Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vacation to Guongzhou

We got to go on our first vacation last weekend, and it was tons of fun. We started off the day with a little visit to Shamian Island, where we ate American food at Lucy’s, it was heavenly. Next we were headed for the White Cloud Hills. We had to split up and take two taxis there. I was part of the first group with 2 other girls. We got dropped off and we waited at the entrance for the other group… and we waited, and waited. They never showed. The head teacher with the map, and all other useful information was with the other group. Since we were fine, and there was no possible way for us to look for them if we did leave, we decided that for the time being we would ignore the fact that we had no way to get back to our hostel and do some exploring. We had been dropped off at the entrance of a garden, and we had a great evening hiking around and taking fun pictures with the statues. When it started to get dark they turned on all these fun lights, it was beautiful. Getting back to our hostel didn’t turn out to be too hard, we did have a Chinese book, so we showed the taxi driver the word metro, and from there we backtracked to our hostel. We ended up getting there just 15 minutes after the other group, sadly though they did not have as much fun as we did. They had been dropped off at the other side of the mountain where all the hiking trails start, and after waiting for us for a while, they started a trail just before it was getting dark so they did not get to see much. We all had more fun the next day. We caught a bus to Foshan where we saw a Buddhist Temple, and a really cool European style alleyway that we had fun climbing around and exploring in. Next we were off to the pottery village where we saw tons of cool ceramic pots, statues, bowls, and whatever else you can imagine. We even got to tour a 500 yr old kiln, and try our hand at making our own pottery. The next day while making our way back to Shamian Island we got caught in a typhoon. We were soaked, but it was actually pretty fun splashing around in the huge puddles and the waterfalls going down the stairs. Here in China you are always wet, whether it is from sweat or rain, you can always count on being wet. Anyway we had tons of fun bartering in Shamian Island for great souvenirs. We found this store that was going out of business, so they would barter way low with us, it was great. It was a heavy walk back to the apartment from the bus station with our new treasures, but it was a way fun vacation.

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