I always find it interesting visiting churches in China. Seeing their state of upkeep, local worshipers and geographical location is an interesting comparison. In the run up to Christmas I visited the Shishi Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral. Contrastingly situated in a harsh and bustling street full of wholesalers and stockists for seemingly the whole of inland China to toe to forehead, catching the spire of this church from the main road (exit B1 Haizhi Square Metro - Line 2) and following it to unveil this beautiful old building is a rewarding respite from the shopping and traveling.
Shishi Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral - 石室圣心大教堂
56 Yide Road 一德路旧部前
Visiting hours are Sunday from 7am-6pm. Entry is free.
'Hua nan zhi wu yuan' is situated about 8 kilometers north of Guangzhou city and is the oldest and largest tropical and botanical garden in South Asia. Within China it also contains the most species for a botanical garden.
Escape the hustle and bustle and marvel at the power of nature. This is a great way to spend a morning and was my favourite feature of a four day visit to Guangzhou. It is open from 7.30 - 17.30 and easy to get to and from the city centre by public (RMB2) bus.
A variety of themed gardens make for an intriguing walk around which may take anything from an hour to three. Local photographers gather to practice their skills and document the rare species. Yes, some of the photographic equipment on show was just as stunning.
[Magnolia Garden, Bamboo Garden, Orchid Garden, Medicinal Herb Garden, Palm Garden, Azalea Garden, Camelia Garden, Relic Plant Section, Bromeliad Garden, Ginger Garden, Australia Garden, Energy Plant Garden and more ...]
For an added and worthy RMB40 a ticket for the domineering glass structure in the centre lake of the gardens invites you to see the Tropical Rainforest Conservatory, Desert Plant Conservatory, Alpine and Polar Plant Conservatory and the Rare and Exotic Plant Conservatory.
I strongly recommend this destination as a place to spend some relaxing time walking and getting back to nature. Unspoilt and quiet, beauty in the city.
Tianyuan Road #1190, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
By Bus: B12, 28, 30, 39, 84, 534, 535, 564
By Metro: No. 3 Line to Tianhe Coach Terminal, then transfer to the bus routes above
This is a temple dating back to more than one thousand years ago when Zen introduced to China. I am deeply touched here; people come here to pray, so did I. I seldom have an experience that I am in China after I come to work here, but this time I really know I am in a historical temple in China.
The main god enshrining in the temple is Guanyin, goddess of mercy and the sixth and the last successor of Zen, Master Huineng.
I did not take a lot of picture when I am in the temple, unlike those foreigner visitors. I think that people come here to pray for the future, like the Westerners go to church, and Muslim goes to Mosque. All prayers wish not to be bothered when communicating with their god.
Please simply take metro to Ximen Kou.
As a Taiwanese, I came here to salute to founders of Republic of China, the famous Huanghuagan Battle. Somehow, I found this monument worships more than what I am looking for, they also commemorate founder of PRC.
The park itself is very big, consisting of three areas, including a huge monument holding stone, a tomb containing personal effects of the deceased; and a long way to the main monument. I can tell that the locals come here for daily exercise, I saw a few elders having walks.
Admission fee is RMB5.
Take metro to Martyr Monument station.
This huge building was being built when I visited the Chigang Pagoda back in March 2008. It will eventually become the Guangzhou TV Tower and is due to be completed at the end of 2009, in order to be fully operational for the 2010 Asian Games. It will be some 610 meters (2,001ft) high with 37 floors which will be subdivided into programmatic zones with various functions including: TV and radio transmission facilities, observatory decks, revolving restaurants, computer gaming, restaurants, exhibition spaces, conference rooms, shops and 4D cinemas. Amazing feet of engineering that took my breath away when I saw it.
Directions: Take the metro to Chigang station. Exit the station and you can't miss it!
This lonely pagoda lies in the middle of new apartment blocks to the south of the city centre.
Directions: Take metro to Chigang and walk south down the track past the new TV Tower. Turn right at the main road at the end and the pagoda is one the other side of the road.
Being a crazy panda fan, I would like to dedicate this travel page to the 5 pandas i met at the Xiangjiang Safari Park. They are, simply gorgeous, adorable and very lovable!
The total of 5 pandas, 2 live separately and the other 3 lives together as a family (Papa, Mamma and young panda).
