Guangzhou

We’re now back in the UK for our summer holidays and with just a few days left I’m sat looking out at the cold damp British weather in late July thinking back to what I’ve forgotten to blog about. So this post is going to be about a trip we made to Guangzhou back in May.

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Guangzhou, China’s forth biggest city and capital of the region Guangdong, is located in south east China on the Pearl River Delta. With the new high speed rail, it’s just 25 minutes away from Shenzhen and costs roughly £6 each.

We stayed for the weekend in a ridiculously cheap Airbnb (£44 ) which was situated right next to the metro and next to a huge theme park called Chimelong Paradise, full of high speed roller coasters and other stomach churning rides. The big showpiece of this city is the Canton Tower, somewhere in the middle (excuse my geographical specifics). At the time of writing, it’s the 2nd tallest tower in the world only to be surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree. There’s a whole host of fun rides at the top of the tower for anyone who doesn’t mind heights!

After eating in some wonderful veggie restaurants and riding the amazing driverless AMP we headed over to Shamian, the old territory which used to house special concessions for France and Britain.

The architecture is reminiscent of British and French colonialism and remains largely untouched, including the Starbucks which could be mistaken for some rich guys house in one of those period dramas.

Inside what I thought was going to be another gift and souvenir shop, I found an amazing labyrinth of antiques from the region and beyond. The selection of ghetto blasters (can we still say that?) was phenomenal and brought back fond memories of recording the charts on a Sunday night on a worn out 90 minute cassette tape. Next time I’m in the area I’ll definitely spend some more time in here as I’m sure I didn’t even touch the surface of what they have available.

During the rest of the day, we wandered around a shopping area close to the Tianhe sports center. There were the usual shops which you’ll find in most Chinese malls but the path down to the Canton Tower was lovely in the May heat. There were plenty of eating and drinking establishments and a whole area dedicated to the fire service, complete with a Simon Snorkle fire engine (I’m sure I had a toy version when I was little). You’ll notice in the pictures below a girl walking a lama wearing a yellow hat. Not something you see every day… but maybe in Guangzhou this is normal?

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Before going here, I’d been given conflicting opinions about Guangzhou and it’s bustling streets and overcrowded malls, but I found it to be a nice place and a welcome change from Shenzhen and Hong Kong. We’ll certainly be visiting again later this year to see some of the areas we missed the first time around.

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