08 Dec - 13 Dec 2012 Guangzhou

People’s Republic of China aka Red China
Guangdong Province
Guangzhou City aka Canton
Huanshizhong Road 201
Heng Fu Lai Hotel +862062685988 hengfulai@126.com
Spacious a/c twin room (no. 210) with private bathroom and internet for CNY 140.- or US$ 22.40 per night. English-speaking, professional staff. 40 %  discount for members of the Konni & Matt Travel Blog.
Beer: 600-ml bottles of ice-cold Pearl River Lager Beer (3.4 % alc./vol.) for only CNY 3.50 from any of the small mom-and-pop stores round the corner.

Click below for an interactive satellite view of the Heng Fu Lai Hotel in Guangzhou (Canton), which we would recommend, and for directions:
Note the random 0 - 500 m misalignment between Google's maps and satelltite views of the motherland, courtesy of the paranoid Chinese Communist Party.

Checking out the architectural chronicle of China’s colonisation in the leafy oasis of Shamian Island, which was acquired as a foreign concession after the two Opium Wars, and exploring Beijing Road aka Beijing Lu, a bustling, 500-m long pedestrianized street crammed full of shops big and small selling virtually everything imaginable from clothes and shoes to accessories, general merchandise, jewelry and all kind of street food.

“I could pretend that nothing really meant too much
When I look at my china girl
I stumble into town just like a sacred cow
Visions of swastikas in my head
Plans for everyone
Its in the white of my eyes
My little china girl
You shouldn't mess with me…”

Admiring the curvature of the earth from the 433m-high 108th-floor observation deck (admission: CNY 120.- or US$ 19.- per senior citizen) of Canton Tower, the tallest structure in China and the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the world, which briefly held the title of tallest tower in the world, replacing the CN Tower, before being surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree in 2011 CE.

Travelling back in time at the somewhat overblown Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King (admission: CNY 15.- or US$ 2.40 per adult) thus (i) gazing in amazement at Zhao Mo’s 2nd century BCE burial suit, made of thousands of tiny jade tiles in order to preserve his royal body, (ii) marvelling at hundreds of outstanding exhibits of 8th century CE Tang Dynasty tri-colour (yellow, green, white) pottery from Luoyang and (iii) feeling drowsy at Mr and Mrs Yeung Wing Tak’s hypnotising collection of 12th century CE ceramic pillows.

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and embarking on a wonderful and relaxing night cruise (2 hours, CNY 58.- or US$ 9.30 per person) on the illuminated Pearl River.

Taking an express bus from Canton’s inter-city bus station to Shenzhen’s busy Lo Wu Bus Terminal (c. 130 km, 2 hours, CNY 68.- or US$ 10.90 per person), reporting the fact to the dismissive Chinese police that Matt’s 6-years old but still perfectly loyal and unboobytrapped Dell laptop computer disappeared mysteriously and without trace from his luggage between Canton and Shenzhen (although in 2011 CE the Chinese regime officially spent more on internal security [US$ 110 billion] than on national defense [US$ 106 billion]), crossing thereafter, fortunately with all our kidneys still inside, the crowded border between Red China and Hong Kong, being issued with a 90-day visit permit for Hong Kong on arrival, free of charge, and, eventually, taking Hong Kong’s efficient Mass Transit Railway (MTR) from the border at Lo Wu straight to Tsim Sha Tsui (for a stiff HKD 38.- or US$ 4.90 per person), located right in the pulsating heart of Kowloon.

Click below for more blog posts about our visits to big celestial cities
13 Dec - 17 Dec 2012 Hong Kong
03 Jul - 31 Jul 2012 Beijing
02 Jun - 01 Jul 2012 Toronto
05 May - 01 Jun 2012 Taipei
10 Apr - 14 Apr 2009 Singapore

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

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