be “Yes”. They often answer this way because agreement tends to end the conversation. I had no trouble going to Hong Kong by train, but my return trip was nightmareish via Zhuhai Airport, which my Cheapo Air website told me was near Shenzhen. When I bought my Octopus Ticket upon entry to Hong Kong, the guy behind the desk said that I could go to Zhuhai using the Octopus ticket. So I asked him if it was by train or bus, and he said either one, but train would probably be better. “Do I come back here and then go to Zhuhai from here?” . . . “Yes.” He suggested another 50 HKD on the Octopus card to make sure I had enough on there to cover the trip.
What a load of crap. One look at the map would have told me the nonsense I just swallowed. I was so confident that the guy was honest, that I didn’t independently confirm. Needless to say, if you are using the Zhuhai Airport for Hong Kong, it is wise to carefully check your itinerary in advance. By the way, after missing my flight, I got a new ticket the next night at no charge. Hooray for Air China.
One look at the map would have showed me that Zhuhai is not an easy access from Hong Kong. So we live and learn.
Riding the bus in Guiyang gives a real view of the city, up close and personal, and sometimes a little gritty. There are so many situations that arise, unlike the taxi. A taxi ride to home from downtown can cost between 30 and 50 RMB, which works out to between $4 and $7. The bus ride is about 2 RMB and often involves a two kilometer walk late at night to complete the trip.
So a couple days ago I got on the bus at the “Big West Gate” bus station and I was greeted by a clean and well dressed young lady that had a full smile. It was the most friendly smile I’ve ever experienced when getting on the bus. So I stood near her and she reached out and grabbed my coat sleeve and gestured that I should give her 1 RMB. I said, “You recognize me don’t you?” She smiled more. I told her that I remembered her too. Her smile got bigger. I remembered the girl from a couple months ago (at Big West Gate Bus Station) when I saw her trying to wipe her hand on a bus sign. Then she had gone and sat on the curb, a little bit dirty on that rainy night.
I am not a soft touch for beggars in Guiyang. Most of the beggars seem to look healthy or are even faking their affliction. This relatively young and pretty girl was alone two months ago and wasn’t trying to beg. I had a small package of tissues and I put a 10 RMB note with it and gave it to her so she could wipe her hand. She took the 10 RMB note and one tissue from the package and gave me back the tissues. I tried to refuse the tissues but she insisted on giving the package back to me. So when I got on the bus that day I didn’t immediately recognize her, but when I realized she couldn’t talk, it all connected up. I remembered her.
She left me alone for a little while and then she tried to communicate again. She was holding my sleeve and pulling. I figured out that she was trying to sell me her seat for 1 RMB. So I finally said OK and gave her 1 RMB. Some of the older folks on the bus gestured to me that there was something wrong with her head. I just nodded slightly and went back to trying to get the girl to let go of my sleeve. She was standing and trying to get me to sit in her seat. I told her that I was getting down at the next bus stop because I needed number 69 bus. She let go. Some of the others on the bus offered their advice on which bus to take and so on. I got off at the next stop and said good by to the young girl. It was a very friendly and warm experience. It was nice to know that the little girl was sufficiently functional that she could move around the city and do OK.
I’ve been very involved in the local bus service in Traverse City since the beginning in 1985. I am one of the several people who can rightfully claim paternity of the BATA bus service there. It is a service that handles a lot of special needs clients, but is having a difficult time mainstreaming the general public to incorporate buses as part of their lifestyles. I like riding buses in both Guiyang and Traverse City. The interaction with the others on the bus makes life a bit richer. Let the bus driver fight the traffic. On the bus I can play with my cell phone as much as I want, guilt free.