Sunday, 27 March 2016

Destination: Wuhan, China!

China has several world-class showcase cities that are recognised by the masses, leaving those front-runners behind I'm all about a certain Central China city! Yes, Wuhan has a plan to be bigger and better than the likes of Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing! This Central China city is getting its groove on, fashioning itself into a leading city of the future! No secrets WUH!

Wuchang district stands proud, packed with tonnes of history and sights. Represented by the iconic Yellow Crane Tower this part of Wuhan City has called me over from Guanggu many times. I was feeling rebellious during my August 2015 visit to the Wuchang Uprising Memorial of 1911, I wasn't going to settle for second best during that Wuchang time. This central city district is separated from Hankou and Hanyang by the mighty Yangtze River, after indulging in some foodie delights at Hubu Xiang I took a short walk down to discover Wuchang's Jiangtan River Park. Seeking something different compared to the usual Wuchang sights I took a chance on Tanhualin, a series of cute coffee shops that all give this part of Wuhan a hipster edge. Spending the afternoon of my 25th birthday at Tanhualin was a decision I won't regret making for time. Wuhan isn't recognised as a famous tourist destination, that's the secret! 

Finding some spirituality in Wuchang need not be a stressful situation for two renowned temples of different faiths both bestow a sense of chill. It's true that the Changchun Taoist Temple and Baotong Temple both reside in Wuhan's Wuchang district, serving different experiences I have had the opportunity to discover both to find a sense of peace and quiet. East Lake, known as China's largest lake within a central location holds two identities as its waters flow between both Wuchang and Hongshan districts. I found some theatre culture within the Chu River and Han Street area at the Han Show Theatre, an amazing spectacle that was crafted from the history of Wuhan with the expertise of Cirque Du Soleil, I was more than amazed by that high-flying show! Talking of Han Street, that vibrant shopping street showed me a slice of home in the form of a Mark's & Spencer store! Those Percy Pigs! As one of the thirteen Wuhan zones, Wuchang deserves to be one of my top four districts!

Hanyang makes the 'Han' in Wuhan, showing this fast developing part of Wuhan city some attention I will tell the truth! I'm one of those people who likes to endorse then underdog, giving Hanyang two chances in September 2015 I was pleasantly surprised to find three worthy points of interest and a healthy serving of Realness! Parts of Hanyang may mirror a continuous building site, looking past the dust and concrete I found some solace at Hanyang's Guiyuan Buddhist Temple to find a beautiful two-faced deity! Spending some time to appreciate the temple and the many shrines I was satisfied with my religious pursuit in Hanyang. I took an unplanned detour back to the Metro station to find an alley that led to what seemed like a market, something told me that foreigners don't frequent that part of town. Trusting something that others may rubbish, I had an ode to Hanyang to return to continue my Wuhan journey! Yes, H!

On a mission I scheduled some time to return to Hanyang, I was looking for Guishan Park and Qingchuan Pavilion the second time around. Crossing the same Metro underpass as I previously did to reach that famous Wuhan temple I headed in the opposite direction without much idea of where I was going. Guishan Park, otherwise known as Tortoise Hill Park took me to new heights that allowed me to see Wuhan and Hanyang from a high platform, the rapid expansion and development was more visible from the steep incline up to that hillside Hanyang park. Descending from the park I stumbled upon a Ming Dynasty beauty, designed with the bright colours and Oriental style architecture I felt like a certain Warrior Princess, of course Hua Mulan! Possessing darling views of the mighty Yangtze River with the Yellow Crane Tower in view, I witnessed countless cargo vessels pass my picture postcard scene. Hanyang deserves more respect, this Wuhan City sector holds secrets untold! Trust W!

