The final leg of my trip started with a flight to the most southern part of China next to the border with Vietnam and at the city of Fangcheng. As no airport is available there I have flown to Beihai and as per the advise received I stayed overnight there as it was not safe to travel during night time. The next day, in the morning a car was sent to pick me up and to my surprise I noticed that it was flying the China flag. After asking the reason for it they told me that it is the official car of the local Governor and he placed it at my disposal for the duration of the visit as it was safer to travel with it and his driver who was obviously more than that.
The city of Fangcheng is literary under construction as one a year before it was just a fishing village. The people were friendly and accommodating but nothing worth mentioning. The next stop of the trip the city of Beihai were the western influence is evident as the vast majority of the local speak good English however has not much to offer a visitor.
From Beihai I moved further south and to Haikou Island. Due to the location the climate is warm and the island is full of coconut trees. The island is famous for its coconut festival with the highlight of a carnival style parade in which teams for as far as Brasil participate. The island is used by the Chinese as a summer resort and if somebody decides to visit during the summer months a reservation is advisable.
Leaving the island I continued to the city of Zhangjiang which is more traditional city, as until then it had managed to keep most of the old buildings, however modern office blocks and blocks of flats were under construction in the outer perimeter of the city.
During my stay there I had the chance to visit the small city of Maoming. The route by car was an experience better to be forgotten as the road was mostly under construction and a route of about 45 minutes took as about 2 ½ hours.
From Zhangjiang I flown to Shantou were we had a vessel there and it was on of the ports that I have skipped during the last trip due to the change of route.
Shantou is a small city also, peaceful and graphic. As I arrived during the weekend I had the chance to do some walks along the main streets and start gathering my thoughts about what I had experienced the last 3 months as the whole trip was coming to an end.
From Shantou I returned to our local office at Shenzhen were I had the chance to thank the people that accompany me during my trip for all their assistance without which my trip would not have been possible.
On the way back to Hong Kong I had mixed feelings and emotions. On the one hand the constant travelling had tired me down but on the other what I have seen and felt was an experience of a lifetime and I am happy I had the chance to experience it.
Concluding I just hope that I have managed to pass on to you a small part of all the feeling and emotions I felt and also made you understand a little better this country called China.
A country with a very long history and civilisation, a country that is slowly looking forward in order to take its place were many believe it belongs, amongst the stronger nations of our planet.