Day 1. Fly to Hong Kong. Saturday 20th Oct.
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Woke up at my sister Lisa's house in Melbourne. The flight was at 2:30pm and I wanted to be there three hours early so left Lisa's at 10:30 to allow an hour travel through the endless road works around the Outer-North of Melbourne. Got to the airport by 11:30am and check-in went so smooth I had a 90 minute wait at the gate. That's okay, better than being late... Plus I don't mind hanging at the airport Ė itís a cool place if you donít go often. I don't go often.
The Flight was with Qantas and was direct Melbourne to Hong Kong with no issues - apart from a terrible selection of movies (does anyone over the age of 10 actually LIKE the Men In Black movies?!).
I spent most of my time cramming up on my China Lonely Planet book and going over my itinerary. It was - busy:
Day 1 - Saturday. Travel Australia to Hong Kong
Day 2 - Sunday. Travel Hong Kong to Shenzhen
Day 3 - Monday. Meet two companies near Shenzhen
Day 4 - Tuesday. Meet two companies near Shenzhen
Day 5 - Wednesday. Travel Shenzhen to Beijing
Day 6 - Thursday. Meet one company in Beijing
Day 7 - Friday. Travel Beijing to Shanghai
Day 8 - Saturday.Travel Shanghai to Zhangjiagang
Day 9 - Sunday. Zhangjiagang Government events
Day 10 - Monday. Meet one company in Zhangjiagang
Day 11 - Tuesday. Travel Zhangjiagang to meet one company in Hangzhou. Travel to Nanjing (MASSIVE day)
Day 12 - Wednesday. Meet one company in Nanjing
Day 13 - Thursday. Travel Nanjing to Shanghai to Australia
I thumbed through my book and itinerary trying to finalize how to travel and where to stay. I studied what to watch out for, while also looking at solar specifications of the equipment I was interested in. I listed specific things to look for, questions to ask, and... information to give.
Arrival time was 9pm Hong Kong time, which was 3 hours behind Melbourne time, so touched down at midnight by my internal clock and got through the airport with (surprisingly) no hassles in an hour, and another hour to get to my hotel - the Nathan Hotel smack in the middle of downtown Kowloon.
Despite being 2am Melbourne time, at 11pm HK time I couldn't sleep so went for a walk through the very busy Saturday night shopping and markets close to my hotel.
I've never been to Hong Kong, but the sights and smells of the market were familiar with any Asian city with its markets, butchers and fishmongers on the street. It as good to be back in Asia. But one thing was missing - not one person approached me to sell, beg (or steal) anything - and there were no relentless Cyclos/rickshaws/etc. It felt a bit weird! But very nice.
I bought a local Mobile simcard and let my wife Nicole and others know that I'd safely arrived.
Got to bed at 1am HK time (or 4am by my body clock). Eager to head into mainland China and start talking to companies on Monday!
Day 2. HK to Shenzhen. Sunday 21st Oct. >>