China Recap: Guangzhou

Hi friends! I’ve been in China in one week now and it feels like five! We’ve been moving around non-stop since we got here and it feels good to finally catch a break. I’m actually on a 10 hour bus ride right now, so that’s something. WiFi is far and few in Sichuan province, but that story is for another day.

I want to go back to the first few days we got here, starting from July 5th-July 7th. I’m not going to tell you every little detail I did everyday, because you will probably read until your eyes bleed. I’ll let the pictures tell the story. 🙂

So we left America at 1:30 AM (July 5th) and got to Hong Kong at 5:30 AM China time (July 6th). Felt so good to use my legs after a 13-hour flight! It actually wasn’t as bad as it sounded, surprisingly. I slept for 7 hours, watched the penultimate season of The Office (which I stopped watching when Steve Carrell left and was surprisingly happy to pick it back up) and fell back asleep for another 2.

Hong Kong is an awesome place, too bad we didn’t get to stay too long because we were on our way to travel more to Guangzhou.

We got to Guangzhou(where my family lives), around a four hour bus ride away, around 12:00 pm. So technically I’ve been traveling for close to 24 hours at this point. All I wanted was a shower and it felt so good when we got to my aunts house.

A fun picture for you guys, all the garages in southern China has these safe looking doors to protect from floods, all-hell-breaks-loose type situations, etc. They look kind of Stalin-era, no?

What is this blog without food? Dim sum is definitely a priority after a long day of travel. For those that’s not familiar, it’s kind of like Chinese tapas for brunch, where you order a bunch of little plates and share with your table.

Pork spareribs, you eat these by sucking on the bone.

Haw gow, shrimp dumplings! I think everyone has heard about these before!

There are many cars in China, but not everyone can drive one like they can in America. Cars costs about 2x as much because of import taxes and the way they monopolize it. For example, a Toyota Corolla which is normally $20,000 is ~$40,000. My aunt had business to do, so we took the subway, which is actually so much more convienent then the BART system in San Francisco. We got to all our destinations so quickly!
This token costs 4 RMB/ 75 cents USD for 6 stops.

Starbucks is just as popular in China as it is everywhere else in the worlds, except they have cooler flavors then we do, such as Red Bean Green Tea fraps, for those loving tea, they can check out to find the best tea online.

Everything is so cheap, the locals often get their hair washed in salons if they’re too lazy to do at home. When in Rome, right? A blow out in SF costs around $60 + tip (USD), in China it costs around $4 (USD) no tip.
This lady knows her way with her fingers, I almost fell asleep when she was massaging my head.

Something I really love about Guangzhou is the greenery is abundant, all the roads are canopied by so many lush trees.

We visited my mom’s friend who has a pretty bad-ass view of the whole city. I wanted to note that the sky looks like it’s about to rain but it was 80+ degrees with 90% humidity. Yuck! That smog is out of control, my cousin told me that blue skies are hard to find these days. That’s something I still can’t wrap my head around. It was even worse in Beijing when I went in 2010.


Incase you were wondering how much I stick out, here is a picture of my family! Getting stared at is getting a little old, but on the other hand, you get treated a lot better for having a Western face.
My uncle Ping, my cousin Nakahiro, me, my auntie Ming, my mom, my auntie (mom’s sister) Yin.



More yummy dim sum. This is chicken feet, would you dare to eat it?


We also spent a little bit of time at a Buddhist temple to give thanks. I picked up a pretty string bracelet to go with my Jade bracelet. I wish I could take pictures of the temple because it was so beautiful, but I didn’t feel right taking a picture of the Buddha and Guan Yin.


Just people walking and setting up there street shops on the side of the road.


There are a lot of people with amputated arms and legs drawing, singing, begging on the streets. Although not as much in Guangzhou as there is in heavily populated tourist areas like Beijing or Xi’an. I’m not sure if it applies to this guy, but bad people will kidnap kids when they are younger and chop off their arms or legs and send them to the streets to beg and report all the money back to the evil guys.


Street food snacks before dinner, pig intestines and turnips. I passed on the intestines, just because I had enough weird food for one day. The sauce was delicious though.


We had a really good dinner after a few hours of shopping. Here is the chef’s assistant cutting our Peking duck. The waitresses were so attentive, we had around 3-4 serving our table. For example, the second your tea gets passed a certain point, the refill it. Or they give you a new plate every 20 minutes. It sounds really obnoxious but they’re also secret ninjas so you don’t even realize they did it until they’re done.


Finally, I will leave this post off with the two cutest dog and cat ever! They were both sitting there like the Sphinx, just chilling in front of both sides of the shop. I’ve never seen animals do that on their own before!


I have a lot to catch up on, including the amazing new wonder of the world JiuZhaiGou. I might end up posting on Wednesday and Friday next week as well or even earlier. On Monday, we have Liz from I Have a great weekend!
What’s your favorite part of traveling?

13 thoughts on “China Recap: Guangzhou

  1. Ahhh dim sum is my FAVORITE. Although every time my mom gets chicken feet and I just don’t have the guts to try it! Also, fun fact: my dad is from the Sichuan province! Anyway, I love living vicariously through you through these photos–it’s all so interesting. (Please ignore the fact that I’m 100% Chinese and the last time I was in China was when I was 5.) 🙂

  2. These pictures are amazing. I am really jealous of all of the food and the culture. You are one lucky girl! My fiance’s roommate is Chinese, and it is so neat to hear him speak to his parents and to hear about his culture and life back at home, even in the US!

  3. I loved reading about your trip so far. Your travel experience is super similar to mine when going to the Philippines… long plane ride followed by a long bus ride. These pictures make me really want to visit China! Take me with you next time!!

  4. Oh my gosh this makes me want to take a trip to china soo badly!! ive never been to Asia but it’s on my to-do list. All of that food looks sooo yummy, and you’re so lucky to have family over there so you don’t have to be all touristy while you’re there. and btw i want those $4 blow outs in boston. can’t wait for your next update!!!

  5. China is one of the places I’ve always wanted to go as long as I can remember! Really neat getting to “go there” with you through these pics! 🙂

  6. loved reading about this.. china seems relatively cleaner than other parts of asia. i wouldnt’ be able to handle all that food though.
    on a sad note, it breaks my heart to see that guy drawing with half his arms… so cruel what some of these bad people do to children. the same crap happens in India and I wish the government would track these folks down. just so sad!!!

  7. You really do stand out from the rest of your family! The Red Bean Green Tea frap looks kind of good but kind of weird. I’m not sure how well I would fare with the food in China. I’m just a tad picky. You’re very brave though!
    And how sad that they do that to children there. That painting is pretty incredible for not having any arms.