Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guangzhou Day 4 and 5:

It was bright and sunny in Guangzhou on the 4th.We could see some people startet to take off their jackets and etc. but that was not the point that I tried to share with all of you. This time around we visited the The Chen Clay Temple. According to a not-so-sure-its-realibility-source......
"Walking through The Chen Family Temple is almost like walking through a living museum. It was built by the Chen family members from all over Guangdong Province at the end of the 19th century during the Qing Dynasty. There are a total of 19 buildings on the property, most of which now house various artifacts and artworks on display include porcelain, fine paintings, and carvings of ivory and jade. The design is an excellent example of Southern China architecture. The temple was built for worship as well as used to house Chen family members who came from all over the province to sit for the imperial examinations." After that, we spent our remaining three hours in Shangxia Jiu Walking Street. It wasn't our first time for my brother and I since we already shopped there the night before. Unfortunately, what saddens me the most was I wasted an hour waiting for nothing and not being able to shop till I drop. Urgh!!!!!!!!!!! Why? Herm...I think I will just pass that one.

Since our flight was on 1.15am on the 5th of February, we could say that our journey had already ended on the day before. We spent almost six hours in the airport waiting and did nothing. Plus, the flight was delayed for another thirty-minutes. All the waiting somehow ended when we took off and I slept soundlessly throughout the way. To sum it up, the trip to Guangzhou was worth it. How I wish I brought more cash with me so that I could really shop till drop. However, coming to Guangzhou on the Chinese New Year was not a brilliant idea after all. Many shops here are closed on that and might last for week or two. But not to worry much, fashionistas! Shangxia Jiu Shopping Streets and Beijing Road are at your service and were certified as the best retail therapy in this third largest state in China! So a piece of advice to any of you all that planning to pay a visit to Guangzhou:
1) Bring a lot of cash. As for Malaysian or New Zealanders, you might have the chance to taste the feeling of being a millionaire in here since the currency here is a bit lower. (p/s: RM 1 = Yuan 2). So, before you purchase anything, divide the price into two (if you’re Malaysian) and you will get the actual Malaysian price for the stuff you are buying. If you don’t like it still, try to negotiate and get better price on your own. It might be your lucky day!
These are little something that you need to know about Guangzhou:
1) There is an idiom that goes, “If you want to eat, you need to come down to Guangzhou”. This is because the Guangzhou people are infamous for their cooking especially ‘chap pu’ (the pickled radish), and even dishes based on snakes and dogs!!!!
2) People here beliefs that jade should be worn on the right side because it is good for hearts.

So as for next destinations, perhaps Beijing, Shenzhen or Ho Chi Minh.Oh yeah!! Start saving folks!! When I think about it again, my parent and I are leaving to overseas again next wear. And surprisingly, we are going to visit two countries in ten days: Gold Coast, Australia and of course Auckland, New Zealand!! Can't wait to be back!

Guangzhou Day 3:

I hate the third day because it did not started out good at first. We should have been spending the days shopping in the Digital town, Leather, Fabric and etc, however most of the shops we closed since it was the New Year. Therefore, like it or not, we spent the day taking photo in front of the concert hall, the Guangdong museum in Zhujiang district, which was the ‘outlet’ of the previous museum and the government sponsored jade shop. Let me first start with the museum. Unlike other museums I have even been to, this one compiled the Chinese artistry from the ancient till now. It was all about China or Canton from floor 1 till the fourth floor. There was not so much about others. Anyway, let’s just keep the Dinosaur area as an exception, okay? After done with that ‘school trip’ we went to hunt for jades. But before that, we refuelled ourself by having lunch first. Unlike the day before, this time around we had our lunch at another Muslim Restaurant called, Xinyue Muslim Restaurant. Most of the Muslim Chinese in here originated from the northern China, which somehow closed to Russia. So, some of them involved in an inter marriage with the Russian. What a fusion! Despite of their origins, the food there was not really as finger lickin’ good as KFC. Haha. Yet, I still love the washroom though. It showed luxurious, elegant and upper class. Lovin’ it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next stop was the local government sponsored jade shop. Since the infamous gem in China is jade, we could say that every tourist that comes here will add jade into their must-have checklist. This was where all the fun starts and of course the expenditure as well. Like always, I wasn’t interested with this kind of thing so you could say that I was caught in this situation. Anyhow, we were treated as the VIP of the day throughout our visit there. We were given a VIP pass and also brought to a VIP lounge. In there, we were introduced to their boss, which was having a good day of his life (money, money)!! Since it was New Year and he finally got himself a new born baby boy, he was very happy about our arrival and gave us each a jade necklace (not the expensive one though) and of course a very low price for all of the items in the store (really? I still doubt that). Funny thing was, our tourist guide told them that I knew some Mandarin (I guess, I’ve written 50 phrases altogether, yet does it count as ‘some’?), and all of the staffs were excited about the fact and started to converse with me in English. They wanted me to teach them English and they would teach me Mandarin in exchange. The girls there kept on asking me to buy necklace for my girlfriend, but as everyone in this universe acknowledged, I don’t have any. So, why should I right? This fact somehow gave one of them hope to try me out (is it use correctly?) So I ended giving her my e-mail address. At least, she can teach me mandarin! And I really need that. It made me wonder though...Am I a chick magnet? Haha. Very funny. I am not Wang Lee Hom, okay! (I am just a simple guy, with no sports talent or charm. And above of all, I am only 164 cm.)
Later in the evening, my brother and I went to wander around Shangxia Jiu Shopping Streets. The thing is we don’t know that the street was called as Shangxiu Streets until the next day. We had so much fun there. I shopped till I only had 9 yuen left. It was very disappointing since I found better items in here compared to Beijing Road (where I already spent most of money there). So I pleaded my parent to lend me some money to enjoy my shopping days in Guangzhou to the fullest. We experienced a language barrier but I believed when it came to shopping the best tool for communication would be the calculator and your ability to bargain of course! Sadly, I couldn’t bargain much since most of the items where I got my apparel were outlet stores. And again, I was the laughing stock for the night because of the language barrier. Since I forgot to bring my Ipod with me to jot down all of my expenditure, I asked to borrow a pen from one of this store and suddenly all of the sales assistants came to me to see what I had written and started to laugh on it. I am still figuring out the cause of the laughter though. Herm........

