March 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
Last November, the company that I was working for sent me to China for a biannual Canton (Guangzhou’s other name) fair. Most of the time, I spent the days doing things related to work but I also thought of sharing the things I saw and experienced there. Guangzhou is the largest city in the Guangdong province of Mainland China.
Date: November 2010 It’s a bit cold during this season because it’s turning winter in the northern hemisphere. I would advice people who would visit around this time to bring thick clothing.
Where we stayed: Yi He Hotel, Huanshi Dong Lu, Guangzhou (Canton)
We arrived to our hotel via bus. There are different buses assigned to different areas of the city and the buses usually stop at hotels. On our case, we stopped at the Garden Hotel, from there we walked a good 10 minutes to our hotel. Most of the hotels were fully booked at that time because of the Guangzhou Asian Olympics.
Here are some of the places we went to:
1. China Import-Export Fair Expo
Funny Story: The 3 soldiers kept on greeting “Nihao! Nihao!” while giggling like Highschool boys. I was too afraid to smile back because of the gun-shooting event that happened here in Manila. I got a bit paranoid and thought they might fire their guns at me if the realize I’m Filipino.
Fair Staple: McDonald’s Meal
I have to admit that I had to stay away from McDonalds after eating heavy McDonald’s meals for 3 consecutive days. Their value meals wich include a burger, large Coke and fries, Lemon Chicken and Taro pie costs about 35RMB.
2. Bellagio Cafe
Location: Walking distance from the Garden Hotel, Huanshi Dong Lu
They offer fusion cuisines but judging from their menu, most of the food were cantonese. Most of the food I saw were similar to those I’ve seen in Taiwan. Their food are also affordable, not too cheap but not to steep. Your45-80RMB can go quite far here already.
3. Pearl River
4. Guangzhou Tower
5. Guangzhou’s City scape
I just took random photos of the city while I was inside our bus service. The city is clean and organized, it’s pretty laid back too.
This area is Guangzhou’s famous shopping ditrict. Here you can find boutiques, “tiangge“-type stalls and restaurants.
Also located in this area are preserved streets from old Chinese Dynasties. One can peek through glasses from the elevated modern street.
8. Yue Xiu Park
Entrance Fee: FREE
Funny Story: I had some trouble communicating with the driver because I paid him a wrong denomination. Their money has bills for 5 cents, which sucks because I thought it was 5RMB. I felt so ashamed after paying him the wrong amount.
This park is famous for its 5 man-made lakes representing Guangzhou’s legendary 5 goats who are said to be the ones who made the then barren land, fertile. Since I only had free time after work, I was able to visit the area at night. We took a cab getting here. A map would be of help if you’re a Mandarin idiot like me.
I just had to laugh at this sign!
It was a pity I wasn’t able to visit the main attraction of the park, the 5 rams. Since it was already late at night, me and my companion wasn’t able to search deeper in the park because it was pitch dark. Anyway, here’s a photo of the statue in daylight. Wonderful isn’t it?
The 5 Rams Myth:
The Sculpture of the Five Rams built in 1959 is the symbol of Guangzhou. It is said that long ago five celestial beings wearing robes of five colors came to Guangzhou riding through the air on rams. Each carries a stem of rice, which they presented to the people as a suspicious sign from heaven that the area would be free from famine forever. Therefore, Guangzhou got another name from the myth – City of Five Rams
or just Ram City. (Source: http://easytourchina.com)
9. Walking at the streets at night
My companion, Toni and I decided to walk from Yue Xiu Park to our hotel in Huanshi Dong Lu area. I insisted on doing it, and goodness, was it quite far. My main reason for doing so was to avoid having a hard time communicating with non-English speaking taxi drivers.
10. Taking the train- Guangzhou Railway, Red Line
After some time walking, I eventually saw this subway station heading to a station near our hotel.
We had to take the train because a certain foreign guy was asking for my name and was chasing me even though I told him I wasn’t interested. I really don’t get it why they do that. Freaky! Don’t ever trust strangers please!
Even though I didn’t come to China to tour, I realized it’s also possible to have fun and enjoy the sceneries even with the limited time. I wouldn’t say it’s a nice place to visit mainly because it’s really not a tourist destination but an industrial area. Even so, being able to go around a new and unfamiliar place is still an experience worth telling.