A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

Reading the net and according to locals, during the week boat hire to Feilai Temple is quite expensive, so I was pleased to find that you can walk there. There’s actually lots of tour boats going up and down the river, but most are private chartered for tour groups and they don’t stop at the temple, although apparently there are other boats on the weekend.

The walk to the temple takes a track through the riverside village houses and on to a small track that follows the Biejiang river. There’s great views along the way and its about 30-40 minutes, quicker if you run, but don’t do that.

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太和古洞 Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

太和古洞 Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

Here’s an amazing spot in Qingyuan that you should definitely take the time to visit. Featuring amazing natural scenery, a temple and pure mountain water rock pools for swimming.

I will never forget swimming in amazing rock pools after the walk to the temple at the top of the mountain. The temple is not big, but worth the healthy walk up the steps to the top enjoying the amazing views along they way.

At the base of the mountain there is a public swimming pool, walk to the right and straight past that and up the mountain trek. It’s stairs all the way and winds it’s way up alongside the amazing valley stream and inviting rock pools. The water is crystal clear and you’ll see many locals collecting water as they believe it is quite pure and has health giving properties.

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Qingyuan – A perfect escape from Shenzhen (or Guangzhou!)

Qingyuan – A perfect escape from Shenzhen (or Guangzhou!)

If you are looking for a getaway from the hustle of Shenzhen or Guangzhou, like I was, you might want to check out Qingyuan. It’s a city packed with hot springs, eco theme parks and natural attractions. Fast trains from Shenzhen or Guangzhou make it a quick journey, from Shenzhen North Station it takes around 1 hour and from Guangzhou North about 15 minutes and Guangzhou South about 30 minutes. There are trains from GZ that go to Yingde Station which is useful if you are going to the Baojing Palace (a special cave).

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A day in Zhongshan

A day in Zhongshan

Guangdong Provinces’s smaller cities can be quite fascinating and uniquely diverse, Zhongshan makes a perfect example of this, here’s a small city set inland from the coast and some distance from the big powerhouse cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen yet it’s amazingly culturally diverse and seemingly mature city city. It’s by no means an ugly city but it certainly hasn’t got a big ticket nature drawcard, that’s brought people here from all over the world, but it has.

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A day in Foshan City

A day in Foshan City

Foshan City of Foshan District, Guangdong Province, is located about 2 hours by bus from Shenzhen, and 30 minutes from Guangzhou. You can also take the metro from Guangzhou to Foshan. The area is known for being large base to the ceramics and furniture industry, but it’s also a city packed with culture, character plus scenic and historic sites.

Foshan consists of five administrative districts being Chancheng, Nanhai, Shunde, Gaoming and Sanshui Districts. So, it’s spread out over a pretty big area, it’s important to note, as when you ask for a bus from another city to Foshan, you’ll need to know where in Foshan exactly, as there’s several inter-city stations. Like me, more than likely it’s the city center your’e headed to first of all.

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Sanshui District of Foshan

Sanshui District of Foshan

Whats in Sanshui? A giant sleeping Buddha that’s what! The small city is about an hour by train or bus from Guangzhou and the main attraction is the Forest Park which features scenic areas, a go kart track, Confucius Temple and Crocodile Park. For accommodation I stayed at the Sanshui Garden Hotel, which is OK, some English speaking staff can be found there.

The Giant Buddha and The Confucius Temple are both located within the Forest Park. I went during the week and saw no other way than to walk from the entrance to the Buddha which took 15 minutes or so, many on weekends when there’s lots of people they have small carts running… The walk isn’t too bad though. The temple is close to the entrance and go kart track, and it looks like they are building a temple further inside the park.

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OYC Hotel & Convention Center at Seven Star Crags Zhaoqing

OYC Hotel & Convention Center at Seven Star Crags Zhaoqing

Some time ago I remember seeing an ad on the English news channel here in China for the OYC Hotel and thought I’d love to check that out one day. The attention getting feature in the ad was the huge cave and hot spring located underneath the hotel, now we are in Zhaoqing for a couple of days, how could I miss checking it out.

The OYC hotel is a five star hotel, although some people get confused by translations which say it’s a seven star hotel, but really it’s a hotel beside Seven Star Lake and Seven Star Crags. Perhaps the impressive location beside the scenic area is worthy of adding another two stars, considering you can enjoy the amazing views straight from your room or wander out the gate and walk or hire a bike and ride around the lake.

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Zhaoqing and Dinghu Mountain

Zhaoqing and Dinghu Mountain

Located in Guangdong province, Zhaoqing, a small sceneic city featuring a wetland park and mountain nature reserve, makes fora great escape from the hectic and sprawling cities of Guangzhuo and Shenzhen. Craving for fresh air, and a reminder of nature, on the bus we went.

