I have no trips at all lined up and I am feeling a bit hemmed in. I try to walk down to the supermarket as if I have just landed in Paris and I need some supplies so this is my first foray out into the streets LOL. Getting harder, but. Then today I got an email from a lovely guy (Canadian poet) I met in Sarajevo. He has taken a job (with a flat) in Guangzhou (formerly Canton) for a year from June. Because his wife will only be making flying visits he has sensibly emailed all his friends and acquaintances asking us to regard his new abode as a country cottage and to please make visits. These jobs in exotic places are great but you can get lonely. I did a quick check and it seems you can fly direct (9 hours) from Melbourne to Guangzhou - for a return cost of800. It seems very cheap. Maybe that is one way. But the only direct flights seem to be with China Southern. Would you fly with China Southern? And - once in Guangzhou would I be delighted with the buzz etc - or is the air pollution as vile as some people out on the internet seem to suggest. Just one more thing - is China the last bastion of the unredeemed smoker? Can I smoke like it is 1975 for one last time before I have to give up?
I've spent a couple of weeks near Guangzhou this past January and, unless you'd find a unique hidden Eden, I'm driven to assume you won't find it that idyllic. Personally, I didn't. The Pearl River Delta Mega City hosts some 50 million people, possibly underestimated due to a horde of unaccounted migrant workers. Air, water and soil pollution reach levels that I had never experienced before. Could this be the reason why smoking is allowed everywhere?
China Southern is known as a realiable and good airline that is in partnership with KLM so i would happily fly them.
Jen, I made twice domestic flight with Chinese air companies (obviously) and was absolutely satisfied with the flight itselt and service onboard. Though I must say I don't remember the exact name of he aircompany. I wouldn't mind fluying with China Sputhern at all. Air pollution differs from one regiuon to another. In general yes, it is high. The worst for me was in Yatzee river cruise. Great landscpe but terrible air. The best was in Changhai, maybe because the sea is nearby, don't know. But in the most of places (we also visited Beijing and Xian) I couldn't breath without my breath spray
I have taken two flights with China Southern -- New jets, good service, no problems. I recall that at the time the safety record was good. If you are really worried you could re-check the safety record on the internet. Good luck.
I've taken a couple of domestic flights with China Southern and they were absolutely fine. It's Uzbekistan Airways that worried me a bit (parcel shelf where the overhead locker should be!)
thanks for all this advice guys one direct flight of 9 hours or so is so much preferable to going via Beijing and most of those routings seem to take 20 or so hours i shall keep it on my maybe list
I have a friend who flew the same route about a month ago and he was not overly impressed (he is fussy) but he did give China Southern points for having more leg room. I flew with them a lot when I was in China and found them to be good but a little tardy in leaving on time. Guangzhou is hell if you have asthma and a challenge if you like to take deep breathes but I didn't find it horrendous by any means. A lot depends on the prevailing winds at the time. Of course I lived in Shenzhen which is not a lot better so maybe it was that I was used to the pollution. Regarding smoking- Chinese like their smokes and the only places it was banned during my time there was on buses, trains, ferries and aircraft -they took it seriously. restaurants were often smoke filled but really it wasn't any worse than the air outside! Regarding being hemmed in - go for a trip to Springvale, it will be like visiting a Chinese town except there will be Vietnamese as well! It will be a good chance for you to pick up some feijoas.
If you haven't been to Beijing yet, it's a chance. Spending perhaps some days there and then proceeding to Guangzhou would be my choice
what are feijoas called in china?
They are FanShiLiu I think