She-Tea Tasting China

Welcome to She-Tea in China … We had an amazing time and we’ll let you in on our “secret tea business” shortly, but in the mean time we wanted to share our travel experiences back to Hong Kong with you as we are still recovering from this journey.

Sooooo…..After waiting for 5 hours for our delayed flight to Hong Kong from China we get to the counter and they tell us due to the Typhoon yesterday our flight is cancelled. And that was where the information ended….

 

She-Tea: Shantou AirportThey told us to come back at 8AM the next day, even though they don’t fly on Thursdays. Hmmm..There is no hotel at the Shantou airport- which is 40 minutes from the nearest town..

Thankfully we ran into another Australian there- Jonathon- who was with a Chinese, English -speaking colleague whose plane was leaving.  The plan was made to negotiate with some poor, unsuspecting taxi driver to drive us from Shatou airport, to Shantou itself (1 hour away) then all the way to the border in Shenzen where we could cross back into Hong Kong, which strangely felt very much like home at this stage…

This sounded like a FABULOUS idea until we were informed that the trip would take approximately 6 HOURS!!!

We re-grouped and looked at our options, and when put under the pump (as Jonothan was leaving as soon as possible) we took a very deep, nervous breath and said “OK, Let’s GO!” Our contact then proceeded to negotiate with a cab driver as we hid around the corner until the deal was struck… questionable tactics but we were not going to argue!

She-Tea: Taxi Negotiation

Now I don’t know about you, but weaving through trucks and buses at 120km per hour on a wet road and leaving approximately 2mm gap between you and them is a little unnerving for us. To our driver though, it seemed to be a personal challenge to decrease this gap to .5mm. The fact that we also had no seatbelt buckle was also very reassuring. (NB: Jodie discussed at length whether or not she should wrap the available seat belt strap securely around her neck to make sure that if they did crash she DID die, as she had no intention of living through such a crash in the south of China.)

Shantou to Shenzen, She-TeaLaughter, stories and heading to far away places in our minds were the tools we planned to use to help us get though the lengthy journey to  Shenzen- which is the border town between China and Hong Kong.

First we stopped at Shantou to pick up another Chinese man who spoke some English to escort us to the border with minimal “stress”. Osmond was his name and he did his best to pretend that all was well whilst hurtling through the streets with complete strangers through Southern China…he did a great job!

This is a picture of the men discussing the directions and arrangements – thanks Jonathan! Also a great opportunity for one last “squat” before the journey…

She-Tea travels: Shantou


Then we were back on the road…notice the brazen line-straddling which seems to be an accepted strategy on the highways. Thankfully we were all alone on this stretch so we didn’t really care.

SHE-TEA TRAVELS: ShantouWe all somehow managed to keep an even keel after hours and hours of discussions, nervous laughter and possible death scenario discussions…finally we arrived in Shenzen!

She-Tea Travels: ShenzenSo as we were lining up to head to the immigration terminal a policeman came up to the taxi and took a look at the drivers license..then took it away..along with him.

Finally he returned and had received a fine as was not supposed to be driving in this area. We decided that it was best to get out and walk the rest of the way to the terminal. Paid the driver his fee and for the fine- at which he was still angry at us for reasons we will never know.

We got into the terminal, passed through customs, walked across the bridge- back into the welcoming arms of HK again!

Deciding a drink was in order we headed out in Wan Chai….the Red Light District of HK.

Our little country friend Jonathon had never clapped eyes on a ladyboy so it was a rather stunning insight for him (Jodie and I had already seen it all before).

We watched from a bar as many businessmen headed straight for on particular bar- head down and on a mission. Intrigued to discover why, I (Vanessa) dragged us all through the door, and with a quick glance, we undertook a rapid u-turn out again!

This was one of Wan Chai’s most popular ‘girlie bars’ where many prostitutes and many men interact.  Not really our scene and after a very eventful day we called it a night, farewelled our new friend and headed back to the hotel for a well earned sleep!

She-Tea in Wanchai

Next step- the Tea Fair!

Here’s a little video of Vanessa explaining our decision to take a taxi ride with a complete stranger all the way to Shenzen, to get across to Hong Kong…which by that time felt like home!

CLICK ON LINK BELOW!

She-Tea: Taxi Ride through China

 

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