Lorenzo Pirisino
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China and Korea

Posted on 2008/11/02 07:46:06 (November 2008).

[Wednesday 22nd October - Sunday 2nd November 2008]

The first leg of this quite long business trip saw me respectively in Hong Kong, Zhongshen, Guangzhou, Shangai, Beinjing and Seoul.

China was the most interesting part so far, mostly because the last time I was there was 3 years ago and of course it has much changed, although some parts are still the same.

Zhonshen is a "small" city of "only" 1 million people, mostly build around the factories that surround it. When we arrived it was already night, after a short boat ride from Hong Kong, and it looked extremely deserted. Watching people driving mopeds and bikes, almost no cars visible, but with streets that have five or six lanes for each direction, gave me a bit of a desolate feeling. We stopped just one day to see a client there, so there is little to tell about it.

Guangzhoug on the contrary is the third city in China, and it's HUGE. We did not stop in the city as we had to go to the airport, we just went to the fair there, a place that is twice as big as the biggest fair hall that I have ever seen in Paris (Parc des Espositions). China has a scale that we cannot really imagine, and even when you are thrown it in your face it seems incredible!

Shangai and Beijing could be like Tokyo and New York. There isn't a lot of difference. I managed to spend some time by myself roaming through little streets, and it was quite great because outside from the sparkling centre of the city you get the feeling of what China is really like, or at least what it used to be.
There was a point where we were in the taxi and the street was crowded with people, bikes, kids... It's like I imagine China must have been a long time ago... Marvellous!
It makes me want to discover this great nation even more.

Korea is still Korea, I am not too fond of Seoul, too crowded and with far too many cars. It's really out of God's grace to drive 30 minutes to make 4 kilometers! Apart from that food is great as usual, and Korean people are very nice to foreigners, and they do their best to be as welcoming as possible. Here we went for a traditional Korean sauna, which was a great experience, and an Italian restaurant, which was quite the opposite in terms of experiences...(not to say CRAP).

Then Japan. I am writing from Shinjuku, the hotel that saw me for the past 8 years coming to this marvellous place that I dearly love. But that deserves another post...

Pictures have been made by the bucketloads, especially in China, so I will post them when I go back (or earlier if I get the time), some of them are really great, this time I am focusing on "people in Asia" and I went through difficult ways to steal shots of real life without upsetting the people! :D

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