Showing posts with label Guangdong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guangdong. Show all posts

Monday, November 06, 2006

China: Guangzhou, last day in China

I arrived at the Guangzhou East Train Station at 11 a.m. I was met at the station by Jiajin, our liaison officer during the program who was nice enough to take me around Guangzhou during my last day in China. We hadn't been able to see Guangzhou during the program in Guangdong Province since the activities were in Dongguan City.

From the Guangzhou East Station, we took a subway to the Guangzhou Train Station (there are two stations in Guangzhou) since the hotel I was going to stay in was right beside it. It was convenient for me since right beside the hotel was the China Southern office and the pick-up point for the airport shuttle which left every 15 minutes. I paid RMB150 for a single room.

We had lunch at the KFC beside the hotel. From there, we took a subway to the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. The hall is situated on the southern slope of Yuexiu Hill and was constructed between 1929 and 1931 by the people of Guangzhou and overseas Chinese as a monument to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the forerunner of Chinese democratic revolution.

Since Jiajin had classes at 3 p.m., we took a 40-minute bus to the Guandong University of Foreign Studies where he is a graduating student. I stayed at his dorm and surfed the Internet while he was in class.

After his class, we took another bus back to the city center. I wanted to pass by a supermarket to check out the local food. We decided to buy dinner there. Got myself some rice noodles and vegetable pie while he got some dumplings. Also bought some dried fruits and my supply of water. From there, we walked towards the Shangxiajiu Walking Street (上下九商业步行街) a famous shopping area of Guangzhou.

What I liked about the place was the glass covered display of an old street which was accidentaly discovered in 2002 during excavations for a redevelopment project. But instead of destroying the old street and other remnants of the city's heritage, like what Mayor Atienza did in Mehan Gardens and Cuartel Meisic, Guangzhou covered it with glass and it is now an attraction of the walking street.

It was not only one street but actually layer upon layer of streets from various periods dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD). Between then and the period of the Republic of China (1912 to 1949), ten additional layers were added. The bottom grit layer is about 3 meters below the surface. At a depth of 4.5 meters, the remains of the Southern Yue Kingdom (203 to 211 BC) were found. From 7.9 meters below, the surface lies gray-red virgin soil, which reveals that the site was once a riverbed. If you check out the photo, each label is from a different period of China's history. I hope we are able to find things like these in the Philippines.

After taking some photos, we went back to the hotel to eat our supermarket dinner. Didn't stay up too late since my flight was early in the morning and I had to be up before 6 a.m. to catch the 50-minute shuttle to the airport. My flight back to Manila leaves at 8:45 a.m. Anyway, this is my last post on my China trip. Until the next adventure!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

China: Modern China in Dongguan City

The China-ASEAN Youth Camp finally began today. Our first stop was the Dongguan Songshan Lake Science & Technology Industry Park. This strategic high-tech industry park is located in the center of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong economic corridor.

Covering an area of 72 square kilometers with a well-protected ecological environment, the park was elected as the high-tech industry park with greatest development potential in China by the National Research Center for Science and Technology.

We visited the exhibition center where an impressive scale model of the park masterplan at the center of the hallway gave visitors a preview of the future of the park. I was impressed by the consistent use of the Post-modern architectural style for many of its buildings.

I was also impressed with how the planners created a sustainable environment for Songshan Lake, with modern industries and institutions in harmony with the natural environment around it. Lunch was served at a function hall by the shore of Songshan Lake. Again, we had more Guandong style cuisine. One of our drinks was white fungus with bird's nest. After lunch, we toured to the Dongguan University of Technology to check out the campus and its facilities.

To cap the day, we took a stroll at the impressive city center of Dongguan. We were dropped off at the headquarters of the Dongguan People's Hall. Again, it was a feast of structures and monuments in the Post-modern architectural style around a vast square of fountains and pools, and plant boxes filled with flowers of various colors.

We were on our way to the Dongguan Exhibition Center to view several hallways filled with exhibits on the history, culture, development, industry and technology of Dongguan. Not only were they informative and well-organized; the exhibits were nothing less than world-class!

Dinner was also in downtown Dongguan. After dinner, the delegation went around some shopping areas but nothing much to buy since it was quite pricey in the area which we visited. Since we were tired as well, we decided to make our way back to the hotel in Hongmei Town which was about 40 minutes away. More photos here.
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