Peace Out China, Heading to Hong Kong

random street in Xiamen, China

Greetings,

Today was interesting, I’m going back to Shenzhen on a night bus tonight then heading to Hong Kong. I couldn’t’ decide between that or Shanghai… The deal breaker was that there is an EXPO going on which means all the hotels will have inflated prices and that from Hong Kong, you can fly almost anywhere in the world, cheaply. Furthermore, if I made it to Beijing, nowhere to really go by land except Russia and getting a visa is supposedly a lengthy hassle.

You know you’re bored when typically you don’t read many books. Since I’ve been in China, I’ve read a total of 600 pages and 2 complete books. Yeah, I’m bored. H3ll, I’ve never even read a book that is more than ~200 pages. They intimidate me for some reason but I had no problem tearing through these, voraciously might I add.

Gross Street Food in Xiamen, China

When I decided to head to Hong Kong I was all anxious over not seeing “The Great Wall”. That is when I reminded myself that until some hippy mentioned it, it never even crossed my mind as “something I wanted to do”.

I always wanted to visit China but it has been purely for commerce, the manufacturing and trade areas. This place is a powerhouse and I wanted to see it with my own eyes, it’s insane. I hit up the “Special Economic Zone” and visited the Canton Fair and met a multitude of suppliers and talked to countless business people. Most informed me that doing business is potentially lucrative but also filled with potential murder holes. Most large companies pay on delivery, as a small guy they will make you pay ahead of time and then you basically just have to pray. I’d still like to come to China again in the future, on some type of business though and stay in the nice hotels etc…

Xiamen University, China

I now kinda view countries as girlfriends. You show interest (get a visa and show up), take them out for dinner (spend some time cruising around and spending money) and after that… If you’re like “I’m not really feeling this” why continue?

So yeah, I’m off to Hong Kong. After that I’m either going to the Philippines to visit a friend of mine, far out chance Australia (supposedly I need some E something, too much hassle), Nepal, Amsterdam or back home for the summer. Whether I go home or not, I’m going to Vancouver in September, Vegas in October and planning on hitting up C. & S. America after that for next winter. Maybe a break would be cool and make things more interesting again?

Xiamen University pond, China

Going home for the summer would be kinda fun like having a cake and eating it too. Being gone for the harsh weather and back for the best part of the year. The longer I’m gone the more I realize Canada is tough to beat, it just has a really horrible winter. Furthermore, I have tones of good friends I’d like to catch up with. I think a lot of people / travel bloggers that never return much never had much of a social life when they left and that is precisely why they glamorize their trips highlighting the highs while never so much as mentioning the lows… I like to think that I tell it like it is.

I digress.

Anyways this all started with a “maybe I should go to Amsterdam instead of Shanghai” and it hasn’t just been because I’m finding China kinda, incredibly uneventful, it is also because the Euro is getting KICKED IN THE TEETH and if you plan on visiting Europe at all, why not do it when its currency is struggling!?! It used to be that $1.50USD was 1 Euro, now it’s ~$1.27USD and looks to be going lower.

Goats in a truck in Xiamen, China

If you’re here though aka China, be sure to “stock up” on crap you may need back home. I just bought 2 pairs of glasses with free eye exam for ~170RMB aka ~$30US hahaha. That said, it’s pouring here and the glasses are a short walk away, nothing like getting soaked before a 9 hour overnight bus.

In closing, the people in China for the most part are quite nice and so is he landscape, and I’ve met many friendly people and even made a few friends. Just remember that when there are 1,000,000,000+ people… If only 5% aren’t so friendly, that’s a number larger than the population of most other nations… Another part of me says that had I visited China first, things would be different. I’m just ready to visit another part of the world having been in Asia for ~7+ months.

Finally, It was a pleasure traveling with you “King Chode”. I wish you the best and “King Khong” if you’re reading this, I can’t use facebook, that will change in Hong Kong aka soon.

Peace out,

P.S: Happy Mother’s Day Mom, Grandma & my God Mother, LOVE YOU GUYS!

P.P.S: It’s hard to keep in touch and expand your businesses when most social sites are blocked. You can access them but you can’t interact with them. I’m sure that for many of you who just lurk on networks, this would be no problem but I actually like to get involved in things that interest me.

4 Comments

  1. Jworthy

    May 10, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Hopefully, and only for the sake of my own purchasing power, this hilariously egregious monetary commitment by the European Central Bank and Co. will at least do something to counter the slow erosion of my Euro’s value. Otherwise I’ll have to move by business to a more stable fiat currency… Canada is apparently hard to top, once again. Not sure how fast you are planning to move from HK but I’ll be in the 613 for most of May and June, should you be around to drop a lure into the canal.

    As someone who’s been away from home for a year now, I agree wholeheartedly with your observations about the typical travel blogger and their wilting social life at home. I know most of the time my friends aren’t doing anything too exciting, and the winter in Canada blows something fierce, but I’ve still invested a lot into some of those relationships and would be remiss to let them drift away.

    Interesting to ponder the sum effect of blocked access to social sites on business potential. Even if it only stops 1% of the people from expanding and marketing their business online, that’s still a giant market, as you’ve stated.

  2. Joey D

    May 10, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I love the picture of the goats

  3. Candice

    May 10, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Love the goat photo, so cool. Also, jealous of your travel plans. Take me with you!

  4. Rob

    May 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    J – Thing is no one wants to pay Canadian so EURO or USD make more sense as it is the common currency for so many more people. I’ve had issues with the USD forever but “c’lest la vie”. No clue if I’ll be back, that said, if I am, definitely. Maybe even have a shore lunch haha, I’ve been here so long I could even consider eating out out of that Canal, seriously.

    Joey – I may have one more.

    Candice – Thanks, and come meet me, I heard Amsterdam is a good time to say the least!

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