China will be the world’s top tourist destination by 2030, by which time a vast network of high-speed rail services will link the country. We take the first bullet train out of Hong Kong
The identikit apartment blocks and mousy-brown fields were as unremarkable as the pale scrubland. It should have made for an unremarkable entry into China’s Guangdong province. Except it wasn’t. The thrill of being aboard Hong Kong’s first bullet train, the Vibrant Express, was all about speed, not scenery.
Aerodynamic, gleaming white and polished to perfection, the pointy-nosed train had departed Hong Kong’s brand new West Kowloon station, one of the world’s largest (partly) subterranean stations, on time. Just 48 minutes later, we glided, quietly and smoothly into Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, and China’s third-largest city, home to 14 million people.