11 Days Free and Easy China Tour – Day 11 Guangzhou Chen Clan Academy and Beijing Road

Head to Wulin Chushen for Breakfast

We finally woke up to the last day of our Free and Easy China Tour in Guangzhou. As our flight would be after midnight, we didn’t have to wake up early. Since we were in Guangzhou, we didn’t want to miss another round of nice dim sum breakfast. We had a great experience over at Wulin Chushen two days’ ago.

So we left Paco Business Hotel and walked over to the main road. We reached the restaurant in about three minutes slightly after 10 am. Firstly, we explored the ground floor of the restaurant. It is much like a display and mini museum setup. The movie Ip Man was played on TV screen. We enjoyed a short clip on the fighting scene by Donnie Yen before heading upstairs for our meal.

Great Dim Sum Breakfast at Wulin Chushen

Over at the restaurant, business was already in full swing with diners enjoying dim sum breakfast chatting away happily in Cantonese and Mandarin. Having seated, we ordered some other items we didn’t try the last time as well as those items we really liked. It was the same self-service with the cutlery and tea making facility from the side table. By now, we were quite professional making hot Chinese tea with the electric kettle and teapot. Rinsing of teacups in the bigger bowl came naturally now.

Not long after, our dim sum items came one after another. We even had fried noodles and porridge. Soon, they were piling up with the table almost fully occupied. The table became a colourful and interesting display of mouth-watering dim sum. So we tucked in and had a very enjoyable breakfast. The food was really good and the cost was pretty reasonable too. This meal was more like a brunch for us with such a late meal in the morning.

Check out from Paco Business Hotel

We returned to Paco Business Hotel to pack up and get ready to check out. It was also time to rest a while to let our bloated stomach work on the sumptuous meal we had a moment ago. After shower and having gotten everything packed, we went to front desk with all our bags to process check out. With check out done, we left all our bags with the hotel and then explored Guangzhou City one last time before departing for Singapore.

This neighbourhood had become so familiar with us. It was pleasant and pretty busy too. Walking to entrance A of Tiyu Xilu MRT Station was so quick and easy. Once entering the station, we went to buy train tickets to head to Chen Clan Academy this first attraction for the day just six stations away without having to change trains. Guangzhou MRT system is pretty efficient and is very cheap to travel from place to place in the city.

Visit Chen Clan Academy

We didn’t have to wait long before boarding a coming train. Not long after, we arrived at Chen Clan Academy Station. After exiting the station, we found ourselves in another neighbouhood with tall residential apartments in the vicinity. We then walked towards the big open space and the Chen Clan Academy was just right ahead. A huge Chinese gate stood in the open square to welcome us.

It was already 12.40 pm when we arrived. It was a bright and sunny day and winter in Guangzhou could be deceiving. We were not complaining though as we could take beautiful pictures under such great weather conditions. We then walked to the side entrance to purchase ticket to enter this attraction. Entrance fee is just CNY 10 and free for those under 18 years old.

Nice Compound inside the Museum

After entering the compound, we had to get into this museum via one of the front entrances. This property is surrounded by a tall wall with very elaborate Chinese style roof. On each side of the main entrance is a stone mythological animal standing guard which is quite fierce looking. Such decorative features are quite common in properties for important and well to do family.

Once inside this compound proper, we took our time to admire the courtyard. There are plants and trees with stone tables and seats here. The colourful and elaborate design on the roofs of the passage ways and the buildings captured the attention of many visitors. Of course, pictures were taken by many who stood around to admire the artwork on these roofs in the courtyard. These art pieces seem like telling a story with human characters as well as mythological animals including the much revered dragons. This courtyard is a Chinese style garden that is distinctly different from the garden we visited in Shamian Island the day before which is very European in style.

Next we entered the halls after this courtyard. These halls are nicely set up pretty much left in its ancient deco format but very well maintained and preserved. If you like Chinese furniture of days gone by, this would be your cup of tea. Over here is the main hall that serves as a living room to receive guests. After checking out the exhibits here, we entered another courtyard.

Beautiful Courtyard inside the Museum

This second courtyard is pretty similar with the earlier courtyard with potted plants, shrubs and trees providing shades. Of course there are more stone tables and seats for visitors to rest and admire this lovely resting place. In addition, there are iron sculptures as well that added more character and beauty to this already beautiful garden area. This was indeed a nice place for us to take a short break to soak in the ambiance on these beautiful sunny and yet cooling winter day.

