paulus travels



Art Star Hotel       200 Yuan    Double room.

Business floor has handsome ladyís ready for business.


The first person I met in the train was a Christian female vigour. She told me that I was a brave person to travel in China and not speaking the language. So I was prepared for the worst. It was a train ride of 2 and a half hour I guess. Suddenly there was the border and customs. I had some herbal cigarettes on me so I had to run when I saw the sniffing dog sniffing somebody else. Ok China here I am. Yes there is still a border between Hong Kong and China. I needed a visa for China but not for HK and Macao. I ordered mine at the Amsterdam Visa Bureau. It was 65 euro with all costs.

Getting to the train station you see a lot of urbanisation around. At the station there were some touts who offered hotel rooms. I picked the Art Star Hotel that was 190 Yuan (19 Euro) for a double room. It had all the luxury I need TV, shower, bath, free Internet and two beds. This town is really big and I have never seen a picture or heard of it before. A pretty modern town in a lot of ways, and it has a fine subway system to.


Shopping mall in Guangzhou

The first dinner in Guangzhou was memorable there was reality. There where only Chinese characters on the menu. So I started the bird dance to get some chicken and rice. A young Chinese man stood up and asked me if he could help me. Thank you Lord. We had a beer and ate some of the food he ordered for me. And of course we talked about China and what he was doing. It felt like a great welcome. The next day I went to the park (Haizhuang Gongyuan). The parks are very nice places to visit in China. Here you find the Chinese people doing their gymnastics, or any other sport, to do some stretching.


Gymnastics in the park


Keep the feathers high




Dancing early in the morning

Dancing with red clothes



Have a look at the traffic



The one is practising Tai Chi; the other one is playing with two big swords, plays badminton or dances. Sometimes there is music coming from one end of the park and when you go there you might find a lot of people dancing or just moving on the rhythm of the beat or ballroom music. Large groups of woman dancing with fans or small red peaces of cloth. I really enjoyed a couple of older guys who brought their best singing nightingales and made them sing by putting a female in there vicinity. After an exciting visit to this park I went to the next place the Lonely Planet told me to visit. I entered the Guangxiao Si Temple around 3 o clock.


The monks of the Guangxiao Si return after their prayers

After seeing a couple of very big statues I was lucky because there was a service going on in the temple. Many monks and people where praying. When I returned to the hotel I was e-mailing Robin to make an appointment. I know Robin from Amsterdam he is living a couple of houses down the road. He was sitting behind a computer at the same time so we started chatting through Msn. He was only one hour away by foot so we met at a wongba (Internet cafe). It was very special for me to meet with a friend on the other side of the world.


Robin and me having dumplings and a beer in Guangzhou

While having some food and a couple of beers he gave me a very good advice. Buy yourself a little trolley, so you donít have to carry your backpack. What a joy for my back it was. Robin always has these lovely stories, and the ones about China where no different. After dinner I could not find the hotel so I took a taxi. Friday the 31st of March already a week on the road. Time flies when you are having fun. Today I took the subway to Shamian Dao, an island in the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River). Walking the neighbourhood I came to the Peaceful market, but not for the turtles, scorpions, crickets and other animals that are sold here.


All the animals are alive I donít show the turtles


This must be a real genuine piece of China. Push cars, bikes filled with boxes, shops and cleaners.

Walking on a bridge I encountered the claws of tigers for sale more then 15 of them. Donít buy them.


Donít buy them Tiger paws. Better buy the blue pills.

They probably make you very potent but I wonder how many of these beautiful animals are still living in the wild. The pain in my knee was increasing so I looked for a pharmacy. Robin told me to get some Red flower oil to put on it. Because somebody wrote it down in Chinese characters I was able to explain to the ladyís in the shop what I needed. When I showed my knee to them they treated the painful spot with some spray. I had to sit in the middle of the shop for 20 minutes. Looking like a fool but it worked. With a bottle of the red flower oil I left the shop dancing. A little later I met this waiter with the Lonely Planet.

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A couple more pictures and then I had a dinner at the hotel restaurant. When the waitresses are ready checking if I can eat with chopsticks I smile to a couple of ladyís two tables further. After a second smile they where sitting at my table. Well sir donít you want to come to the business floor. Business I asked what kind of business. Suddenly I got the message, they where hookers. In a calm and relaxed way I tell them that I am only here for the culture. Later in the evening a masseuse calls at my room. Stubborn people. Robin and I meet and together we went to the train station of Guangzhou. This must be one of the crowded train stations in the world. People are waiting to get in to the station, which is only possible a little before the train arrives. Otherwise it would be a totally uncontrollable situation with so many people. Is it really this warm?

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In the train to Guillin

Train station Guangzhou

Train ticket                     Guangzhou to Guillin              207 Yuan                     Hard sleeper



Meidu Hotel                          165 Yuan                                     double bed


The quite train station of Guillin


Guillin by night


Guillin by day


How sweet they can be


Look how they shine

The night train brought me to Guillin and I arrived at 7.30. The Cits (China Information Tourist Center) at the station helped me to find a hotel. Because I didnít feel all that well last night and in the hotel I knew it was a little fever. To get well soon I decided to stay in bed for a day. And for the next day I booked a trip on the Li River to a nice village to recover.

paulus travels