Tag Archives: zhongshan

Canton, From Chungshan to Chuhai

The morning’s adventures must be told without pictures. You can, however, use the encyclopedia entry for Zhongshan for generic photos of what I saw.

I decided to look for Apple chips (having had some delicious ones on the plane), and took a taxi to supermarket. The driver overcharged me for a total of 10 RMB ($1.30), and — worse — the store didn’t have apple chips.

I looked around and thought I knew where I was, because I saw a KFC similar to one I had seen the day before. So I began walking, and after a few blocks I realized that that was in fact a different KFC. I back-tracked, and saw a pink tower in the French quarte,r and began walking to it.

This was quite a walk, but the oxygen high made it a breeze. I got to the Sunwen Road West and took this sideroad and that, as I felt quite good. I was thirsty so I ducked into the McDonalds, asked for a “Fanta,” nearly got an Orange Juice, pointed to the Fanta, and the manager said “Ah — Fanta.” So I got my Fanta.

Full of energy, I walked up the hill at Zhongshan Park and saw the Fufeng Pagoda. Generally older women and a few men were practicing tiji, though somehow I missed the largest bronze sculpture of San Yatsen in the world, which apparently was feet from me. (D’oh!)

I accidentally took the wrong way down, and walked into part of the unimproved (actually, literally smashed) section of the French quarter. Part of the wall of the steps contained mortor and with still-embedded glass shards. The old road was sub-divded into houses.

Following my re-emergence on Sunwen, I walked back to the river. I saw the elevated pedestrian bridge over the river I eyed yesterday, so I went out of my way to take that. It was very cool — neat staircase, and I was the only one on it. (Being alone in a public corridor is an unusual experience during midmorning in a country of 1.6 billion people.) The bridge ends at a mad-gorgeous park, with fountains, statues, game-playing stations, flowers, an artificial lake — you name it.

Finally, I took a new road back to the hotel. While on the street a guy approached me to buy the watch — owning a knockoff would have been a neat sovernier, but I that he only had one made me think it may be stolen, so I refused. At last, I was outside my hotel. I bought a Vanilla Coke (China — a country where they still have this most delicious of colas!) and a Gatorade, and walked inside.

Anyway, enough of my rambling — photos of move from Chonghsan to Chuahi are below the fold


A look at the free dining room in Zhongshan


Checking out, the Zhongshan hotel


Final shot of Zhongshan — note the logos on the skyskraper


The bus line ends at the Zhuhai-Macao border. Chinese need a visa to got to the Macao SAR (formerly the Portuguese colony).


Zhuhai! Palm trees and blue skies!


Macao’s skyline


Our hotel


Canton, a tdaxp travelogue
1. Peking to Chungshan
2. Yatsen City
3. Chunshan to Chuhai
4. Pearl Ocean
5. Chuhai to Peking

Canton, in the City of Yatsen

Zhongshan is gorgeous. The photo that I’m using to headline my travels to Canton

is from that city’s Sunwen West Road pedestrian shopping mall. The town is named after Sun Yatsen, a Christian medical doctor who sidelined as an anti-Qing revolutionary, President of the Republic of China, and Founder of the KMT.

But that is the past. Nowadays Zhongshan is a busy hub city, but one that’s still very walkable (more than any other city in China’s I’ve visited)

Elevated Pedestrian Intersection

Compared to the smogginess of northern China, everything is embarrassingly beautiful…

The renovated portions of Sunwen West Road are a nicer shopping district than any I’ve seen, anywhere. Palm trees and French architecture reach to the sky…

While almost anything you could name (Cantonese tea, McDonalds, pirated DVDs, women’s fashion, and western wear) filled the shops and stalls

Ride’em cowboy!

Sadly, if you walked off the beaten past, you saw the corpses of French colonialism. The houses-turned-into-apartments were not at all bad by the local standards of this class-society, but seeing the barren houses reminded me of the horror of Mao Zedong murderous separation from the outside world.

Not quite finished with our shopping, climed a small mountain to see what we could see. (The pure air, full of oxygen and free of rustbelt pollutants, is invigorating.)

What’s beyond this door is neat: it’s an actual Buddhist temple, with actual Buddhist monks.

As a Catholic, it’s interesting to see how similar Buddhist religious iconography is to the Catholic Church’s. Over the alter the Buddha looked down, flanked by his disciples and various other good guys. In the room monks ate dinner on the floor, and asked us if we would like to convert.

The reason I don’t have pictures of the inside is that we weren’t actually supposed to be there. The reason the door was open was that a worshiper accidentally left it so. The monks were awesome — funny, kind, all the rest — though as we proceeded to leave the guard unmistakably was escorting us out.

The last outside photo for the day is a cityskape from that hill.

The last story will be on Cantonese cuisine, which I liked quite a lot.

Cantonese are over-represented in the Chinese diaspora, and American-Chinese Food, which tastes nothign at all like mandarin fair, is nearly identicla to authentic restaurant-style Cantonese. The only real difference is that desert was sweet fresh fruit, as opposed to a tasteless fortune cookie.

Thus ended a perfect day.

Canton, a tdaxp travelogue
1. Peking to Chungshan
2. Yatsen City
3. Chunshan to Chuhai
4. Pearl Ocean
5. Chuhai to Peking

Canton, From Peking to Chungshan

Let’s go to Canton!

The trip started unauspiciously… The bus ride to the airport (which won’t be needed next year because of the Beijing Subway expansion!!) was packed and slow, though the chairs themselves were comfortable

The bus ride was doubly uncomfortable because the Beijing haze was thicker than usual, though not as bad as some days

Finally, we arrived at the airport — and our flight to Zhuhai (Pearl Ocean) was on time

and a meer four hours later, we arrived in a sunny, bright, clean, warm, wonderland (or, at least, a very comfortable airport)

The drive was amazingly beautiful. The Pearl Ocean (where the Pearl River meets the South China Sea) was right next door to the airport, and the beautiful and neerly empty highway traveled along it for quite some time. Old-fashioned fishing boats dotted the waters, on the blue waves and under the blue sky.

Our driver took us to 中山(Zhongshan, formerly transliterated as Chungshan, named after Sun Yatsen and meaning “Chinese Mountain”) without a hitch. The car was nice and air conditioned, and his music taste good.

What a way to start a vacation (to Canton) in a vacation (to China) in a vacation (summer break)!

Canton, a tdaxp travelogue
1. Peking to Chungshan
2. Yatsen City
3. Chunshan to Chuhai
4. Pearl Ocean
5. Chuhai to Peking
5. Chuhai to Peking