Many of my fondest memories of Guangzhou are associated with the time I spent with Xiujuan at Shamian Dao... This island is very romantic, especially at night... A former European colonial enclave in South China's biggest city, Shamian Dao is the perfect kind of place where East and West can come together in a marvelous harmony of ecstasy and bliss...
KCR Railway to Hong Kong
Kowloon Canton Rail (KCR) train will go several times a day between Guangzhou East Railway station and Hung Hom station in Hong Kong. East railway station is easily reached by metro and the station is new, shiny and clean. You can buy the tickets from the ground floor (or from your hotel or any travel agency in the city) and you enter the waiting hall from the second floor. There are a lot of signs in English, so there's no chance of getting lost. The station really resembles more an airport than a traditional train station with passport control, customs and tax free shops.
Trains are not very cheap (one way about 180 RMB), but they're convenient and rather new. They will sell some food and beer in the train. There's not much difference between first and second class, no reason to put your money on the first class ticket. KTT trains are newer than the Chinese trains, but both are okay.
If you want to get to Hong Kong cheaper, you can take a local train to Shenzen, walk over the border and take a local train to Hung Hom.
Check the link for a timetable:
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
Just south of the Yuexiu Park you can find the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. The Flower Pagoda is a cool structure in the form that I expected to see all over China but didn't!! As Guanzhou was my first city to visit I was quite excited to see the tower and looked forward to the many more towers to see...hahah Never saw another one...
I have the ticket for my entrance to the tower but I'm not sure how much it cost...I don't think it was that much though. There are some nice views of the city from the top. Also the Banyan trees are no longer there. The Temple itself was built in the 6th Century. It's amazing that it survived all these years and especially the Mao Era as he was into tearing these beautiful buildings down!
"I think we're all a little crazy"
If some one told me I'd enjoy running up the side of a mountain, through bushes, hen farms, and other such crazy places, I would of told them they were nuts. I also would never have expected to drink beer out of bedpans, but that's exactly what I've been doing in Guangzhou. Every Saturday we meet, run like mad people in rural Guangdong, and then drink beer until the sun goes down. It's not a bad life...but I'll not reveal my hash name...at least...not yet.
"Shiny Happy People"
Organizing fun events is always a good thing. This year we've had an 800th Hash (accompanied by a Guy Fox after party) and a Christmas Hash. Special events are always a good way to meet to people, or get reaquainted with old friends. Plus, we get cool t-shirts, which is always a bonus.
This Christmas, we organized a Christmas Hash to do some fundraising for a local charity. Steph and I were in charge of the "Spirit" factor of the run, and poor Paul (aka Soggy) was the lucky winner of a morning with us to set the trail. We were keen to go, and he, unfortunately, had too many tsing dao's the night before. Well, a Santa hat cures all....
We thought it would be a good idea to give back to the Guangzhou community, so the Hash organized a fundraiser to raise money for the China-US Medical Foundation. It was a good day of running, drinking, and Christmas cheer. Even the toughest of people found it hard to resist the Christmas Spirit, so we ended up with about 60 people on the Hash. The best thing of all was that the money we raised will go to help kids in need. Aww, what a bunch of NICE people we are...
"Have Friends, will travel...."
Sometimes we like to leave behind the pollution of Guangzhou and go out to the Guangdong countryside. The first, and only, away hash I've ever been on was set by someone who thinks 2 hours is a short run...and that person was not me. However, we got to run in a beautiful setting and spend some "quality" time with some good people. Sounds like, sounds like...
"Red Dress Hash"
Once a year there a special event called the Red Dress Hash. There's a story behind it that I don't know, but essentially everyone, men included, get together and where red dresses and run around.
Fun, funny, yes, and yes...
Surprisingly, some men even look great in a dress.
While I included everyone for my birthday, in typical hash form I was put on ice. Luckily, as it was my brithday, and as I am Canadian, I was supplied with a heafty amount of beer.
The only problem was, half of it was other people's beer that they spilt on my head.
Ahh the life of a hasher.