Expats' Life

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  • Stories in Dongguan

    Who said you can't camp in China?


    By Geno Deville

    Never let any one tell you, you cannot camp in China. I see so many internet blog entries saying, it's illegal and you can not do it, bla bla bla. Well, with a little bit of research, you will find the truth of the matter is: camping is not that common in China therefore people do not know much about it. That is the bottom line period.


    I personally go camping all the time, mostly on my own as I like it that way, but for my new TV/Web series "Dongguan Live" I decided to take some friends and make a show of the experience. Along with my camera man Sam, my dear friends Fernando and Marce came with me as I headed off to Qingxi mountain near the town of Tangxia, At nearly 1000m high Qingxi is the tallest mountain in Dongguan.


    The plan was simple, meet at Dongguan TV studios at 12pm, pile all the kit into Fernando’s comfy SUV and head off, 40 minutes to the mountain then a good 3 hours hike to find some kind of clearing to make camp. Thanks to an argument with our GPS we arrived at the base of Qingxi an hour later than I would have liked and we started up the trail.


    What's great about this kind of adventure is you just never know what will happen, in fact, literarily 3 minutes into the trek we walked across what looked like a hard solid sand pack only to find ourselves ankle deep in mud. So much to our amusement the trip had started well.


    We had been told that at the summit at a bearing of N-NE there was a clearing good for making camp and there was also a fresh mountain spring nearby, sounded perfect and so that's where we were heading.


    We started out by following a trail but after about 30 minutes we realized the trail headed off in the wrong direction for us, so we entered the brush and went straight up, out came my trusty length of rope and to make the accent easier I climbed on ahead and then one by one we winched the back packs up, with Fernando tying some great knots to them at the lower end.


    With the bags hanging delicately on a ledge it was the guys turn to climb up this steep bank and how amazed was I to find that Marce bounded effortlessly up the side of this mountain and then told me that this was her first time doing anything like this. She is now known as mega Marce.


    A couple more hours of slogging up paths, trails and steep banks, we found ourselves and gasping at the sight of the village far below.