Checked in at the Colorful Days Hotel in Guangzhou around 1am and found that the room on the first night I booked through http://www.travelchinaguide.com/.com hasn't been reserved for us. So they managed to find a room in another hotel for the first night. Upset but didn't bother because we are tired and had to get ready for the Canton Fair (China's Import and Export Expo), our destination for this business trip, in the morning.
26 Apr 2011: Canton Fair (2)
Twice a year, China hosts an exposition to showcase Chinese's products to attract dealers and wholesalers from around the world to Pazhou Complex, the venue for the Canton Fair. We arrived the fair by a hotel shuttle bus and spent all day finding and chatting with Chinese suppliers. I couldn't help wondering though if all the exhibitors there are really manufacturers or just agencies. The venue is pretty much like Muang Thong Thani, but this is much much bigger and newer. Think of 33 halls with each one the size of two soccer fields! The organizer provides shuttle bus to travel between halls. It's like shopping in a mega department store. The difference is that you can only buy at least 1,000 items for each type of small products, (e.g. key chains, dolls, cups). Few thousands are required for smaller items (e.g. stickers, pens), and few hundreds for bigger ones (e.g. furniture). The picture on the right shows a Thai importer deciding what to import to Thailand.
The best way to get around the city of Guangzhou is by subway, or what people here call ‘Metro’. The system is pretty much like Bangkok’s MRT where you go to the ticket selling machine to pay for your route to get a plastic token/coin. English is avaiable at the machine. At the exit, drop the coin to return it. Like in other big cities, the subway is always the best public transportation. That's why it's good to stay in a hotel near the subway station so you can go anywhere in the city in few minutes, including the shopping area on Beijing Street. This is a fashion pedestrian road for shoppers who look for brandname clothes and shoes. In the middle of the fashion street stands a Chinese Buddhist temple, an interesting place to spend half an hour on for spiritual relaxation after getting tired from shopping.
Chen Clan Academy is a must. They preserve old Chinese arts and crafts for tourist to see. The place itself was built in 1894. Just two subway stops away is the Beijing Pedestrian Street where you can enjoy shopping and see modern Chinese teenagers shopping for clothes and having McDonalds.
The traditional symbol of the city of Guangzhou is the five goats at the Yuexin Park. But now the symbol of the modern Guangzhou is I think the Guangzhou Tower located by the Pearl River. Both are reachable by the subway. Make sure to check them out and shoot some pictures there. In the afternoon, we went shopping at Shangxiajiu Street. Shops here are older, more local and more traditional than those in Beijing Street.
We checked out around 7pm and arrived Baiyun Int’l airport 50 minutes later.