Sunday, March 2, 2014

China - Guangzhou

A "whirlwind" tour of Southern China..

No visit to Southern China would be complete without a night stop in Guangzhou, the nation's fourth largest city.
I've been to Northern China and the visit to Guangzhou adds to my China experience.
We arrived from Zuzhou via high-speed train and was ferried way to the downtown area for a lunch treat in a Muslim restaurant.
The food was really good and there was enough time for the rest of the media crew to file in their stories.
I chilled out and scouted around for prices of goods in this city.
Things are pretty expensive in China even though most of the branded goods are made there.
So, it was just window shopping on my part.
We were taken to the Canton tower and rushed away to a shopping district in the mid-town area after the tower visit.
I was quite pissed off when I get to spend less than five minutes on the observation deck. The excuse was "others need to do their shopping". What the fuck!
Not to be rude to our hosts, I complied.
Mahayuddin my old buddy was complaining about time being wasted shopping as none of the folks had spent their Yuans.

The Canton tower
Lunch time!

Hanging out in the mid-town area..
At the base of the Canton tower

A view of the city
The race against time

After we were done with shopping bit, the team leader had to decide.
It was "skip dinner" and head straight to the Chimelong Circus, about an hour's drive from the downtown area.
By the time we reached the mid-way point, everyone was tired.
Azhar Ghazali's jokes kept everyone upbeat and I had very little expectation of the Circus show.
But things did turn out okay.
We spent two hours at the Circus, entertained and satisfied.
Dinner was arranged at the Chateau Star River hotel near Chimelong.
We were staying in the outskirts of Guangzhou and frankly-speaking, I was beat as hell after a heavy meal.
I got the bellhop to arrange for purchase of mineral water and two cans of Harbin beer as a night cap.

An outfitter in Guangzhou

Lots of decent bicycle shops around..

A hipsters haunt in the mid-town area..
Dancing pachyderm

The encore performance

Clowns jesting around
What a rush! 

We were told to check out by 08:30am the next day and get ready for another round of shopping at Yide Lu (toy street). 
This is where cheap souvenirs are sourced (mostly from wholesale outlets) and the guys were really desperate.
I took advantage of the spare time to do some street photography.

The media team - photo-bombed by a porter

A cargo bicycle in action

Street peddler offering shoe-shine service

Toys at Yide Lu

A bicycle shop in the Yide Lu area

Cycling and walking is a way of life
Waiting for my meal at the Baiyuan airport
After rounding-up the media people, we took off to the airport.
There was a long queue on the check-in counter and when my turn came, my carry-on luggage was overweight and I can bring my model train into the aircraft.
There was a need to improvise and I was a bit worried about my crumpler duffle bag because it has no lock.
So, I took a chance, checked it into the aircraft's cargo bay and wrapped the model train with a fellow reporter's gift.
We did okay pass the CIC counters and the rush was on!
I met my roomie, a reporter from the Oriental Daily having lunch. He said that service was prompt.
The guy was having his meal with the fart-faced business writer from a business daily.
Thinking that I can clear this withing 15-minutes, I took a gamble.
The noodles I ordered came in 25-minutes later.
In record time, I finished my meal and boarded the plane.
It was a five-hour ride back to Malaysia and by the time we landed, I was glad to be home.
After clearing the Malaysian CIC, I took a budget cab back to Subang Jaya and was reunited with my doggies.
Michelle my wife was traveling back from South Korea on the same day.
And for the rest of the week, I had my day off and am looking forward to travel to Taiwan for the Taipei Bike show from March 5 - 9.

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