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Zhu Hiu – A Small City
The Story of our visit to a small Chinese City
One day in 2002 when we were living in PRChina we decided to go and visit Zhu Hui. Zhu Hui is on the border of Macau on the opposite side of the bay to Hong Kong. It is situated at the beginning of the Pearl River. It is a small and very beautiful city. The population is approximately 2000. Zhu Hiu looks very clean and has many beautiful trees lining the streets.

The beaches are not very clean, as the waterways are polluted, but from a distance the water looks terrific.

Our enquiries revealed that we could hire a car for 700 rmb for the whole day and that would include a driver as well. However, one of my students had told me that her sister lived in Zhu Hui, so I decided to ask Mary where would be the best places to visit in Zhu Hui? She said we should speak to her sister and ultimately gave us her sister’s telephone number. When we telephoned Susan she insisted on meeting us at the bus and escorting us around herself.

After a 2-hour trip on the bus we arrived in Zhu Hui. We had arranged with Susan to meet at the Border crossing. After some scary moments because of the number of people who frequent the border crossing, and not knowing what she looked like, Susan found us and was such a friendly, vibrant and beautiful little person that we immediately felt at ease. The two sisters are so different, Mary is very quiet, but very intelligent, and Susan is an extrovert – all personality. They moved to China with their brother from North Korea to finish High School and University. Susan is married to a Chinese Communist Party official and he accompanied us to lunch and treated us to a wonderful meal. After lunch though, he had to go to work and leave us with Susan. They are a very charming couple.

Susan drove us around, showing us all the various sights. Zhu Hui is a very unusual Chinese City because the streets are all lined with trees and everything is neat and tidy. They even constructed a romantic pathway for couples to use when courting.

Susan then drove us to the Copy “Summer Palace”. It’s a smaller version of the original “Summer Palace” in Beijing and consists of various traditional Chinese buildings surrounded by beautiful gardens, small lakes, and small bridges across creeks.

There is also an outdoor entertainment area. We saw the copy of the House that the Emperor built for his Concubine because she liked to entertain other gentlemen and the Emperor did not approve. We saw their residence, and the Buddha Shrine. You could easily spend a whole day there just enjoying all the beautiful surroundings and listening to the various plays where they describe what it would have been like in the early days.

We saw one play about the King’s daughter. The King and Queen wanted to find their daughter (The Princess) a husband, so they called many of the men to the Palace and the Princess chose some of the men to interview. Then she chose the man whom she thought would be a good husband. When this play was present, the actors were all wearing authentic period costumes of the day.

Well, by later afternoon Susan was looking very tired and we had all walked long distances around the complex. Susan wanted to go home to her dear little son who is two years old, so we said our goodbyes, thanked her very much for her hospitality and kindness and caught the 6 p.m. bus back to Guangzhou having gained another experience of China and Chinese history.

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