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Published: March 31st 2018
I am happy to be back to China after about two years but, this time, it will be a travel/work/study experience.
At my arrival in Guangzhou Baiyun airport, I had an inconvenience, my luggage was delayed and I had to go back to the airport the day after to pick it up.
That was not enough, when I caught the metro to go to the hostel I booked, it seemed that the address I had was incorrrect because looking on my phone app the place was in front of me but there was no sign of the accommodation, none knew this place, I walked around the area to see if I could find it but with no success and at the end I found out a hotel near the metro station Meihuayuan.
The place was very plain but also quiet and frequented by Chinese guests only, so the staff at the reception did not speak english but I managed to get my room and that was a good start in practising my Chinese.
Guangzhou is a very chaotic city and I found on internet some places to escape a bit the hastle a bustle of this giant
I would recommend to anyone visiting guangzhou to spend some time in the lovely little village of "Xiaozhou".
It is reacheable by bus, I first got the metro line number two (blue) to Nanzhou Zhan, from there just walked outside of the station and saw a bust stop in front of the exit of the metro station and from there I jumped on a bus (you can either catch the bus number 35 or 86 to Xiaozhoucun "Cun" means village.
When I arrived at the village, before I had to pass an uninteresting market selling some vegetables and dried fruits but nothing special and a series of typical chinese restaurants but you will also see the signs pointing you to the village.
When I have the chance to visit a village I never lose it. I like the slow pace lifestyle the "Cunren" people have and that feeling of peace and harmony that pervade the place.
I was there just after the Chinese new year and the tiny streets still had the marks of the celebrations with many heaps of red shreds from the blown fireworks spread around the village that seemed like a
The old traditions are always observed here, outside of each house I could see burning incense which was thought to purify the space where people live in and to create a tranquil ambiance. Aside of the incense were some pieces of food like, mandarin rind, drink, flowers that are common offering made to a revered person, as a sign of respect.
On the trees there were red ribbons that covered almost the entire plant and are hung up so that someone express a wish and hope to have a lucky life.
But even in these lovely places modernization has arrived and a good number of modern cafes, clubs, bars, restaurants and souvenirs shops appeared in front of me.
The contrast between the modern shops and the old ones is a bit weird, in a way, in such a hidden place within a huge metropolis like Guangzhou.
I then went to explore the outer part of the village but there were only typical chinese shops in which I did not have much interest and an old bus station with some smashed bus covered in dust.
I enjoyed my time here and there is
quite a lot of nature considering the fact that I was in a city of nearly twenty million people, without doubt a place that must not be missed out if visiting Guangzhou.
The other spot I have been visiting during my stay in Canton was the Baiyunshan "Shan" means mountain.
I must say it is a great place to escape the horrendous pollution cloaking the city. I was pretty close to the "Shan" mountains from where I slept and I could just walk to reach the entrance. Even here there is a fee that has to be paid, in China it is rare to find out a place where the admission is free. It was only a few "Yuan" anyway. Although there were hordes of tourists, it is for sure a good place for a bit of respite, breathing some fresh air and to regenerate yourself.
There are some interesting sites to see along the way up to the "Moxing summit". The steles park is very pretty and it is possible to admire the different types of chinese writing from ancient chinese characters to traditional chinese that tell you about the history of
this place. Also to remember the lovely pavillions that can be seen along the way are really worth to look at and sitting inside on a hot day for some shelter.
I just do not mention the ubiquitous street vendors that are present on every road and bother you all the times in trying to sell you some of their stuff. Even the tourists made me a bit tired at some point with their "hello" that was coming out of my head, after a while.
At some point, I spotted a steep trail entering in a deserted area, I tried to follow that and I immediately felt much much better.
It was the other slope of the mountain which is the least visited one and, in my opinion, the most beautiful one.
The trail was not well paved, no signs, no annoying people, a gentle stream flowing downward disappearing into the wood, bamboo plants bending over and forming like a canopy protecting me from the sunrays of the hot day,the twittering of the birds keeping me company along the way, that is the kind of place that I look for when I try to evade from
the noisy and stressful daily life of a big city.
When I am alone inside the nature is like absorbing positivity from it, makes me feel better, that feeling of peace and harmony that everyone can have even though, nowadays, not all the people have the time to discover it again.
I then approached the easter gate entrance and I felt relieved when saw some street vendor because I was thirsty, really need a bottle of water and something to eat before heading buck to the hustle and bustle of the center.
I always appreciate those people with their tuk tuk carrying numerous seasonal fruits that makes the little streets full of colours. I was attracted by those little mandarins and bought a full bag before catching the bus and went away nibbling them.
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