If you are not rushing to your final destination, you can always take your time by having 24 hours stop over/ layover in between your long flight. Book a 1 night stay and do a quickie city tour. This will make you appear having a jetset life (LMAO) and your travel diary seems has more stories to tell. Today you are here then the next day you are there. You save on your flight ticket and you can tick off one more destination out the world map. Flight from KL to LA has few stop over such as Guangzhou, Jeddah, Seoul, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Istanbul, depending which carrier you choose.
Since Mike never set his foot to any part of China, so we took a 23 hours stop over in Guangzhou. Although Guangzhou isn't fancy as big capital Shanghai or Beijing, but it has something that we really like to see.
We booked Holiday Inn Guangzhou because 1) nearby airport 2) it provides free airport shuttle, 3) 99% reception staffs of chain hotels are fluent in English 4) chain hotels has standard service which you can expect. You do not want to be surprised on your short stop!
We were ready to get cheated upon arrival in Guangzhou airport. All sign mostly in Chinese, most people couldn't speak English. We tried to get the direction where to find Holiday Inn shuttle area, and suddenly, this guy so eager to help by willingly to call the hotel with his mobile. Ching chong ching chong on the phone, then he said we have to inform the hotel earlier if we wanted to get pick up by free shuttle. So since we didn't inform the hotel, so, no transport provided. That guy put his hotel transfer price - RMB100. I am in Tourism industry and dealing with hotelier for quite sometime. Knowing the standard service they provide, I don't think it is totally different in this part of the world. Holiday Inn is no boutique hotel that can set up their own service by their own grandmother's standard.
I was mad at Mike. Because he was the one who booked the hotel. Why he didn't give them the flight details. But at the same time, we do not want to surrender and succumb to the stranger's kindness. I grabbed his roaming mobile phone (and I don't care how much the bill will cost) and called Holiday Inn directly and thank God English speaker Chinese on the other line. It turned out that we only have to go to DEPARTURE HALL UPPER LEVEL, Gate A and we will see MPV with Holiday Inn logo waiting every 10 minutes. Simple as that.
So, we won the 1st battle and got checked in safe and sound. Room is big but only Chinese TV program and English TV program with Chinese voice over on telly. So we sleep.
...and woke up to very limited choices of breakfast. I respect them Chinese eat veggies for breakfast but it is overly salted so it might give me high blood pressure instead of good nutrition.
and we were surprised that the hotel provide this in case of fire! Usually hotels asked you to stay low while get your way to the fire escape, which can slow down your move, so mask like this can make a very big difference during the emergency. What a good practice.
Anyways, with the help of English speaker reception staff, he helped us with the direction and map. He suggested us to take the train from the airport to access the city. So we checked out and return back to the airport, stored our luggage over there and so excited to explore the city.
The train costs us like RMB 10 per way. It is cheap. And the route connected to all touristy spot.
We have like 7 - 8 hours before our next flight to LA. So we heading straight to Canton tower. The entrance fee ranging from RMB 150 to 498 depending on levels and what's include. We go for RMB 228 which enable us to the 488 lookout and spider walk, minus all the attraction such as bubble tram and sky drop.
Standard pose stating that "hey, I've been there, done that"
We created our memories by eating ice cream up here.
We are here to witness the massive architecture of Guangzhou. Unlike most Malaysian see Guangzhou for shopping - ONLY.
I must admit that I was amazed by the buildings in Guangzhou. It looks like so 'Asgard' in a glance and very futuristic. BUT what amazed me more is that the people living among these futuristic landscape and construction still refused to step up to modern civilization. Spitting in commercial building and I saw a mother helped her son peeing in the city light TRAIN conclude that civilization and sophistication is not about the landscape, able to built tall building, your outfit or currency you are holding. Civilization is in your mind. There is no 1st world country or city if you still thinking and act like a 3rd world class. Macam KL, kencing air bersepah sepah di public toilet. Macam kera baru dapat toilet bowl.
I unable to take the picture without having the column in it, left or right. Because of the tower spiral design structure, the column of this tower is kinda close to each other so it gives the visitors very limited wide panorama view to capture.
and this is why you need to include 488 lookout observation in your ticket entrance.
488 lookout is the height in meters, the highest outdoor observation deck visitors can reach in Canton Tower. It offers 360 degree view of Guangzhou city but um, still with a little obstruction - that damn bubble tram. So, if you really wanted unobstructed view, you need to pay the ultimate price which is RMB498.
That day was kinda foggy, so I told Mike it is best to come here at night. We can see the city lights and colder. So we might come here again at night, with the bubble tram ride.
and this is 'sky drop' in Canton Tower.
Some picture taken by the professional photographer during the sunset
and this is mine :(
Next, we headed to Shamian Island.
We decided to visit Shamian Island due to the descriptions - 'Historical building' left by the French. It is a sandbank island, so do not expect blue beach and breezy wind.
Well, nothing much I can say except it looks just like Penang. Most of the building refurbished and nothing really old over here. Rows of franchise cafe like Starbucks and Subway can be founded here.
some little girl imitating the statue pose
and this is rivalry pose by another little girl.
Why I felt like those statue is 'pervert' kind of statue?
On the bridge away from Shamian Island, there is a familiar sighting. Street sellers selling souvenirs and all.
I think he meant 'Muslim Local Flavor'
This, I couldn't help but stop by to try it. It is pure mandarin oranges old skool squeezed into a bottle and it taste so fresh and sweet like a first teenage love.
Love in a bottle. RMB 5. Once you tasted this, then you will find Peel Fresh or any drinks with no additive, no sugar self pro- claimed is BS.
Shamian Island and its surrounding.
So we had our very late lunch at Pizza hut somewhere across Shamian Island and back to the airport.
That's the end of our stop over tour in Guangzhou.