After this we entered the second hall that houses many art pieces. These art pieces are from Guangzhou as well as from Chaozhou. So those artisans are Cantonese and Teochew people. The artworks are pretty intricate. These artists must have spent a lot of time and effort to produce these art pieces. They are very beautiful and are definitely nice exhibits on display here.

We then continued with our stroll towards the back of the property. Over here is the rear courtyard. There are plenty of trees and plants here with more stone tables and benches as well. The difference of this courtyard is that there is no corridor passage way here subdividing this courtyard. So this is one long uninterrupted courtyard that serves as a much bigger garden. There are more stone lions here as well as iron sculptures that adorn this pretty garden.

Unique and Interesting Design of the Museum

If you like symmetry, this would be a photographer’s paradise. You can take great pictures of symmetry with the many passages in this property. These passages are quite unique in their design of their frames at the entrance and the wooden ceilings in the passage ways. The passage ways are so long and it would be nice when no visitors are seen when pictures are taken, especially with good cameras.

There are small shops where visitors can buy souvenirs as well as a small café inside this museum property. There is even a small area in the shop for little kids to play simple colourful wooden picture puzzles to kill time. One toddler took a piece of the puzzle and ran out of the room with her horrified parents running after her to retrieve this little toy from her. They were from Russia and they didn’t know what the staff would think and do with this awkward incident. Toilets are available inside this museum as well.

For CNY 10, it was certainly well worth the effort and our time to visit this attraction in the city. It was so easy to locate Chen Clan Academy with the MRT Station named after this attraction. We were glad to have come here to check out this place before heading out to our next destination. So we returned to Chen Clan Academy MRT Station. This time, we were heading to Haizhu Square.

Heading to Haizhu Square

Haizhu Square is along Zhujiang River just three stations away. So this is very near but we had to change train at Gongyuanqian Station. Buying train tickets and collecting the tokens to use in the MRT system were a breeze now. Hence, we arrived Haizhu Station in about slightly over ten minutes.

Exiting the station, we found ourselves in a park. Unlike Shamian Island, this park didn’t look very appealing and we saw some folks sleeping on the garden benches. We decided to cross over to the mall across the road. So we won’t know what it was like over at the riverfront.

The circle at the road junction was indeed prettier than the park we just saw a little earlier. However, after entering the mall at this junction, we didn’t find the mall very interesting. There are some cafes, restaurants and shops here but the mall looked outdated. Spending time here didn’t seem justified so we went back out to the main road.

Walking to Beijing Road

Beijing Road is just nearby further down the road. Hence, that was our natural destination to check out stuff we may wish to purchase before heading home later. It was a pleasant walk following the road to Beijing Road and we soon entered i-Club Mall. A huge red colour Christmas tree was at the entrance to attract and welcome visitors.

Entering this mall, we found stalls set up at the main atrium on the ground level. There weren’t many visitors inside this mall as we made our way through to exit over the other side towards Beijing Road. This mall was however, much more modern than the other mall we went into not long ago. It was very clean and bright and more welcoming. Just before the exit, we found our favourite French Bakery Tous Les Jours. But we were not keen to pick up some bakery stuff so early hence we exited i-Club Mall.

Back out on the street, the neighbourhood became more lively and interesting. Just over at the traffic junction, we arrived Beijing Road. This was where we visited when we first arrived in Guangzhou on Christmas Eve. We visited at night and now during the day and the vibes were so different. The walking street in Beijing Road wasn’t crowded yet. Perhaps it was still early at 2.30 pm and the lunch crowd had already left and too early for the evening crowd to arrive.

Shopping and Lunch at Beijing Road

It was a very pleasant sunny day as we strolled along Beijing Road doing last minute shopping for the day. Though the crowd was thin during this time, post Christmas sales were still on going. While walking along and browsing the shops, we chanced upon a Polo shop giving out fantastic discounts. So we spent some time in the shop and bought some leather bags, wallets and belts. We were very happy with this last minute purchase.

After this we continued to roam Beijing Road shopping street. This place is a little like Xi Men Ding in Taipei but wasn’t attracting a lot of younger crowd during our visit. Next, we then went into the mall where we took a break over at Saizeriya during the last visit. We were looking for a restaurant for a late lunch. We found a Japanese fast food outlet like Yoshinoya Restaurant.

The middle age lady managing the Japanese eatery was super friendly and nice. We ordered different lunch sets and were more than pleased with the service and quality of food. The food were reasonably priced as well. In addition, we could use their wifi to surf the internet during this meal break.

