Friday morning we were given the option to go "bartering" at local markets. The normal situation would consist of a shop keeper giving us an item price and us countering with an offer of 10-30%. The counter-prices seem drastic, but since we are picked out as foreigners, we have to realize that we are being over charged. A lot of the times we'd end up getting the price we asked for if we "tried" to leave.
We were able to shop in a more traditional looking Chinese market which was different than the mall/subway shopping we've been use to. My worst deal of the day was a 12oz McDonalds' coffee for $2, which I ended up accidentally forgetting without taking a sip! (Still upset.) What can I say, I'm a sucker...
Later in the afternoon we were able to visit IBM, who gave a presentation on circuit design and future directions of the company. It was nice to be able to ask questions during and after the meeting. Our host was very light hearted and kind, he always had a smile on his face. We didn't get a tour of the companies laboratories or facilities due to a time crunch, hopefully sometime in the future!
Saturday was a free day in which all students could do as they pleased. Many went shopping in a local market or visited the Jade Temple. It was nice to finally relax and recover a bit from the trip before heading off to the next city.
Sunday morning we took off for Hong Kong after riding a Maglift train, which traveled 300km/hr (pretty speedy, especially when we took curves). We were unfortunately delayed again but for only an hour this time! The view going into Hong Kong is beautiful. It reminds me of Hawaii.. but with a lot more buildings.
Hong Kong is right on the south eastern corner in China and has its own government. They have a different currency, different language (cantonese), drive on the opposite side of the road, and every day this week is suppose to be over 80 (and humid). It feels like a tropical paradise metropolis.
After putting everything into our rooms, our group headed out for a walk by the harbor. It was entertaining to see the city stretch across the water while the sidewalk bustled. Hong Kong has the highest concentration of people in a city.
I thought I'd add in Jackie Chan's hand prints; stars specked the sidewalk with different actors from Hong Kong such as Jet Li, Bruce Lee.. etc.
Caleb was pretty stoked that he was taller than everyone for once. In southern China, the average person is much shorter than in the northern provinces.
To end the night, many of us went and watched the laser show over the harbor. I can't say it was the best thing we've ever seen, but it had the same feel as a cool summer night watching fireworks.