The train ride into Guangzhou is like going into Mordor. The sky gets darker and grayer, the landscape turns into grimey residential towers and factories. The city is generally pretty dingy with little oasises of great looking new buildings. Guangzhou is very different from Hong Kong. Hong Kong sort of spoiled us leaving us thinking we were very worldly. Guangzhou really rocked us at first, especially since the hotel lost our reservation. It is very different and very frenetic.
Our hotel, however, is a neat, little, oasis of it's own. Very trendy with a bathroom that has frosted glass walls.
The Qingping market is reputed to be the biggest and wildest market in Asia. But I think that all big markets in the third world are pretty similar and the novelity wears off pretty quickly; stall after stall of bags of strange things: fungi or dried fruit, coils of snakes, even geckos on sticks:
We were relieved that went we got to the live animal area, that we were in the pet market. Apparently the be kind to animals campaign we saw in Hong Kong is really working, the puppies looked quite content, although the cat someone was leaving with in a plastic bag didn't have quite the same attitude.
One thing that I had never seen in a market before, a bonsai section with great plants at what seemed to be super prices – but no way to get them home (it made me think of you, Vern).
We wandered out of the market into a pedestrian street with what seemed like the entire city out having a good time on Saturday evening. It was an area as full of life as anyplace we've ever been, with music blaring from speakers, videos overhead and just lost of people having a great time.