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!
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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2 Replies to “Day 292-293 of 400: Guangzhou and Hong Kong – China”
Thats my Hometown and you spent all the time in the hotel? If it wasnt 20 hour trip from Columbus, Ohio i would go there more often. Did you atleast see victoria peak? The Bruce lee Statue? Well Guangzhou is where my dad side of the family is from, do you believe my family owns a mountain there? Anyways great pictures!!
Columbus Ohio Pest Control
Karl the BugMan
Nice neck buddies!!!