- Brandon Checketts
- On April 16, 2015
- 0 Comments
We left LAX at 11:50 p.m. on April 15 and flew for 14+ hours to arrive in Guanzhou, China at about 5:30 a.m. on April 17. We were able to get a fair amount of sleep on the flight, but it wasn’t very good sleep because of the frequent interruptions and general discomfort.
Getting through immigration and customs was uneventful and didn’t take long at all. The biggest delay was waiting for everybody’s luggage to arrive.
We had a guide meet us just outside customs and helped us find the shuttle our travel agent chartered. Impressions at this point is that the airport and customs process is similar to that of an airport in the US, except that all of the writing is in both Chinese and English.
The ride was mostly uneventful. Our guide explained a bit about the local sights as we passed them, and talked a bit about the culture. The scenery on the drive between the airport and our hotel in Guangzhou reminded me a bit of perhaps North Carolina as far as the size and types of trees. The major difference is that there are high-rise apartment and other buildings scattered the entire trip.
Our 40-minute shuttle ride started to get pretty interesting. Similar to other countries outside the US, the lines dividing the roads are used more as suggestions for traffic rather than the rule. At one point, traffic ahead of us was jammed, and everybody in our lane just started making U-Turns into oncoming traffic to turn around. It was fun when our (relatively large) shuttle van made the U-turn along with many other vehicles around us and we had cars literally on every side of us while we were perpendicular to traffic on the oncoming lane.
We arrived at our hotel without incident by about 7 a.m., but were unable to check in because it was so early. We left our bags with the bellman and figured out how to exchange our US dollars into the local currency of RMB. There is an ATM-like machine in the hotel lobby that exchanges $100 USD for 600 RMB.
With that, we were ready for our first impressions of the Canton Fair.