Ophie’s Travels: Asia (Part I)

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From: Pexels

After graduating and before studying for my exams, I went on a trip to Asia with my father. During this time, I visited Guangzhou, Macao, Dai Leung (which is where my grandmother was born and raised) and Pearl River. All-in-all, it was a great experience and I was so glad that we went.

I was so busy soaking up the experience that I forgot to take pictures (outside of Snapchat).

The flight to Guangzhou was 14 hours, which was two hours shorter than the last time I went in 2010. It was as fun as flights usually are. (The upside is that I got to play a lot of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. I finished the game when I got home and I must say it, it’s everything that I like in video games. The story is nice and funny, the characters are very likeable and the gameplay is simple and exciting. On a tangent, I’ve never been a fan of the Final Fantasy series except for Final Fantasy 12 which was definitely not like its predecessors in terms of its combat systems. I’ve never finished a JPRG game and it’s probably because I don’t like to grind or use a turn-based combat system.)

All nerdiness aside, I was relieved to get out of my seat once we landed. My father and I, along with my cousins and their family, spent the first few nights in 7 Days Inn in Guangzhou. I was really excited to see my cousins because it had been over six years since we last saw each other, and I remembered us getting along pretty well together the last time.

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From agoda.com

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From booking.com

The room at 7 Days Inn at Fangcun was alright considering the price. It’s a low-budget hotel. I didn’t have high expectations coming in, so it didn’t surprise me when I was laying in bed and turned to see a bunch of scratches on the wall or the paint peeling. What did surprise me was that housekeeping was actually well-maintained. The rooms were clean.

The first night, we had dinner as a family at a restaurant a few blocks away from the hotel and from where my grandmother (who turned 90 during my trip) lives. On the second day, we went to visit more relatives and also went to the cemetery to pay respect to our ancestors.

For breakfast most of the time, I would head to this little bakery a few blocks away where they would have these really good pastries for about $1 or $2 USD at most. Back in California, the same pastries would probably cost a few dollars more. I’m actually on an 80/20 gluten-free diet because of intolerance issues, but going GF in China seems like it would be almost impossible and plus I just needed something to fill my stomach in the mornings.

I also went to a supermarket with my dad and it was cool buying stuff that I didn’t see much in the US, like Kinder Eggs – or the Chinese version of them. I also bought these sausagesĀ that I used to love when I was a little kid. I don’t remember what they’re called, but they’re ready to eat and have red wrapping that you have to peel off from the top. I ate like five of those in sitting because I missed them that much, but then I got a stomach ache hehe.

In Guangzhou, people usually take the metro or the subway. Although chasing after the bus tends to be a stressful experience, it was the only way to really get around.

I visited my cousins and my grandmother at their apartment buildings. Can I just take a moment to say how awkward it is deciding when to Snapchat and when to take a photo? How do people manage to do that without losing full appreciation for the moment?

Here is a good blog post on what Guangzhou looks like:

http://www.cookiesound.com/2013/01/the-old-quarters-within-the-new-city-of-guangzhou/

Most people live in towering apartments that look a little bit run-down on the outside.

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