Hualien, December 5th, 2004
From Tokyo we flew to Taipei, where we remained a few days before flying on to Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the easiest place from which to enter mainland China. First of all, there is barely any hassle to getting a visa here and secondly a good train connection links Hong Kong to Guangzhou, from where you can start to arrange onward travel in China at Chinese prices.
In the train to Guangzhou I finally got the feeling that I was traveling again into the unknown. Once in Guangzhou we settled on the island of Shamian a former trading concession to France and England.