Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Trip - Guangzhou (1)

Ever since I moved back to Macau, there has been talks on a short weekend trip to Guangzhou with a few of my friends.  Eighteen months later, we finally went.  Guangzhou is only 3 hours away from Macau (by bus), most people there speaks Cantonese, and we only plan to stay 1 night...  Why it took us so long?  I really don't understand.  Anyhow, Spring is a good time to visit Guangzhou.  The weather is nice and the flowers are blooming.  Too bad it was cloudy the weekend we picked but overall, it was a good trip.

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It's a pretty simple itinerary.  (It's only a weekend trip!)  My friend planned it.  It's a nice change since I can just follow and not to have to worry about a thing.  Our focus was mainly on good food and bookstores.  (Both of us are bookworms?)  If this sounds like your kind of Guangzhou trip, read on~

Day 1 - Took the Kee Kwan (岐關) bus from Gongbei Port Plaza, Zhuhai to Guangzhou (RMB$65@).  (In addition to Kee Kwan, CTS (中旅) also operates buses from Macau to Guangzhou.  Thus, public transport is very convenient between these two places.)  The bus ride was around 2.5 hours.  We got off at the Garden Hotel (花園酒店) stop and hopped on a taxi to Bei Yuan Cuisine (北園) for lunch.

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We took a taxi and went to the Beijing Road Shopping District (北京路步行街).  It's very similar to the Nanjing Road Shopping District (南京路步行街) in Shanghai.  (These street names are confusing.)  We stopped at UN Bookstore (聯合書店).  The place is nice and modern but PACKED!  I found the book my mom wanted and bought a few more for myself.

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This place is like McDonalds, there is one every corner!
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LOL I can't believe I am seeing Gelatinum Asini (阿膠) here too!
This is an inside joke for those of you who watched Inner Palace Zhen Huan Biography (甄嬛傳).

Apparently, there is some kind of fair going on and we found out it was the last day of the Yuexiu Temple Fair (廣府廟會).  No wonder there are so many pop up stalls in the middle of the streets!  We checked out a few stores and bought some snacks.

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Sugar-Coated Haws on a Stick (冰糖葫蘆)

 This sweet is a popular fall and winter treat in northern China.
One of my favorites~
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Lots of gimmick snacks on sale!
As it's the last day, a lot of stalls are also offering special discounts!
We didn't try a lot as there were too many people in line and we were not that hungry.
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Smaller than what the others were holding :(
It was chewy but not tough, quite tasty!
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Macau's Andrew's Bakery!!!
Beware! This one is fake!

Originally, we planned to take a cab to our next destination but there was no cab.  Since we were only footsteps away from a bus stop, we checked the bus schedule and found out there were actually a few buses that can take us to our next destination - Dynasty Plaza (地王廣場) near Martyrs's Cemetery (烈士陵園)!

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Cosplay?
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reckless driving
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the bus driver here is much better than those in Macau
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no matter how many times I see these, I am still amazed.

The Dynasty Plaza wasn't as good as we had hoped.  It's target customers is a different age group... so we took the subway to our next destination:  Fangsuo Commune (方所) @ Taikoo Hui (太古匯).  I love this place!  It's similar to the boutique bookstores I've been in NYC.  Taikoo Hui is also a good place if you enjoy the upscale Hong Kong malls for shopping.

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Spring is here~
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Kapok (木棉) in bloom!
One of my favorite flowers~
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so many people!!!
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Fangsuo Commune (方所) @ Taikoo Hui (太古匯)
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No pictures beyond this point...
You can see their official pictures on their weibo here.

We stayed for a good while in there until I was hungry for dinner.  Luckily, Bing Sheng (炳勝) is only across from Taikoo Hui.  Good planning!  (Even though it's already past 8 pm then, there is still quite a crowd waiting outside.)

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Finally we took the subway to go back to our hotel.  I was surprised to hear the announcement in the subway that some of the last trains have already left.  I looked at my watch and was even more surprised when it was already past 11 pm.  Hmm... Time sure goes by fast when you are having fun...

We stayed at Hotel Landmark Canton (華廈大酒店).  A decent place by the canal.  My friend said it's even better if we came back earlier when the lights are still on.  Oh well...

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Side note: my friend told me some of my blog pictures are not showing up properly.  If you see this happening, can you please let me know in the comments so I can fix the links?  Thanks!

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