Lu (路) is translated to street or road and to add a lu when there's a street is a misnomer frowned upon by strict "English" speakers. Nevertheless, this didn't dampen our enthusiasm to check out the street in our last day of the Guilin trip!
The guide had been raving about it since the start of our trip and i was looking forward to the visit despite my initial reservations that it could have been ballooned out of proportion. And i did feel a tad disappointed to alight at a street that didn't seem to be as prosperous as claimed to be.
By prosperous, i am referring to the apparent lack of people. If the street was really claimed to be "the" place for people to shop, then the above sight on a Saturday afternoon was in my opinion quite a surprise.
Five long hours were given for us to explore the street and meetup shall be at the place of disembarkation; the iconic building that housed Guangdong's department of finance at the meeting point of Beijing road and Guangwei road.
Attention-seeking facade of a shop undergoing renovation; i am quite interested in the eventual product since it claimed to have a dim-sum museum!
Dinner wasn't provided as the Guangdong province boasted many delicacies. According to our tour guide, it would be a shame to put us through a normal tour-package meal when we have so many choices!
There's one thing i regretted not doing; purchasing a Chinese-language travel guide book from the reputable Xinhua bookstore. In addition to being economically priced, these Chinese guidebooks offer a lot more information than English ones. For my Taiwan trip, i actually relied heavily on Chinese travel guidebooks.
My initial feedback about the lack of people was thrown out when we crossed Zhongshan 5th Road; as you can probably guess, the road we had walked right at the beginning still allowed vehicles to enter.
The above was a street solely for pedestrians; similar to the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (正阳步行街) in Guilin city. What caught my attention was the towering trees along the way though.
I love greenery, especially in urban areas and was incensed when there was a suggestion to chop down all the trees along Orchard Road to improve the shopping experience!
Given the facing of the main signage, i presumed we had started from the end of Beijing street. Oh well, wouldn't have much of a difference for this post anyway.
Another thing that stood out; the glass panels on the floor that looked down into an underground floor / basement. Want to make a guess on lies beneath?
Shockingly, it's the remnants of a street that dated all the way to the Tang dynasty (from 618 to 907 AD) - the above was just one of ten layers and these ancient cobblestone streets (overlayed on top of each other) were only found in 2002.
Now to more modern findings; the opening of a jewelry store attracted big crowd right in front. This was the Zhou Liu Fu Jewelry store that i mentioned before in Day Seven.
Interestingly, the famous Chow Tai Fook (Zhou Da Fu) which inspired Zhou Liu Fu was placed directly opposite. The competition in China can be so brutal but as the saying goes, it's just business.
A model decked in noticeable reflective panels was standing outside Zhou Liu Fu to hype the crowd for its grand opening. Guess he was trying to emulate the shimmering of diamonds.
越秀書院 - located in one of the side roads, this was said to house a lot of schools in the past, some with history that spanned a few centuries. I wrongly assumed it was a lane filled with bookstores and didn't venture further.
Just a structure; i never waste the photographs i took even if i don't really quite recall what it was all about. For readers, just treat it as part and parcel of the post title. Thanks!
真功夫 - a fast food restaurant originating from China that prided itself in steamed Asian cuisine. The aforementioned information was taken from the Chinese wikipedia even though my first thought was more for a sports-related establishment given its signage and mascot.
Modern buildings and shopping complexes were located along the streets - this kind of bored me as i prefer ancient looking walkways and streets with shops selling traditional wares.
Kiosk selling popcorn and candy floss in the middle of a busy street - the rent is likely to be exorbitant and i couldn't fathom on the demand for popcorn! Isn't that more applicable in movie theaters?!
Now coming to the food street and there were so many to choose from!
Some were takeaway outlets and i had a hard time deciding as i have to consider both my dad's preference and also the limitation of our stomachs.
One thing for sure - i wouldn't buy any Bee Cheng Hiang bak kwa, a Singapore outfit with a presence in China, as it has so many branches in Singapore!
My consideration was the above but decided against it given the unhealthiness with too much seafood; i would have gone for it if i am alone but with dad tagging along, it's best to choose a "healthier" meal.
Tiger Prawn Vietnamese Restaurant - voted number 3 restaurant (out of more than 5,500) in Guangzhou, the queue appeared to be a killer and dad wasn't the kind who queues for food. Strike off.
Too healthy for me and i am selective when it comes to fishball noodles.
Eventually cast our vote for Kao Mei Noodles Restaurant (巧美面家) for a traditional bowl of wanton noodles! I should have ingested more wantons as they were so generous with the fillings! For my review, click here.
Time for digestion; and just in time to see a dog taking a dump. Be careful when you walk along the streets in China as there could be the occasional "bomb" scattered all over the place.
Strolled to the side roads while ensuring we know how to get back to the main street, we chanced upon Chinchilla Eden!
Even though i am not so much into pets nowadays, i used to be quite successful in breeding chinchillas and had five kits in total. There was a lot of dilemma with regards to breeding (responsibility, ethics, financial etc) and i decided to stop as i am still an animal lover at heart,
Coming to the end of the 440-meter long pedestrian street - as Guangzhou is a modern city with a comprehensive transportation network, i am rather keen to explore the city as a free and easy traveller, especially when my Chinese can still make it.
Other sights as above; at this point, i suddenly felt a pain in the abdomen and i knew it's time for me to find a place to purge out the unwanted. I hate to have this kind of feeling as i am particular when it comes to the cleanliness of toilets and we have all heard of horror washrooms in China.
The best toilet was found in Grandbuy Department Store! I couldn't quite remember why (likely the cleanliness) but there must a reason why i keenly took the photograph after i exited the building.
Thinking this was a new building for the Buddhist order, it didn't dawn on me that it was an extension for the ancient Grand Buddha Monastery that i blogged about earlier.
Local food souvenirs - in the past (and when i am with my mom), this would be a must-enter. Having bought on quite a number of occasions, i came to the decision that not many people welcome the food and it's best to save your money!
Night view of Beijing pedestrian street - to be honest, nothing caught my fancy and i was just going through the routine of entering one shopping centre to the next. My dad was also yawning non-stop and i thought i might as well stop by a cafe and do some web surfing!
I know for a fact that Pacific Coffee has WiFi and happily purchased a coffee (or was it green tea latte) to hog the seats for the next hour.
Saw this placeboard when i exited the coffee cafe; durian pizza?! That sounded quite disgusting to me although to be fair, i am the type of people who like durians only in its original form!
Walking back to the meetup point.
Guangdong's department of finance building was quite a sight at night - we were not the first to arrive and nor were we the last!
While waiting for the rest of our tour mates, i sat at the stairs leading to the department of finance building and knocked myself at the head; i should have rest at the convenient 80 90 coffee right in front! At least i still have WiFi!
Beijing Street, Guangzhou City,
Guangdong Province, China
For the summarised itinerary of my 8 Days 7 Nights Scenic Guilin + Longji Terraced Fields Tour Package (GUARANTEED No Shopping Stops Throughout) via Chan Brothers, please check out the link here.