Hong Kong to Shenzhen to Guilin to Yangshuo

I cut short by one day my trip in Hong Kong, partly because I met 500 people in my two days here on the Kowloon Peninsula, and 490 of them tried to sell me custom suits or fake watches.

At first glance, it's just not my kind of place (though I absolutely love Chungking Mansions) and I suspect Hong Kong is no more China than Moscow is Russia, and to be honest there is probably less of a connection between China and Hong Kong than there is between Russia and Moscow, which is simultaneously the most and least Russian city of all those I visited.

If I ever need to buy more than one new suit, I will definitely return to Hong Kong. As much as I disliked the hassle, the custom suits and shirts here really do seem to be a great deal compared to what you'd pay for what you'd get in America: something off the rack, probably made in China.

Hong Kong is worth a visit if you're interested in visiting Asia, but are squeamish about the idea of people not speaking English. Pretty much everyone here will speak English. Certainly everyone you meet in shops or in official capacities will speak English. You may come across a Chinese tourist from the mainland who looks at you with wide eyes when you speak to them in English.

Unfortunately, while traveling in China, I won't have access to Blogger or YouTube because of censorship, so I won't be able to post any videos here, although I will still be able to publish to my blog remotely via email (text and photos only). The formatting might look odd, but I'll clean that up later when I return to a country that values free speech more than free labor.

This evening I will take the metro to northernmost Hong Kong, where I will cross the border into mainland China at Shenzhen, which is in the Guangdong Province of southern China; from there I will take an overnight train (about 14 hours) to Guilin, which is on the west bank of the Li River and whose name means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus," a type of tree found in the region; from Guilin I will take a bus or boat to Yangshuo County, known for its peaks and waters.