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  • Writer's picturerachrachchang

DEC 2019 - Chang Family in Guangzhou & Macau (1/2)

Rushing back after work on Christmas Eve, to pack our things for the long-awaited trip. Mom made Christmas eve dinner for us and then was too tired, she took a nap to 2200 hours.


The next morning was a pretty mad rush because our flight is at 7ish in the morning, we all got up at 5 and made our way to the airport.


Grumpy us just wanted to get on the flight and catch up on our sleep, but mom insisted that we took selfie before boarding. So here we are.


As today is Christmas, Singapore Airlines decorated the cabin for the festive holiday!!!!


Then we saw a real-life horror story, with my sister sleeping liddis.

We arrived at Hong Kong International Airport around 11ish and had to wait for our ferry at about 1500 hours. As we have quite a lot of time, we decided to have lunch and we sat down at one of their restaurants. However, we were afraid that if we speak in Chinese, people will beat us up due to the current situation in Hong Kong.


Ended up, dad went to order their HK congee and noodles, speaking in Cantonese. I wish I can speak Canto sobs.


After lunch, have no idea why my parents have to squeeze in one seat when there are plenty of empty ones around. Caught them in their "why-are-you-taking-photo-of-us" moment and can't deny that their expressions are golden!!!!

AND THEN I SAW A HIGH LEVEL ONE, the dude just lied on the floor and sleep.


Following the ferry ride of about 1.5 hours, we took a cab to ZhuHai Railway Station.

The cabbie uncle was totally unfriendly and gestured us to get off before we even arrived at a proper platform, we had to walk on the road until we reached the proper landing.


He also took an additional 20 CNY for the trip and mom was too blur to realise until we have gotten off the cab (the trip was only at 20CNY, so the change should be 80 CNY but we got 60 instead). TSK TSK TSK.


We ordered some light refreshments while waiting for our high-speed train. Their milk tea was so good and fragrant. The tea had beans and barley at the bottom, we only realised when we finished our drink and was about to leave.


Dad booked the first-class tickets to Guangzhou Railway South Station online and was told that we can come and change our tickets (if we prefer another timing). However, upon checking with the security guards, they told us we can just head in so we just gonna wing it.


The seats were 10A, 10B etc. When we got on, there were no 10B and entry was denied at the gates but the staff was nice enough to just let us pass (even tho we do have some seating issues later). Another hour passed and we are at the South station, buying our metro tickets to Taojin station, where our hotel is at. The ride is 6 CNY for more than 15 stops and payment can be easily made via wechatpay or Alipay. Dad has Alipay so yay.


Google map says 400m from the station to Crowne Plaza Hotel at City Centre, but it felt much longer than that (maybe because we were lugging our luggage)


We checked in into our rooms at around 2000 hours. There was a basket of fruits and a thermal flask with chicken soup. We are not certain that the soup is part of the hotel's welcome set or leftovers by the previous hotel guest so I didn't get to drink it (Even tho I really wanted to try)


We called the concierge to set up another bed in our room and went out for dinner. Just nearby our hotel, this newly opened restaurant caught our attention.


Today is Christmas so... CHRISTMAS DINNER💕







The hotel also offers Chinese tea with the teapot-cups set. What a pity we didn't have the energy today to explore that. It was a day of extreme sports because we took all sorts of transport, getting from one place to another with our luggage, and only made it to our destination, Guangzhou in the evening.


*will definitely sip some tea on one of these nights*

Lights out at 0039 hours for me.


DAY 2// 26 DEC 2019


We paid $12 for the hotel breakfast, there is a huge variety of food for our selection.

*will try all the different food on the next few days*

After breakfast, we went back to our rooms to get ready. We left the hotel at 1132 hours and took the Metro to Chen Clan Academy Station to our first attraction in Guangzhou.


CHEN CLAN ACADEMY AKA CHEN CLAN ANCESTRAL HALL

It was renamed as an Academy so that the ancestral hall wouldn't be demolished due to xx reasons.

We got our tickets at 10 CNY (or was it 20) and they had to verify our passports (our identity) before we could enter their historical sites.

