Dying from pollution in Changping

My first thought when I arrived at Zhuhai this morning: “OMG it’s so hot and dusty and smoky.”

It was so different from when I came here five months ago, around winter’s end.

Hot, I can deal with. Smoke and dust give me bad allergic reactions. Smoke and dust and impatient drivers honking the hell away nonstop and glaring sunlight give me a deathwish. Almost.

I thought Changping would be better. A childish vain hope to comfort myself, I later realised.

Our plan was to take a three-hour bus ride from Zhuhai to Changping. One of those cheap tour buses with seats that recline a little way. The fare was about $16.

Zhuhai bus station

Zhuhai bus station

It was 10:45 am. The next bus wouldn’t leave till 11:30 am, so we went for brunch. The KFC in China is so good!


KFC egg tarts

The bus departure terminal is an enclosed building with really bad acoustics. Sound bouncing and echoing everywhere. It doesn’t help that Chinese nationals enjoy screaming or shouting at each other. And then there was the endless announcements for departing buses. There was like an announcement every few minutes.

This is probably the last time I can ever be persuaded to take a bus in China.

Our bus was delayed for an hour due to a traffic jam, so I was stuck in that horrendous hell of a place for an hour and 15 minutes.

The most exciting part of our three-hour bus journey was when our bus turned into a boat. Suddenly, it was rocking like crazy, like if a boat were to hit turbulent waves.

I looked out the window and this was what our bus was driving through:


Crazy humongous potholes competing for space on the ridiculously uneven road.

Fortunately, I didn’t die in the journey.

Unfortunately, Changping is as bad as Zhuhai in terms of air and noise pollution, if not worse.

We hired a private taxi to take us to our hotel. In China, private taxis usually mean beat-up old wheels.

This was our private taxi. It was a minivan or something:

Changping taxi

Changping taxi

Did I ever mention that I really hate being in a moving car with the windows down? I hate when my hair flies all over my face. Sometimes it hurts. It gets in my eyes and whips my cheeks.

According to my friend Isaiah, who works in China, Hui Hua Hotel is the best in Changping. He had helped us book a suite a couple of weeks ago.

So we did get a suite after all. Yay.

The hotel looks very unassuming (even cheap) from the outside. But it looks better on the inside, although not like super grand or anything. I guess we can’t expect too much for a small town in China.

Besides, it’s really cheap. It’s only $100 a night for our suite! Splitting the cost, we each only have to pay $50 a night. =D

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

Hui Hua Hotel

After checking in, we went out to get some food, SIM cards and peaches.

You know, I think you can identify China by the number of construction works going on. You see them everywhere you go.


There’s a huge one going on beside our hotel. This is the view from our sitting room, lol:


Anyway, we were hungry again after the long bus ride, so we wanted to eat first.

When we were still in Singapore, the Goonfather couldn’t stop talking about the food in China, naming all his favourite China-specific dishes.

And then once we’ve checked in and are ready to go food hunting, he says, “Let’s go eat at a Hong Kong cafe!”

So, this is what he chose to eat first (KFC not counted because we really only wanted to get a drink while waiting for our bus, but then we couldn’t resist when we got there):

Pig innards

Icky disgusting beef innards.

I know it’s a little weird that I eat liver and intestines and kidney, but I cannot stand all those in the picture above. I think they are like lungs and pancreas and stomachs. They just don’t look like food.

I ordered a very safe item. Luncheon meat and egg sandwich.

Luncheon meat and egg sandwich

We bought some peaches after that! They’re now sitting in the hotel fridge. We haven’t eaten them yet so I don’t know if they’re good.

After buying those and SIM cards and some Blu-ray movies (all very near our hotel), we went to our room.

I started this blog while the Goonfather went to a spa.

I think I’ve been blogging for 2.5 hours now. (Taking very long because I’m not used to the free video editing software (GIMP) which I’m using on my Macbook, and then I couldn’t connect to my FTP server to upload images for some reason, so I had to use a more manual, time-consuming way.

It’s almost 9 pm. It’s hungry time!

Oh, the Goonfather just came back from his spa and then we’ll have dinner with Isaiah. I hear we’re going to have roast chicken. Supposedly some most famous food or restaurant or something in Changping.

More field reports tomorrow if I haven’t died from the pollution yet.

8 thoughts on “Dying from pollution in Changping

  1. Avatar

    the hotel looks super worth it for the price lor!

    china kfc looks unassuming but i’ve heard so many raves abt it.hmmm

  2. Avatar

    Welcome to China. Fast catching up to be the No.1 polluting country.

    We live in a pampered life in Singapore lah. All those pollution, holes on the road will kill us. Imagine the people who stay there have to face this everyday.

  3. Avatar

    Last time I was in a taxi in China, there was “natural” air-con… winter, at night, with the windows down. I was freezing my ass off. LOL

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