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