They sleep 50% of their time, eat 30% of their time and only the remaining time doing all the rest! So, if you're going to the Xiangjiang Safari park to watch them, try to reach the panda zone around 10.30 am because according to the park's notice board, that's when they are most active, either playing or eating.
They eat bamboo and bamboo leaves. We noticed they have a pattern of living, based on our short observation when we're there, that the panda will: eat, then drink water, then urine and poo with utmost concentration :D, then rub their back with the stones or wooden poles around and then...SLEEP! Haha! See for yourselve when you're there!
Details of going to Xiangjiang Safari Park:
Located in Guangzhou, Panyu. Yingbin Rd, Dashi Town.
Travel: If by MRT, nearest would be Hanxi Chimelong station
If by buses, can take bus 202, 221, 247, 512, 530 or 562. You will not miss the Xiangjiang zoo bus station because the station is all the way into the zoo front entrance. (Unless you're sleeping.) :) Personally, I take bus 512 from Tienhe Bei Rd and it cost me only $3RMB! My bus trip took me around an hour.
Price: $120 RMB for adult, $60 RMB for kids between 1.1 to 1.4m, $60 RMB for senior citizens 65 years and above but must show ID. Think it's free for kids below 1.1m.
Opening hours: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. I highly recommend that you go early in the morning, when it opens at 9.30 am. Reasons being it will not be too hot to walk around the zoo, it's feeding time around then and you will be able to catch glimpse of the animals when they are still quite active. When it gets to the afternoon, you'll see most of the animals sleeping, boring!
Route: I would recommend you take the free train ride into the safari first (before the queue gets long), then take your time to walk around their pedestrian area. Plan your travel route so that you're able to catch their free animal shows. The white tiger show is quite good.
You do not have to travel far to see Panda, China National treasure, they are right in Guangzhou, Panyu! Located in Panyu, Xiangjiang Safari Park Guangzhou is home for 5 pandas. Beside pandas being the highlight, you will also see many other animals hardly seen in other zoos. Some for examples: White tigers, Koala, Golden eagles and Golden monkeys.
They also have free animal shows at different time of the day, so plan well your travel route to get the most of everything!
As for the place, this zoo is BIG. The place is divided into 2 area, the Drive In area where you hop on into their little train and into their safari area where animals will be roaming near you. You can even drive in using your own car! The other area is the pedestrian area where you walk to different "zones" to see different species of animals, like the African Gallery, Australia zone etc. The place is well managed, clean and have easily understandable signboards. Finding a toilet is not a problem, getting a translator to bring you around the zoo is also not necessary, they have explanation boards in Chinese and English.
If you're interested to visit the zoo, read on my part (II) on how to go and the zoo details.
Last weekend, I went to Zhao Qing's (a part of Guang Dong) famous 4A's tourist attraction: QI XING YAN (Seven Star Crag). It was about 2 hrs plus of car drive from Guangzhou.
It is a beautiful nature reserve, made up of lakes, limestone mountains and caves. Good place to take a break from the hustle and bustle in GZ city and to breathe some fresh air. But the thing about China tourist attractions is that, everything cost money. The entrance fee is RMB$60 and then the temples inside, the boat ride within the park, even crossing one of their bridge cost additional money.
You may engage local guide who will explain the history of QI XING YAN and bring you around the more popular places in the park or you may choose to explore by yourself. The guided tour will take about 4 hrs and it cost us RMB$50 for the tour guide.
So, it's a place you may like to visit but don't expect too much from it. Bring your cap, insect repellent and some sandwiches/food along. Buy snacks only from those stores along the main roads in the park. We bought some boiled eggs and beancurd jelly from a small store away from the main road and they were stale.
After visiting Zhao Qing's 4A's tourist attraction QI XIN YAN, we went around asking where can we pluck lychee since it's the lychee season now. We chanced upon a lady seller and she told us about this place called GAO YAO city and off we go!
Along the big roads in Gao Yao city, we saw many hawkers selling Lychees, and we managed to bargain to have him bring us to the lychee farm for lychee plucking on the condition that we buy at least 15kg of lychee from the farm owner at the price of RMB$3.80 per half kg. Very Cheap!
