In March 2007, my studies brought me to Guangzhou, a city with more than 10 million inhabitants in southern China. I was working within the nice, green, and quiet campus of the Sun Yat-sen University, but I also took the chance to explore the busy city as well as ventured further afield to nearby Guilin, Hong Kong, and Macau. After my work was finished, I prolonged my stay in China to travel with a friend for another few weeks. First we met in Beijing, but soon we had enough of megacities and therefore took a quick decision: We booked train tickets on the (then) newly established Lhasa Train. 48 hours brought us across most of China and on top of the Tibetan Plateau where Lhasa, the city of my childhood dreams, was awaiting us. After a week in this place of wonders, we took a flight to Kunming and continued up to the tropical forests of Xishuangbanna with its capital of Jinghong. Here close to the border to Myanmar, the journey ended – but hey, we are not there yet – and I hope you will enjoy reliving this trip with me in the coming weeks!
Guangzhou is the major city of southern China, but internationally outshined by the nearby special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau. The city spreads along the banks of the Pearl River, which offers impressive views of the skyline with new skyscrapers rising up every few months! Touristic sights are relatively scarce, but include a couple of parks, museums, Buddhist temples, and the Shamian Island. This little islet on the northern bank of the Pearl River was once a British and French concession and is characterized by a number of colonial buildings, a quiet atmosphere, and the US consulate. If you want to escape the bustle of the megacity, you can hop on the bus to Zhuhai, close to the border to Macau. This comparatively small town is located at the sea and therefore a popular place for locals to sample the famous seafood cuisine.
After getting set in Guangzhou, I had the chance to get even further outside the city as colleagues organized a short trip to the famous karst landscape near Guilin – but that’s the content of this post!
Beautiful, old and new, or rather modern and historic.
thank you!! Stay tuned… it will get better still (at least I think so!)… 😉
I understood from wht I read that “childhood dream” part will be the best…correct? hehe
Like how you have included a map for us who haven’t been in the area and don’t know the geography that well😄
thanks a lot!! 🙂 … for me it feels good to connect photographs with a geographic locality – I want to know where something is! 🙂 I also have included maps in the first post of my Southeast Asia and North India travelogues!
What a stunning itinerary! Enjoy your journey! It looks like your start was already deeply enjoyable 🙂
thanks a lot – unfortunately, that has been loooong time ago… but I will travel to China again in around 5 weeks, let’s see what I will experience then!
Oh, I kind of missed the “2007”. However, it sounds like your next trip will be at least as amazing! How long do you stay this time?
around four weeks… I will post about it once i come back! 🙂
Sounds great! Looking forward to it 🙂
Great photos! I’ve never seen giant incense before! I’m looking forward to the rest of your journey :-). What did you study in China?
thank you!! 🙂 I studied the evolution of the Pearl River Delta over the last 12000 years…
Wow! That sounds interesting. Were you studying human activity, water distribution, plants, animals, all of those or something else?
I studied how the sea-level changed within the Pearl River Delta after the last ice age and what this did to the fauna based on a drilled core… 🙂
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