Monday, September 14, 2009

Beijing Road, Guangzhou, China

The moment I step down from the airport coach at Guangzhou City, I knew Guangzhou or also known as Canton is not a place for me. The coach dropped us at the Train station, the most crowded place in the city where people from all places meet with people rushing for train tickets, rushing for taxis and buses and and who knows what. With city population of 6 million and some says more, Guangzhou is also the third largest in urban land area ranking after Beijing and Shanghai in China. Well, I have to admit I can't tolerate heavy traffics and crowded places. I am a country guy. I was born and breed in a sub-urban town.
Since I am already here in Guangzhou waiting for my return flight to Malaysia on the next day, I might just as well explore the city and some famous places. The pedestrian-only street or also call Beijing Road a.k.a. Beijing Lu in Chinese is one of the city's attraction. To me it's like a China Town in any other city or country where crowds walk around shopping and window shopping. But this is already China. I really don't know what I am supposed to do around here. I am like a lost child with no specific direction to go. Just walk to one end and return to the same place again from where I started. It didn't take me long before I make up my decision to walk back to the subway station to return to my hostel.
I have a lot of Malaysian friends who comes regularly to Guangzhou for shopping and business. Even the Chinese comes to Guangzhou. That's makes me wonder.. Is Guangzhou a place for me ?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beach Of Moonlight

It used to be a place where children and adults goes for swimming and many people picnic along the white sandy beach. I recall they had a hotel resort with a swimming pool but the beach has eroded because of the strong wave. The pool which was about 500 meters to the sea has now sunk. Except the swimming pool, the resort owner were able to move the chalets away further from the sea. According to a villager nearby said, two mosques already sunk since 40 years ago. The beach used to be 1 kilometer away. Nowadays nobody swim at the beach because the wave and the under water current is strong making the sea unsafe for swimmers. But it seems to be a favourite place for fishing.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Guangzhou Youth Hostel

If you are looking for a clean budget accommodation in Guangzhou, I would recommend Guangzhou Youth Hostel. They are not just clean, decent and reasonably priced, it's also strategically located near to the subway station, peaceful with beautiful scenery facing the river where you can take the ferry to cross the river at only 1 yuan per trip. And the ferry service is so frequent. There is also a park nearby where you can see lots of local people especially the elderly exercising during the evening and morning.
And the train at the subway is also very frequent, and you don't have to rush for them every time you are there. If you missed one, another will be coming by in just a few minutes. And the trains can take you to most of the popular tourist spot. And in Guangzhou, I prefer to travel by metro train as they are clean and efficient.
And during my free time I like to sit by the river be it during the day or night time. Both have different feel. I especially like to watch the sunset at the pier, and feel the lovely wind blowing during the night. Standing by the river watching tall buildings with neon light remind me of my Shanghai trip at The Bund.
The hostel not only provide free wifi service at the lobby, they also provide 3 stars bed rooms. And they use card system as lock. And the only problem I faced during my stay is they don't have any tourist friendly restaurants or stalls around, unless you speak Cantonese or mandarin. But if you enjoy drinking. the beer street is just next door. There are lots of KTV lounge, pubs and night clubs all along the street.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian

Xiamen University is so famous that there are lots of tourist flocking in everyday to take pictures. To me I think it's the architecture of the building and the greens surrounding the building with hills nearby too. And of course there is a beach and the city within walking distant. I visited the Uni during my first day and last day in Xiamen.
Xiamen University is nearby my hostel too. And there are a lot of buses passes by everyday. So I have no problem with transportation while staying around there. And everyone knows Xiamen University since Xiamen is just a small island.
They have everything from lake, hotel, cafeteria, hostel, libraries, sports complex and etc. For more details, kindly click 'Xiamen University".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tulou 土楼

A tulou 土楼 or "earthen building", is a traditional communal residence in the Fujian province of Southern China, usually of a circular configuration surrounding a central shrine. These vernacular structures were occupied by clan groups.

Although most tulou were of earthen construction, the definition "tulou" is a broadly descriptive label for a building type and does not indicate construction type. Some were constructed of cut granite or had substantial walls of fired brick. Most large-scale tulou seen today were built of a composite of earth, sand, and lime known as sanhetu rather than just earth.

The famous Fujian Tulou, designated as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, is a small and specialized subgroup of tulou, and are known for their unique shape, large scale, and ingenious structure. There are more than 20,000 tulou in southern Fujian. Approximately 3,000 of them are Fujian Tulou, that is 15% of tulou belongs to Fujian Tulou category - by wikipedia.

We join the local tour to visit the tulou on one Sunday morning which cost us RMB180.00 per person by bus. This covers everything including transportation, lunch and entrance fee. The journey took us 2 hours to reach our destination. We started at 8.30 am and reached back Xiamen at about 5 pm.
Visiting tulou is a must if you are in Fujian or Xiamen. The scenery was beyond my expectation. The location is up at the mountains and it is impossible to visit this place on your own as you need to move from our place to another accompanied by a tour guide. The price we paid was worth the value of the tour.
What you see from the outside is totally a different picture inside. The first time I enter the tolou, my mouth open in surprise. It's amazing they have so many people staying in this circular building with multi storeys. The ground floor is usually the kitchen hall or a sundry shop. And the upper floors are the bed rooms. They even have a well for water consumption in each house.
In the center of those clusters are the playing area, a market place and places where they rare poultry. To me this place is very unique and you don't get to see them in any other places. There are many tulous in Fujian and we only visit one of the the villages.