Bamboo Sprouts

The REAL Guangzhou

The real GZ is NOT between the White Swan Hotel and Lucy’s Diner.  Most adoptive families stay on Shamian Island. (I dont really see how Shamian qualifies as an island – it’s not like we take a BOAT to get there. Rick promises that it does, though.) Shamian is where the US consulate used to be, and that’s where we get our children’s visas to come home.  It is not even close to being “real” China.  But the weirdest thing is that if you walk across the foot bridge, its a whole other world over there!  And it seems that most Americans DONT do this.  As a matter of fact, this is our third trip to GZ and this was our first time venturing over the bridge!  If you are traveling soon, I encourage you to take a walk.  And be brave…venture down the little alleys.  Its so interesting.  Especially if you are in GZ for your whole trip (ie: your kiddo is in Guangdong Province)!  It would be a shame to travel to China and only see Shamian Island.  I just wish I had taken MORE pix.  The little alleys are a bit tricky to navigate but the locals were friendly and its so interesting to see how people really live and work.

Here is some of what we saw.

A back alley street area with locals shopping and working and living

These beans are about 2 feet long!!  I just hadnt seen such big beans before.  LOL

I am always surprised at the combination of the old and new in China.

There was a very elderly woman who stopped to rub the cheeks of our children and smiled the warmest smile at each of them and at us.  I so wish I had taken her photo.  She oozed love and was obviously a lovely woman.  We were in a VERY narrow and poor alley where people lived where they worked.  I often hesitated to take a photo thinking it might offend but I should know by now that the Chinese people usually love being photographed and seem to see it as an honor.  I hope to be braver about it in the future.  Yep, I said in the future.  😉

2 Responses

  1. Courtney

    These pictures are so cool. I love the one of the duck/goose. And the beans are amazing. This is the China that I am so glad I got to “visit” with you.

  2. Kelley

    Our travel group rebelled, you know, when they weren’t hoteled at the White Swan. We were originally put up in another hotel, probably two or three miles from Shamian. Their complaint was that the carpets were filthy…which they were. But the rooms were huge and looked out on the coolest streets and alleys. I’ll never forget standing at our window looking to the right at a 30-story beautiful high-rise apartment building. The I’d look straight down, across the street from our hotel and see a huge set of four-story brick buildings that looked strung together. It had alley ways snaking all through it and looked pretty run down.But at night, you could see the flickering blue glow from television sets out of every window in that ru down place! No other lights on at all, but that TV was going!

    We (the Colemans) refused to travel to the White Swan with our group as it felt supremely selfish to us … well, to me at least. But we did enjoy our journeys to Shamian when we had administrative duties there.

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