Guangzhou Day 2:

It was 10 degrees or so and I only brought a jumper with me. So, I was in need of shopping. However, the second day in Guangzhou began with a visit to The Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. This place was built in the....
“1931 on the original site of Sun Yat-Sen's Presidential Office at Yuexiu Park. It is one of Guangzhou's major landmarks. Dr Sun Yat-Sen was the founder of the Chinese Nationalist Party and was originally from Cuiheng Village in Guangdong Province. He was largely responsible for the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the formation of the Republic of China in 1911 and also served as the first President of the Republic. The impressive hall is used for meetings and performances and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. There is a small museum behind the hall.” *the excerpts were taken from a source in the internet.
I got myself quite a selection of souvenirs there. You can scroll further down for the items purchased. And you know what, I like them all. I have been dying to possess either Chinese calligraphy or painting for ages now. Well, I could say that I sometimes have the eyes for the art too. Later, we continued or day to the other attraction in Guangzhou which is the Temple of Five Celestials Beings. Well, the details are like the one mentioned below. Have fun reading it!
“Built in the 1300s, this temple is famous for its big bell from the Ming Dynasty. According to legend, there were five celestial goats that brought rice and the knowledge of rice cultivation to the local people. Having wished the locals bumper harvests for the future, the immortals rose to the sky and disappeared. The goats turned into stone statues, hence the name of Guangzhou as Yangcheng (City of Goats) and Suicheng (City of Rice Ears). The Five Celestials Shrine houses the footprints of the immortals and is located in Yuexiu Park.”
*the excerpts were taken from a source in the internet.
The time is now! It’s Beijing Road (Lu) and whenever people say mentioned this road, there will be only one word in your mind, “SHOPPING”!!! This road is well known for its pedestrian streets that filled with shops and of course it is located in the heart of Guangzhou city. If you notice enough, there are also some preserved old roads buried in the street. You can see it down under the ancient Guangzhou road. Pretty amazing right! Setting apart the hustling shopping area, they are still keeping track of their histories with them. Well, in my opinion, they are actually thanking the elders for leading them to what they are now....and maybe the Five celestials goats as well.
At night, we took a walk around the hotel by ourself. My parents stopped to buy some winter clothes. My mum got herself a fury coat and it made me wonder what it was made of. Hopefully it was not made out of dog’s fur! Haha. The fun began when I was turned into a laughing stock for giving out the cent note to pay for the purchased items. They tried their best to get me understand the situation but unfortunately, “Wo pu ming poi!”. At that time, I was really hoping to have Mr. Kit around explaining the situation to us.

Guangzhou Day 1:

“Wow”, I supposed I forever interjected this expression whenever I think of my golden ticket to Guangzhou. ‘Xia Xia Ni, Pa Pa’, ‘Xia Xia Ni, Ma Ma’ and ‘Xia Xia Ni, Air Asia’!!! I cannot thank these people much for allowing me to fly and land in Guang djou (State of Guang). Thanks Kami-sama! The six hours flight with Air Asia was pretty tiring, considering there was a Chinese boy yelling and crying from my back throughout the journey. Kids, right. What can we say more! It made me wonder how Marsha was doing at that time. Hope she was not giving her mom a hard time. Haha.
We arrived to our destination at 8.20pm. And to be truthful, when I first got there...let’s just say the impression was not as I expected. The immigration officer simply put on her sourest face and on top of all, NOT RESPONDING TO ME WHENEVER I CONVERSE IN ENGLISH. And I was like, “What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so in trouble this time. Never in my life, I felt this disappointed. I was scared to be lost in translation. And it ended to be just exactly as I thought from the day onwards. Still, I should be thanking my colleague in Oxford Language Centre, Pao for giving me few lessons in Mandarin. At least I could say, “Wo pu yau”! And of course, not to forget, the other side character of this story, Mr Kit, our tourist guide. I could say that we were quite lucky since our travel agent, Al- Quds managed to find us a tourist guide that can speak Malay (well it was Indonesian to be exact) from their counterpart. “ Capet ya!”, “Bisa”, “Tokoh” and “Hapet”, those are some of the words that I managed to pick up from him. Well, I should say, “There goes nothing”. The funniest part was, whenever we converse with him, it sounded like duck and chicken conversing to each other. A lot of misunderstanding and confusing going on yet we managed to resolve it after all. Precious right?
It took us almost thirty minute to reach Duobao hotel. It was a three stars hotel but that did not bother me at all. I was not there for the stars anyway. still, the hotel was not that bad for a three stars. And most importantly, I got my own bed and it was so HUGE and FLUFFY!!! And of course, HOT SHOWER’S AVAILABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!