Honestly, I do not understand what's with this prejudice some people have against China. Even telling people that I'm off to innocent Shenzhen for a weekend of cavorting with foot-masseurs and having clothes tailor-made, always elicits the reaction: Be careful!
Not only people who have never been across the border, but an astonishing number of fairly season travelers in this most intriguing of countries seem to harbor an under worry that the great red dark Communist landmass of China is actually nothing to be, if not entirely avoided So at least treated with the greatest trepidation, like some unexploded landmine.
. "China is dangerous!" They wail. "It's dirty! Everybody is a crook! You'll get robbed! Or worse!"
Hong Kong people both of the local and beige persuasion, I feel, are strange in that they're rather spend hours getting to the airport and go through is more and more grueling security checks only to sit shaking in an awful plane for hours to go To the accepted holiday destinations Phuket, Kotakinabalu and Bali.
To walk dignifiedly or take a leisurely taxi to Hong Hom station and get a train without any particular to-do with destination Somewhere in China, our closest holiday destination, almost seems like something not quite above board.
So, when I announced just before Chinese New Year that I would go hitch-hiking in China, I expected many a rueful warning about darkly hinted-at calamities that would befall me. But it seemed that at that stage my friends had already written me off as lost. A couple of weak quackings of "be careful" was all I got. I was almost disappointed.
As it turned out, and as I fully expected: Hitch-hiking in China beats every other means of transport, including the sacred train, hands down.
It was not the first …