Total Pageviews

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guangzhou, China 2011 - Part 1

Have Salsa, Will Travel. That’s my new tag-line for my recent holidays. And more are coming up! It appears that for the past couple of years, my holidays are planned around dancing. Of course, not everywhere is a salsa/dancing destination, but… you get the point.

Having been to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah a mere couple of weeks ago, this time I find myself in China! The metropolitan city of Guangzhou, located in the Guangdong Province of the People’s Republic of China. And what an eye-opener is has been for me.

Before this trip, I would have thought that China was reasonably under-developed. What with all the Communism, you probably would not be blamed for thinking that. However, it turned out, it was me that was under-developed. Located along the Pearl river, Guangzhou is the third largest city in China, and some estimates place the population of the entire Pearl River Delta population built up area as high as 40 million including Shenzhen, Dongguan and most parts of Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhongshan and other smaller areas which I am unable to pronounce.

Before I left, someone asked me how long I would be staying in Guangzhou. When I told them 6 days, they remarked that I would not have anything to do and would be bored. If anyone thinks that Guangzhou is boring, they clearly have not done their research! In my own version of Lonely Planet (Dominique Kee Photography Edition), please take a walk with me in my 1 week trip to Guangzhou, China.

The First Day

The First Day was remarkably busy. We wanted to get the sightseeing out of the way before the shopping began. Do you know the sun rises at 6.30am and set at about 7.15pm there? That meant we woke up at 7am everyday to leave the hotel by 8am. By 8am, the sun was up and about like it was 11am in Kuala Lumpur, burning us in the Guangzhou summer heat and humidity.

Saturday Morning, 27th August 2011: First stop for us - Dim Sum breakfast. What? We are in China after all.   

Please click on the photos for the full sized picture.

After breakfast, we needed to walk-off the lovely dim sum. We headed down to Yuexiu Park which was located across the road. We wanted to check our the Guangzhou Museum, which was built out of the refurbished Zhenhai Tower, located in the middle of Yuexiu Park. 

Please click on the photos for the full sized picture.

Located within the same park was the statue of the 5 Goats. The granite Statue of the Five Goats is located in the west part of Yuexiu Park in central Guangzhou and was erected in 1959 to honor the city's symbol. Legend has it that 5 celestial beings brought 5 goats into Guangzhou. The goats were all carrying rice, which symbolized that they would make sure that the area would always be free of famine. Guangzhou has paid tribute to these benevolent goats by making them the symbol of the city. There are many goat statues in this "Goat City" and the Statue of the Five Goats is the most impressive.

Please click on the photos for the full sized picture.

Since most things are within walking distance in Guangzhou, we proceeded to head straight to the Famous Mausoleum of the Nan Yue King. This is a musuem built directly over the actual tomb itself, which is more than 2,000 years old and plays host to various funeral antiquities and other artifacts from the Han Dynasty. The chap in the tomb? The Second King of Nanyue, Zhao Mo, who as history goes, due to his sickly and weak natures, his Majesty was obsessed with longevity. Unfortunately, as with many 2,000 year old sciences, it was fatally flawed. He instructed his medical staff to prepare ‘medicine’ with poisonous substances such as Red Cyanide and other precious gems. Of course, this had the opposite effect his Majesty had hoped for.

The Tomb itself is impressive but compact. Approximately 11 metres long and 12 metres wide, this was no Pyramids of Giza. The Tomb was divided into seven parts, one of which was for 15 courtiers buried alive with him to serve him in death. Obviously everything of interest was removed and replaced with a lighted signboard explaining what was found in the particular rooms.

The body of the King himself was disintegrated beyond medical/taxidermy assistance but he left behind a wealth of artifacts for us to pay money and ogle at, including his unique, one-of-a-kind jade garment which experts claim may be the only one of its kind.

Please click on the photos for the full sized picture.

On the way back to the hotel, we happen to chance upon a local street market in action. Since this was a great opportunity to check out the workings of everyday life in Guangzhou, we happily checked it out. Turns out, the street markets are located in the alleyways of the flats which make up the general accommodation for the locals. This particular one snaked almost 3 kilometres of back alley. Amazing! There was a huge assortment of goods on sale there, from meat, vegetables and fruits, to street food and household utensils, to... snake meat! Gutted fresh in front of you. Lovely.

Please click on the photos for the full sized picture.

Finally, sun down. We acquired a list of salsa places to dance in throughout the week. Saturday was at Qba, Westin Hotel, located at the upmarket Tianhe District of Guangzhou. Dancing was cool and fast paced, and accompanied by a great live band with an incredibly sexy front-woman (who looks amazingly like Maggie Q). We also made a few friends that night. Thank you Jessica, for your great hospitality and introducing us to your lovely friends. We will defintely extend the same to you when you drop by Malaysia for a visit! 

If you ask me, I think we flew the Havana Estudio / Malaysia flag really really well that night. ;-)

 Please click on the photos for the full sized picture.

Thanks for viewing! The adventure continues in Part 2!

For a quick link to the other parts in this Series, kindly click on the hyperlinks below:

For those of you who like statistics:
Vital Stats for September: 1 post 127 pics
Vital Stats So Far: 102 posts 3,990 pics

Disclaimer: The views published in the above photoblog are the author's and the author's alone. If readers are not agreeable with the above views, well, you can bugger-off. All rights are reserved for the photos and the article itself. This article may be reproduced with permission of the author for private or public usage, or other forms of general mayhem. Any unauthorized usage of the images or articles contained therein is expressly prohibited and violators will be prosecuted with the full force of Malaysian law applicable. Thank you for reading this disclaimer.

No comments:

Post a Comment