Sunday, July 11, 2010


The flight from Manila to Guangzhou takes just over 2 hours. I arrived at Baiyun International airport late in the evening, just before 10pm. It was early July, a long weekend in line with the US 4th of July. The weather was humid and hot... sweltering hot. Sadly similar to the environment I just escaped from. Guess deodorant was a good idea, maybe I should have packed some!

For a 4 day weekend I suggest you bring extra shorts and shirts, unless you intend to wash them frequently. I changed at least twice a day. You don't have to, but you won't meet any locals if you smell like yesterday's socks!

Cost of Airfare was less than 154 USD for two people, using the Cebu Pacific seat sale price. Subscribe on line so an automatic sms alert will tell you when the seat sales are on.

To get from the airport to Tianhe, use the buses. Cost is 24 RMB per person, take bus 6A. Around 3.50 USD per person for a trip that takes just over an hour. It's cheaper than getting a cab. I got dropped off at the Tianhe Westin, which meant I had to walk 500 metres to the hotel. Not a bad way to get yourself oriented. Don't worry, the streets are safe. I never got hassled once, no one trying to sell you a fake watch or dvd.

I stayed at a hotel called The ShangTang Hotel, located at 63 Linhe Xi Heng Road, Tianhe District 510610. It definitely wasn't five star, nor even half a star. In fact it closely resembled a black hole, but it served its purpose. A clean room with a solid bed, hot shower, and free internet connection.

The ShangTang hotel rooms are spartan but functional, I did not see King Leonidas but the description is apt for the room. Tip, get someone to write in Cantonese the place where you are staying and where you will be going the next day. This tip is often said but seldom heeded. It will save you lots of time, pain and lower blood pressure levels.

The hotel can be booked online through China Hotel reservation, I paid 75 USD for three nights with a late check out at 1pm. The hotel is located within walking distance of the metro train station (Guangzhou East) and Guangzhou Long Distance bus terminus. Cost of travel from Guangzhou East terminal to the main Guangzhou station, where the long distance buses are, is at time of writing: 4 RMB, the equivalent of 60c USD. It is essential that you get familiar with these drop off points as they are central to all public commutes to points of interest in Guangdong. The hotel is also walking distance to Citic Plaza, the airport bus terminal that takes you back to Baiyun International airport.

Post ends here for day 1.......but I will end it with a tip for breakfast. If you want a local breakfast, just wake up bright and early, in my case 5am. Literally as you walk out the door, and 2 metres to your right, is a little dim sum place, that is if you are staying at the ShangTang Hotel. They serve two types of the delicate little dim sums, I got two orders approx 8 pieces per order. The cost just over 1 USD for both servings and it comes with a warm soy drink. The food is great and cheap! Hey, the hotel staff eats there so you know it's going to be good. Live a little!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

the unfit traveller: Profile first

the unfit traveller: Profile first: "Before we go on a merry adventure of life and travel, I need to introduce myself to the virtual world. Am on the wrong side of middle age..."

Profile first

Before we go on a merry adventure of life and travel, I need to introduce myself to the virtual world.
Am on the wrong side of middle age, on the south side of 6ft, almost antarctica south, and with a slight paunch that would make any beer drinker proud. This journey of life has brought me to three continents, and although i won't write about all my travels, we will begin with the most recent.

I currently live in the Philippines in a leafy village, in the hustle and bustle of a town they call Makati. If you have ever been to the Philippines it is the central business district, where commerce, meets girly bars, where you can find a micro brewed czech beer, or eat fish balls fried in 4 day old oil. Where east meets west, and the dollar is all consuming. It is a hectic town with a life and color that make it unique. But that is the stuff for another blog, another day, when i get older and look back at it with fondness, rather than the hazy colored , smog tinted glasses that i look at it with now.

The next post, will be about my most recent trip, Guandong China. On a budget of 300 USD for 3 nights and 4 days. Weight gain 2kgs :)