We arrived in Guangzhou in the morning. There were some problems
in hooking up with the local driver, but Bill finally managed after several
mobile phone calls. We did have to double back to find the van, which did
seem to have been parked by the easily visible KFC for some time. Not to
our particular surprise, it turned out that Bill, himself, was the Guangzhou
local guide. Alaine had said back in Beijing that she had been told he had
been a local guide for Sundowners groups before.
We had a very informative tour of the Chen family compound, which
is now a museum of local artwork. An artist there was making amazing
“hand paintings.” Kind of like finger painting, but using the whole hand and
a black, water-based ink. We bought two paintings to have framed when we
The Chen family compound in Guangzhou.
After that, Bill took us to a depressing market place with many caged
kittens and puppies for sale. Then, we had a very nice lunch. Bill seems to
have ordered it all in advance, because no input was requested from us. I
don’t like shrimp, and one of the courses was a shrimp dish. He should have
checked with us in advance. This annoyance typifies the way he acts as
group leader. I am glad we only have him from Kunming onward. It would
have been just awful to put up with him all the way from Beijing.
We then headed off to the other Guangzhou station, which serves the
Kowloon-Canton Railway. We did the Chinese departure formalities and
then boarded the train for Hung Hom Station in Kowloon. What used to be
the British Crown Colony is now a Special Administrative Region. When
entering it from the rest of China, or vice versa, all must clear immigration
and customs. The train was late, but we were met as scheduled and taken to
the Stanford Hotel in the Mong Kok section of Kowloon. Nice hotel, but a
very small room.
After we checked in, Bill asked if there was anything else for which
we needed him. He seemed quite pleased when we assured him that there
was nothing. He made a quick exit.