Hankou commands the attention as one of Wuhan's former cities, but nowadays this corner of the city is seen as the centre of business. Shopping is a firm favourite in Hankou, especially down the famous pedestrian streets to name a few. I love Hankou for sightseeing and a good night out at the weekends, there's so much to do across the other side of the Yangtze River. Moving from the consulates of Jianghan I delved further into Jiang'an, a corner of Hankou that showed me more than I had bargained! Getting my life I said a prayer or two at Hankou's Gude Temple, finding that Wuhan house of worship was no mean feat! Gongnongbing Road served me everything I was looking for in Jiang'an, Hankou. Endorsing some park life it's a no-brainer to see that Hankou is home to a fair few parks, from Zhongshan Park to Liberation Park I was living! The Chinese for Liberation Park is Jiefang Gongyuan. Go, Hankou!

Thankfully, Wuhan Metro's Line 2 allows me to reach Hankou whenever I feel the need to pay a visit the other side of the Yangtze River. Transport is another huge part of Hankou that helps to keep Wuhan moving, when I first came to Wuhan I stepped onto Hubei soil at Hankou Railway Station from Suzhou, Jiangsu. In November of 2015 I found the former Hankou rail terminus at Dazhimen in Jiang'an, Hankou to present itself as a diamond in the rough of a normal Hankou neighbourhood. Nights out in Hankou are always great, from the predictable Helen's to the alternative vibes of P.M Bar I don't mind paying the taxi fare if the night was worth it! During my first outings around Wuhan I found myself at Zhongshan Park, Wansongyuan and Jianghan Road in August 2015, time may have passed but I'll remember that unplanned Hankou outing. With the rapid expansion of the Wuhan Metro I can trust that Hankou will be fully connected in the near future!? Keep representing Hankou!

Rising from its swampland beginnings Wuhan's Hongshan District is home to the nonstop and crazy Optics Valley Square, this futuristic settlement is a shoppers and students paradise with something for everyone! Living in Guanggu is great, being centrally located I can be on my way to any part of Wuhan from the nearby Optics Valley Square Station. The crazy never stops, people are always rushing around Guanggu as if their lives depended upon it! When the sunsets its time for Guanggu's central square to be lit up, I cannot get enough of that sight of electric love! Home to a vast network of commerce and technological institutes this side of Wuhan City works for its Optics Valley brand! Hongshan district allows Wuhan to take its branch of China's High Speed rail to a whole new level with supersonic departures from Wuhan Railway Station, I took the Harmony Express from Wuhan to Shenzhen North on my way to HK. Yes, Optics V!

Working for the money each week I commute from my central Guanggu location to the Outer Optical Valley, part of a new exclusive development I teach English within a specialised Montessori pre-school. It's not all concrete, industry and fast trains in Hongshan district, this part of Wuhan city is blessed with an abundance of parks, lakes and various scenic wonders. Wuhan Botanical Gardens and Forest Park are both on my radar, I would like to spend sometime away from the concrete jungle that is Guanggu! Students are the answer for Guanggu's being, during the Spring Festival holiday in February 2016 there wasn't a sinner on the streets of Guanggu because they had all made their journey's home to their families. Hongshan knows how to party, Wuhan Prison is one of my favourite nighttime hangouts in Guanggu. I know that alternative Wuhan dive bar will see me a lot during my time in Wuhan, CN! Wuhan's big four city districts all have something unique to serve! No, Wuhan won't wait!

Wuhan Is Now!

Joseph Harrison

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Desperately Seeking Adventure: The Fourth Year!

Since 2012 the month of March has symbolised the beginning of a new blog year! On the 10th of March 2012 I uploaded my very first blog, debuting 'My Month In New Jersey'. I can say that my blog, Desperately Seeking Adventure has now reached its fourth birthday! Beginning in Newark, then crossing the pond to England and then most recently blogging from Wuhan, China! 

