Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou is an enormous sprawling city on the mainland, a short hop from Hong Kong. I visited with my wife’s family, and we were ever under the watchful eye of her parents, and chaperoned by doting relatives, so we didn’t get much opportunity to explore alone. Guangzhou is also known as Canton, so Cantonese food reigns (dim sum!). It was fun to enjoy these things (including a sea cucumber) with in-laws and relatives, and it was great to meet new cousins who own factories and thriving legal firms in the area.

One thing you can’t help but notice–and this was endemic in the cities I visited–was the veil of smog that hung over the city. Like the smoke (from bushfires) that sometimes stretches across the Sydney sky, Guangzhou’s smog led to some pretty vivid sunrises and sunsets. It’s undoubtedly not great for the health of residents, but as with other industrialised nations before it, China appears to be at least aware of the dangers of Smog, and is working to adopt more sustainable (and cleaner) energy sources.