My travel adventures are always spontaneous and random, as carefully planned short trip often bring about stress, worry, and unnecessary headache. Equally on my journey to growing my faith in God, I have found that doing things (sensibly) with spontaneity is always great fun and allows you to enjoy the adventure for what is an adventure.
5:30 am, I roll out of bed waking up in my new friend’s apartment I nudge her ensuring she’s awake, murmuring she reassures me that she’s up. Quickly showering and brushing our teeth, we hurried, got dressed and prepared to leave. 7:45 am, we arrive at the train station and stand in line waiting to collect our ticket, two women, rushing, panicking in Chinese run in front of us asking if they can quickly get their tickets, allowing them in front we soon realised their panicking for the same train as us. Leading us to panic also, we began strolling (or slightly running) to our train gate, I remind my friend that we have time, so we slow down our pace, though the level of panic that we felt because of those women, made me understand that panic and fear are not real emotions.
8:05 am, sitting on the high-speed train, blessed with extra leg room and a comfy seat, we depart Shenzhen and make our way to Guangzhou set for an arrival time of 8:37 am. Time passes by and we arrive at Guangzhou, the first thing on our minds is a place for breakfast, as a pescetarian myself and my friend a vegetarian, the options for breakfast were few at the station, but we settled for steamed buns, soy milk, and egg McMuffin. After breakfast, we meet up with the other three girls including the birthday girl and set for our 24hr adventure in Guangzhou, so here’s what we got up to.
Guangzhou Hakka Apartment Bejing Road
Arriving at the hotel, after a quick train ride from Guangzhou station, we are greeted by the cool air in the lobby, freed from the scorching heat outside. With a quick redirection by the ladies at the front desk to the 12th floor for check-in, as the hotel apartment is run by a separatly. Lugging our luggage towards the elevator, exhausted and famished with glee and excitement I proclaim loudly ‘guys we’re in Guangzhou!’ , to which the response from everyone in the elevator in unison was eyerolls and shuttle shifts away from me (lool). Unbothered I smiled to myself, thinking about the day ahead. After we checked in we dropped our luggage and went exploring, as our rooms were not ready (it was only 10:00 am people and checking was at 2:00 pm), so to make the most of the day we headed to the shopping mall for brunch.
Brunch in Guangzhou
The name of this brunch spot escapes me but if you come across it you will be able to identify it by its decor. My opinion on the place is bias as I wanted to be adventurous with my food choice, which was to my detriment and something I won’t do again without a certified recommendation. The meal I choose as seen below was a no from me if you like sweet tuna meals and mayo then this may be a meal for you, but for me, this was a no however the girls did assure me that it was just my meal that was a fail as they thoroughly enjoyed their meals.
Next on the agenda was a bus tour of Guangzhou followed by a stop at cable cars.
Guangzhou bus tour and cable cars
This activity was recommended as an alternative to walking around in the raging heat, so we gladly took it. As this was my first bus tour, I would love to write a raging review of the wonderful scenes and sights I saw in Guangzhou, from the Museum of Mausoleum to Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Memorial Hall to, Shamian, to the Canton Tower. But that would be a lie, as upon entering my seat on the bus, the sun hit me the aircon cooled me and my head hit the window and slumber overtook me (I’ve been traveling since 6 am in the morning people). So sleep was my best friend at this point however these sights that I mentioned are included in the tour, but my tired self didn’t even see it. Although I enjoyed the complementary commentary through the earphones as I dozed off, the soothing sounds from the commentator aided my sleep even more. But nonetheless, the sights from the cable car made up for the sight I missed.
The great thing about the bus tour I would add is you are able to get off at any of thee sights mentioned above and explore and pick up another bus to take you back. For this whole tour for a 24hr ticket costs 30yuan £3.44, so a great price if you ask me for a Bus tour and basically a whole day of transportation and sightseeing.
Arriving at the cable cars stop we hop off the bus, yawning and stretching with my eyes half closed, I was abruptly woken up by the downpour of rain. Funny because I now see rain as God hugging me, but at this moment the rain was God waking me up, my thoughts interupted by the crazy downpour slapping our bodies as we ran to the other side of the road to the garden and cable cars.
The lines were not that long, and the rain dried up as soon as it started, revealing the blazing sun again. The cost of the cable cars going up to the mini adventure park, filled with sights is 25yuan £2.87 going up and 20yuan £2.29 coming down. I recommend this activity if you are active and traveling with an active group because you can explore the gardens and the cable cars are fun, however, if you are drowsy after traveling since 6 am then I would recommend going at your own risk and energy level. But overall an experience is priceless and always worth it so do add this to your Guangzhou to do list.
