Christmas in Guangzhou

And so we ended up in China for the Christmas season. Sight seeing, shopping, pushing and “Nihao” here and there, we had an amazing time!

China is the planet’s most populous country and second largest by land mass. Its civilization is one of the world’s oldest, and it has maintained an advanced economy for two millennia.

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Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is the capital and largest city of the province of Guangdong in South China. Located on the Pearl River, it is considered to be the birthplace of dim sum.

I. PEARL RIVER CRUISE – 珠江 Zhu Jiang

We decided to celebrate Christmas Eve by going on the Pearl River cruise. The Pearl River or Zhu Jiang is China’s 3rd longest river, 2,400 kilometres. It is called as such because of all the pearl colored shells that lie at the bottom of the river in the section that flows through the city of Guangzhou.

Just to be safe, we took the metro on December 23 to buy tickets for the December 24, 6:40 – 8:10 pm cruise. We paid 70 rmb per person, which is about 11$.

pear river cruise tickets

We arrived at 6 pm at the Tian Zi Pier on December 24.

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IMG_0645We waited at the 2nd floor lounge and hanged out until 6:30 pm when boarding started.

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We bought 1st floor tickets that included coffee and “fruits.”

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Wubys on the Pearl River cruise in Guangzhou, China

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The cruise that we took was 1 hour and 30 minutes. The commentator spoke in Chinese so we understood nada, but this is the map of our route.
The highlight of which was the magnificent Canton tower.

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The Canton Tower – 广州塔 Guang Zhou Ta
During our 1st pass, the top of the Canton tower was wrapped in fog,
but still every bit as magnificent.

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Wubys and the Canton Tower of Guangzhou China.

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As our boat turned to head back to the Tian Zi wharf, we passed the Canton tower a 2nd time, and what a wonderful blessing that the fog cleared.

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Shèngdàn jié kuàilè!
Merry Merry Christmas from the Wubys ❤

After the cruise, we headed to McCawleys near the Wuyangcun metro station.

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Steak, pijiu and my wuby for Christmas eve dinner. Yes, everything is right in the world.
Pijiu is Chinese for beer.

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It was a Christmas miracle that they had gluten-free beer. Ganbei! (cheers)

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The day started hot so we didn’t bring our jackets with us. But then the temperature suddenly dropped and we had to walk back to the hotel in the freezing cold.

We headed back to the hotel, and snuggled in waiting for Christmas. Husband passed out around 11:40. I gave him a big jolt when the clock struck 12.

We woke up late on Christmas Day. We left the hotel at 10 am and headed to the Museum where the Nanyue King was buried.

II. MUSEUM OF THE WESTERN HAN DYNASTY OF THE NANYUE KING
– 南越王墓博物馆 Nan Yue Wang Mu Bo Wu Guan

The mausoleum of the Nanyue King is located at 867 Jiefang North Road, Yuexiu DistrictGuangzhou 510030. They are open from 9 am until 5:30 pm. Entrance fee is 12 rmb. 

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We got off subway Line 2, Yuexiu Park (越秀公园) and used Exit E, then turned right and walked for a 100 meters.

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The entrance to the museum.

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The entrance to the mausoleum of the Nanyue King.

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The map of the mausoleum.

This museum, built along the steep slope of Xianggang hill, is centered on the underground tomb of Zhao Mei, known as the Nanyue King. Zhao Mei was the second ruler of the short-lived southern Yue Kingdom (c. 2nd century BC) and was the grandson of the general Zhao Tuo from the Qin Dynasty who temporarily unified the region. Zhao Mei titled himself Emperor Wen and had his capital at Panyu, now a southern district of modern Guangzhou.

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The stairs leading to the tomb.

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Wubys in the room where the Nanyue King was buried.

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After leaving the tomb, we went up the Gongi Cassenate, the Gun fort.

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The entrance to the museum of the treasures of the tomb from the Nanyue King.

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The seals with the inscription “Administrative Seal of Emperor Wen,” “Seal of the Emperor” and “Zhao Mo” verified that the occupant of the tomb was the second king of the Nanyue Kingdom.

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The dead King was covered in a shroud sewn with silk thread. It is composed of 2291 pieces of Jade. 2291 PIECES OF JADE! Is that crazy or what?!

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Before leaving the museum, we passed by the gift shop and Marco bought us a hand painted  little crystal jar. The painting is done from the inside and requires so much precision and patience, the artist has been doing this for 30 years.

We finished touring the museum at around 12 noon and because we only ate fruits for breakfast, our stomachs were already growling. We did not want to waste time by searching for a place for lunch so we just went in the 1st restaurant we found. It was nothing special from the outside but Marco said that the soup he had was delicious.

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III. TEMPLE OF THE SIX  BANYAN TREES – 六榕寺 Liù róng sì

From the restaurant, we took a cab to the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. It wasn’t very far from the museum, we paid about 15 rmb. If you are up for a little exercise, it is a walkable distance.

The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees is a Chinese Buddhist temple in Guangzhou originally built in 537 AD during the Liang dynasty. Entrance fee is 5 rmb.

The name of the temple has been changed several times from Changshou Temple (meaning Longevity Temple) to Jinghui Temple and finally the current name. It is a name given by the great liiterateur Su Dongpo in the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279). It is said that he visited there while returning to the north. During the visit, he found six banyan trees there particularly striking. The vitality of the trees put him in a good mood and cheered him up. When the abbot of the monastery invited him to suggest a name, Su Dongpo wrote down its present name. Finally, its former name (Jinghui Temple) was changed to the present one, Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.