We went ahead with the English guided tour, they require us to pay 100CNY per person as a deposit, so essentially this tour is free and the people don't accept tips.


Our tour guide is very fluent in English and has vast knowledge of China's history. She also shared with us on the symbolic meaning of the statues, painting, and carvings. The structure of the building and how the artwork such as ivory carving used to be legal in Qing Dynasty.



Dad caught me taking picture through the pillar so I caught him making that face.


Around 1500 hours, we moved to our next destination at Huangsha station.


SHAMIAN ISLAND

We were all hungry by the time we got here so we stopped by this restaurant that has their own lemon tree, for nice cakes and coffee.


There is a cathedral right out here, apparently perfect for wedding photoshoot.







We were planning to head for the Pearl Cruise but as we're on our way to the metro station, we passed long bridges with very strong and cold wind blowing us in the face. This calls for a change of plans. Also, there are a lot of people riding on motorised bicycles, moving super fast and I wondered if any accidents had happened in China.


We took the Metro to Tianhexilu and arrived at Tianhe Tee Mall, also the biggest mall in Guangzhou. However, I felt a little disappointed as the mall doesn't seem to have much and wasn't as big as they said. Other than the Apple store and Miniso, we ran out of things to go for.


Me at Miniso with a Banana hat.

It was a spontaneous decision to catch a movie, IPMAN 4 (Audio was in Cantonese) at Tee Mall, we got tomato flavored snacks and 2 ice creams to go with it. The movie started at about 1900 hours and I cried so much during the show.


*should really binge on the four series of ipman someday*


After the movie, we went to for dinner. They served v nice porridge, fish and noodles. I had Kimchi porridge, it was a little too spicy but delicious and has prawns and sotongs. We reached our hotel at about 2300 hours and that is all for the day.


DAY 3// 27 DEC 2019

Dad wanted to see the 5 goats, it is actually a statue of 5 goats.

YIUXUE PARK

I didn't take a picture of the statue but instead, the ice cream we had on the way. It tastes like white rabbit sweet, so rich and so sweet.


While we were enjoying our ice cream, we met a Singaporean family who moved to Beijing because of work. They shared about their experiences living in China and about raising their only child, how he grew and learn in a foreign land.


We saw this huge wall used in the past for war. Dad was so fascinated by it and I just kept thinking how could anyone climb over it. Is it even possible??


Next to the Guangzhou Museum, there is a stall that sell bingtanghulu so we got it. It is hard and sweet on the outside, soft and warm on the inside.


Then we took the metro to bejinglu, for our intended shopping but had to go to Tianzi Wharf to get our Pearl River Cruise tickets because the online site says we need to book our tickets 24 hours before (but too late for that already).


Before we got to the Wharf, we ate wanton noodles at a local stall, the food is cheap and head to Starbucks so that we can chill for awhile.

Guangzhou don't have peppermint mocha!!!!??? My sis was so disappointed and we settled for snowy black forest mocha. It didn't taste like black forest at all. Dad and sis went to get the tickets while we recharge at Starbucks. After the slight recharge, mom stayed to continue playing tsum tsum and we went for a stroll along the Pearl River.



We got food again hahahaha


Dad wanted pictures at the junction so here we go




We went to explore and use the toilet ofc since we have some time before our Pearl River cruise ride at 1850 hours.


PEARL RIVER CRUISE

At the boarding area, we had to follow the instructions to get to the right entrance and squeeze with others to get onboard. There is absolutely no reason for rushing but the Chinese can never stand to be second to anyone so they rushed (we have assigned seats so what is the point)


When we got on, we really just have 茶水. Just a cup of tea per person and most of us never actually stay at the assigned table. We all left to head to the upper decks to get good shots of the night city view of 珠江








The staff do offer to take professional photos for the customers (give you the small ass photos in keychains) but sell reasonable size photos for a massive price so my parents didn't want to get their photos.


The city view is really amazing but with so many people on board and their phones in your faces, it's pretty hard to enjoy the view and the moment right there.


After some photo-taking, we came back to our assigned desk to drink our tea and eat the bread we got earlier.

