The morning came and went like a whirlwind. Trying to pack everything up again, getting the boys ready and trying to find accommodation for tonight in Guangzhou (yes you read correctly haha). The start to our journey from Hong Kong to Guangzhou by train was just another chaotic morning – only in Hong Kong.
We initially thought that we would catch the metro to Hung Hom station, which is “currently the only station in Hong Kong serving cross-border trains to mainland China” (wiki). We figured that being peak hour it would be a nightmare to catch a taxi that crosses the harbour tunnel.
Thankfully our hotel concierge recommended we take the taxi, as 8am was not quite peak hour and it would take less time to cab it – and cab it we did. This allowed us plenty of time to chase after kids that kept running off; try to calm Mr3 down from his tantrum after taking away his “gukky”(his soft sleep teddy), which he kept throwing around; and keep the two boys from fighting and hitting each other because one called the other a smelly bum-bum. It is moments like these that make travelling with kids so difficult and stressful!
We made the trip from Hong Kong to Guangzhou (2 hour train journey) and the boys enjoyed it and were reasonably well behaved. Mind you it helped that I chose to take Mr 3 to a different carriage that had spare seats while dad and Mr 4 stayed in their seats.
TRAVEL TIP: If you want to maintain peace and quiet between siblings during travel – keep them as far away from each other as possible! 😂
Small tip for travelling to Hong Kong or China: If you are going to travel to Hong Kong or China you should either get the octopus card in Hong Kong as this is apparently used for taxis, the purchase of most things in smaller shops, or have cash on hand. We thought having our Visa card would suffice, nevertheless, dont expect to be able to use your Visa or Mastercard for anything! – taxis, restaurants, metro to buy your tickets, or anything really – a logistical nightmare!
Ways to keep mummy sane?
After a busy and somewhat stressful morning the following worked wonders.
2. Shopping – whilst I wouldn’t usually enjoy window shopping, I actually loved roaming the streets on my own and also checking out the local mall and supermarkets! I didn’t need to buy anything expensive – just simple body moisturiser, which I forgot to bring made me happy – go figure!
3. Get your kids to have an afternoon nap – although they faught the nap, it is truly the only way you can get out at night without having over-tired kids.
Things to see in Guangzhou
I was actually impressed with this big, busy, did I mention BIG city!?
The skyrisers are a sight for sore eyes. I recommend you check out The Canton Tower. You can take the metro to Canton tower station (orange or blue metro line, also known as APM). There are a few packages to choose from that take you to roughly 460m to the top. We only made it to 440m and got to also go on the bubble tram, which gives you a 360 degree view of the city – A must do at night!
Overall, the city at night is quite spectacular and exceeded my expectations. The Canton Tower changes colours at night and to me is the chinese equivalent of the Eiffel Tower. The mall of the world, also popular for shopping with an array of restaurants is underground, under the large plaza next to the IFC building.
Guangzhou, a city that has exceeded my expectations.
A stroll through the park, from the Opera House metro station to Huangpu Avenue station was so pleasant and beautiful. In the plaza and through the park, colourful panel lights on the ground lead the way. The locals are so friendly and would often try to interact with the boys or happily give up their seat on the metro for the boys to sit (and mind you was the metro BUSY).
One would think the city would have slowed down by 10pm, however the walk back to the hotel through the park was still well attended by families enjoying a beautiful night out or people going for a cool run, not to mention the pollution seemed to have disappeared by night!
Guangzhou, a city that has exceeded my expectations. Tomorrow we do it all again, only this time from Guangzhou to Nanning. Let’s hope we have an easier start!
In the following video, we hear a technical explanation of the process involved in building Canton tower.