Exploring Guangzhou: A Day Trip From Foshan!
This week’s blog comes from Mahalia Peake, University of Nottingham graduate currently teaching in Foshan as part of the 2018 Teach China Graduate Program. Here she tells us about a recent day trip from Foshan to Guangzhou…
From Foshan to Guangzhou!
Whoever dubbed Paris as the city of lights has obviously never been to China! I recently made my first visit to Guangzhou during a weekend break and it certainly lived up to China’s new-found reputation as a country full of amazing skyscrapers and impressive (though random!) light fixtures. Think TRON come to life!
‘Yang Cheng Tong’ Travel Cards
Once you get set up, travelling in China is a breeze. Other than the didi app, China also has an extensive underground subway system that works on the same basis as the London underground. The only difference is that the Chinese underground is set up in almost all major cities and can be used to travel from one city to another. Yang Cheng Tong cards, aka Chinese ‘Oyster’ electronic travel cards, are available in all underground stations and most 7-Elevens and are easy to top up. Once you’ve got these two modes of transportations under your belt, China becomes so much more accessible! I decided to take the underground with my friends to Guangzhou, which is about an hour away from Foshan, as the cost was only around 5 CNY, which is a bargain 50p.
Shopping and Drinks at the Four Seasons Hotel
After shopping in the Guangzhou markets for a few hours, we started the night off with some drinks at the Four Seasons hotel, a bar located on the 99th floor at the hotel. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get a glamorous drink while also having a bird’s eye view of the whole of Guangzhou. However, it was just our luck that it was foggy, and so the top floors of the hotel were literally in the clouds! While amazing to see from the outside, this meant that any picturesque view of the city was out of bound for us, but the whole experience was still lovely.
More Lights and a Water Show
Afterwards, we continued our exploration of Guangzhou and stumbled upon a park with very beautiful lights interspersed throughout the whole square. One whole road had its path lit up by lights embedded into the floor and it very much so felt like the Guangzhou version of a yellow brick road. As we went on to explore the square, we stumbled upon something interesting, but this time more familiar to our British sensibilities…a queue! A crowd of people had begun to gather to form a wide circle around a seemingly random spot in the square, and in true British fashion, we decided to queue up right along with them. A few minutes later we were rewarded for our curiosity as that particular section of the square used speakers and water features that were hidden in the ground to transform into a massive water show at night!
If there is one thing I have learned from my first time exploring Guangzhou, it’s that you should always explore with an open mind. Don’t force yourself to stick to a plan or a route to follow, let yourself go wherever your feet may take you, even if it’s not the same way you had originally planned, as you’ll never know what you’ll stumble across in China…