This morning we got to the airport and on our flight to Guangzhou. We had the day to spend in Guangzhou before needing to get on our train to Hong Kong. Our guide drove us straight to the city where we walked through the massive crowds of people shopping at various stores. We noticed tons of large warehouses full of shoes and clothes, it seemed to be a major trading hub where everything is made…exported and imported.
We went to the place they told us to have lunch and surprise, surprise it was awful mass-produced tourist slop. I think it was one of the worst we’ve had…we definitely didn’t leave full.
After lunch we drove over to the Chen Clan Academy which had amazing architecture. It is an important heritage site for China and was used to house Chen family members from all over the province to take imperial examinations. The detail in the building was really impressive…the style is folk art with classic Lingnan architecture. There were colorful figures all hand-made decorating the roof-tops and huge massive doors opening into 4 additional courtyards. Each building or hall in the various courtyards held all kinds of crafts…stone, brick, wood and ivory carvings as well as paintings, pottery sculptures and embroidery. The building itself was amazing but all of the arts and crafts inside were also quite entertaining. One of the exhibits entailed all kinds of dragon sculptures in preparation for 2012…the year of the dragon which was our favorite. We stopped in the little souvenir shop before leaving and couldn’t resist buying a few little copper buddha’s to add to our around the world collection.
We only had time for one more quick stop so drove the few minutes over to Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. It was a monument built-in honor of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen who was a great leader of the Chinese democratic revolution. Inside…in the hallway, there is a timeline of history showing the events and impact Dr Sun Yat-Sen had on the Chinese people…it includes letters, pictures and other relics. Once past the hallway, the main room is a huge theater looking place which holds performances and important conferences. We spent only a brief amount of time reading some of the documentation (what we could find in English) and asking questions about him to our guide.
It seemed like we had only been there for a short amount of time when our guiding was nudging us to get back to the car…we needed to beat the traffic to the train station. We got there, grabbed a coffee and found our train. The train ride was only about 2 hours and when we arrived a nice couple assisted us with how to get to the area of Hong Kong we needed to go to. We ended up taking a taxi straight to our hotel where we checked in amongst the many people in the lobby.
The hotel was large and modern with many restaurants connected to it. Our room wasn’t so big but was clean and had all the necessities. I of course elevated my foot since I had been walking around on it all day and Giff went walking around for a bit to check out the area. He came back with a large pizza and bottle of wine which was a nice way to end our busy day.
Unfortunately, even though we have these 2 days in Hong Kong…we are not getting to see the city. We decided to stay in today and catch up on blog work and computer stuff while taking advantage of the downtime with my ankle elevated. After our full day of “work”, we went to a little bar in the hotel to have a beer and a snack before dinner. After snack time, we walked over to one of the restaurants connected to the hotel for sushi. Dinner was pretty good, we walked around the lobby a bit and then went back to our room for the evening. Tomorrow we leave for Singapore!