African Pot- A taste of home
As you may know or not, I am a proud Nigerian woman, so my love for African food is by default, so a stop at one of the most recommended African restaurants in Guangzhou and dear I say China was a must on the to-do list. As the name suggests, the food portions arrive in legitimate pots, from prices ranging from as little as 15yuan £1.72 -85yan £9.74 British portions could never. The pounded yam was as big as a football (okay slight exaggeration) but I can tell you for sure it was not a meal that can be finished in one sitting, the meals I would recommend is the semo and egusi soup set, beans and plantain and of course the jellof rice set with steamed fish.
Rest assure, most if not all of their dishes will bring upon the nostalgia of your African home country, with cousins varying from all parts of Africa, east, west, north and south influences of flavors. This spot is a place worthy of visiting anytime your in the city of Guangzhou.
Wholesale markets aka African markets
Whether you’re an avid shopper or someone looking to start a business or even a person of curiosity, a visit to the whole scene in Guangzhou is one not to be missed from seeing where your favourite online brands stock clothes to witnessing the process of weave and wig production, to pricing up rings, watches, and fake designer copies. The wholesale markets is a reason on its own to explore Guangzhou, the entrepreneurial spirt that fills the area and the adrenaline fueled sales people, is a sight and experience like no other. Unlike your typical market stalls, anything in the wholesale market can be bought individually or in bulk for manufacturing and business purposes.
The best way I can describe the scene is, image entering a big building like Ikea for example and instead of mock bed and kitchen setups, there’s clothing stores, all selling different or similar products, from jeans corners to dress and skirt rows, to handbags and accessories aisle, to the weaves and wigs showrooms. Just a show of clothes and items, quite an overwhelming sight, but the atmosphere invokes a business-minded spirit in you and you, aiding you to begin to look items not as products you want but as a things that you can flip and profit from. This may go without saying but just in case, this activity is free unless you intend on buying stuff (then you know it costs whatever budget you’re on).
Contrary to popular belief and as cool as it may be visiting the worlds third largest tower a trip to the Canton tower is subpar, unless however you visit at night to witness it light up, then it may be worth a cameo or two. From my experience visiting world towers from the Burj Khalifa to the Effiel tower, walking past towers or even climbing them is an activity I am not eager to part take in. Despite how cool it may seem, after the Burj khalifa (anti-climatic) experience, I vowed not to pay to enter another tower again. Unless, in all honesty, it’s a tower in Nigeria, then maybe I will be swayed to pay to view it from the inside.
So to save your coins I would say utilise your 24hr bus tour card and stop off at the Canton Tower at night, take some photos so you can say you did it and for the memory of course and take in the lights and the overwhelming height of the building and be on your way. But of course, if you wish to enter the tower, I would advise getting there early to avoid the tedious cues. The price to go inside for adults depends on the activities you want to do once your inside. Accordingly for an adult the price is 150yuan £17.20 and Children 75yuan £8.60 this price includes entrance to the sky observation deck and cloud observation deck, for the break down of prices for activities you can do inside the tower view below.
Tickets for Single Items
Sky Drop – CNY 180, £20.64
Bubble Tram – CNY 180, £20.64
Children under 1.2m can enjoy the tickets for free, and between 1.2 and 1.5m can enjoy half price.
Cloud & Star Observation Decks + 450 Lookout + Sky Drop:
Adults Children (1.2 -1.5m)
CNY 228, £33.02 CNY 114, £13.07
Cloud & Star Observation Decks + 450 Lookout + Bubble Tram:
Adults Children (1.2 -1.5m)
CNY 298, £34.16 CNY 149, £17.08
Cloud & Star Observation Decks + 450 Lookout + Bubble Tram + 488 Lookout :
Adults Children (1.2 -1.5m)
CNY 398, £45.63 CNY 199, £22.81
All in all, Guangzhou, is a place in China that is worth visiting, especially if you live in China there’s no excuse to at least visit once. Especially to see the wholesale market, and for a taste of home at African pot, those two places alone are worth the trip. However, with that being said there Guangzhou is not a city I would recommend for touristy activites as there are more tourist attractions in other cities in China, so bear that in mind when making the trip. Although for business purposes, to outsource a wholesaler or even find a new business venture a trip to Guangzhou is worth it.
For more footage of my time in Guangzhou, check out my vlog post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8psiz6DYnQw&t=4s
I hope you enjoyed this series of 24hrs in Guangzhou, if you like this and would like more 24hr series of the cities and places I explore whilst living here in China, please be sure to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always thank you for reading and God bless and keep you safe always.