This summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to three locations in China: Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I traveled there with my brother in order to visit my sister, who was working at the Olympic facility in Guangzhou. We only stopped briefly in Guangzhou to pick up my sister; most of my time was spent in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Shanghai serves as a surreal location in which old city meets the modernity of skyscrapers. First stop, the financial district, where my brother and I walked on foot and took the subway to get around. The subways had cheap tickets, and inside each one of them was an expansive mall selling both real and fake goods.
As a direct contradiction is the French Concession in Shanghai. Small family-owned shops like flower stores, dumpling restaurants, and animal stores line the street. Where the tourist is met with malls at every turn in Shanghai, some can be found in the strangest of places: a renovated slaughterhouse, the subway, and even in an old temple. It seems nothing is sacred, and in some ways that is correct with parts of the old city being torn down to make room for newer and more expensive apartments and shops.
We lasted in Guangzhou for about two days before our train saved us from the excruciating heat and humidity. Apart from the weather, the city was another beautiful metropolis with a brimming shopping industry and culture.
Lastly, Hong Kong, a beautiful, bustling city that always has an adventure to offer. In Hong Kong, the train station leads upward to a magnificently green and flowing walkway, giving the viewer a sneak peek at what is to come. Behind the city are mountains, each with something to explore (Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant, a rooftop panorama view of Hong Kong, an ice cream store, and a tram). Moreover, Hong Kong was brimming with cultural landmarks, smartly priced cuisine, and the nicest people.
China and Hong Kong are filled with so much to do and see. It is the perfect place for a new cultural experience and the best food you have ever tasted (including vegetarian options!). So some advice from a new world traveler is to get out and explore different places as soon as possible!