Well, travelling in China has proven to be a little harder than anywhere else we have travelled so far and we have run into a couple of obstacles so far! I guess firstly we have been very spoilt that everywhere we have travelled so far everyone has spoken English and here very few people do! And as Chinese is a tonal language we try to say the Chinese word how it is translated into English and it's totally wrong! Like the other day John was trying to get to a train station called Tung Chung but as we found out later it is pronounced something like Dong Chang........
Anyways the only reason we came here really was to get our Vietnamese Visa. With staying in Macau the extra day it meant we arrived on Saturday and it took us most of Saturday to get here, so the consulate wasn't open. We didn't do much on Sunday as John wasn't feeling well. Dianne and I just went for a walk, we didn't really find much except for some very tasty Pau's!
So on Monday we got up early to get to the consulate to find when we got there it is closed for a week for the Vietnamese National Holiday. So we got back on the train to find a travel agency we had heard of that did Visas here but as we didn't have the address (just the area) it was like finding a needle in a haystack. We had planned on spending the rest of the day at the park where there are some royal tombs and a really nice orchid garden but then it started pouring rain. We couldn't find our way back to the subway so we got drenched and it rained the rest of the day so we couldn't do anything but hang out and have coffee!
Something I will mention about our stay on Shamian Island in Guangzhou is the amount of Americans. Not unusual...... but they all had Chinese babies. Apparently from what we have heard from others, it is very easy and cheap for Americans to adopt babies from China and since the US consulate was in this part of Guangzhou this is where they all where. I reckon we saw over 50 couples with Chinese babies during our stay of 4 days.
Anyways on Tuesday morning John and I set off to find the bus to Nanning (the next town we could get a visa and be closer to Vietnam). You wouldn't believe how busy the train stations and bus stations are here and with not many people speaking English it is a bit of a mission. But we sorted it out and booked us all on the night bus leaving at 6.00pm.
We picked up Dianne and went to post her 9kg's of presents she has brought so far! (no exaggeration) and set off to the park to find 'The museum of the mausoleum of the Nanyu King' which was an awesome museum on the site of a tomb they found while excavating for an apartment block in 1983. The tomb (dated 200 BC) had been built into a hill and was hidden so had not been disturbed or robbed. We were able to walk down into the (now empty) tomb which was pretty cool and then we spent a couple of hours going thru the museum that now holds all of the treasures from the tomb. It was amazing the amount of stuff that was packed in there. There was a lot of jade including an entire suit made from jade that the body was inside of. Back then Jade was said to have preserved the dead (it hadn't) Also a part of the museum was an exhibit of Buddha's and other gods from India which wasn't as exciting and a whole personal collection that had been donated to the museum of porcelain pillows which was pretty interesting also.