Trip Start Feb 13, 2006
62Trip End Aug 14, 2006
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went to guangzhou with tien to visit his family. i haven't been back to china since i was 8 when everyone lived in villages still. oh boy has it changed from what i remember. was fully prepared to be roughing it out in the village eventhough tien did say that his family lived in the city. after my experience of delhi, a city could mean pretty much anything! guangzhou is actually very nice indeed. very modern and clean and green, nothing like i expected. got picked up from the station by tien's aunt and uncle who took us to eat at a chinese restaurant. the food was really good, like good old home cooked food, just like my mums. then we went back to their apartment which was really nice. i even had a bed to sleep on for a change! been saving money by sleeping on tien and wing's hotel floor. not only did i have a bed, but a double one and a whole room all to myself, oh boy was i being spoilt
in the afternoon tien's cousin took us out shoppping. there are loads of shopping centres with all the regular brands. for some reason i expected it to be much less modern. everything is all pretty new so the roads are quite wide and theres lots of greenery about which is a nice change from hong kong. theres just so many people there, so crowded, gets a bit too much sometimes. china was a nice change, not too busy. they have cool shops as well, just like at home, lots of funky customised t-shirts and cute things. prices are about the same as thailand i think, so pretty good, the food is really cheap and tasty. after shopping we went to dinner in a fancy restaurant where we had our own private room, very posh. it's nice being looked after again, although having conversations in chinese is pretty stressfull, its pretty weird sitting around a table like that, i dont even do that often with my own relatives!
the next day we went to foshan to visit tien's grandad and his uncle and aunt. its a smaller city, less westernised, more chinese. felt like i was really in china when we went for a wonder around. less people and skyscrapers although theres still the odd shoppping centre but also people riding on bicycles and old people sitting in the street eating and chatting. it was so good to get a home cooked meal, makes the most simple food seem like a banquet. definately makes me apperciate my mums cooking so much more. its good to get some nutritious food inside me, have to remember to order some greens everynow and then, its pretty easy to forget.
the next morning before our trian home we went to eat dim sum at a local restaurant. the food was really good, the dim sum were huge. everything in china was really tasty, i think it makes a difference when you a local host as they know the best places to take you to eat. its all so cheap as well, we had dim sum for 4 for about 70RMB which is just over a fiver.
i would definatley like to explore china more, i've been pleasantly surprised once again. its so much more modern and clean then i imagined and of course excellent value.