Actually, we took the train to Guangzhou where we stayed the night, explored the local cafe scene, and the next day caught the bus from Tianhe Bus Station and headed to Zhaoqing. First stop was Mount Dinghu.

Dinghu is located 20 minutes or so from Zhaoqing and the bus goes through the city on route to Zhaoqing, so off we hop. The bus stops at a public bus stop where we caught a local bus to the mountain nature reseve. After walking a little ways, grab a ticket at the gate we’re then oonboard another bus which heads up the mountain to the ‘Nine Dragon Tripod’ aka giant three legged bronze bowl that weighs 16 tonnes and stands about 6 meters high and 5 meters wide.

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A day in Zhuhai

A day in Zhuhai

Located on the coast of Southern China, Zhuhai offers visitors a laid back environment, sightseeing and a relaxing coastal escape. Zhuhai is quite popular with domestic holidaymakers, offering a nearby escape for residents of Southern regions, and also offering great value for those living in Macao, and even Hong Kong, who want to stretch there dollar further.

Outside of public holiday periods and weekends, Zhuhai offers a lot more value when it comes to accommodation, services and eating out  in comparison to that found in Hong Kong or Macao, albeit the three destinations offering vastly different experiences.

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From Shenzhen to Hefei to Fuyang to Maanshan

From Shenzhen to Hefei to Fuyang to Maanshan

The Spring Festival travel peak was nearing an end and there was probably some chance of getting a train ticket or flight once again. For this trip it’s off to meet future relatives.

So how to get from Shenzhen to Fuyang? Theres the train, bus or plane. It’s almost 24hrs travel on a train so I’m guessing a bus is similar. Fuyang has an airport and so does the nearby Hefei, capital of Anhui Province. The train would be a great way to see some more countryside but train tickets are too hard to get.

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Shenzhen: Dongmen Pedestrian Street – A Mall of Shopping Malls

Shenzhen: Dongmen Pedestrian Street – A Mall of Shopping Malls

Here is another one of those traditional Chinese shopping districts that I’ve come to admire, they span for block after block, most of them have been operating for centuries, they’re vibrant, teaming with life, and they’re packed with keen sellers waiting to do deals. These traditional market places have soul, and character that the modern shopping complexes just don’t have. And the Dongmen market area of Shenzhen is no different.

On my first visit I was looking for ‘Dongmen Pedestrian Street’, expecting a casual automobile-less street with some shops, but what I found was more like a ‘shopping suburb’ spanning several blocks including countless brand name shops, several multi level malls, several multi level markets, food streets, public spaces, ad-hoc stalls set up in alley ways and in every nook and cranny possible. Such is the expanse of this shopping district it needs three KFC’s!

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Shenzhen gets a new luxury brand shopping center: KK Mall

Shenzhen gets a new luxury brand shopping center: KK Mall

The city of Shenzhen is already well known for it’s shopping options and it’s big modern malls but there’s now a new one on that list, the KK Mall.

KK Mall is part of a large development which includes residential apartments and a financial offices tower which when completed will become Shenzhens tallest building standing at a whopping 441.8 meters. The tower will also feature a five star hotel (of the St Regis chain). The shopping mall section opened to the public on the 26-11, so I went along for a look.

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The Shenzhen China Hi Tech Fair – More than just Robotic Dolphins

The Shenzhen China Hi Tech Fair – More than just Robotic Dolphins

The city of Shenzhen near Hong Kong is starting to become very well known for it’s hi-tech industry base which has been a big part of the city’s success so appropriately it’s also home to the China Hi-Tech Fair which is claimed to be the number 1 tech show in China. So, how could I not go for a look!

The show has been held every year since 1999 and attracts both visitors and exhibitors from both locally and overseas. The event is held at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center which provides a whopping 105,000 Sqm of floor space for exhibitors filling the 9 separate halls, along with conference and function facilities for the many forums and meetings that are held daily during the event.   

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Dafen Village Shenzhen

Dafen Village Shenzhen

Need an oil painting? Heres the perfect place to find one amongst what is an ‘Oil Painting Village’, artists live and work pumping out all sorts of original pieces and the odd replica. How many artists? No one seems exactly sure but many say there could be a staggering 10,000 artists and nearly 1000 galleries operating within this very special enclave.

 The figures are sketchy but claims are made that this village is responsible for something like 60-70% of the worlds oil painting production.

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Guandong Victory Hotel Shamian Island Guangzhou

Guandong Victory Hotel Shamian Island Guangzhou

If your looking for accommodation in Guangzhou and you’re after somewhere peaceful to stay, I think it would be pretty hard to beat Shamian Island. It’s relaxed, peaceful but still only a short taxi fare to the major shopping streets and main tourist attractions of the city.

I think there are four hotels on Shamian Island, including the White Swan Hotel, Guangdong Shamian Hotel, Customs Hotel and the Guangdong Victory Hotel. We chose the Victory Hotel simply due to the deal they had going at the time.

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