In 2004 when I was traveling through Southern China, I went to Macau and then walked back to Zhu Hai. It was a trip that was labeled in my Lonely Planet and a friend of mine had done it before. It was a steaming hot summer when I went in 2004 and all that I did was enter town, find a hotel, go to the beach and swim and then go to Guang Zhou the next day. Here are some pictures of my trip in 2004.
This is a picture of me right after I crossed the border back into China...it was steaming hot. Since I was traveling alone, I had to take my own picture.
This is a picture of me at the beach. I was much younger then for sure. Actually, the beach looks really nice and the water too, but don't be fooled, that water had so much junk in it that I had to throw away all of those clothes. I kept washing and brown junk kept coming out, I just left it a;; in the hotel. It was super warm water and a great swim.
Here are a couple of pictures of the sea and beach without me in the middle. The people were looking at me like I was crazy as I took my own picture. HAHA
One funny picture from my hotel in 2004 is this toothpaste which you can use, but it costs a heap. But, look at the name...who would want to use a toothpaste named "Green."
On my night in Zhu Hai in 2004, I was walking on the street and a couple of kids came up to me calling me "Uncle" and asking me for stuff. They just kept following me and so eventually, I gave in and bought them some food. Here is a picture of them after they finished eating.
After I fed them, they got pushier and pushier, asking for phone cards and clothes, so I left them and it gave me sort of a cheating feeling. Here I am, thinking that I am helping humanity by feeding a few poor kids, when actually they are probably from rich land owners and just trying to live on the cheap. Their story was that they had come in from another province to live and work because their parents could not afford them...not sure what is true.
So now to 2007, and the restaurant where those girls got their meal. It has been burned down.
I was more mindful of my trip this time, or maybe it was just more recent. As we walked across the border, there were hundreds of old Chinese farmer types making the trip. They were totally dirty and less civilized than a city person. Only a few years back, Zhu Hai was just a farming community, now it is developed into high rises and golf courses and the farmers just live in a different scene. SO, as we are walking through customs and the SARS checkpoint, all these farmers are just going through. When we get to the check, the officer says..."Where is your white paper?"
All these farmers who have been walking around in chicken and pig shit walk right through, and you know they are doing it because they have it on their pants, but we need to give the quarantine form as though we are chicken merchants. Anyway, we walked back to the white paper place, goofed around for a bit and walked back through, giving the guy a blank white paper - just for a gag, and he let us through.
Here is a picture of us having just arrived back in China.
For China, Zhu Hai is a night time city. In the north of China, action stops by ten, but here it just gets started, but the shops all close by 10...Let me explain! Zhu Hai is a city that is built around undercutting the prices of Macau and Hong Kong on vices like booze and prostitution. So, the town is filled with young girls in town to get a rich boyfriend or to make a few extra bucks however they must. We went into a clothing shop and the workers were about to close, but they were not going to go home after that. They had a night out dancing or drinking in mind. They were all about 16 years old and definately not locals. Here is a picture of the shopping area at night. It is much more developed than in 2004.
After our evening out, we came back to our hotel and in the front was a man with a monkey. We gave the monkey one rmb, and he took it straight out of Jiao Jiao's hand. It scared the shit out of her.
We had a drink outside at the bar street, just to have a look at the scene. So, I will give you a rundown before I post the video showing it. Along the street, there are a couple dozen little kiosks which serve beer and peanuts. The waitresses drink with you and play drinking games with you and it seems, can go home with you. But, outside the kiosks, there are other people that would happily keep you company. The people who are the patrons of these mini bars, older Hong Kong or Macau businessmen.
Here is the video.