Dad and sis trying to enjoy the view at the side seats


The cruise made a turn and head back to the wharf and we head towards the nearest station to taojin for our dinner at MADO


MADO is a Mediterranean restaurant that serves more than just that. It is along the way to our hotel and we spotted their legit desserts and dishes days ago. They opened to 1am for desserts and we just couldn't give it a miss


We got a beef mutton wrap with eggplant paste, schnitzel with fries, beef and mixed platter (with the wraps) and minced meat dumpling-pasta. They were all so good!!!! 😭😭😭😭







The restaurant is set in white furniture and the windows were open so it was chilly but not too cold. After we had our mains, we ordered their signature desserts but what a pity their chocolate lava soufflé was sold out. We got a plate of mixed treats with walnuts and pistachio and their signature cheese pancake with Turkish ice cream and honey



The cheese pancake thing is super good. I never liked the food that is a mix of sweet and savoury. But this, is really lit. The cheese pancake is warm, the cheese is stretchy and salty. The ice cream is really thick and sticky, it is so intense. Together with the honey syrup, the blend of flavours and texture gave it different dimensions.


We were all so full and I had to unbutton my pants once again during dinner. 😒


Tonight was our last night in Guangzhou. Here are some good and not so good comments about the city:


G1) their transport is super affordable. We take over 15 stops for 6CNY and the lowest for 2 stops was at 2 CNY which is like 40 cents in SGD??!? Considering the distance the train covers, it is really worthwhile. Day pass (unlimited rides for 20 CNY) is not necessary.


G2) the city encourages electronic /cashless payment such as wechatpay and alipay. So glad dad is an alipay user so we can settle our metro payment quickly. No loose change which is good because it will probably weigh a lot in the pocket.


G3) Attractions are also relatively near metro stops so it is not difficult getting to places to places. Google maps and Baidu (in Chinese) works well too.



B1) the air is damn bad. Their smoking regulation is not tight so maybe every 10 steps, you see and smell cigarette smoke. Most of the air we breathe in, contains 2nd hand cigarette smoke and the air quality isn't great so I probably have a lot of other fine particles on my face after a day out. This trip just reduced my life by 10 years with all this poor air quality going into my system.


B2) At all the metro stations, it is mandatory for passengers to put their belongings through the scanners (like those at the airport). It is rather time-consuming even tho their screen regulations are not tight. On my first day in China, the lady told me 把水拿出来, 喝一口 after my bag went thru the scans. So I obediently obeyed the instructions but as I was drinking, I realised 没有人在看??? 😅


B3) Everyone here doesn't allow passengers to get off before boarding and charge their way into trains. They also prefer to bump into people instead of saying a simple excuse me and get off. So we got pushed a lot on our trip but that is fine too.


B4) they spit a lot and at anywhere!!!! Literally everywhere including in restaurants.


B5) majority of their toilets are squatting ones so... 我不行啦



DAY 4 // 28 DEC 2019


Took breakfast and set off at 1100 for zhuhai Station. We had to take the metro to Guangzhou railway South Station and then followed by a high-speed train to zhuhai at 2nd class seats (which means that people who come earlier than you, can sit at your place and refuse to get their butts off). Luckily that they stood up willingly and we got our seats and in an hour or so, we are at zhuhai station. This begins our long walks-custom checks to Macau's land.


Bringing all the luggage and off we go to "get deported". SERIOUSLY FELT LIKE WE ARE GETTING SENT TO A CONCENTRATION CAMP


*inserts video of the whole dramatic journey but sorry I don't have it"


We didn't know that we need a Departure card 😂 heard of arrival card but Departure card is simi.


After God knows how long, we are finally in Macau and queued in a very messy fashion for shuttle service to our hotel at the Parisian. As we were getting on, a China guy just conveniently sneaked into the queue at the point of entrance and boarded the bus.

The busboy spoke in Chinese and asked the man to get off. The man continued to board and omg the busboy yelled at him to get off, asking him where he came up from/ where he was queueing at.


The busboy damn lit sia. OMG MY MAN!!!!!!!!


Got to our hotel room safely at around 1600 hours and I took a short nap before our dinner at 1900hours with our uncles (they flew to Macau directly the day before) !!

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