One of the things that we love most about Geocaching around the world is meeting all the different people who enjoy this hobby too. It's amazing how so many people, from very different walks of life, can share an interest like this. As we have been traveling, living, and working around the world -- we have especially enjoyed meeting cachers from different countries. And during our time in China, we also made some wonderful connections with geocachers who call the other side of the world home.
Frustrated in Guangzhou
As some of you may know, we spent some time last year as English Teachers in Guangzhou, China. We were ecstatic to be living in a new country and looking forward to exploring the area, while finding some Geocaches of course. Unfortunately, we were quickly disappointed because there were hardly any caches to go for. And the ones that we tried to find all turned out to be DNF's!
In a city of more than 14 million people...we never thought we would be starving for Geocaches to find!
Experiencing Hong Kong's AMAZING Caching Community
Luckily, Hong Kong was just a short 2 hour bus ride from Guangzhou. We love Hong Kong enjoyed making frequent trips there during our time living in Guangzhou. But even better was that they seemed to have a great Geocaching community. In fact, from what I had seen on the Hong Kong Geocacher Facebook Group, they seemed to be a tight-knit group who put on some really AWESOME events!
For example, they would have meet ups at KTV (a type of karaoke / club that is all the rage in Asia), arcades, zorbing arenas, and many other really fun places. They even do some quite non-traditional events such as hiking on some of the other islands (yes, there is hiking and outdoor fun in Hong Kong), and they also have some geocaching puzzle events. Even though we had visited Hong Kong many times, we never got a chance to attend one of their events until the Hong Kong Leap Day event 2016.
We arrived at the event, which was being held at a German-themed bar / restaurant in a hopping neighborhood, and we could immediately spot the lively group of cachers. They were all so welcoming and friendly, we seemed to hit it off immediately. So we had a few drinks, ate some gigantic pretzels, and continued to mingle with cachers from Hong Kong...and all over the world! In fact, that's what struck us most.
Since Hong Kong is such an international city (and travel destination), there were cachers at this event from all over the world -- 12 different countries we counted!
Some of them were in town on vacation, others were just making a quick stopover, while some were actually expats living in Hong Kong. It made for such a dynamic and fun atmosphere!
After the meet and greet event, some of the locals offered to take us visitors on a stroll of the city to find some of the most popular (and unique) Hong Kong geocaches. And they didn't disappoint! We actually had a large group set out together, finding cache after cache...after cache. After hours of caching, we had to head back to the hotel for an early morning. But it seemed like the rest of them were going to continue hunting until the wee hours of the morning! Perhaps they did...
We really appreciated the enthusiasm of the geocaching community in Hong Kong - and really loved their friendly and warm welcome to all the visitors to their city.
An FTF in China & Some New Friends
Just a week before we left China, we spotted an FTF opportunity nearby our home in Guangzhou. We couldn't believe it. We had only recently gotten our first FTF - in Macau, of all places. And we had gotten another FTF in Hong Kong...so we were on a bit of a roll. But since we were actually living in Guangzhou, we knew we had to have an FTF here to remember this place by.
It was a perfect day outside for geocaching when we set out for a local park near our home in Guangzhou. We first enjoyed ourselves on the way to the cache, taking a walk through the massive park (in China you don't have to fight for FTF's because there are so few people caching!). Eventually, we made our way to ground zero and sure enough, we got our FTF in mainland China added our to books!
We did the FTF dance, signed the log, and gave a shout out to the hiders, Guangzhou Goonies, for such an awesome find! They quickly responded and seemed super happy (if not more) to hear that we had found their cache.
Meeting the Guangzhou Goonies
It didn't take long of more chatting online before it felt like the Guangzhou Goonies were friends. It was a perfect match. They were fairly new to geocaching, but they were interested most in the creative-hiding aspect...which we love to find!
We also learned that they lived fairly close to us (well, relatively close given the size of this city!) so they set up an event to get together. We met the Guangzhou Goonies, a husband / wife / two kids team as well as a few other expat cachers who joined the event. We had a blast chatting over authentic Chinese BBQ, then we set out to find an awesome cache that they had placed near one of their favorite Chinese dessert restaurants -- a great idea for dessert!
This cache, Shuang Pi Nai (Shuang Pi Nai - GC69G9C), is named after the famous local dessert found at the restaurant. After a bit of searching, we were able to make the find -- a truly great cache! Then we sat down to sample this tasty dish - which the two of us still crave to this day!
We were all having so much fun together, that we then headed back to their apartment to find an awesome gadget-type that he created outside his apartment...now THIS was absolutely one of the coolest caches we have found. Worth the trip to Panyu, Guangzhou for sure!
Making Memories and Friends Through Geocaching Around the World
We have cherished these memories meeting up with other cachers around the world. It has been wonderful to bond with them over our shared hobby, and it's such a cool way to learn about other cultures too. It's been a blast and we look forward to meeting other great geocachers as we continue to explore and go #travelcaching all over the world!
Josh and Liz
Caching Name: Peanuts or Pretzels
We're Josh & Liz, expert travelers who love a good Geocaching adventure. Visit our website Peanuts or Pretzels to find out how we can help make your trip planning easier and more fun...as well as incorporating Geocaching into your next vacation!
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