Last Visit in January 2004
Driving through this area gave me unpleasant memories. It was during this stretch of highway (Jingzhu Expressway), we encountered numerous vehicle crashes which mounted to 3 hours of waiting in the traffic jam. I've never encountered a total standstill on a 3-lane dual expressway! Secondly, our bus got ticketed for driving on the emergency lane. What was bad was the fact the local police authority raised the fine from RMB200 to RMB500! Talk about corruption! I never saw the police ticket private vehicles whom were also driving along the emergency lane. The bus driver also had his driver's licence confiscated along the process. Since we had two bus drivers, we could still continue our journey into Shenzhen. However, the bus driver was dropped off at a local police station outside Conghua! Which is miles away from Shaoguan.
Due to the 3-hour traffic jam along the Jingzhu Expressway, people got out of their cars and eat fruits and chat!
Mind you, the Jingzhu Expressway is very well-built and it resembles the famous Interstate highways of the USA. Large road signs (both in Chinese and English) are well sign posted. Unfortunately, the Chinese drivers are the most reckless drivers I've ever seen on a high speed expressway. I saw one car whom drove into a wrong exit U-turn and come back out on to on-coming traffic.
At regular intervals, you'll encounter service areas with a gas station for people to fill up. This particular service area is just north of the Guangdong - Hunan province boundary.
Gas stations in Guangdong province are extremely chaotic. Nobody lines up at the gas pump. Cars try to push their front hood to the pump to fill up their gas tanks. You can imagine the loud horns blaring away. China is so famous for those blaring horns from buses and trucks.
This is a shot of the gas station's exit lane! As you can see, there's no line-ups nor anyone to direct traffic. Worse is the fact that they have make-shift stalls selling foods. The sanitary condition is deplorable. People from buses throw their finished "cup noodles" literally out the window. Once in awhile, you'll hear a "plop" sound. This indicates someone just whipped the cup noodle on to the pavement with its soup intact!
Here's one of numerous stores selling fireworks in Shaoguan. This particular store also sells local mushrooms at a cheap price.
This is the town of Ruyuan located within the limits of Shaoguan city. This region is famous for the natural feature "Grand Canyon". However, I never got to go visit that area, as we came here to have our lunch enroute to Shenzhen for dinner.