For this birthday blog occasion I will look at one month from the previous four years of my blogging history. Beginning in March 2012 it may show five years worth of blogging on my homepage but it's from March to March, even I get confused sometimes! Rewinding back to May 2012 through to June 2012 I had an epic period of fun and travelling during my Industrial Placement in New Jersey, USA. Captured to the left is me smiling for the camera in the crowd waiting for the march at NYC Pride 2012, I had my rainbow colours in tow, ready to fly the flag! Going along with some friends I had met in Jersey we had a great day at my first Pride event, we saw many famous faces such as; Rupaul's Drag Race royalty, Manila Luzon and her drag daughter. The march ambassador was the one and only Cyndi Lauper, she came threw on top of a convertible car with her own rainbow flag fluttering in the breeze! I had lots of fun!

June 2012 fared to be a busy blogging month for Desperately Seeking Adventure's first year. I hadn't found the knack yet with borders and presentation for that would take me two more years to get that perfect but during that time I was having so much fun creating new memories in this blog. Jetting off to Las Vegas with my placement friends with Southwest Airlines was an experience that I captured through this blog, I learnt my lesson not to mix booze with high altitude! Las Vegas showed me so much, I didn't take to the gambling but tried my luck once or twice for the experience to say I had gambled in LV! Going all political I took myself to the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City to be part of a tour around specific parts of the building, it was an eyeopener for sure! Going downtown I endorsed the backstreets of NYC's Chinatown to find something different compared to whats shown in the films! Looking back at this fourth year mark it feels crazy to think it all happened! 

I returned back to Birmingham to continue my degree studies in 2013, the first semester proved to be a chore so I was looking for a speedy getaway once that gruelling spring semester finished. Seeking some Spanish flare I jetted off to Spain for five days to explore and to do much more! Barcelona served so much, I was amazed by the history, architecture and the gorgeous hombres! Seeing the Sagrada Familia was beyond, I couldn't believe that construction hadn't finished yet! I found time to publish two blogs about my time in Barcelona, covering the full packed two days I spent seeing sights like; Casa Batlló, Parc Güell and the colourful Mercat St Josep La Boqueria! Barcelona was nonstop, I dashed from sight to sight, pounding the pavements and snapping those photos! 2013's blogs were overloaded and messy, I blogged about stupid things! But I knew that I would eventually find my blogging niche and refine it.

July 2013 also served some throwback blogs from my time as a UCB fresher, with my final year approaching I felt it was an appropriate time to look back and recognise those pivotal moments. What possessed me to publish a blog about my favourite childhood TV programmes? Back to Spain! From Barcelona I took the train down the coast to Tarragona for a superb day out in that Roman infused Spanish city, I clocked the amphitheatre and a timeless council building that became one of the focal points of that Spanish travel post. Turning the party up to conclude my Spanish getaway I spent two days in Sitges, a rainbow styled beach town that served body, body and yes more sizzling Spanish hombres! Documenting my time when I got my groove on at Queenz gave me life, after three days of intense sightseeing I was ready to get crazy! My second of year of blogging did see some random and questionable blog posts, I'm now going back to previous blog posts to beautify them! Spain was fabulous!

2014 rolled on and it was time to get my university game revved up with my dissertation, away from my academic studies I used my final year to visit some places in England that I'd always wanted to see. Beginning the year with a weekend in Manchester I moved on to Bath and Bristol, I knew that my Birmingham residency would be in its final stages so I made the best of my location. I began to reign in the amount of blogs that I would post each month to around six posts per month, allowing me to refine my Birmingham experiences without making the same mistakes again. Gaining popularity I was invited to the welcoming event of the first direct flight from China to Birmingham during June 2014, I relished that opportunity alongside my other blogging successes during 2014. My second year of blogging took a change, the right kind of people must have been reading my blog? Now, would the success continue into 2015?

