The tour began at 07:00 in the morning. Three friends and I met at the pick-up point which was about 8 blocks from my house. We got on bus and headed out.
The first stop was a Chinese temple. It wasn’t all that impressive, and we only spent a few minutes there. It was on the side of a hill and had 150 steps to climb to get to it.
Then we went to a place that manufactured traditional Chinese medicines. I was a little disappointed in this stop. I thought it was going to be a farm where plants and animals were grown. Instead it was where they were processed and packaged. After a short tour that included tasting samples, the employees tried to sell us various teas, dried mushrooms, and god knows what else. Only a few people bought anything. They had a little museum that was interesting.
Then it was on to Sun Yat-Sen’s house and museum. Sun Yat-Sen is considered the father of modern China. I believe he lived 1866-1925. He appears on many pre-Communist coins.
Like most “men of the people,” Sun Yat-Sen lived much better than 99.9999% of his countrymen. His house was interesting and fairly well maintained. Pictures weren’t allowed, but I was able to a get a few when there were no guards looking.
In addition to the house, there a a small museum devoted to Sun Yat-Sen. There wasn’t much in it, mostly copies of old pictures. But the captions were in Chinese and English, so it was interesting reading.
After the Sun Yat-Sen house we went to a place for lunch. It was pretty good and was included in the price of the ticket. We were seated at large round tables of 10 and the dishes were placed on a Lazy Susan in the center. It was mostly seafood but also included a plate of duck, some stir fries, several vegetables and rice. My favorite was a small streamed crab that was served whole. It was difficult to eat, but very tasty.
After lunch we were driven to a famous seafood market in a town whose name I already forgot. It was on the harbor and Macau was visible on the other side. The Chinese need special permits to go to Macau. It’s like Hong Kong, almost a separate country. Macau has become a famous destination for gambling. Here are some views of Macau. I could make out the Wynn Hotel, otherwise I couldn’t see anything very unusual.
The fish market was across the street from the wharf. It was very big and the vendors only sold dried, salted and smoked fish. There were absolutely no fresh or live fish anywhere. Nothing was refrigerated. I bought some smoked scallops and some spicy dried shrimp.
I was surprised how many people bought lots of fish at the market. They re-boarded carrying large bags that they stuffed into the over head bins. And the fish were not inexpensive. I priced a fish in the market that was a little over a foot long. It was 128 Yuan (about $18.00 USD).
After the fish market we went to an aloe farm. It was mostly a stop where they tried to sell us aloe products, similar in concept to the traditional medicine factory. The best part of this stop was the sign they had showing the benefits of aloe. Apparently aloe is a laxative that makes you both thinner and taller.
A lot of people bought aloe products at this stop. Toothpaste was the most popular item by far, but various skin creams and other beauty products were selling too. I bought a little bag of aloe flavored dried fruit. There was a lemon on the outside of the bag, but I didn’t recognize the taste of the fruit. It was about the size a a grape and had a small seed. It was very good.
After the aloe farm we headed home. We made a pit stop in a park that had mist being sprayed over the little ponds in it. The park was beautiful and perfectly maintained. The mist added an interesting effect.
The park was our last stop. We returned to Shenzhen about 20:30. Originally I had planned to go to a Halloween party at La Casa, but I was tired and went straight home.
The tour only cost 99 Yuan (about $15.00 USD) and that included lunch. I am sure the aloe farm, the fish market, and the traditional medicine factory paid the tour operator something to bring us there. That was OK with me. They were interesting and it kept the price down.