Our trip was a whirlwind of activities as we tried to squeeze in 3 cities in 9 days, not to mention being slowed down by my handicap (which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as mentioned in my previous post). We arrived in Guangzhou on the 1st of December around 5 PM. the temperature was a mere 15 degrees C. To people who are accustomed to very hot harsh weather (average of 45 deg in the summer and 20 deg during winter, 15 degrees was cooold (imagine how i just pronounced that). Although we thought we were prepared for it, we later realized we weren’t and planned to buy ourselves some thermal jackets when we get the chance.
our friend Robin picked us up and took us to our hotel. I seriously forgot the name of the hotel but it was close to Ouzhang metro station on line 5. the metro stations in Guangzhou are pretty good- clean, good facilities and handicap friendly. Anyway, the hotel was a no star hotel but it was pretty okay for 30 dollars. We had a computer in the room and since most of the programs on television were chinese, i watched movies online when i couldnt sleep.
It was pretty late, and we were exhausted so we just had dinner with Robin and his wife Jenny at a nearby Cantonese resto. DH got his first doze of authentic chinese cuisine and culture.
Tea was served before we even started ordering the main meal. It was customary for people to wash their plates, chopsticks, bowls and tea cups with the tea. A bowl is provided for the disposal of the water used for washing. Then the succeeding servings of tea is for drinking. We had chrysanthemum tea (my friend jenny’s fave) and even tough at first we werent used to drinking anything that smells like flower, we ended up loving it before the end of our vacation. Tea is a big part and is never skipped for any meal. No cold drinks! and we welcomed that because of the chilly weather. We drank tea during the meal… we didnt ask for any other beverage, not even water!
Most Chinese restaurants do not serve cutlery unless you ask them. Everyone uses chopsticks. DH had a really hard time but made the effort to learn. I seriously do not know the names of the things we ate. All i know is that it was light, not greasy and we felt healthy. Cantonese cuisine does not require much frying. most of their food is cooked with water (boiled, broiled, steamed, etc). our fave was the vegetables and DH loved the chicken feet. After a few minutes, DH finally asked for a fork.
There was a guy selling mutton BBQ for 2 RMB each right infront of our hotel. It was very inviting and DH bought 2 every evening while we were in Guangzhou.