Travel Notes: Hong Kong to Shenzhen to Shanghai
Even on the other side of the world, in China or Hong Kong, you will find people who think Mayor Daly is a jerk for having sold our parking meters to a private company… In the line for the customs desk, I over heard these things from some other travelers. That’s is how we met Rebecca & Brian (from Chicago but living in Hong Kong) who made our trip across the boarder at Shenzhen easier. Well, as easy as possible when about a million others are trying to do the same due to the Easter holiday. They gave us directions, practically walked us to our station entrance, and let us use their phone to call our hotel & tell them we would be a day late due to taking a train a day later than we planned. We gave them our remaining Octopus cards as a thank you, since we were shuffled through the boarder like cattle and apparently missed all the service windows to turn them in for our balance.
Once we were in the Shenzhen train station, we found our gate easily, but then found that our Hong Kong dollars were now useless, even though just outside the door they were acceptable. The border crossing took so much time that we didn’t have a chance to exchange the money, and there was no longer any english, so when everyone in our section under the big ‘T102’ sign got up and headed for the stairs, we did the same and found our way to train car #9 and found our sleeping car – each of us on the top of a 3 story bunk!
The train stopped at a dozen or so stations along the way to let off and pick up people. All along the way we passed small towns and farms, but everywhere we passed, the land was being built up. Construction vehicles dotted the landscape. Roads, ridges, and new high rises were going up everywhere we went, and most building had solar panels on the roof! Even the dinkiest of farm houses had solar panels on the roof!
We arrived at the Shanghai south station 17 hours later, about 30 minutes late.