Total Pageviews

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Guangzhou, China 2011 - Part 4

Today we resumed our wanderlust, starting with the scenic Shamian Island. What is Shamian Island? Besides being an island, albeit a very small one accessible by  a couple of bridges, Shamian is a gazetted historical site and contains strong European colonial elements in their buildings. To add, the tranquility, foliage and presence of old people found on Shamian Island gives the impression of a fancy retirement home.

Please click on the images below for a higher resolution picture

One of the highlights of Shamian Island is the French Catholic Church, Our Lady of Lourdes. Descriptively, it is a quaint little chapel with a lone spiral in front centre, and which looks beautifully colonial European.

Please click on the images below for a higher resolution picture

Strewn all over Shamian Island are numerous parks and recreational spots. Apparently retired Chinese nationals have a fondness for exercise and fitness. One good example is a game of Jianzi, which every elderly Chinese plays, quite skillfully too I might add. Jianzi requires participants, who stand in a circle, to keep a weighted shuttlecock in the air, using only their feet. Those old buggers are particularly agile for a bunch of retirees.

Please click on the images below for a higher resolution picture

Interesting fact: Since the early 2000s, Shamian Island has become well known for the many Western couples who reside there while seeking to adopt Chinese babies and young children, most of whom are orphaned and female. However, from 2007, the Chinese government slowed the rate of adoptions, and as a result the percentage of tourists to Shamian Island who are Westerners has decreased as well. Nevertheless, while having lunch at western restaurant on the Island, we did see this firsthand as several foreign families with adopted Chinese children were eating beside us. Why they would want to do that is beyond me. If they wanted a bunch of Chinese kids, I could have given them my siblings.

Another interesting tourist point of note: Besides the recreational parks all over Shamian, there are also many, many bronze statues, depicting the everyday lives of the locals, such as kids playing and even photographers lining up for a shot. Here a some of the more interesting ones.

Please click on the images below for a higher resolution picture

After browsing around Shamian Island, we walked across the bridge at the far end of the Island, and headed towards the 'notorious' Qingping Market. There was a time when Qingping Market was known for selling exotic meat, including lizards, insects and dogs even. Today, the Chinese government has actively prohibited such practices and Qingping Market today is rather bland compared to it's notorious.

Qingping Market is not one particular 'market'. In fact, it is an entire area, consisting of many rows of shop , each selling different items. For example, Qingping is famous for the medicinal herbs and plants sold there. Cross the road and you'll find home furniture. Cross another row and you'll find pet stores, and so on.

Please click on the images below for a higher resolution picture

After Qingping Market, we headed straight toward another popular tourist destination in Guangzhou, the Chen Clan Academy and Memorial Hall. This place is like a museum in its own right, with various historical artifacts donated by the affluent Chen Clan in China. Amazing. The Malaysian branch of the Chen Memorial Hall is located in Petaling Street. For the uninitiated, the name of the 'Chen' family members in Malaysia are translated locally as 'Tan'.

Please click on the images below for a higher resolution picture

Thank you for viewing!
For those of you who like statistics:
Vital Stats for October: 2 post 541 pics
Vital Stats So Far: 110 posts 4,454 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