Another Look at Guangzhou

It’s funny how you can leave your whole life behind for an adventure and then find yourself stuck in the same routine that you lived in your past life. Spend the work week working and your weekend recovering from the former. It’s easy to get lazy. Luckily, our routine recently received a good kick in the pants when Ben’s parents came for a visit. It got us back into exploring the city and seeing things with fresh eyes. We took them to a few of our favorite sights and to a few places we’ve been meaning to see. I think that this officially makes us experts on the best sights of the city.

Our distinguished guests taking in the view from the tram down Baiyun Mountain.

The first place Ben took them was the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall. A good pick, because I consider it to be easily the most beautiful place in Guangzhou. I’ve already written about it here if you’re interested.

One place that really impressed our guests was Flower City Square. It’s a park just an easy walk from our apartment that’s flanked by the Guangdong Museum of Art and the Guangzhou Opera House (both of notable architecture). It’s especially beautiful when it’s lit up at night and you can view the Guangzhou Tower across the Pearl River.

People have written wishes on these red ribbons and thrown them into these intertwined trees to ensure that they come true.

Of course, you can also view the Guangzhou Tower from the top of Baiyun Mountain. This is one of the sights that had collected dust on the top of our ‘To Do’ list and once we went, we quickly reprimanded ourselves for not going sooner. It’s a really beautiful place to ‘hike’ (they have paved paths) and see some other interesting sights, including the lovely and serene Nangren Temple. The tram down was also a highlight and a great way to see the mountain and the city at once.

Then there’s always the winner of Liurong Temple whose proximity to the People’s Park and Beijing Lu Shopping Street makes it a good place to get in a few sights at one. This temple is the most beautiful (and most famous) in the city and all of these sights are great places to view the locals doing what the locals do: pray, shop, and play.

Ben's mom snapping a photo of some women practicing a dance -probably one they remember from the Cultural Revolution.

However, the People’s Park is small potatoes compared to Yuexiu Park, where the family spent their last day in Guangzhou (I had to work). Of course, no visit to Yuexiu would be complete without following up with a trip to a nearby hospital… Unfortunately, Ben’s mom took a tumble as they were leaving the park and had to go to the hospital for stitches and observation on a concussion. Hopefully, their final experience as tourists in China didn’t color their perspective too much. But we can all guarantee that China’s hospitals are a sight worth skipping.

Ben’s mom is one tough lady, because the very next day she insisted that we continue with our original plans to visit Hong Kong and then to Macau before they left Asia. More on that later…

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