Shamian Island: The Home Stretch

Shamian Island is best described as the place the British took over, back when tea and opium were in constant traffic across the sea, and although I am sure there was razing and looting involved in its creation, the result is extraordinarily pleasant. Shady verandas. Palm trees. Wide park-like walkways. Few cars. We are staying at the White Swan. It used to be right next to the consulate, so everyone stayed here. Now it’s right next to an entire cottage industry surrounding adoption, so even though the consulate has moved, everyone…stays here anyway. There are about 4000 adoptions from China every year. Figure, then, on about 40 a week. Probably more than half in this hotel. It’s a little…weird.

But good, because no one stares, and people in general speak some English, and everyone wants to help, especially if you might buy something. Instead, we got someone to take us out into the city for our shopping.

It was CRAZY. Everything you have ever considered buying, anywhere, especially Walmart, wholesale. all piled together, everywhere. Every toy, every hairclip, every bag, every clock…everywhere you looked, more stuff. On the one hand, we wanted to scoop up everything. On the other, the sheer magnitude was overwhelming. Some things I already wish I’d bought more of–hello kitty, on the other hand, I wish we’d bought rather less. We enjoyed it, though, except for Rory, who thought we were going for ice cream.

4 Responses to “Shamian Island: The Home Stretch”

  1. Jenny says:

    Hi from Beijing! I’m “following” your blog as I suppose we are following behind you through this adoption in China thing. Great to get the scoop on Guangzhou. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Okay, I should be asleep. We meet our daughter in about 11 hours…..

  2. Cindy says:

    Sounds like everything is going wonderfully now! Cannot wait to see all f you on American soil! 🙂

  3. shirlee says:

    I’m glad you’re finally nearing the end of your journey! Your kids look like they’re doing great!

  4. Lisen says:


    I am SO glad you are finally in GZ!! What a relief and so close to coming home now. Have you found Jordan’s shop yet? Rory sounds like a queen bee and really it is great that she wants all the attention from her new family rather than shutting your efforts out. Have fun shopping and eating at that b-fast buffet!