Friday, November 26, 2010

China Day 8: Travel to Guangzhou

Today we said goodbye to Changsha and hello to Guangzhou.

The thought of getting luggage, kids and adults (and millions of Chinese people) onto the bullet train in the three minutes that the train stops at the station gave us reason to pause. We needed to make sure we had our ducks in a row. So, early this morning we had a dry run. Instead of calling for the bell hop, we assigned bags, backpacks and children and practiced schlepping our own luggage (and kids) to the lobby of the Changsha Sheraton. No sweat. We were ready.

The Changsha train station was amazing. State of the art. Beautiful. The kids were all champs. They are seasoned travelers. Each had a backpack and at least one suitcase. Even the little kids. Everyone moved through the train station without a complaint. We waited for our train to be called, headed to the platform and got on the train like we knew what we were doing.

Once on the train, there was a bit of a discussion about where we were to sit. Apparently seat assignments are merely a suggestion and people had already taken most of our assigned seats. No matter, we found other seats and were quickly on our way. And I do mean quick. Like 200 mph quick.

The high speed train was a blast. The seats (first class) were huge with tons of leg room. You could have thrown a party in the fully automated bathroom, it was that big! The ride was smooth and the scenery was beautiful. We were in Guangzhou before we knew it.

The Guangzhou train station was also breathtaking. And the kids, once again, moved their luggage through the station with ease.

Driving through Guangzhou it was obvious that things have changed in this city. Everything was cleaned up and spit polished for the Asian Games. It is stunning. And warm. I have to mention warm because it is in the high 70s here. Aaaaaah, feels so nice.

We checked into the Holiday Inn, and I am sorry to all you White Swan lovers, but this place rocks. For less far less than what you pay at the Swan, we all got huge (like twice the size of the Swan’s), beautiful suites with killer views. We are less than 5 minutes walking distance from Shamian Island, in the heart of the shopping and entertainment district. And we even got complimentary fruit trays. Life is good.

Tomorrow we hit Guangzhou. Shopping, here I come!


Molly and Luke ready for the dry run.IMG_3874

Changsha Train StationIMG_3878

Inside Changsha Train StationIMG_3885

Riding the rails.IMG_3886

Waiting for our train.IMG_3889

Anxious for the train to arrive.IMG_3892

Seasoned world traveler at four.IMG_3903

Scenes from the train.IMG_3924

Scenes from the train.IMG_3933

Looking cute at high speed.IMG_3944

324 km/h= 201 mphIMG_3940

More of the countryside viewed from the train.IMG_3952

The Cadillac of bathrooms.IMG_3964

Big, clean and fully automated. I was so impressed I devoted 2 pictures of a bathroom to this post. It was that good.IMG_3966

Guangzhou train station.IMG_3981

Welcome to my suite. All mine. I might let Molly sleep here if she is good.IMG_3984

Luxurious bathroom.IMG_3989

Can't wait to take a shower in this bad boy. It's huge.IMG_3988

Scene from my window.IMG_3992

And another!IMG_3996

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow. How bout leaving a comment, so I know you've been here!

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