Captured above is my hometown of Bilston, it's a former industrial powerhouse with a story to tell but it wasn't giving me life after I attended my university graduation in September 2014. The year after I graduated from university was a difficult time for my blog at first, I then refined my blog posts to four features per month and for inspiration I looked closer to home, trusting places like Stoke-on-Trent and Warwick. I had a dream to teach English in China but finding a trustworthy agency or school to sign up with pushed me to my limits, they were just too shady for my liking! 2015 made an appearance with a new outlook for my blog and for my life. The latter part of 2014 was definitely unpredictable for me and my blog but both avenues improved as 2015 drew closer because I didn't have any other choice but to earn some money and accept a job in China! Birmingham left me, Bilston took its place so I had the desire to take this blog back to an overseas location! Let's fly to China!

Boarding my Sri Lankan Airlines flight I was bound for the Chinese mega-city of Shanghai! Accepting the first legitimate teaching job offer since my job hunting started in September 2014, I had chosen to teach English in Wuhan, China. Prior to my Chinese odyssey I had my blog looking on-point with a slick design and layout that helped to keep a professional image. 2015 saw me get my first post-university job at a Walsall hotel as a receptionist, I got my coins and moved onto my next assignment! Touching down onto Chinese soil I was ready to take Desperately Seeking Adventure back to an international location to reignite the reasons why I had chosen to start my blog in Newark, NJ! Ticking off Shanghai and Suzhou on my travel and blogging list I was pumped to seek adventure in Wuhan on a regular basis, I was itching to get away for National Day to experience and blog about my time in Chongqing and Chengdu! Madness!

Sweeping into 2016 I celebrated the New Year weekend in Xi'an, China to see the Terracotta Warriors and three other Shaanxi delights! With my work permit sorted I had the freedom to travel without stress during the Spring Festival holiday to Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou because I wasn't going to be sticking around in Wuhan for that extended holiday. The newer Oriental blogs have been tough to share because social media works differently in China, keeping things neutral I have to use a VPN to promote my blog whilst I'm in the Middle Kingdom. Chiming in Desperately Seeking Adventure's fourth year feels amazing, being in a new continent and country constantly allows me to push this once unplanned note on Facebook to new heights! Within the fourth year of this blog I want to continue to modify my previous blogs so everything flows and to obviously travel to lots more places in China! I know that this blog won't be slowing down anytime soon! No way, I'm on fire!

Four More Years!

Joseph Harrison 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Guangzhou, China... Reloaded!

After spending three days in Guangzhou, China I have so much to recall from my Canton trip during Spring Festival 2016. I shall be weaving in between my first and second days during this reloaded Guangzhou post. Battling the Spring Festival crowds at Yuexiu Park was madness however I loved the older side streets that served a sense of 'Old Guangzhou!'. Oh, I just loved GZ!

Like many modern cities in China there's always an old story to tell, more so with Guangzhou's pursuit to be a modern powerhouse to rival Shanghai, Hong Kong or even New York City has pushed its historical alleys to one side. I was adamant to see something less than modern, on my way to the Hualin Buddhist Temple I stopped to appreciate the street corner that's been captured to the left. I was living during that moment because I had seen about the aggressive resettlement of Guangzhou's common city dwellers, who once called these humble abode their homes. Catching the sights that impressed me much I was pleased to see more streets like my top historical corner. Overall, there was a real contrast between new and old, it was almost like a power struggle was taking place with both eras wanting to be part of this new time! Guangzhou obviously has modernity but I loved the historicalness! Go, go Guangzhou!

Being on my seventh day of sightseeing I was on a continuous mission to see Guangzhou from as many perspectives as possible. I had covered some ground during the first throw of my Guangdong trip, after arriving at Guangzhou South Railway Station from Zhuhai I had entered the final chapter of my Spring Festival 2016 holiday. I can't say what sort of city Guangzhou was showing itself to be, more of a mix of old and new it reminded me slightly of Shanghai. Did I have the Chen Clan Academy set in my sights? I wasn't really sure where I was going after seeing the temple, old streets and where ever else I had passed by. I was stopped by two young Guangzhou fellas for a selfie, it was New Year's Day after all so I thought it would have been rather rude to refuse that photo opportunity. I might be repeating myself but there was such a great feeling the air, people were not fazed to wish each other a 'Xinnian Kuaile' and I used that phrase whenever I could do so! I loved celebrating two New Year's!

