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Kaiping, Day 1

TWO weeks ago, I decided that I wasn’t seeing and doing enough in China. Life was becoming a bit “normal.” The new plan was to take advantage of the many opportunities to experience more of China, or at least get out of the house on the weekend I compiled a to do list of things in and around Guangzhou.

In Kaiping, we view the old town area, and I discover a shoe that actually fits. . . . a giant.

On Monday, Susan and I finished our packing and departed rather late in the morning and headed off to the bus station for a 2-3 day trip. We packed relatively lightly with powered baby cereal, diapers and wipes, and a few baby jumpers. For ourselves, we carried minimal clothing. The heaviest items were as usual the cameras and photographic equipment, but I carried only a single speedlight and no lighting stands.

A dog looks out of a doorway at the approaching photographers, Kaiping.

The bus trip to Kaiping took just a couple of hours which passed quickly. As soon as we arrived we were pegged as tourists and a flock of motorcycle taxi drivers and other tour pushers started their dance. We turned them down. Susan knew our hotel was somewhere close and it has been our experience in Guangzhou that tuk-tuk drivers charge a ton of money to go a short distance.  We left the crowd of hustlers behind and found our hotel without too much trouble.

Susan and a pushy tuk tuk driver.

It was now around 3PM so we decided to just walk around Kaiping.  Kaiping reminded me of Hezhou, but without the money. The whole town was very old looking with very dirty and paint worn buildings. In comparison to Guangzhou with the Asian Games facelift it got recently, Kaiping looked like an armpit.  But I liked it as it was quite different and it had all that we desired for a few days.

Men play chess in a run down park.

One example of how Kaiping had seen better days was the park. Normally a town has one or more parks and in Guangzhou these are very well maintained. Even Hezhou has some nice little parks. This one in Kaiping was a relic. Moss covered all of walkways  which needed repairs. A small assortment of carnival rides such as a merry go round and a roller coaster had been long ago run for the last time and now they were rusting away. The bathrooms were either not working or not worth the trouble as men peed wherever they felt like. But life still went on. When we walked through we saw some people singing and  playing chess. It was a fascinating look at part of China which I haven’t seen before.

Susan and Katherine in the run down pack.

The run down park.

We had dinner at a sizable street restaurant. The menu was fairly limited to whatever they were cooking that night. One dish was goose cooked in Coke. Apparently the area is known for eating geese. Following dinner we headed back to our hotel to hit the sack.

Our local restaurant. With no menu, you eat whatever they are cooking that night. . . usually goose.

The red street.

Susan on the red street.

With no crib, Katherine slept on the floor.

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