Saturday, October 24, 2009

Guangzhou, old, new & traditional

Hello, thanks for coming to my blog. This is the last blog of Guangzhou. The photos I have chosen show different faces of the city. Like most cities it has its modern. its old and its poorer areas, and the buildings that reflect the religious and cultural traditions of the people.

This photo was taken from the window of my room in the hotel. The hotel was very close to the East railway station.

I hope you enjoy seeing the many sides of Guangzhou

I am going to the UK for 2 weeks from 7 November. I will post my next blog as soon as I can after I get back.

Look forward to seeing you then.


A close up of a rooftop from the same view.

A close up of shiny and golden!

China Mayor's Plaza Hotel is at the centre of
the commercial business district of Tianhe.

You often see this shot in the tourist ads but
they don't include the unfinished building on the
far right! The photos also always show
a bright sunny day. UnfortunatelyI didn't get

The tallest building here is the Jianguo hotel
where I stayed. It is in the East part of the city
but it is easy to get around. The Metro station
is 3 minutes walk. It is new, reliable and easy
to navigate.

This and the next several photos are of two
temples that I visited. The first one is the
"Six Banyan Trees and Flower Pagoda Temple"
A peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle
of the city. This is a shot of the Daxiong-Baodian
Hall, the main hall of the temple.

This is inside the Daxiong-Baodian Hall.
The three copper Buddhist statues
placed here are examples of the biggest
and most ancient Buddhist statues in
Guangdong. The middle one is Sakyamuni,
to the left, the Amitabha and to the right, the
Apothecary Buddha. They stand for present,
past and future.

Six Banyan Trees and Flower Pagoda Temple
is one of the four most important temple
complexes in Guangzhou. The original Temple
was built in 537.

This is the Flower Pagoda.
Buddhist relics are placed here.
Its roofs curve upwards and look
like dark red flower petals. The
tip of the Pagoda is like stamens,
while the whole structure looks
like a huge stigma high in the air.

Beautifully shaped entrance

This street is near the temple and the shops
sell religious items. Everything you need for
your visit to the temple.

This is part of the walk through old Guangzou
from the Banyan Tree Temple to the second
temple I visited which was...........

.....Guangxiao Temple, also known as the
Temple of Bright Filial Piety. The original site is
said to be 1500 years old and to pre-date
Guangzhou itself. The present temple
dates from the Qing Dynasty

This statue of Buddha greets you shortly
after you enter the temple.

Fearsome chaps also greet you. I think I
prefer the Buddha!

Baby Pagoda

And now for something
completely different. Beijing
is the Oxford Street of

At night it is brightly lit and
full of people. A "Temple" to all
the famous Western brand

Along the middle of Beijing Liu are the
remains of an ancient road from the Quing
discovered in July 2002.
You can see the road in this photo.

McDonalds, Shiseido, Lancome, HCBC. The
world and his wife has come to Guangzhou!

I don't know what this building is but it is right
at the top end (opposite end from the river)
looking straight down Beijing Liu. Very grand.

In the west of the city there is Shamian Island
For several hundred years this tiny spit of
land was the only place in all of China where
Europeans could establish settlements.

So the architecture is European. It is also a
peaceful place to visit and have a stroll.

Some of the buildings could do with a facelift,
though they maintain their charm.

This is a German restaurant on Shamian.

Our Lady of Lourdes cathedral

We've now moved to the final part of the blog
and to the Guangzhou TV and Sightseeing
. It is just about finished. It should be
completed by the end of this year (2009) in
time for the 2010 Asian Games. It is a finer
example of a hyperboloid structure.

There is an interesting contrast between the
new Tower and the Chigang Pagoda that
falls in its shadow. It was built 400 years
ago and according the article in the link the
Pagoda was in bad need of restoration in the
1920s and was then restored. It needs it again!
A lovely building but unfortunately left to
fall in disrepair.

As has this building, which is close to the Pagoda.
There are obvious signs of habitation, though
looking at the building perhaps there shouldn't be....

Just behind is this hotel, The Regal Riviera
l. Grand and perhaps a little ostentatious?

The tower and the hotel

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Guangzhou China - the human side

Thanks for visiting my blog.

As I walked around Guangzhou I was struck by the friendliness of the people. Always ready to help me when invariably I got a bit lost! Many moments of brief interaction with a smile.

The photos here show a variety of people I "met" or saw over the two days. They made my visit to their city special. I hope you enjoy meeting them too.

This is a serious little chap. I love the pushchair.
I had never seen one like that before

Next time I will show you more of Guangzhou, the old and the new.

See you then :)


Schoolboys on the Haizhu bridge

I was struck by how many people I saw
struggling with heavy loads. Muscles straining
faces pained, this couple push their vehicle
up the incline of the Haizhu bridge

And going in the opposite direction, this
man leans into his bike in the heat of the day.
How much can you load on to a push bike?

The City planners are obviously aware of the
needs of the people to some extent. They
provide a ramp in the steps. Doesn't make
it easy.......................but easier!

The question here is what's in those bags?!
If it's feathers, I guess he's OK

The man on the left wanted to make sure I
took the photo of his friend rather than him.

He does have a lovely smile and face,
so I obliged.

This gentleman spent quite a long time
grooming his beard before he would let me
take his photo.

This is the first of a mini series of three photos.
I was enchanted by these children. Little
brother is already quite the expert in the
art of massage.........

....but soon gets tired. Obviously fun had by

But to pose properly one has to be a little
serious. This shot is one of my favourites.

Talking of posing...the young lady in the hat
seems to have attracted some attention.

So of course I had to oblige too

I couldn't work out what game these young
men were playing. The little one seemed a bit
distracted but the other two didn't even
notice I was there.

One of the great pleasures China offers is
observing people in parks and the numerous
activities that they engage in. But it was all a
bit too much for the gentleman on the bench.

You can't hear it but the music was blaring
and the people were dancing, with a partner
or alone.

On Shamian island two people have made
that most profound commitment. The
profundity of the moment has made the little
bridesmaid go rather shy

Ah! That look! A timeless moment

A face that shows a hard life. As all cities
Guangzhou has the fortunate, and the less so.
But he gave me a smile nonetheless.