travel: a day in guangzhou, china

I’ve done quite a number of posts about Guangzhou already, since my family has visited there a few times now within the last few years. This past winter break, my dad and I again went to Guangzhou for one of his conferences, so while he was out science-ing, I went out with a family friend to go explore the city. The thing about this city is that there’s so much to do, and it really never gets boring because there’s always something fun around the corner.

This time, we went to a flower garden located near the edge of the city and spent a good portion of the morning wandering around in this beautiful oasis in the middle of the bustling city. Our family friend also had her daughter with her, so it was really quite an educational trip to for me to also learn about the different varieties of flowers that thrive in the Southeast part of China. We spent the rest of the afternoon at a tea shop, just talking with the owner about the different types of teas in various regions in China, and him teaching us the etiquette for tea-drinking in China.

The next day, we went to go visit what used to be the Thirteen Factories, a neighborhood alongside the Pearl River where trade with foreigners was allowed. A number of the foreign embassies were also located in this area, and you can see the distinct architectural styles of each country throughout the neighborhood, which today is part of the Guangzhou Cultural Park. If you’re ever in the area, there’s a number of interesting things to do around the park, including the Thirteen Hongs Museum, where you can learn about the 13 countries doing trade in China at the time and the role that Guangzhou played in the Maritime Silk Road. Of course, you can also just walk around the Pearl River, and take a ride along the river at night to look at the skyline. Finally, if shopping is your thing, head over to Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (translated: Up and Down the 9th street) to transport yourself back to 20th century Guangzhou, where the streets are bustling with people, food and both modern and traditional shops.


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