Sunday, November 15, 2015

Paifang (Memorial Arch) Square (牌坊廣場) @ Zhaoqing Seven-Star Rock Park (肇慶七星岩公園) [China]

Judging from the bold headline (Guilin + Longji Terraced Fields) branding the tour package, it's interesting to note that we did venture to other little known cities; one of which is Zhaoqing situated in Northern Guangdong province. 

The first pit stop we made was to Paifang (Memorial Arch) Square located within a highly popular park named after a cluster seven rocks. 

Rules and guidelines for individuals and organisations using the park; as expected, no one really adhered to them and i can point them out with pictures as evidence. Shall share them shortly! 

Kids enjoying themselves at the playground; it was a Sunday afternoon with temperature hovering around 27-28 degrees celcius yet without the frustrating humidity we have in Singapore! 

Real excavators for kids to try out! Why didn't we have such cool stuff when we were kids?!? Oh well, doubt my dad would be agreeable to fork out any money to play it especially when he was in the construction line then.

According to the rules, no pets are allowed in the park even though the golden retriever was tame and was quietly drooling while its owner indulged in his ciggie break! 

This group of boisterous aunties was gambling; another vice listed on the 'rules' panel. They were enjoying the game so much; i was tempted to join in and teach them how to play "in-between". 

Our itinerary after the square was to check out the shopping centre (the one with a lot of billboards). It was the same place with the supermarket mentioned here

You know, i wasn't blown away by the scenery with many of us wondering if the haze in Singapore had followed us to China! 

We were informed that on a clear day, the view was way more stunning (although nowhere compared to West Lake). Government officials and retired army personnel favoured this place for its clean and relaxed environment; resulting in astronomical pricing for housing facing the lake.

A boat cruise awaited us in a few hours time but judging from the disappointing sight as seen in the photograph before, i wasn't hopeful that it could be any better. 

The memorial arch square with three Chinese characters (七星岩); translated directly as seven star rocks / caves. Guess the city must be quite small; with such good weather, i would have expected a lot more people!

First built in 1958, the arch spanned a width of 17.5 meters and a height of 12 meters. The basic colours used were red, green and blue; signifying high spirit, enthusiasm and cheerfulness respectively. 

Since there was nothing much to do, it's picture time! Dad was always game to take photos and had mastered a few standard poses whenever i need him to be the "model".

He had on his hand my old DSLR and we had to alternate being the "model" for each other during the trip! Problem was; he had already selected and printed out the photographs to show our relatives and his friends; many of them featured me! 

Coming back, as with some places in Singapore, you can buy food from the mobile street hawkers. Being the good tourists that we are at the beginning of every overseas trip, we refrained from buying anything that had the potential of spoiling our first few days

Are candied haw still as popular nowadays? I tried it in Beijing once and didn't think it differed much from eating frozen sugar so sweet; it might just destroy my teeth overnight. 

Eye catching helium balloons that would result in us buying if the two kids were with us! I was a kid once and can understand the allure but as an adult, these things have absolutely no value; having said that, i wouldn't mind if they cost like RMB 1 each. 

I was more tempted to get the bubble kit from this lady! After a short observation, i gathered that the stick used for the solution was quite similar to what i have at home although she had a special waving technique to make the bubble much bigger! 

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For the summarised itinerary of my tour package (guaranteed no shopping stops) to Guilin via Chan Brothers, please check out the link here

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