Yuexiu Park was on my radar, going underground once again on the Guangzhou Metro I got in a spot of bother with my three day pass but that was merely a blip. I had heard about the 'Five Rams Statue' and also the 'Zhenhai Tower'. Paying my entrance fee was a piece of cake however finding a toilet became quite problematic but I was good in the end! Phew! Dodging the New Year revellers took some doing but I seemed to get rid of them pretty well, considering I hadn't a clue where I was going! Eventually, I made it to 'Zhenhai Tower' to have a mooch around and to delve into the mighty history of Guangzhou. I found out that those British Missionaries had the Holy Bible translated into the local language back in the day! After being schooled, Guangzhou was once a barren piece of land with five rams so they have become somewhat of an emblem of the city! During that moment of 'park life' I did some serious walking! I did it!

My stance on that Guangzhou was once a barren piece of land with only five rams sounds like a fantasy story to me but the visitors to the statue made it out to be a special sight! Moving forwards away from the park I was starting to get peckish, it had been a long day and I hadn't even made to the Canton Tower during the evening time. Choosing Beijing Road I was looking some friend chicken and beer, I found that most of the shops were open but not the department stores. The centre of Beijing Lu's main shopping district was packed with people all excitable going about their business, these people weren't smashed they were just having a great time with their hot water! I got my fried chicken and beer from a bizarre Korean fast food restaurant, it was packed to the rafters! I did see the Canton Tower on the first night but I'll leave that wonder for the fourth section to go into detail. Guangzhou had me on the move, I honestly felt exhausted when I got back to my hotel that night G!

Moving to my second full day in Guangzhou I wanted to see Yuyin Garden, after trekking on the metro and a bus I was greeted by a set of closed gates. I suppose within the official Spring Festival week it was a given the garden was closed and under-renovation? Failing that minor hiccup I managed to get back onto the vast network of the Guangzhou Metro to make my way to Xiaobei, known for its African and Muslim influence I was looking for some authentic Arabic food. Finding one restaurant that I can't remember the name of I was very impressed with my Iraqi kebab and olives. I found a Bounty bar, paying over the odds for that imported coconut chocolate treat was more than worth it because finding western chocolate in China limits to a Snickers! Even though I didn't see the Yuyin Garden I had an interesting detour around Southern Guangzhou! I really wanted to see the Canton Tower again! Let's go back to that iconic tower!

As the sun showed signs of setting it only felt right to revisit the Lychee Bay Scenic Area. During my pre-holiday research about Old Guangzhou I was all about this canal-side part of GZ! Taking my time I once again dodged the crowds to try and snatch a less interrupted photo, I was successful in that department! Lined with more historic buildings I wasn't on that hype to discover them, I simply took a walk along the water way towards the nearest metro station. Paying no mind to the tourist spots I was more drawn to the ordinary blocks of flats that served Urban Realness! Recalling my first views of Guangzhou as my Shenzhen North bound High Speed train passed through the outskirts of Guangzhou, I had no idea I would see such a gargantuan city that gave me a sense of chill by the waters of the Lychee Bay Scenic Area. My day was completely random, judging by the successes of that day I know that being random can be very good sometimes. How was my trip almost over? No!

Almost touching the clouds the Canton Tower had to be one of the top things that I wanted to see during my time in Guangzhou. Under the cover of darkness I witnessed the dazzling rainbow lights of this super skinny Chinese skyscraper, she's got a snatched waistline for certain! Leaving behind the Lychee Bay Scenic Area for the epic skyline that anchors Guangzhou as a world class destination in China! I was mystified by the strobe lighting, but the rainbow lights impressed me much because a certain community are viewed in China as the last 'taboo' to exist in this Middle Kingdom. Serving like a sparkling beauty queen the Canton Tower had my love for Guangzhou on lock, I wasn't going to forget that encounter of electric love! I'm telling lies because I first saw the Canton Tower shine in all of her glory during my second night in Guangzhou with the futuristic Huacheng Square behind me! So, amazed!

