It was one of those amazing trips that proved I just like challenges : spending your time in a city that almost cannot understand you (well, I’m used to that in PH too), going to the next one – 150 km apart – just with Google Translate in the palm of your hands, rushing through efficient trains just to be able to make time for a lot of different things and places, and a lot more.
It was just a year after my first GZ trip and while there’s still so much to culturally explore – traditional temples, preserved museums, etc in this old city which I’l prolly visit next year – my friend Michelle got transferred to Shenzen, which is just a 27-year old city in China . It was not my first time in the latter as I remembered being treated there for traditional medicine when I was like 10 years old. There’s just so much development now in that city that’s referred now as a “tech center” in China, and one of the fastest-growing cities.
The first few days were spent in Guangzhou. We didn’t live in Beijing Lu ( a famous shopping destination), but the sight of the Pearl River which I got to really see this time was enough for quite some time.
Few snaps of my fav places in Guangzhou that i revisited..
Aside from shopping, most of the time really was spent on commuting and learning the system and I wanna talk about this more in this blog post because I think that’s important when you travel in this city. GZ is big and there’s so much to explore (and buy too!) so if you’re up for those experiences but with a tight budget and time, one must really learn the metro. I personally think that while the GZ metro map can help you, it’s much easier to learn it by experience (call a friend who is living there and who can speak your language too and let him or her walk you through), especially when you’re coming from a country that doesn’t have 4-5 exits per station or more than 3 lines. It was just my second time to take the train but i still had a difficult time especially because of the language barrier, despite how high-tech already their trains and ticket machines are. Those will be positively charged to experience.
4 trains, almost 20+ stations, (150 km) to travel (alone ?!) to another city, but for only 2 hours! I love their transpo system despite how complicated the lines, and how im always lost in translation but commuters are so willing to help (hello maps, Google translate, charms (!!), and sign language) ?? #ISurvived #snapofthenight #mikkigalangtravel ❤️
I was really scared when i decided to leave my mom and commute by myself from GZ to Shenzen at night to meet my friend Michelle. I don’t know how to speak their language and the signs and environment seemed overwhelming but I guess I just had to overcome it (just a feeling! haha) especially when you have a very loving and overprotective mother LOL
I arrived at Shenzhen at night (see picture below), thanks to Michelle and her boyfriend Anton for fetching me (because really, I had a bad experience with cab drivers not understanding any of my languages, signs and even the internet’s). I must say that despite all these being lost in translation, they’re very nice and friendly to travellers!
Michelle lives at Shenzhen East (near Tianji station) and it’s 14 stations from CRH station but the trip is really fast. The train system in the city is also efficient as GZ’s so exploring this one is recommendable via this way.
We went to the Happiness Tree Cafe which had amazing instagrammable interiors, and good food as well.
It was so nice catching up with Michelle. So much has happened since my trip last year. We were just discussing my plans then for Digify then months after, we got to work with each other and now we’re here! She also got promoted in Baidu and I’m so proud of her!!
We then went to a temple and museum called Chiwan Tianhou Temple, located in Nanshan District (near Sea World!0, which can be accessed via train or bus. Entrance is just 15 RMB and it’s worth the commute because of the history of the palace temple.
It is said that the first temple was completed on this site in 1410 when the famois admiral-eunuch Zheng commissioned by emperor Zhu Di to “sail west.” “Reaching the Pearl River Delta near Chiwan, the fleet encountered a storm and was enabled to carry on. Tian Hou appeared to the emperor, saying it was she that saved the fleet, and that the emperor was to built a temple near the site to show his thanks. Thus the temple was built, and the Wish-Giving Tree in the courtyard (or perhaps its ancestor?) was planted by Zhang He and his staff.
The temple has since been destroyed and rebuilt several times, most recently by the Shenzhen Municipal Government in the 1990’s.” (http://mi-le-fo.thetempleguy.com/temples/SZ0002.html)
I haven’t been to a lot of temples but this is one of the oldest and biggest in the city (and Hong Kong) and I found it beautiful and well taken care of. See all parts of the temple here.
After our visit here, I travelled back to GZ just for a few hours (already got the hang of it yey!) and I thought I was so ready for more adventures in the next trips! I must say I really felt accomplished and happy doing this!
Some of my friends will be back to visit a beach in Shenzen, and cross to Hong Kong. That sounds fun and challenging, right? =)