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Emerald hills

Leaving Hong Kong, we managed to get some snacks for the trip and decided to get on the road too early rather than too late so we hopped on the tube. Took the KCR out to the last stop then followed the masses through immigration and customs and found ourselves spewed out in Shenzhen, China!!

Leaving Hong Kong, we managed to get some snacks for the trip and decided to get on the road too early rather than too late so we hopped on the tube. Took the KCR out to the last stop then followed the masses through immigration and customs and found ourselves spewed out in Shenzhen, China!!

The cultural changes hit immediately since virtually no one spoke a word of English and weren’t too helpful in pointing us to the right bus terminal!!! A guy appeared out of nowhere and managed to explain that we needed the other bus station and pointed off somewhere into the distance. The spectacle stopped and we pooled together our limited resources of common sense and found the right bus station. Our bus actually WAS sleeper bus and had 2 tiers of proper beds…with pillows and bedding…the whole lot! It seemed like we had arrived in the laps of luxury and were able to enjoy the comfort for a good 2 hours until I was dying for a piss, and the roads turned hellish. I can honestly say that it was the bumpiest, swerves and consequently most UNcomfortable night-bus journeys I have been on [thus far]!!!

Things brightened up considerably the next morning when the sun rose and shone on the most majestic emerald hills I have ever seen! Completely incredible…and totally worth all of the previous nights’ suffering! Well, that is until we got off the bus and were accosted by hotel touts. One went so far as to persuade our driver to take us to the wrong place so we would ultimately have to stay at one of his 10 hotels…and all of this at 7.30am!!! We weren’t that easily fooled though…I had my fair share of stern words to him, which didn’t seem to help because he just smiled and was soon replaced by yet another bastard tout who flat out lied to us, saying his brother owned the hostel we were looking for.

They took us to a different hotel and tried to persuade us to look inside (it was really swank), I kindly told him that foreigners don’t appreciate being lied to at such an ungodly hour of the morning! They then took us to the next ‘hostel’ which turned out to be a 4* hotel, with NO cheap rooms whatsoever!!! We walked off…only to be followed by the tout into a restaurant where he then let rip a string of abuse & profanity, mostly directed at me. I honestly wasn’t sure whether he was gonna hit me or what [never get on the wrong side of a Chinese tout!]. He did leave…eventually…and we managed to find a suitable, cheap place. After recovering from the unkindness of morning, we rented mountain bikes and did some proper off road stuff…got lost on muddy little path ways that constitute as roads…got ripped off by every local we met…saw incredible views of lush green limestone hills and rice paddies…- it was a phenomenal day but highly nackering! After 4 hours of biking, we stopped at a noodle bar for an 8 yuan soup and the portions were massive…‘farmers size’ I guess…I didn’t even manage to put a dent in it! We were too tired to attempt the 2,000 step climb to moon hill but opted instead to round off the day with the local cuisine – beer fish (very tasty actually) and a few tsingtaos.

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