Adventure Awaits in Southern Guangdong Province

Today was going to be an “adventure day.”

Our family friend from Zhuhai graciously offered to show us around the region, and picked us up from our accommodations in Taishan. As we drove along the highway, I was mesmerized by the tree-adorned mountains in the distance. Nature’s presence was grand and powerful.

Source: media.tenor.com.

We finally came to a stop, and we piled out of the van at our first destination – the property of our driver’s friend. We were led to a lychee tree and encouraged to enjoy the fruit. Although I had eaten lychee before, it was my first time seeing a lychee tree and the fresh fruit tasted sweet yet tart.

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Lychee picking in southern Guangdong province. Photo: Tang Choy.

Almost as quickly as we had disembarked, we found ourselves back in the van and en route to lunch. The restaurant we dined in was located by a large rice field, and we couldn’t help but snap a few photos… How often do you get to see stalks of rice in person?

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Rice fields in Guangdong province. Photo: Tang Choy.

After lunch, we visited an old village that’s served as a backdrop for Chinese movies. The location is a noted tourist stop that is part of the South China Historical Trail; however, I had difficulty finding an English name for the stop. Nonetheless, we enjoyed taking in the architecture and meeting some of the venue’s inhabitants.

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My dad making friends with an inhabitant of the village that’s part of the South China Historical Trail. Photo: Tang Choy.
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Man tending to his bike with onlooking chickens, in the village that’s part of the South China Historical Trail. Photo: Tang Choy.

We made a final stop to an outdoor display that paid homage to the Chinese railroad workers in America. A piece of history that’s impacted lives on both sides of the world.

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Chinese railroad workers display in southern Guangdong province. Photo: Tang Choy.

As we prepared to head back to Taishan after another full day, I spotted a toddler by himself on a motorbike. It looked like his guardian had left him on the bike to run a quick errand. I was amazed by the guardian’s trust in the community, and the little boy’s look of determination as he confidently grasped the bike’s handles to prevent himself from falling.

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Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Toddler in southern Guangdong province. Photo: Tang Choy.

In that fleeting moment, I saw characteristics that have been long-standing to the Chinese – community, grit and perseverance. I smiled to myself over the gentle reminder, and boarded our van back to Taishan.

When thinking of cultural identity, what defining characteristics do you associate with your group?

Read the last post for the Choy family’s travel adventures: Tang’s Top 5 Practical Travel Tips for China.

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The Red Lanterns of Guangzhou

The capital of Guangdong province, Guangzhou, is located on the Pearl River and is a significant transportation hub in China. We decided to stop by Guangzhou, after spending a few hours in Zhuhai one day. Given the proximity of the two cities, we caught a train in Zhuhai and reached Guangzhou in an hour or so.

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Angie just missed the “child ticket elevation”… Buying train tickets to Guangzhou. Photo: Tang Choy.

Once we arrived in Guangzhou, my sisters and I diligently followed our relative, Kim, as she swiftly navigated the crowds and ushered us onto the subway. The train swelled with more and more people, as we travelled closer to the heart of Guangzhou. When we stepped out of the subway station, we were pleasantly greeted by a street dotted with red lanterns.

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Beautiful red lanterns adorning a street in Guangzhou. Photo: Tang Choy.

Before exploring any further, we tracked down a place to eat. Kim said she had always wanted to try Tiger Prawn Vietnamese Restaurant, but there was always a long lineup. We approached the restaurant and to our luck, we were seated quickly. After eating Chinese food for over a week, I was eager to try the restaurant’s pho. The ingredients were fresh, and we left Tiger Prawn feeling full.

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Mmm… A warm bowl of pho at Tiger Prawn Vietnamese Restaurant in Guangzhou. Photo: Tang Choy.

We passed interesting eateries and retail buildings, as Kim led us to Beijing Lu – a popular pedestrian street in Guangzhou. More red lanterns hung gracefully from the trees along Beijing road, and we spent a good 10-15 minutes trying to capture the magic on our camera phones.

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My sister, Angie, and I in front of a retail building in Guangzhou – loved the lights! Photo: Tang Choy.
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The famous red lanterns lining Beijing Lu in Guangzhou. Photo: Tang Choy.

Kim wanted us to try one last “speciality” along Beijing Lu, and we found ourselves in front of a mango drink stall. Both Kim and my sister, Angie, put in an order and I looked in wonder as they turned around with mango drinks that were larger than their faces. The smoothie-like concoction was topped with cream and generous chunks of fresh mango.

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Mango mania in Guangzhou. Kim and Angie with their massive mango drinks! Photo: Tang Choy.

After a packed day of travel, we were ready to retire for the day. We found our way back to the train station, and headed back to our hotel to rest.

What’s your most memorable sightseeing location? Why would you go back for a visit?

Read more about the Choy family’s travel adventures: Adventure Awaits in Southern Guangdong Province.