Yesterday we went from Guilin to Guangzhou - a city that we were warned was not pleasant. People couldn't have been more wrong.
To get the most out of our last full day in China, we headed out at 9AM with Andy from Indiana.
We had noodles, dumplings, and spring rolls - the food here is much more akin to American Chinese food - and then set out on the metro.
Our first stop of the day was the Nanyue King's Mausoleum and Museum, an underwhelming, yet interesting exhibit nonetheless. 12 Yuan gets you entry to a room of ceramic pillows, the emptied tomb of a King, and the museum hall of the artifacts removed from said tomb. Nearly all the artifacts were made of jade, like his burial outfit, which was made of thousands of jade pieces held together by silk thread.
From there we went to Yuxieu Park, saw the Five Rams Statue, monument to Dr. Sun Yatsen, and the Zhexia Tower. We also sat and watched people play this epic version of hack sack, using something resembling a badminton birdy. The group we took an interest in consisted of five middle aged ninjas, dodging, kicking, and passing with crowd pleasing finesse. Not only were they good, but their group dynamic was fun to watch - a tight clique of friends who joked nonstop.
After that, we went in search of Huaisheng Mosque, the first mosque in China (dating back over 1,300 years), which was started by Mohammad's uncle, Abi Waqqas. Upon arrival, an Iranian guy showed us around (although our tank top wearing female companion had to wait outside). While I had been to a mosque in Mumbai, this was the first real mosque I've been to - prayer room and minaret included. It was beautiful, especially with the blend of Chinese architecture and Arab style. Definitely a highlight.
All of the sight seeing left us hungry, so we set out for a hostel-recommended dim sun spot. She said it was neither expensive nor cheap, but "normal price." Normal my tuchas! It was more expensive than the states, so we ate at a hole in the wall soup shop with no English menu instead.
Bellies full, we went shopping on the bustling streets of that area. I bought jorts, funny fake glasses, and a cool watch.
We then wandered through back streets to find the antique market, which was closed, so we wandered into Liwan Park. When ready to leave, Andy and I headed back on our own, getting lost, and eventually finding the metro. Back near the hostel, he took me to a skewer guy on the river, selling the most delicious, spicy, buttery, melt in your mouth lamb I've ever had.
Outside the Nanyue King's Mausoleum.
Guangzhou was apparently founded by five immortals who rode down from the sky on the backs of rams... This is their tribute.
Their ninjas I tell you! Ninjas!
The prayer room at the mosque founded by Mohammad's uncle.
At Liwan Park.
Not sure what this is. But I like it.
PS - Getting closer...