Craig: Originally a trading port, Guangzhou is considered one of the most influential financial districts in China, which is quite evident in the modern skyscrapers that line the skyline along the Pearl river in Zhujiang New Town. Like every large city though, poorer areas dominate large areas within. If I were to describe Guangzhou in a word, that word would be fusion. Fusion of old customs and new technologies, of ancient architecture and modern skyscrapers, of young hearts and wise heads.
I’ve always wanted to visit Asia and an opportunity presented itself with one of my former clients, David and Kiki. I have to thank David who was kind enough to meet me and escort me to my Hotel. He was also pretty much my guide to the city as he helped me understand it a little better. Having limited time, it’s beneficial having someone local to the area to help acclimatise and eliminate any would be tourist traps that might otherwise ruin a perfectly wonderful visit. I was taken to several Buddhist Temples within the city which, although not being religious, turned out to be a rather contrasting spiritual experience.
A close knit community is portrayed throughout with entire families often enjoying extended meals together. Meal time is generally quite a social event with meals being shared rather than being consumed individually. It really is a time of young and old coming together to share not only their meal, but their activities of the day as well.
With a population of over 7 million, I was expecting travel chaos. It was however organised chaos. Traveling by Metro was a relatively seamless process with everyone adhering to a general rule of taking any available gap and not getting annoyed with other individuals trying to utilise available space either. This seemed to work with traffic as well, as drivers cut their way through traffic without offending or upsetting other motorists. Everybody just seemed to get on with it and somehow it worked.
My final resting place in Asia was Hong Kong. A vibrant city that certainly warrants more than the one night I allotted myself. My time in Hong Kong was simply too short to form any sort of opinion other than a first. I would certainly like to return to the area for an extended stay and experience more of the potential it was oozing.
All photography by Craig Bruce