2 things that wil save you indignity & get you far
1st Big tip about Guangzhou and the rest of China. You cant guarantee a quality toilet in Guangzhou even at quality restaurants. Do not try and pick the goods ones from the bad ones, you will just end up haveing a crappy nappy. Some toilets in Guangzhou are the squat down toilets that break you knees for ***ting and just feels totally wrong to most westeners, and to make it worse sometimes, no toilet paper is provided. 3 things. Make sure you force your load out at home before you venture out. Always and I mean always bring a fist of toilet paper. Being used to different types of food, you are bound to want a toilet at any given time or place. When ever at a restaurant, make sure to check their toilets out whether or not you need to go so you can remember for next time if it is an acceptable place to release your aft cargo bay doors.
2nd Biggest tip about Guangzhou is, when you are at dinner with other Chinese people and if you are the youngest at the table within reason. Make sure you are the one filling up cups of hot tea and dont let someone else try to do it. This is a fantastic way of showing your superiors and elders respect. What I love about Guangzhou is the FOOD. I know we have chinese food overseas, but its just not the same.
Karaoke night is the classic stereotypical entertainment activity on the Pacific rim, and at some point you will likely get invited to one of these venues... I was fortunate to have some friends who are actively involved in the emerging Chinese gay community and went out for a night of karaoke singing with them... Chinese gay men love to sing love songs by female vocalists and they have a natural talent for imitating their sound that is uncanny! As for me, I sang a rendition of Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe" with Xiujuan...
Terra Cotta Warriors & Horses Of Emperor Qin
Our tour coach stopped at a Porcelain Factory and Sales/ Showroom, two fold purpose to hopefully sell some porcelain bowls and ornaments and fora toilet break.
The stop was for an hour and it so happened that there were 4 Terra Cotta Warriors on exhibit in a special temperature controlled enclosure. We were informed we could only have 4 minutes with the Terra Cotta Warriors, the remaining 56 minutes were allocated to the Porcelain Showroom.
The "Warriors" were fantastic, just the sort of thing I was hoping for , but not expecting on this day trip. What a bonus, even though restricted to 4 minutes. We were not allowed photos of the warriors but I did take some photos of the huge advertising boards.
Night Time Climbin'
"Summer Adventruous Park in Baiyun Mt"
Baiyun Mt, 7.5 km from central GZ, means white coulds in English,though the summit is only 382 meters above sea level. It is one of the top resorts at weekends for everyone try to come up to catch more fresh air. It's called the Lung of the City.
I decided to do the summit this Thursday. It's not a rush or random decision. It would be also part of my work-out plan for KK Mt, MY in Oct, which is the tallest Mt in SE (or I just put it as King Mt in Asia?) Right after my boss' stepped out of the buidling who's leaving office earlier in the afternoon I dialled 160 for the Info Service Center to confirm the bus info. There is a bus stop right opposite to No.2 High School near Dongfengzhong Rd, my working place, where I can take Bus Travel Line 1 for 4 stops to Yuntai Gardern, one of the entrance to the Mt. And it only cost me RMB2.
I chose to get off at LianQuan Rd, another entrance with more stairs on the way up. Yet I missed the stop coz my boss kept on bugging me at phone. From the place I got off finally and had to walk over 500 meters and cross a couple of blocks. To make it more worse, it started to drizzling. As I had expected poor weather condition the moment I walked out of my office but I thought my umbrella was left in my home the other night. According to my running record at college I could just have finished it, like less than 80 secs, but had better refrain, roller-skating on Tuesday night, my butt's killing me.
Before long the drizzle stopped and the Sun came out a little bit. Hmmm, not so fast! A few minutes later it rained bucket when I was on the access ramp. (So It never rains but it pours?) I took shelter from a big old tree but it dripped from the leaves and got me all wet in no time. It was the very last minute my umbrel was found, right there lying in a lower compartment of my pack.
It's dinner time,the ticket booth became shelter for those who were descending. It was already 1835 the rain giving no sign to take a break. Apparently patience is not in my blood, I grabbed the ticket and headed to Baibu Ti, a-hundred-step stairs. (A hundred steps? I should have had counted.)
I'd brought a change of clothing but not change of shoes. So had to take my shoes off. I was holding my umbrel in one hand and the other my shoes, my bag against my stomach, and I was sweating like a ... Oh NO, the phone rang again ...... Definitely the least romantic moment I have ever had.
15 minutes later it ran out of the steps, I saw some blacktop where leads to Summer Adventruous Park, a place one could take Bungee Jumping, rock climbing and other out-of-breath outdoor activities. To give me mercy, the rain stopped.Water on the ground was flushing to a lower land, the blacktop started to cut my sole. I took another trail after shoes on, next to where stairs were build up with inlaid cobblestones designed for sole massage, or just to make heard barefoot climbers yelling of pain all over the hill.
It was 1910, road lamps were on. On finishing the stairs, I caught a road sign indicating only 0.2 km from Moxing Summit. As forwarding,the trail was quiet and peaceful. One would not expect it a trail at 7pm but that in another brand new lovely early morning, if one neglected the sunset to the west. Mist was roaming down and came towards to refresh me. The next minute I found myself bathing in the mysteric haze. Every steps I made as to move much closer to a fancy wonderland and it was just there for me.
At the end of the trail is the entrance of Moxing Summit, where another stairs way up for a better view. Another five minutes passed by, when I placed my first step on the top, who was captivated by the beauty of the lights in the central city and the misty air had turned everything into a mirage.
The sky was brushed into scarlet with lightening piercing the vault for some time.
I put myself in an open place with lightening up above and my clothes were soaking all over. Had to find ways out sooner than regrets. A road sign showed me to Yuntian Rd,or called road stretching from the sky, a much easier ramp I thought. It turned out to be a huge mistake. The ramp was connected to a descending stairs with higher steps contributing to more obstacles. Not until I moved my first few steps on the steep stairs did it start pouring again. And it's just one way out. That's why there were set up with handrails, where I could hold on firmly and kept balance. The stairs were slippery, (EEWW~~~, almost stepped on an old fat toat.)I'd to be extremely careful or one step missed I'd become history by rollin' down ahead straight to the valley bottom,the FASTEST & EASIEST SHORTCUT I'd have ever made.
It took me 20 mins to the way out, I was more than overjoyed to see the main blacktop ramp again. It was almost at eight. Take the way to the south and the nightmare was almost over. Let's roll!
It's still not that bad and I'd been day-dreaming all along with a hot tea in my cozy couch at home until a few loose rocks fell down and hit the ground a few meters ahead of my feet due to an unexpected random landslide. Get the hell out of this and the safest way is to walk in the middle.(Shoot! I should have had checked out Tongsheng, a Chinese fortune teller calender to see if it was a badluck day.)
Decending was more tiring and it's also dark and quite, I could almost hear my heartbeat. Not knowing how many minutes had passed, but finally car horn could be heard somewhere not so far away, I was not alone. A SUV crammed with boys came towards to my face for where they could find the way down to the foot. I was shocked and hold my breath 'coz I'd been taking the only descending way, yet they insisted also taking one way drving down from the top. How come! They offered to pick me up and went exploring as accompany. But I could see 3 boys already jamed in the back seats. So no thanks. You go your own way and I will go mine. Later I found I was damn rite. They must had taken the wrong way from another hilltop.
I saw the entrance when it was almost 2100 and I moved to the bus terminal to go back home. My home, sweet home.
I lost my appetite or I would have checked out the restaurant next to the terminal, they provide pettitoes with Renmian, some pickles, my favourite.