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.