Today I didn’t do much at all. Yangshuo is kind of a touristy place, which suits me just fine for now. It’s a good place to relax, and do nothing. I think I needed that after a few days of really being busy. I ate some good things (mango shake and ham omelette for breakfast, braised pork and stir-fried veggies for lunch, drunk duck and stir-fried mixed veggies for dinner). In fact, I just finished dinner. I chose this restaurant because it has a beautiful view of the town. I’m sitting on the second-floor balcony, overlooking the lake/harbour, which is surrounded by a resort with a pagoda, lit with colorful paper lanterns. In the dark, behind the resort, you can barely make out the massive karst mountains that dominate the town during the day. A street musician below is playing a traditional Chinese string instrument. It’s nice to have a pleasant place to think, because I’ve got some issues to resolve.

First of all, a warning to anyone who might be interested in booking a ferry ticket online from Chu Kong Passenger Transport Company Ltd. Don’t do it. I booked my ticket a few days ago to get me from Kaiping, China, to Hong Kong. I sent them email asking them how I should collect my ticket. I was informed that the only way to do this was to pick it up at their ticket office in Hong Kong, no later than 45 minutes before my trip. Now tell me if I’m wrong here, but this makes no sense at all. I’m booking a trip from China to Hong Kong, and I have to pick up my ticket in Hong Kong before my trip? I tried to explain this to them, and asked if there was any way to resolve this problem, and they said no, that’s the only way to do it. Even if I knew someone in Hong Kong who could pick up my ticket and send it to me in China, it would be impossible, since the Chu Kong Passenger Transport Company Ltd.’s policy is that only the ticketed passenger can pick up the ticket. I asked for a refund, since I’m obviously not going to be able to get the ticket. The reply from the Chu Kong Passenger Transport Company Ltd. is that unless I pick up my ticket before my trip, I can not get a refund. Does this sound like a scam to you? It does to me! Anyway, if you are traveling to Hong Kong, stay away from the Chu Kong Passenger Transport Company Ltd. at all costs.

Anyway, this leaves me with the problem of trying to get to Hong Kong. I may have to skip Kaiping. It’s not easy to get from Kaiping to Hong Kong without taking a ferry. I will have to take a bus back to Guangzhou, then find a bus to Shenzen, and then cross to Hong Kong. I’ve heard the border crossing at Shenzen is unpleasant and congested, so I’m not looking forward to that route. But skipping Kaiping would be very disappointing for me. It’s not far from Guangzhou, where my train will drop me off in two days. More importantly, it’s near the home of my ancestors. My family would have an ancestral hall in a village close to there that would trace my ancestry back at least 2000 years. I’ve given up hope of ever finding this exact village, because there are hundreds of them in that region, and everyone in my family who would have known where it was is now dead. But, I still want to go get close to it. If possible, I’ll find a bus directly from Kaiping to Shenzen, skipping Guangzhou entirely. Choices, choices. I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I guess I have to!

I slept late this morning, and I had a long nap this afternoon, during the non-photogenic portion of the day. I only took a few pictures in the evening. This one is a standard Asian sunset.

This one makes me think of my trip.


Here’s what Yangshuo looks like. It’s pretty English-friendly here. Still, most of the tourists are Chinese.

I had a stamp custom made with my name written in a very old Chinese calligraphy style. A calligrapher carved it in two hours.