© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated Hong Kong to Shenzhen

China – Travel from Hong-Kong to Shenzhen to Guilin – 27th December

We packed up and were ready to check out at around 11am. We’d read that we could leave our bags in luggage storage at the MTR station at Kowloon’s Hung Hom so that we could make the most of having some more time in Hong-Kong. Getting there is fairly easy on the metro with a few stops and walking distance. There is a little problem in that when you buy a through ticket to Hung Hom from Causeway Bay you’ll have to go through an unpaid walking zone to reach the connection to the western line. You wont find this out though until you’re ready to change lines at Tsim Shu Tsha and the machine takes your ticket and you have to buy another one way to Hung Hom!! We tried to explain that we didn’t know about this but they didn’t really want to know and told us we would need to buy another ticket to get there!! So we lost some more dollars on this and gritted our teeth in fury! Well Helen did but the moment soon passed and we found ourselves at Hung Hom with a decent one off fee of 20 HKD per bag for the day which isn’t too bad.

We walked across to the main strip in Kowloon via the Hollywood stars walk along the sea front. It was good to have clear views across to Hong-Kong Island and we enjoyed this along with several other tourists. The sun was out and it was very pleasant indeed. As we wandered through the streets and endless shopping malls we found ourselves a good little knife shop and bought us a wee Christmas gift in the form of a Swiss army pen knife. Sad but these things do make your lives a little easier when traveling and having those practical items to hand. It didn’t stretch the budget too much either which was a nice bonus.

After the excitement of buying our little present we went on the search for some food before our over night bus journey. We found a street that had a mix of establishments and chose Red Ant, which appeared to have some nice rice, noodle and soup dishes. The food was average with Helens particularly bland. Not what you expect really but it did the job. Afterwards we made our way back to Hung Hom station, collected the bags and went for the next train to Shenzen. It’s a much cheaper method of getting to and from Hong Kong than using the Kowloon express from Guangzhou. For 33 HKD each we got the MTR to the furthest stop on the line Lo Wu, from here it was clearly signposted to get to Shenzen and the bus station, there are exit and entry points from Hong Kong to back into China and the whole process took around an hour and a half from leaving Hung Hom. When we arrived at the bus station we had another hours wait, so we proceeded to play some more card games. We thought we’d lost our other pack and managed to pick up a new pack of cards for around 20p! Bargain! The bus left at 7.30pm and we were pleasantly surprised to see that the bus wasn’t as bad as the reports we’d heard and also seen on the roads. We didn’t realise but this was the luxury bus and not the cheaper 3 tier sleeper option. The bedding was clean and fresh on and it was only a two tier bunk bed layout with only a handful of people on there. You need to use the seat belts as you’ll get jerked around quite a bit and there were a few stops coming out of Shenzen before we were well on our way.

Our destination was Guilin and we were told the bus would get in at around 6am, but we were way ahead of time and arrived at 4.15am. Luckily the station was very much anticipating the arrival of the buses so we weren’t alone at the drop off. It was a little confusing but we walked out of the station, found ourselves a taxi driver who knew where we were going and landed at the Wada hostel at around 5am. The hostel was all locked up and in the dark but eventually someone came out to let us in, fortunately the room was available and she checked us in at no additional cost. This is one thing that we’ve found to be really helpful in China, you can arrive at pretty much any time of the day/night and get into your room as long as the date is the same as your check in date then there’s no extra charges for getting your room early. So we were able to get some sleep and set the alarm for 10am.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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