Pearl River Delta 5 days itinerary

Chikanzhen
Chikanzhen (https://postcardsfrombeijing.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/guangzhou-part-1-chikanzhen-and-kaiping/)

So, i picked up cheap flight tickets to Hong Kong. It cost a total of S$533 for 2 adults and 2 kids plus one piece of check-in luggage, which works out to be S$130 per person, in case you’re wondering. These are the cheapest tickets i have gotten for Hong Kong, ever. My last trip there was 2 years ago, and it was mostly a food trip. This would be my 6th time to Hong Kong. You can probably imagine that there’s almost nothing left for me to discover there. To make the trip more worthwhile, i decided i had to expand my exploration to places in the Pearl River Delta region.

Actually, there’s not a lot to see in the Pearl River Delta region, either. I have already been to Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Macau, and honestly i’m not looking forward to be back to those places. I did some research to see if there are still other places worth going to, and something interesting caught my attention – Chikanzhen and the UNESCO world heritage status Kaiping Diaolou (碉楼).

Kaiping Diaolou
Kaiping Diaolou (http://www.unesco-hist.org/en-us/photo-bank/asia/49.html)

I have an infatuation with old dilapidated buildings, and i have seen these at Cinque Terre, Istanbul and Bangkok, among other places. These ones at Chikanzhen are quite magnificent, as they look very solidly constructed, as with buildings from the same era in the entire Pearl river delta (i’ve seen some in Guangzhou). The Kaiping Diaolou are also very unique, being constructed like fortresses in western style.

To get to Chikanzhen and to see the Kaiping Diaolou, i had to arrange for a rental car with driver. China is one of those few places where i don’t dare to drive a rental car. The problem with engaging a rental car with driver (包车) in China is the lack of communication channel to reach those companies/individuals who offer this service. The preferred communication channel is through phone calls, which is something i don’t like to do because i can’t communicate very in Chinese well over the phone. The second best way to get through to them is QQ messenger. I finally got a quote of about 1200 Yuan (S$250) for a day trip beginning at Zhongshan and ending in Dongguan, which is not cheap.

By the way, i found out that there is an extremely convenient link to all major cities in the Pearl River Delta directly from Hong Kong International Airport, in the form of ferry rides from SkyPier. You will not even need to clear Hong Kong immigration.

From Dongguan (where we are meeting a friend), we will be riding the high speed rail that takes us directly to Hung Hom station in Hong Kong. We will then proceed to Causeway Bay to do some of the quintessential things any visitor to Hong Kong should do – food, shopping and catching the “Ding Ding”. In particular, i will likely check out Ho Hung Kee (mixed reviews) at Hysan Place.

I have selected to visit Yuen Long as the main activity of my trip in Hong Kong. I will sample Wanton noodles at Ho To Tai, buy wife’s cake from Hang Heung Cake Shop, visit the Ping Shan Heritage Trail, sample Poon Choi and view the sunset at Ha Pak Nai. By the way, these were the results of trip research using the Discover Hong Kong website, which provides excellent information and suggestions.

Poon Choi
Poon Choi

Capping the trip will be a visit to Australian Dairy Company, which my better half is very keen to revisit, followed by some shopping, probably at Olympian City or Festival Walk, both of which we have not been to.

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