I was reminded by friends in China that the national holiday is approaching (most people get a week off). During my first national holiday, which happened to be during my second year because I arrived in China just after the holiday in 2005, Jia and I traveled to Zhaoqing--a three-hour bus ride from Shenzhen that felt a lot longer because the bus was in poor shape, there was a lot of traffic, and there was no toilet on the bus (something I expected because there's one on the shorter trip to Guangzhou, which meant I drank too much coffee prior to boarding the bus).
Other than the bus, Zhaoqing was an enjoyable trip. A large part of our time was spent at Dinghu Park, which was much less crowded than other tourist sites during the holidays. While not the most picturesque park in China, it is still quite beautiful (especially when there are fewer people). Unfortunately, it was also extremely hot and humid--it would be better to visit around December.