Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 - a new start and a tea purchase

I was at the Singapore airport when 2011 rolled into my life. I had just arrived from Hong Kong. I was on a family vacation bringing my whole family to Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The trip did not start well as my camera died on me. I had to share the remaining camera to take a few tea pictures as well as family shots. Anyway, the trip was very enjoyable as my family enjoyed a week's break away from home.

My family arrived in Guangzhou on Christmas morning (4 hr trip from Singapore). Passing through customs was a breeze and there was a subway stop at the airport that took us all the way to Haizhu. This was where our hotel, Grand Continental Service Apartments, was located. I chose this hotel (free broadband) as this area was where all the shopping action is located. Wholesale markets are located here. With a subway station here, getting around was very convenient. The hotel was also a 5 min walk to the upmarket Beijing Rd pedestrian street where renown brands like Nike, Levis and Uniqlo are all represented there. Wholesale markets are also within walking distance from the hotel......I am talking giant malls with each mall singly dedicated to certain products. You have the huge malls just selling shoes, stationary, toys, dried foods (see pix - some areas are open air), clothings and even an undergarment centre. My daughters pointed out at this undergarment mall, there were huge TVs showing a latest American lingerie show and many of these shops are displaying for sale similar lingerie as that on the television program. The electronic malls were also fascinating with many shops concentrating on Apple related accessories like mobile phone cases, cables and covers. You need more than a week to visit a few of these malls.

Food is plentiful in choice. There are lots of american fast foods, high end restaurants and street food. There was a restaurant patronized by the locals near the hotel offering various types of chinese noodles, rice and congee (porridge) which my family enjoyed. Pix showed a piping hot bowl of beef noodles. A dinner meal there for 6 including drinks did not exceed US$12.

I did not mean to buy much tea during this trip. Really. Don't you laugh.....or snigger. But I came back with 8 tongs of ripe tea, a couple of tea bricks and some tea accessories. In Hong Kong, I had a chance to visit a tea shop and bought more tea and other stuff. I will try to explain why I made these purchases in my later blogs.

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