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Published: June 27th 2005
Firstly, in gratitude of my granduncle’s great hospitality, I must list the number of places he brought me to visit within a short frame of 2 days:
珠江夜游，北京路， 广州 exhibition & convention centre, 越秀山，中山纪念堂，陈家祠，宝墨园，白云山，上下九步行街，沙面，白天鹅酒店, 500 luohans, liu rong temple
Btw, My granduncle is 73 years old, but more fit than I am! He climbs up and down winding paths in hills and parks without a sweat!!
I was fortunate enough to stay with my granduncle’s family and see for myself the lifestyle of the typical middle-income local (especially the older age group. haha). Despite the mosquitoes and the very hot weather, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my granduncle lived in an environment comparable to the local condominiums complete with the clubhouse (which he is very proud of).Elderly in GZ certainly like to live it fit and active, a trend that is evident from the throngs of elderly flooding residential gardens and public parks in the morning, practising wushu, dancing, exercising, strolling…
And certainly, elderly there enjoy immense benefits --- public transport (MTR, bus) and public parks are FOC for all above 65.
However, security in the city is still worse as compared to Singapore
or HK. I sighted 2 pickpockets, one on a bus and one at the exhibition centre, within the two days in the city. This problem is similar to that of Shenzhen, whereby we were repeatedly told to ‘keep our bags close to ourselves ‘ in case of pickpockets and robbers (as a result Becky and I were clutching on to our handbags the whole time we were out on the streets shopping). Also, the problem of counterfeit notes in Shenzhen is bad enough for all cashiers and shopkeepers to scrutinize every single note you pay before handing you the goods.
The Funniest Moment:
When we alighted from the train at the Guangzhou train station, I saw a thin old man (my granduncle) wearing a big white cap, oversized sunglasses and a bright red shirt with a white waist pouch. And what’s best is that he was holding up his umbrella; there was a piece of paper attached at the top of his umbrella. The paper read: 苏非卢… lll
The most special experience:
Must have been seeing the excavations of ancient pathways from Ming, Song, and earlier dynasties that were built one layer
on top of the other. These findings were discovered while refurbishing the now modern and bustling Peking Street that is a thriving shopper’s paradise. It is now a permanent exhibit in the midst of some sections of the street, making one think twice about the history of the path we’re threading on. Seeing the juxtaposing of the present and the past gave the place a very distinct, quaint flavour.
Despite the sweltering heat, which had me dripping from head to toe in perspiration while shopping, i enjoyed the great hospitality and familiarity of the city. The taste of the food, and the people.. its certainly close to home. And of cos, i enjoyed the wonderful scenery dining at the peak of baiyun mountain and cruising down zhujiang at night. One of my favorite attractions has to be the 500 luohans in a temple near shang4xia4jiu3 bu4 xing2 jie1. There were 500 different luohan statues all in different positions and epxressions (lifesize) displayed in the temple. WOAHZ...
Will be looking forward to exploring guangzhou more!
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