Guangzhou, the capital of Guandong province in Southern China, is the host of the current Asian Games--an event that doesn't seem to be generating much press or hoopla. Bakit kaya? Anyway, the mention of the city in the measly coverage I've come across reminded me that in February 2005, I had been to Guangzhou--and I have pictures of the trip I've never shared here before, since in 2005 I wasn't blogging yet. A few photos went into the travel piece I wrote for the paper; most went into a CD file that saw the light of day again only yesterday.
I'm on another trip for a few days, so lemme leave you with these for now. You might know the people I went with on this, my first trip to China. (Hint: One of them is now one of the country's most popular and influential bloggers.)
We were billeted in a hotel in Huanshidong Road, central Guangzhou, the lobby directly connected to a swanky shopping mall carrying the ritziest global fashion brands. Clearly, this was no longer the Communist China of old. A short distance away was the Philippine consulate, housed in that skyscraper in the third photo. We were told the weather would be like Baguio's--14 degrees C at night. It was more like 4 degrees C; my first time to experience winter (or at least the tailend of it), and I had only a couple of lightweight jackets with me. Fortunately...
The more upscale Beijing Road (the one festooned with lanterns) is the city's Greenhills, if you will--prices are a bit higher, branded goods more prominent, the city's young, trendy denizens in profusion. See that rectangular space covered by glass in the third photo? It protects a historic spot--excavated remnants of the earliest known walls and settlements in ancient Guangzhou. Shoppers can peer into the covered pit and know a bit of the city's storied past.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, offering food that was as distinctive and flavorful.
Chuvaness herself (representing Philippine Star--the photos of “the other side of Guangzhou” are hers, by the way; thanks, Cecile!); ANC cameraman Romel Zarate; and our Chinese tour guide Tony. Despite the nosebleed weather, a lovely trip.