Rain, rain, go away!
In a lot of my pictures you can see the sky was grey or even white most of the time I was in Guangzhou. This was more of a haze than clouds, so when the sky opened up and dropped buckets on my head I was quite surprised. When it rains, IT RAINS - I mean torrential!
Even if you have an umbrella or raincoat, you can't walk down the street because it is so heavy. The pavement becomes about 5cm deep in water. Everyone stops what they are doing and heads for shelter until it stops, which usually isn't too long.
To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, have a look at the picture. No, this is not a stream or drainage system, these are the steps to some flats!
What a bath!
I was walking on the Haizhu bridge and saw people watching down at the pearl river. I walked up and caught such a funny picture. A man was bathing himself in the water. Oh no, the water is yukky!! But he seemed to enjoy himself so much - maybe also knowing he had audience?
Say No To the Flower Children
Say no to children who want to sell you a flower. If they persist tell them you will call
the police; that works.
To avoid pick pockets, I carry a small amount of cash and a credit card in a thin two fold wallet in my front pocket. ( a water proof wallet that can be found in a sporting goods store)
Other than that the locals are warm and friendly.
The crime rate is fairly low in China. Theft is the most common crime affecting visitors and occurs most frequently in crowded public areas, such as hotel lobbies, bars, restaurants, and tourist and transportation sites.
If you go in the summer, prepare for the heat. I've never sweated like I did in Guangzhou and I'm from Texas. Do like most locals and find a drink and a shady spot in one of the cities many large and well maintained parks.
Sick Building??? Just a word...
Sick Building??? Just a word of caution for you who are thinking of staying at the White Swan. Of the families that I have know who stayed there, at least 1/3 of them got very sick during their visit. The symptoms are dizziness, nauseau, and a sense of 'other worldliness' that can't really be put into words. It was like a bad drug reaction and left me unable to even write. My friend was so dizzy she could hardly walk. This has happened with many people travelling at different times, so it isn't something that anyone caught from anyone else. I don't know what it is at the Swan that causes this reaction, but it is so prevelant that I thought it was worth a mention.
Driving!! I believe that...
Driving!! I believe that foreigners are not allowed to drive in China, but either way, you are best not to. This picture was taken outside of a tunnel...IN MARCH!!!
You have to click on it to understand why this is amazing....
One problem about living in...
One problem about living in Guangzhou or any city in China is that many Chinese no little or nothing about Western life and habits (I'm from Melbourne, Australia). In short, the Chinese are obsessed with food and meal times. They will often be shocked to hear that you haven't had dinner at 8:00 pm at night. They will be equally suprised to learn that you don't eat steamed rice with all of your meals.
Almost every Chinese I come across thinks that the Australian, American or British diet consists only of sandwiches, hamburgers or a slab steak. I find myself continually being asked whether or not I eat and am accustomed to eating Chinese food. I explain that I like Chinese cuisine, but do not eat it every day I spend here (I've lived in China over three years). Chuck agrees with me.
ALWAYS RECONFIRM YOUR DOMESTIC...
ALWAYS RECONFIRM YOUR DOMESTIC (and Chines carriers' international) FLIGHTS !
If you are going to meet local guide, she/he usually asks to see tickets and she/he will reconfirm them. However if you are travelling alone without a local guide remember reconfirm tickets at least 2-3 days before flight. Use airline's ticket office or ticket office in your hotel.
I have made several domestic flights in China and every time at least one flight have been changed, cancelled etc. During my last trip flight from Guilin to Kunming was cancelled same morning and I was transferred to another flight.
Just becareful When you across...
Just becareful When you across the streets. And please don't go to Guangzhou in Apirl, if you just to visit Guangzhou, because there will be a very market meeting during that Apirl and another days around fall. You can not find a hotel.
Don't go to the CITS if you...
Don't go to the CITS if you need any information!
If you are near the train station, you better go to the 'information office for travellers' (or something like that) on the street that goes west from it, between the bus stations. Attention! there are at least three bus stations: one on a corner, crossing the avenue from the train station, and the other two just a couple of blocks to the west, facing each other.
Surrounded by water
The city is surrounded by water and in some places there is no fence or barrier between the road and the water, so watch your step.
In Shantou, you can see...
In Shantou, you can see motorbikes everywhere. It is the most common traffic so to say. Be careful when you cross the road. Look out and not to be knocked.