Jun and I decided we needed an escape from Shenzhen for at least one weekend. After thinking about it, we thought it would be nice to visit Guangzhou. I hadn’t been there for over two years, and Jun only had gone there in that time for work.

We booked a hotel for the night and then bought our train tickets. We were ready to go!

Day 1

We woke up and got ready for the train ride to Guangzhou. We left Luohu and soon were on our way. As an early morning weekend train, there weren’t a lot of people on board. It was relaxing and I caught up on some of my reading.

When we arrived in Guangzhou, we bought some snacks for the urban hike we had planned for the afternoon. We then took a taxi to Baiyun Mountain. From there we had lunch at a noodle restaurant—Shahe—and got ready for our hike.

The first thing we had to determine was where the entrance was. After asking a security guard, he informed us that the actual entrance was at Luhu Lake inside Jufang Park. The walk to the entrance was nice. The day was beautiful for a hike in the southern Chinese winter.

When we got there, we explored the park a bit before going on the hike. The trail winds around some of the main tourist areas of old Guangzhou. It was an opportunity for us to see different parts of the city. We passed around Luhu Lake and then went into Sculpture Park.

There were some nice sculptures in the park. It had been a few years since I had last been there and it was nice to visit the park once more. From there we walked towards Yuexiu Park. Jun and I had been here several times and decided to just walk through it to the end. We finally reached our destination at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. Overall, the hike was nice. We got to see some different parts of Guangzhou we hadn’t seen before this visit.

Afterward, Jun and I went to visit the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. It was built in 587 AD as a Buddhist temple. It is considered one of the most important temples in the city. While small by the standards of many other temples, it is immaculately maintained. On the day we were visiting, there were flowers all over the place. It was a nice place to relax after our hike.

After we had rested, Jun and I decided to get a late afternoon snack of sweet dumplings at Sesame Hushijia. They were so good! They were a wonderful reminder of how Guangzhou is a foodie city.

When we finished, we went to check-in at the W Hotel and rest before dinner. The room was nice and spacious. While we relaxed, I took the time to edit some of the photos from that day.

In the early evening, we walked down to have dinner at Bingsheng. The food there was amazing, and it was nicely set up in small rooms without large crowds. After dinner, we went around Zhujiang New Town and did some shopping. By the time we were done, it was late. We decided to head back to the hotel to call it a night.

Day 2

The next day we woke up early to get to Liwan Lake to have dim sum with two of Jun’s friends. They had selected Panxi, one of the older restaurants in the city. I had visited here once before and had been impressed. The restaurant is built to resemble a Chinese courtyard manor. There were water features and different buildings in Lingnan style. The food there was amazing, and I think I was even more impressed this time than on my first visit.

From there we walked a bit around the lake and meandered our way towards Yongqingfang. In the last few years, the Guangzhou government has built up this area into a cultural heritage zone. It recently won a preservation award. The place has a lot of alleyways with stores, food kiosks, museums, and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.

As we walked, we stumbled upon a museum exhibit to celebrate the renewal of the area. The exhibit was small, but it was wonderfully curated. The exhibit—Something Begets Something More: New Tales of Saikwan—was a celebration of renewal. It was a nice mix of traditional and modern art.

From the museum, we then walked to LeLe Cha to get some drinks before Jun and I had to head to the train station. It was nice just to sit and enjoy our drinks.

Then we were on the metro heading towards the train station. Everything went smoothly. Jun and I soon found ourselves back in Shenzhen and ready to start another week at work.

We both enjoyed our time in Guangzhou and were delighted at seeing some old friends and eating amazing food. We definitely had needed the escape!

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