It's been a tiring week at work and i finally have the time (and energy) to update this blog although not many would be looking forward to this post as it is yet again on my Guilin trip!
To look at things positively, this is the final posting for the journey made last year and i shall begin with breakfast; meal nutritionists insist to be the most important for the day.
Sucky breakfast in the hotel by the way; remedied by the company of a tour mate who is around my age and as filial as me to accompany her parents for the tour.
Boarding the coach for a long ride back to Guangzhou city.
The tour guide started sharing places to tour in China and his endorsement was Harbin; a place known for its biting chill and ice sculptures! Indeed beautiful from the pictures on his phone, i don't think i am sold as i don't manage well in below-zero climate!
I did make a few notes on the tips he had so kindly dispenses; for example, July and August can consider Tibet, Huangshan would be stunning in March and April and Mongolia would be nice from August to October!
It was only about an hour into the journey when the bus started going through a rough terrain that kind of felt extremely familiar.
Wait, we had been here previously! In day three to be exact; no, i wouldn't mind revisiting a restaurant especially when food here tasted rather nice the last time we dropped by.
The biggest problem was; i just had breakfast close to 9am and the timing at this moment was not even 11am! I meant i love to eat but i would definitely appreciate a longer "rest" time in between my meals.
What we had - no good for my tummy when food was still as delicious as before; cooked with a heartwarming sincerity that could likely only be found at home.
Or maybe not; the batter used was key and given that we were so early, the only tables occupied were for our tour group. Hence, it's safe to assure this box was the one used for our food. Needless to say, quite a few of our tour mates whipped out their phones to take a photo so that they can purchase a few packs in Guangzhou later.
The location of this eatery was unknown to me although from the few signboards along the way, i think we were still in the vicinity governed by Hezhou.
More of the therapeutic scenery before the coach inched nearer and nearer to urban landscape that's about 204 kilometers away.
Have i shared a photo of this before? A common sight on the expressways; a long trailer with two rows of new cars! In Singapore, it's has always being a singular row.
The English translation on the signboard appeared a bit off even though in essence; if you are tired, don't drive. A message that's ingrained via a burnt mark on my arm. Don't know what i am talking about? Click the car accident i had in Jeju Island.
Along the expressways, i also noticed many such truss that cut across the roads; equipped with speed cameras (i think), the flashing never seemed to stop despite the fact that many vehicles were not travelling at top speed.
Poultry farms that should be considered as free range i think as the chickens and ducks had a huge pool of water for them to play in! This appeared to dispel the notion that they were housed in inhumane pigeon-hole cages stacked up high in factory-like buildings!
Disregarding the Chinese characters, you would be forgiven for thinking this was in Punggol (Singapore) where there are many HDB flats being built.
!!!! This looked totally right in place in Singapore!
纪元塔 - a modern structure built in 1995 and seemed to house a museum, according to scant information available in the first few pages of google search.
Arrived at a rest stop for toilet break. As guys are generally faster for obvious reasons, i took the opportunity to buy some snacks and was pleased to find biscuits similar to Collon cream biscuit yet much bigger with more cream filling!
An abandoned building nearby; a toll station. If i am a staff working in the petrol station, i might just go there and bunk in for a night if there's a need.
Our way was fine but for the opposite direction, it was a massive jam! Maybe because it was a Saturday and many people living in Guangzhou were going back to their hometowns in the rural, suburban areas.
Someone drove from Beijing to Guangzhou! For a citizen of a country that measures only about 40 kilometers and 40 kilometers across, i couldn't fathom how someone can drive so far!
Befitting its status as a port city and a major transportation hub, there were container ports and high speed rail network in Guangzhou.
A tributary of the Pearl River or Zhu Jiang (珠江); it might ring a bell for char siew lovers as Kay Lee Roast Meat (琪利珠江烧腊) does have the two words included in their signboard;
Brick and mortar shops - the second shop caught my attention as i am deliberating to get an automatic mahjong table for my house!
Canton Tower (广州塔) which held the position of the world's tallest tower for a short while with a height of 595.7 metres!
You wouldn't be able to see them from the picture but at the top of the tower (not the mast), there were sixteen pods for visitors to experience a horizontal, 360 degrees ferris wheel! I personally feel that ferris wheel is a wrong term to use as the pods are on a track circling the circumference of the tower.
Haixinsha Park and the Huacheng Square - i thought it was a stadium and the structure from google earth appeared to be more a square with viewing platforms. According to wikipedia, the structure was used for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Asian Games 2010.
This weird, cubic structure was a museum built in 2010 to house Guangdong Museum. Nothing in Wikipedia caught my attention except for one liner; "No photography is allowed in the museum". You wouldn't see me there.
On one side of the river - Canton Tower.
Right opposite was the central business district similar to our dear Shenton Way; dotted with numerous skyscrapers, including 438.6 meters Guangzhou International Finance Center!
Liede Bridge (猎德大桥), open in 2009, that crossed the Pearl River to connect the districts of the canton tower area and CBD.
This cluster of housing, right behind the CBD, was awaiting demolition! As mentioned by our tour guide, Shen Fei, the owners for each unit got a handsome payout!
Cars, cars everywhere!
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (中山纪念堂) that was built in 1931 to commemorate the father of Chinese democracy. Like the other structures in the past few paragraphs, our coach passed by and our guide explained as there's no time to pay all of them a visit.
Our time was scheduled for Beijing Lu Pedestrian Street! For my extensive post on the 440-meter street, click here. You may also check out the separate yet related posting for the Grand Buddha Monastery and Kao Mei Noodles Restaurant (巧美面家).
Up on the coach after a boring shopping (at least for me and my dad) and as you can probably see from the guide's expression, it's sombre as we would be leaving China for home soon!
Reached Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport with a heavy heart although i am also glad that i can go home and access my computer to clear the piled up emails!
We bid our farewell to the driver who has driven us, in total, about 1,500 kilometers in the eight-day journey. Our guide brought us to the check in counter and we said our goodbye with much sadness as he had been a fantastic tour guide (way better than the one i had in Beijing)!
Can you imagine that just for checking carry-in luggage, we had to wait for about 40 minutes in queue?! It's ridiculous although it's never wise to question in foreign countries. Furthermore, what you say when the checks are in accordance to threats of terrorism attacks?
There were quite a lot of shopping to do within the departure lounge but it was already close to midnight when we cleared the immigration and shops had started pulling down their shutters!
Departure at 1.35am was delayed till 2.08am. As some of you are aware, i don't take kindly to night flights as age has rendered me increasingly picky to having a physical bed for a comfortable rest.
And having a meal at close to 3am was so harmful for the expanding waistline.
Much healthier to spend my time watching movies! I think i watched Fantastic Four and Minions? Absolutely love catching up on movies when i am taking a full service airline!
Home sweet home before 6am and by the time we arrived at my parents' place, the sun had risen which means i would have a hard time dozing off to make up for the lost sleep.
My father's plants - poor flora suffered under the care of my mom and sister; no fault of theirs as they have never been the primary carer for the plants. Thankfully, they revived in the next few days!
=== The End ===
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.