Before I knew it my China Southern Airlines flight had taken off from Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport, soaring into the clouds as it was bound for Wuhan, Hubei. Guangzhou had shown me so much during my three days in the big city, the Spring Festival holiday had taken the pressure away from the city as the migrant workers had gone back to their hometowns. Seeing the 'Five Rams Statue' and the 'Zhenhai Tower' during my time at Yuexiu Park complemented my Guangdong trip. The Canton Tower added a shade of sass with those glittering rainbow lights I felt proud to see them glow bright in the nights sky! Finding a slice of the Middle East in Southern China was a right treat, stepping away from my usual Wuhan diet I loved every foodie experience. Was I in a state of delirium? Maybe, but Guangzhou wasn't going to judge me for that incapability! New and Old Guangzhou had me gripped to see more and more unique parts of that city, I was living! That's my trip blogged! 谢谢广州!

The Glamazon Of Guangzhou!

Joseph Harrison 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Destination: Guangzhou, China!

Crossing the borderline, I had the city of Guangzhou in my sights but getting through immigration back into Mainland China was not a fun experience at all! People had bored me with their negative opinions about that provincial Guangdong city, I paid those haters no mind whatsoever! Getting into Guangzhou's big city life had me chasing my crazy travel dreams! GZ was ace!

So, I arrived at my 7 Days Inn Hotel in Guangzhou, China without stress to begin the final part of my Spring Festival trip. Getting my life together I had to see the Canton Tower on my first afternoon but that was the only sight that I saw properly that day. Fresh from a restful nights slumber I was back on track, leaving my hotel I crossed the road to visit the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, my hotel shared the same title as that place of interest. The memorial was built in-commemoration of Mr. Sun Zhongshan and was opened in 1931. This octagon shaped place of remembrance informed me about the efforts of Sun Yat-Sen, he was the predecessor of the Chinese Revolution for democracy. Most of the exhibits were exclusively displayed in Chinese, so I had to delve further into the reasons behind this colourful place of remembrance. Being Chinese New Year's Day this Guangzhou attraction was free of charge, G!

Why Guangzhou? Why not! Making it to the memorial hall of Sun Yat-Sen it didn't take a fool to see that I would have a good chance to beat the crowds because I reported to that point of interest early. Getting my Guangzhou on I made my way around the many exhibits to see that Sun Yat-Sen had been remembered for his efforts to bring China into a new age that would see the end of the famous Dynasty's. I was relieved to be sightseeing in Guangzhou on a pleasant Monday morning because I was in hot water the previous day as I entered back into Mainland China at Zhuhai's Border Checkpoint, one of the guards did not believe my reasons for living in China. I blame the error made by one of her colleagues at one of the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Border Checkpoints, maybe my visits to Turkey and the USA rang alarm bells? Nonetheless, Guangzhou was at my feet with much more to see after my visit to Sun Yat-Sen's Memorial Hall, I didn't know where to turn to next? Take me to Shamian isle!

Making the best of my three day Guangzhou Metro card I was bound for Shamian Island. Once a colonial concession that was owned by a string of western nations such as Britain and France during the 18th and 19th centuries this former Northern European community now stands as a picturesque remainder of Guangzhou's rich trading past. I was drawn to Guangzhou for its cultural mix of old and new, two very different shades of this Chinese city made it such a winner for me! I adored the white-washed buildings that stood neatly in tight rows, I forgot for some time that I was actually in Southern China for the European feel of Shamian Island had me under its spell. 1859 was the year for Shamian Island to become an European trading post, around the time of the First and Second Opium Wars this island was strictly managed by the British and French. GZ's Shamian Island had such a lovely feel, I was almost home B!

