Last month I had to travel a couple of times for work, most recently to Sydney and also to China. It was my second trip to China (the first, last year, also for work). This time around was a lot less overwhelming for me, a lot warmer (we were last there during winter), and a lot prettier than I remember it.
We travelled to Guangzhou, in the humid Guangdong province of southern China, and then went by car to Zhongshan. During this trip, we also drove around to Shenzhen, and then crossed the border by car into Hong Kong before flying home from there. A couple of the pictures below show how tropical and green China can be in parts (away from the more dense industrial zones), something that surprised me. My memories of my first trip were of a chilly, grey and thickly polluted city that felt very foreign and far from home. I felt more aware of my surroundings this time around (I guess you always pick up new things when revisiting a place) and more comfortable with my knowledge of local culture and customs.
Contrary to what is implied by the photo of the caged snakes above, we ate really well at most of the places we were taken to while in China. The Guangdong province is known for seafood and mild flavours, and I really enjoyed the whole steamed fish, dumplings and gelatinous desserts especially. And yes, that is the minibar menu from my hotel room, which offered the option of purchasing paper underpants (in female and male versions, helpfully).