My winter 2018 trip to Asia. Day 7. Guangzhou, China

I arrived yesterday and I got a good impression of Guangzhou. The area where I stay is quite different from Shenzhen. Guangzhou is made at human scale. Just by walking around, you get to pass all kind of shops, restaurants, and business. There are some tall buildings, but most are medium size and close to each other creating narrow streets.

I came across a pedestrian street. It is full of life. People approach me selling purses and watches. They are polite and go away when I told them that I am not interested. I’m just bringing one bag on this trip, and I need to be careful of how many things I buy. That is all I will do for today.

As I wake up the next day, the first place I visit is Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. It is an impressive building that hosts a theater and a small museum about Sun Yat-sen himself.

Sun Yat-sen (12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) was the founding father of the Republic of China. The first provisional president of the Republic of China, Sun was a Chinese medical doctor, writer, philosopher, Georgist, calligrapher and revolutionary. As the foremost pioneer and first leader of a Republican China, Sun is referred to as the “Father of the Nation” in the Republic of China (ROC) and the “forerunner of democratic revolution” in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).


Wikipedia contributors. Sun Yat-sen. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Big building with a traditional Chinese style roof. In the front there is a statue of a man with a cane.

Yuexiu Park is situated north from the Memorial Hall and my next stop. A must visit in the park is the Zhenhai Tower, also known as the Five-Storied Pagoda. The Guangzhou Museum is located inside the building. The museum is very modern. You can find beautiful items depicting the history of Guangzhou in all of its five floors.

I enter into the old Guangzhou museum. It’s easy to mistake it with its new location as they are just a few meters apart and, in some old maps, it still keeps the label as the museum. Next is the Five-Ram Statue. Not surprisingly it is a statue that represents five rams. The story behind it is based in a legend. Five immortals descended each one riding a ram.  The immortals gave their blessing to the city of Guangzhou and left. Their five rams stayed behind and turned into stone.

In my way to the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, I saw a China Construction Bank office that I could use to withdraw some money. I get 1,000 yuan in ten 100 notes, that’s around 1,300 SEK. That should last for a few days.

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is a colorful building that hosts the Guangdong Folk Art Museum. The museum is dedicated to different kinds of craftsmanship. Ceramic, ivory, or wood objects are present in the different exhibitions. Most of the works depict Chinese men, women, and children in different day to day activities. Tourists are busy looking at the art, taking pictures and purchasing some art-work at the artisan’s shops or trinkets in the museum shop. 

One important landmark in Guangzhou is the Pearl River. As I get closer, I find one of the busiest and noisiest parts of the city. People carrying big sacks hurry up and down the street. Cars advance slowly, being constantly interrupted by the flow of people. The street fits in the stereotypical view of Chinese streets in a way that the rest of the city does not.

A few meters ahead, I’m in the Pearl River. The original Nanwucheng settlement was situated on the east bank of this river by 1100 BC. Nowadays, the city has expanded on both sides. And there are several bridges that cross it. I walk by the pedestrian waterfront path back to my hotel.