Guangzhou – Back in Mainland China

After my trip to Macau and Hongkong I somehow enjoyed coming back to mainland China – everything seems more relaxed and slower than in hectic Hongkong.

On my first day, I went to the Yuexiu Park after I had a quick look at the huge memorial hall that was built in remembrance of Sun Yat-Sen. The park was huge and the hot and humid air caused me to take rests more often and I spent several hours in the area. Before, I had climbed the 54 meter high pagoda Liurong and had strolled a market nearby. It featured tortoises and frogs, I also could see fresh fish, even though it was cut apart, the fish’s hearts were still beating. It is said that Cantonese people eat everything, and in the northern part of China their distinction between pet, vermin, reptiles and food is different, some people from the north even find it disgusting to think about what their counterparts in the south put on the table.
Much of these food is supposed to have some medical effect, so on my second day in Guangzhou I went to a street market that besides living animals was also featuring dried snakes and seahorse.

Dried snakes in a street market
Dried snakes at a street market.

Just south of this streetmarket lies Shamian island, once the only place where Westerns were allowed to do trade with Chinese merchants. Today some of the colonial buildings remain but the narrow streets are filled with Chinese rather than foreign life: In the park area groups of people were dancing, singing, playing potaca, chatting, and some were even swimming in the Pearl River that I had crossed by ferry (1 yuan) to get to the island from my youth hostel.

Shamian Island in Guangzhou
Activities near the Pearl River on Shamian Island.

I could not leave Guangzhou totally without missing its history: About 2000 years ago the Yuexiu king was buried here, along with concubines, cooks and other servants. However the tomb was mostly intact when it was discovered in the early 80s when apartment buildings were supposed to be build there. Unfortunately the day I went to there were no entrance fee, so there were quite a few people but the visit was definitely worth it.

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One Response to “Guangzhou – Back in Mainland China”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    yal krazy!

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