Taking my time to have stroll around the once British and French occupied island I couldn't help but think if the first British settlers to the Canton forced Christianity on the Chinese population? Shamian Island felt strange in a way because everything stood still in a historical bubble that completely contradicted the modernity of the Canton Tower and other newer sides of this Guangdong provincial city. Keeping a respectable pace going throughout my visit to Shamian Island I found myself drawing closer to catching a glimpse of Old Guangzhou, I had seen about the ferocious pace of change taking place in Guangzhou but I wanted to save this for the next part of my GZ time. I was on a mission during my first day in Guangzhou, even thought I had another full day remaining in GZ I wasn't about to miss out on that New Year's monkey business! I do suppose in a strange way Shamian Island could be classed as Old Guangzhou, maybe within a different time frame? That Cantonese food was delicious!

Getting my life I found the Hualin Buddhist Temple after I stopped for some lunch, I was intrigued to see what action was going on during such a special time. I burnt some incense sticks and threw some money like the many Spring Festival revellers did, it was amazing to feel the atmosphere as the worshipers were welcoming in the new Chinese Year. I did spend a few moments to think how great 2016 had been up until that point, I looked forward to send some positivity for the remainder of the year. Large crowds usually aggravate me but everyone got a free pass because they were doing no harm, keeping out of the way as much as I could I really enjoyed catching a glimpse of the festivities. It was a case of double luck for me because ninety-eight percent of the clothes shops were closed for business during the Chinese New Year period, lessening the chaos around the city that retained some calm and order. Peace GZ!

Throughout my time in China I have been to many a temple, burning incense sticks and taking in the spiritual feelings of the place registers with me now, but during my visit to the Hualin Temple in Guangzhou on Chinese New Year's Day I felt something completely different! I wanted a jade bracelet but I wasn't prepared to pay the price or have the wool pulled over my eyes with a fake, navigating a closed looking market street known as 'Xia-jiu Lu' also know as Hualin Jade Street. I bought some brown prayer beads, twisting them around my wrist I was pleased with my unconventional purchase for I don't usually care for accessories. Weaving in and out of the many street corners I found a main road that unknowingly led me to a Family Mart convenience store, I treated myself to a can of Tsingtao lager for it was cause for celebration that lovely February afternoon! Guangzhou was showing me more, but many people had said to me before my visit this city would be boring! No!

The problem with packing so many things into three days has forced me to publish two Guangzhou blogs! Fast forward to the evening of my first night I was ready to witness the electronic personality of Guangzhou, jumping back on the metro I found myself in New Zhujiang Town, I was surrounded by a series of towering glass and steel structures that shimmered in the nights sky! Making my way closer to Huacheng Square, it was a testament to Guangzhou to showcase itself as a powerhouse of modernity, I was undoubtedly very impressed! Guangzhou's modern corner was alight with an energy that could be felt from all around, snapping away I wanted to get a good photo of the skyscrapers that wasn't too blurry! Huacheng Square was packed to the brim with people from China and goodness knows elsewhere?! I didn't mind the crazy for it was married with such a sight of electric love! Maybe one million lights?

Of course I got an eyeful of the Canton Tower, standing in between Huacheng Square, that Guangzhou slimline icon! I was getting my life! Guangzhou was proving itself to be a world class destination, serving as one of China's metropolis's I knew that I was proving those haters wrong! Chinese New Year's Day saw me get to know another point of interest dedicated to Sun Yat-Sen, gaining free entry to his very own Memorial Hall was a winner! Going all spiritual I caught a glimpse to see how the Guangzhou folk wish good luck for the coming year, I donated some money and burned some sweet smelling incense to promote some prosperity for myself. Going back to somewhere that looked like a former shade of England didn't take much, Guangzhou's Shamian Island showed me that this Chinese mega-city once loaned an island to Britain. Closing my first day in the big city with a scene of technicolour lights, those glass and steel wonders amazed me! Guangdong's got talent for sure!

Guangzhou Slays!

Joseph Harrison