Wow, first time visiting a lychee farm! Rows of lychee trees as we drove in. The farmer showed us the trees that are ready for harvest and so we pluck the lychees from those trees. Fun, fun fun! We eat as we pluck! In the end, we bought 20 KG back!
That's me in the picture with my harvest, this is one type of Lychee species that although green but it's sweet! It's called Concubine Smile.
The farm I went is : Ìú ¸Ú ¹û ³¡ at ¸ß Òª ÊÐ ½ð ¶É Õò Ìú ¸Ú ´å (TIE GANG GUO CHANG at GAO YAO SHI JIN DU ZHEN TIE GANG CUN)
Museums like Guangzhou Art Museum, Guangzhou Museum, Museum of the Nanyue King of the Western Han Dynasty, Chen jia Ci (Guangdong Folk Art Museum) and other places are free for public on Free Museum Days, which includes 9th Jun, 25th Jul, 29th Aug, 26th. Sept, 10-24, 11-28 and 12-26.
Following are some most popular ones,
Guangdong Art Museum, No. 38, Rd. Yanyu, Ersha Dao
Guangzhou Museum Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu park(however you've to pay the ticket for the park)
Museum of the Nanyue King of the western Han Dynasty No.867, Ave. Jiefang Bei (actully it is quite near MTR at Yuexiu Park Stop)
Chen Jia Ci (MTR) NO. 34, Lane En Long, Ave. Zhongshan Qi
Guangzhou Art Museum No. 13, Rd. Luhu
On the 12th day of every month, an organized gathering of Hakka folks assemble atop a hill in Guangzhou's Yuexiu Park and perform songs from the hill country. These old Hakka performers now live in Guangzhou but once a month they get together and put on a free show featuring singing and dancing like they did long ago in the eastern Guangdong countryside.
If you would like to see this event, go to Yuexiu Park around 09:00 for a front row view.
Hakka hill songs are usually ballads sung by a man and a woman. They take turns responding to each other with lyrics about everyday life observations or even funny riddles. A huge crowd of Hakka hill song fans always show up to support Hakka culture and enjoy the free show. Sometimes Hakkas in the crowd of onlookers will feel moved to start dancing to the rhythms and waving their fans to the beat.
The show usually lasts until just after 11:00 and it takes about 20 minutes of walking from the park's front gate to reach the top of Hakka Song Hill. Be sure to ask for directions to the hill when you purchase your ticket to enter Yuexiu Park.
(To view photos of the Hakka song and dance show please see my related travelogue.)
Walk around the streets turn left or right and visit every street market you'll find . . . it's very interessting . . . you cannot find similar markets in Europe or US . . . and it's quite different to the markets in HK . . .
Wo Yao Qu..... I want to go ....
Huo Che Zhan Railway Station
Fei Ji Chang Airport
Jiu Dian Hotel
Guang Jiao Hui Canton Fair
Ni Cong Na Li Lai? Where are you from?
Ni Hui Jiang Ying Yu Ma? Do you speak English?
You Fan Yi Ma? Is there an interpreter?
Wo Ting Bu Dong I don't understand
Hao Ji Le Excellent
Ni Dao Na Qu? Where are you going?
Jian Dao Ni Hen Gao Xing Very pleased to meet you
Jin Tian Tian Qi Hen Haom The weather is nice today
Wo Yao Mai Zhe Ge I want to buy this
Yi Gong Duo Shao Qian? How much is it all together?
Qing Ba Cai Dan Ge Wo Please give me the menu
Hao Chi Ma? Is it delicious?
Hao Chi Ji Le It is delicious
Wo Yao He Pi Jiu I'd like a bottle of bear
Qing Shuan Zhang May I have the bill, please.
Gan Bei Bottoms up!/Cheers!
Zhu Nin De Lu Xing Yu Kuai Have a pleasant journey
Huan Ying Welcome!
Ni Hao Hello!
Ni Hao Ma? How are you?
Wo Hen Hao, Xie Xie Ni. I am fine, thank you.
Ni Gui Xing? What is your name?
Wo Xing (Jiao)... My name is ...
Zao Shang Hao! Good morning!
Wan Shang Hao! Good Evening!
Qing Jin Come in, please
Qing Zuo Please sit down
Dui Bu Qi Sorry!
Ming Tian Jian See you tomorrow
Zai Jian Good-bye
Wo Ai Ni I Love You
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