South China

Disclosure: the photo quality in this post is awful..

Pose for the Canadian tourists.

Pose for the Canadian tourists.

During our morning visit to the Chen Family Ancestral Temple, two lovely Chinese ladies desperately wanted their photo taken with our oldest tour member, a cheerful 82 year old man. (This happened frequently!) They also wanted him to have the pictures, so I took the photos with their camera, they emailed them to me (good reason for carrying business cards), and I then forwarded them to him. In the process, I took a portrait of them.

We had lunch in Guangzhou (Canton). The menu looks like neither a Cantonese restaurant in Canada nor what we were served as part of a bus-tour group. Both of the latter probably dumbed down for a western palate.

Menu items in Guangzhou (Canton)

Menu items in Guangzhou (Canton)

Leaving the restaurant and returning to the buses we passed a line of police motorcycles parked in the lane usually used by scooters and motorcycles in larger cities. I doubt that any rider was about to protest that they couldn’t use the lane.

Tour buses, two narrow sidewalks and police motorcycles.

Tour buses, two narrow sidewalks and police motorcycles.

After boarding the bus we drove from Guangzhou to Zhongshan to spend the night.

I snapped a few shots from the bus window as this was our first glimpse of south China’s intensive food growing. The last photo is pretty fuzzy but appears to be fish ponds inhabited by ducks. Two protein crops in one pond. I could be wrong and would love to be corrected.

Another impressive bridge.

Another impressive bridge.

Acres and acres of roadside aquaculture.

Acres and acres of roadside aquaculture.

Intensive protein farming

Intensive protein farming

Zhongshan proved to be a jumping off point for Macau but otherwise, as the next couple of Chinese posts will show, it was a quiet riverside location with unremarkable architecture but with some great opportunities for street photography. (We weren’t shown any must-see tourist attractions!)

Next Chinese post: Riverside Zhongshan.

Chen Corridors

A simply framed bit of garden.

A simply framed bit of garden.

Inside the Chen Ancestral temple corridors criss-crossed the space and surrounded an interior courtyard. At the back was a sculpture garden. The various rooms contained museum artifacts and art (next post.)

See the drinks dispenser at the end of the corridor?

See the drinks dispenser at the end of the corridor?

See the drinks dispenser at the end of the corridor?

Ruining the look of the back garden (and I don't mean the neighbours!)

Ruining the look of the back garden (and I don’t mean the neighbours!)

Hemmed in on all sides.

Hemmed in on all sides.

Also in the back garden, this charming sculpture:

This statue is modern

This statue is modern.

The walkway was never devoid of people, but by now the weeklong celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic was over and there were fewer local tourists.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

When preparing this post, I was surprised that I hadn’t taken photos of bicycles for several days. To remedy that, I offer this.

 

A back corridor.

A back corridor.

Next Chinese Post: Art from the Chen Family Ancestral Hall.

Chen Family Ancestral Temple

Old and not so new.

Old and not so new.

Day 19.  We flew from Guilin to Guangzhou (Canton! Who knew!) in the morning and visited this colourful and fascinating building.  The one in the foreground. The roof of the one in the background looks quite swish, even though the floors and windows below do not.

The Chen family ancestral temple is used by the Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts to show the most characteristic Guangdong architecture.  Guangdong is a part of Guangzhou.

The roof is covered with statues and imagery for which I have no explanation, but the colours were marvellous.  I have brightened and saturated the photos as it was near to mid-day and mid-day photos are usually washed out.  The smog was considerably less that in the first half of our trip.

Room-0006

 

Room-9982

 

Room-9981

 

This one is my favourite.

This one is my favourite.

 

Next Chinese posts will show the interior corridors and the back garden.  The final post in this series will include art and museum items.

Canton, now Guangzhou

Guahngzhou-9975 Guahngzhou-9976

 

Day 19.  We flew from Guilin to Guangzhou (Canton! Who knew!) in the morning and were taken to visit the sculpture which seems to be the City’s symbol.  If you Google ‘five goats Guangzhou’ you will get many interpretations of the story behind the statue which was originally carved in 1959. The statue is not on the list of the top ten things to see in Guanzhou, but it is symbolic of the triumph of rice and good harvests over starvation.

Another view of the hill top park and some of my traveling companions:

Guahngzhou-9974

 

In Beijing we had seen people doing exercise, often a form of line dancing or synchronized movements to music.  Here it is again on a hot day in south China.

Even the pre-schooler is getting in on the act.

Guahngzhou-9972

 

And finally, a stolen shot as we headed down the hill from the goats.

Another beautiful baby with a proud grandmother.

Another beautiful baby with a proud grandmother.

Next three Chinese posts will be from the Chen Family Ancestral Temple in Guangzhou.