Sorry ignore the last post it is missing pictures and was only a draft version (hit the wrong button). I will be leaving china tomorrow and will start uploading my blogs but I thought you would enjoy my story.
When I decided to come to Yangshou I did some research about getting flights out of this area using staff travel with Jetstar. I figured out that Jetstar flies out of gangzhou and there is a bus from Yangshou which i thought would be a couple of hours. Great gangzhou to Singapore to Bangkok to koh Samui about 10 - 12 hours travel time.
NOT the bus ride is 10 hours and then about 8 hours in flights not to mention the time between flights - this little adventure will be over 24 hours - oh well I save one nights hotel accommodation.
Last thoughts about china - I would not come here alone again as it is really helpful and more comfortable (not to mention cheaper) if you have a travel companion especially with the language barrier. China is a country of over one billion people and you can understand why they need to control the population The young people do not seem to mind this as they would rather quality rather than quantity. There is still the rule of one child unless you are in the country and if you have a girl first you can have another child but you must pay a fee to the government. Someone told me you can have more than two if you want to pay a fee but I am not sure this is true.
Family generations still live together and lots of grandparents babysit while the parents work. Like most of Asia they don't have much of a middle class - lots of poor and lots of rich. The rich do not help subsidize the poor in any way. The best thing the government has done for the economy was
to open to the west - the tourist industry and western companies have helped many of the population go from starving to the ability to feed, house, cloth and educate their families. The surprise to me is that it seems Canada has more social services programs than china especially for the poor and disabled - guess that is why many want to come to Canada. The young people want the same gadgets and opportunities as those in the west. Although they have an unrealistic view of our lifestyle because of Hollywood - often the first thing they ask is how much do you earn - they don't want to hear about the taxes we pay or the cost of mortgage payments.
The customer service has a long way to go here. It was difficult to get use to people being in your personal space all the time and think
nothing of pushing in front of you - nothing personal just part of the culture. The following probably sums it up best for a country of over a billion people:
There is a question on the driver's test here - When you want to pass a car which side do you pass on? Answer: Any space available.
I am very thankful to have this opportunity to learn about china and it's history - although at times difficult overall a fabulous experience.