Wednesday, February 21, 2024

In southeastern China, breathtaking views make a grueling trek worth every step

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – In southeastern China, you’ll get a taste of island life on Gulangyu. At this world cultural heritage site, gone are big buses and motor vehicles.

Only electric powered carts are allowed on the pedestrian island.

It’s the perfect escape from city life.

From there, an HNN delegation traveling with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce makes its way north to the Wuyishan Mountains. The Tianyoufeng Peak stands more than 1,300 feet tall.

To reach the top, it is a grueling vertical climb. There are about 3,000 steps.

To put that into perspective, it’s like doing Koko Crater stairs three times.

Journey to China: Hawaiiʻs Connection

It’s so tough, a large group of hikers hired one man to carry several cases of bottled water all the way to the top! Seeing that, gave us added inspiration.

“Even though we’re older, we came to China and we came this far, we are going to walk these steps!” said California resident Kalmia Tong.

When you finally get to the top, it’s the breathtaking views that make it all worth it.

“Just undulating curves and mountains that you’ve never seen before,” said Honolulu resident Karin Larson.

Down below, we boarded a bamboo raft and held on tight as two steersmen pushed us down the swift current on the nine-bend river.

Wuyishan is also known for producing some of the best tea in China. In the cool mountainous climate, an abundance of oolong and black tea trees thrive.

“It’s very, very famous in the world,” said Wuyi resident Monica Zhang.

We learned how to enjoy the area’s finest black and oolong teas by smelling, sipping and savoring its soothing and relaxing qualities.

“Every Chinese people like tea,” said Zhang. “After breakfast, I can drink a cup of tea and before I go to sleep, I also drink Dang Hao tea.”

From the mountains, we traveled to the coast of Guandgong. Crowds come to see the mythical Fisher girl, daughter of the Dragon King where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea.

This area in Zhuhai is known as the Greater Bay area. Macau is just a drive away and off in the distance is the 18-mile bridge to Hong Kong.

More than 7 million people live here.

Hong Kong is Asia’s financial center and home to the second highest number of billionaires in the world. It’s a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China and has its own political, economic and judicial systems and its own currency.

“Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841, so for 156 years until 1997. So, our official language is Chinese and English,” said Hong Kong resident Chaz Yip.

“It’s the highest density city in the world. So, not many spaces for people living.”

On the rooftop of the YMCA hotel, you can see the impressive and famous Hong Kong skyline. This city has the most skyscrapers than any other in the world.

Every night, a dazzling colorful show of lights dance to music on both sides of Victoria Harbour symbolizing the brilliant energy of Hong Kong.

Watch the final episode in the “Journey to China” series on Friday. HNN’s Stephanie Lum will be exploring lessons learned and friendships made along the way.

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