Goodbye China, Thank you for your Hospitality
Zàijiàn China, we have enjoyed our stay. We have loved the cleanliness, quietness and calm nature of you. The kindness of your people, and the fascinating history of your country. We will be back.
Our last day in China and mixed emotions. We had thoroughly enjoyed our time here, it ticked many boxes, perhaps a warmer time of year next time, but that was down to us and our unplanned trip. However, we are looking forward to our next adventure in Vietnam.
We climbed aboard our final bullet train from Guilin to Nanning, which is situated near to the Vietnamese border. We had a few hours to waste before our next train. Upon checking the map I saw that the People’s Park was a 25-minute walk away, so that was the plan.
At the entrance, we could either climb the 141 steps to the Zhenning Fort or walk around the hill to the White Dragon Lake. We picked the latter; my knees were aching from yesterday’s many steps.
Walking around the lake was very pleasant, with two bridges linking a small island to the shore. We sat on a stone bench, listening to the birds happily singing and watching parents and grandparents enjoying time with toddlers. I can imagine on a warm day it would be a lovely place to spend the whole day.
Had I researched more, I would have discovered that there’s a 1,000-year-old banyan tree in the Park. What a shame we missed it or did we? Was that it in the photo?
We carried on walking along busy roads of honking traffic, relaxed for a drink, bought fruit and dumplings for dinner before returning to the Railway Station. Our racing car green train with neatly uniformed guards were waiting for us and we climbed onto our sleeper train, with a wave goodbye to China.
Two young ladies joined our carriage, one from China and the other from Vietnam. The Chinese lady spoke some English and was so sweet, making sure we were ok. They were on the top bunks and chatted away to one another until they saw Tim and I get sleepy; respectfully they turned out the lights.
Soon after, there was a knock on the door. We had arrived at the Chinese border. Quickly collecting our things, we climbed down the train to the smooth and quick passport control. An exit stamp in our passport, we returned on the train, leaving China behind until we reached the Vietnamese border.
Yes, we really enjoyed our stay. Yes, we know that things are not perfect here, we read some dreadful stories in the paper of human violations. If you are a well-behaved citizen in society, you can do well. If not, you don’t fit in or criticize the government…things are not good.
But let’s end on a happy note. Poverty has near enough been eradicated, it has a growing economy with hardly any unemployment, the place is immaculately clean, with many people employed to sweep the roads, and they seem to take pride in this.
It is inexpensive to live here and tourist sights don’t charge extra for us. Transport is amazing with much now electric, green issues are taken seriously, with millions of trees being planted and use of solar panels growing.
People are kind, friendly, and generous with an attractive calmness about them, even in the hectic cities.
Yes, we have enjoyed China very much – thank you China for your hospitality.