But first, a few more monks. (Sorry, Declan.)
I was assigned a seat next to a barefooted monk on my flight to Yangon. Monks aren't allowed to touch women, even accidentally. So he had to be moved. I wound up with a bare-footed baby next to me instead.
My Grab driver had golden owls! I took this as a good omen. The Airport Hotel was wonderful, if you don't mind an occasional plane flying overhead! I even spied a bottle of our favorite Myanmar wine and persuaded the cute server to open it for a glass. He made a big show of chilling it, letting me sniff the cork, and pouring a taste with great flair.
Quick pool retrospective: Myeik, Yangon, Guangzhou (no photos allowed but huge and indoor)
No, you were watching 10 to Million Myanmar in your room, wondering what the question was. (Heartbreakingly, the answer was Donald Duck.)
But back to airport hell. The first issue with Guangzhou is you don't want to inhale. Gasp.
The second is figuring out the lines and paperwork to get the mythical 72 hour visa free transit. I had prebooked a hotel (for free) with my airline ticket.
I knew from Pam's terrible experience that I might get stuck in the airport, at the hourly hotel, trying not to inhale.
I had to stand in another two lines, showing off my voucher, for which I got another sticker: the magic valet will find you and transport you to the Holiday Inn.
If you've never traveled in Asia, you may not realize that Holiday Inns are 5-star hotels here. I won the prize! Too bad I have to leave in 12 hours for the airport.
They do have cool labeled mood lights all over.
And matador art outside my room. And fake orchids in the revolving door. It's a little like Vegas in China, complete with buffets filled with seafood and a chocolate fountain.
Guanghzhou is the home of Cantonese food! I meant to take a day trip to Shenzen when I was in Hong Kong, but I'd already left PRC and didn't want to pay for a second visa.
Ironically, China Southern won't let you use your iPhone even in airplane mode. Even though you're flying over Foxconn, where they're made. But that's a story for another day. Time for a swim. See you on the other side.