We were very excited to see the  Flowery Pagoda inside. It is a pagoda where Buddhist relics are placed. Its roofs curve upwards and look like dark red flower petals. The tip of the pagoda is like stamens, while the whole construction looks like a huge stigma high in the air.

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This is how it looks online. Beautiful, right?

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This is what we saw. Hahaha. They are renovating it for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Fail. Hehehe.

DSC00810 DSC00815Inside the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.

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Wubys at the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees in Guangzhou, China.

From the temple we decided to just walk and find our way to the Guangxiao temple. Good thing my husband has awesome sense of direction and knows some Mandarin that we were able to find our way without getting lost.

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IV. GUANGXIAO TEMPLE – 光孝寺 Guāngxiào sì

Guangxiao Temple on Guangxiao Road is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Guangzhou. As the special geographical position, Guangxiao Temple often acted as a stopover point for Asian missionary monks in the past.

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The Mahavira Hall.
It is the main building in the Guangxiao temple complex where Gautama Buddha and other buddhas and bodhisattvas are enshrined.

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Wubys at the Guangxiao Temple

V. THE CATHEDRAL OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS – 圣心大教堂 Shèng xìn dá jiāo táng

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus also known as Stone House by locals, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Guangzhou. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Guangzhou.

We arrived at the church at 3 pm, just in time for the 3:30 pm Christmas Day mass.

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Inside the cathedral.

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Wubys at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Guangzhou, China.

After the mass, we headed to Taikoo Hui mall for our Christmas dinner at “The Famous Chef from Jiangnan China” restaurant.

We had the most amazing choices of Chinese food. We waited for more than an hour for a table, but it was worth it! If I died that night because of MSG overdose, I would have died happy 😀

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A Chinese Christmas dinner ❤

That was the end of our Christmas day adventure. We headed home and snored ourselves to sleep with all that walking we did.

Of course, a trip anywhere is not complete without “some” shopping. We went to a couple of shopping spots in Guangzhou while on vacation.

And we also saw other tourist spots in Guangzhou during our Christmas vacation.

VI. THE GUANGZHOU METRO – 广州地铁 Guangzhou Di Tie

We took the subway a lot and the Guangzhou Metro was an easy and cheap way to navigate the city. We paid 70 rmb for the metro card, which had 50 rmb cash inside.

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Map of the Guangzhou metro system

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Wubys taking the Guangzhou metro

VII. ZHAN XI ROAD – 站西路

Zhan Xi Clothing Wholesale Market is near to the Guangzhou Railway Station and the provincial bus station. It is the clothing distribution center in Guangzhou and South China.

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Wubys at Zhan Xi Road.

VIII. SHANGXIAJIU STREET – 上下九街

Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, or simply as Shangxiajiu, is a commercial pedestrian street in Liwan District, Guangzhou. It is the first business street in Guangzhou and it opened in September 1995.

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Wubys at the Shangxiajiu Street square

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My brave husband, lol.

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Trying some street food

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Wubys at the Shangxiajiu Street

IX. HAI XIN SHA – 海心沙

Haixinsha Island is an island in Guangzhou located to the south of Zhujiang New Town, the newly developed CBD of the city, to the north of Canton Tower, an iconic architectural landmark, and to the east of Er Sha Island.

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Wubsy at Hai Xin Sha Island in Guangzhou.
The Canton tower is hardly visible because of the pollution 😀

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X. GUANGZHOU OPERA HOUSE – 广州歌剧院 Guǎngzhōu gē jùyuàn

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The Guangzhou Opera House is newly constructed.

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Wubys at the Guangzhou Opera House

XI. THE GUANGZHOU LIBRARY – 广州图书馆 Guǎngzhōu túshū guǎn

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Inside the Guangzhou Library

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Wubys at the Guangzhou Public Library

XII. BEIJING ROAD PEDESTRIAN STREET – 北京路步行街

Beijing Road Pedestrian Street is a typically crowded place to shop and eat, especially during weekends. There are about 140 stores in this 440-meter street.

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Wubys at Beijing Lu.
In 2002, they discovered parts of the road from the Tang Dynasty of the 7th century and they have preserved it covering it with glass.

XIII. BAI MA – 白马

Bai Ma, the land of the brave shoppers. If you don’t mind being pushed and bumped, and hear nonstop shouting, then hail a taxi and head to Bai Ma. It is the most famous clothing wholesale market in Guangzhou.

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Wubys at Bai Ma

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We took a taxi to Bai Ma, but it is actually close to the Guangzhou railway station at Zhan Nan Lu. Oh, yea, Lu means Road.

We loved Guangzhou! It was better than what we expected, and the pollution was not horrible compared to Beijing or Shanghai. The city is upbeat and modern, good food- amazing dim sum, and crazy cheap shopping!

We met a lot of people and made so many new friends that we will definitely consider coming back to Guangzhou again. ❤

Zàijiàn Guangzhou! Zhídào wǒmen zài jiànmiàn. 
Good bye Guangzhou! Til we meet again.

REFERENCES
http://topics.nytimes.com
https://www.google.com
en.wikipedia.org
http://www.travelchinaguide.com
http://www.guangzhoutravelguide.com
http://www.chinahighlights.com

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About Ky Malupa

Housewife. Mother of 2 angels. Gluten free, dairy free, corn free baker and eater. SLE patient. Hair and Makeup Artist. Image Enhancement Instructor.
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