After this meal, we continued to explore Beijing Road but didn’t buy any more stuff. Walking out towards the main road, we took a look at the preserved old street dating back to thousands of years. These remnants of the street spanned several dynasties and they were protected under thick glass cover. They were quite interesting to look at with different cobble stones style for each era.

Explore Vicinity near Beijing Road

We then crossed the road to visit the other side of Beijing Road. We wanted to have a coffee break at Starbucks in the mall just across the road. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find enough comfortable seats for all of us. There were stalls outside the mall selling different stuff from many other provinces. Walking further up the street led us to some government buildings.

With nothing much to see at the back of Beijing Road, we walked back to the main road intending to walk to Gongyuanqian MRT Station. We came across May Flower Plaza and then went in to check out this mall. This is another very modern mall with many nice restaurants and a cinema as well. We went up to the top floor and then left this mall after a short visit.

Next door was A Mall and from this mall, we entered the underground mall that would lead to the MRT station. There are many small shops here selling clothes and accessories and women’s stuff. So walking to the MRT station underground wasn’t so boring as well. This underground mall was rather busy unlike May Flower Plaza we visited earlier with higher end retailers. Stuff sold here were more like night market items and seemed to be more popular.

Return to Tee Mall at Tiyu Xilu MRT Station

Soon we entered Gongyuanqian Station and were on our way back to Tiyu Xilu MRT Station. We were a little tired by now. Five stations later, we arrived. It was near 6 pm and too early to return to Paco Business Hotel to head to the airport. Our flight was 3.45 am and we planned to reach the airport near midnight. Once we exited Tiyu Xilu Station, we explored the underground mall here.

In fact, many MRT stations in Guangzhou have underground mall consisting of small shops providing essential service to commuters. We even saw a tailor shop as well where they provide tailor made suits for men and dresses for ladies. Of course small eateries are available as well and with high human traffic at the MRT stations, these small shop vendors were doing rather brisk business.

Dinner at Pizza Hut in Tee Mall

So having checked out these small shops, we entered Tee Mall. It was time to find a place to sit down for quite some time over dinner. We walked floor by floor and eventually decided to dine at Pizza Hut. The reason we chose Pizza Hut was because of its ambiance, very spacious and comfortable to spend some time here to relax over a meal. We ordered their promotion dinner set that came with pizzas, baked rice, chicken wings and steaks with spaghetti on hotplate.

So we took our time as we had plenty of time to spare. We had shopped enough and didn’t intend to roam the mall anymore. Pizza Hut happened to be a great place for us to park ourselves here for a while. So we used the wifi here and stayed till 7.30 pm. Then it was time to take a slow walk back to Paco Business Hotel to retrieve our bags.

Return to Paco Business Hotel

When we reached the hotel, we walked a few shops further to buy some bakery stuff to bring home. We still had the coffee voucher to use at this new bakery. This new bakery was indeed very nice, very French in design and even the name sounds French to rival Tous Les Jours. After picking up the bread and pastries we wanted, we collected our coffee and then returned to Paco Business Hotel.

We collected all our bags from front desk staff and then sat at the lobby to rest and enjoy the coffee we took earlier. There was a water dispenser where hotel guests could drink from and top up drinking water as well. So we sat a while more and used the wifi here as well. We even asked front desk to allow us to use one of their rooms that was not ready for guests to use the toilets for some time.

Shortly after 10 pm, we left this wonderful hotel that we spent three nights here and walked back to Tiyu Xilu MRT Station. Paco Business Hotel is a no frills hotel that provides clean and comfortable room and beds at very good rates too. The hotel is very modern and rooms are like Ibis setup. This hotel doesn’t have a restaurant. There are plenty of eateries, café and restaurants in the neighbourhood so dining is a non issue.

Proceed to Baiyun Airport

So with our luggage in tow, we were back to Tiyu Xilu MRT Station. We had gotten so familiar with this station now having spent four days here. Next we bought our tickets and proceeded to the platform to wait for the train heading to Baiyun Airport. We got on board not long after but the train was surprisingly crowded during this hour after 10 pm. It was only after a number of stations when we were nearer to the airport that the train became less crowded. On board the train were mostly passengers heading to the airport. Eventually, we arrived at the airport station.

It was still early after 11 pm and our flight was 3.45 am. We then exited the train and went up to the departure hall and walked out over to Pullman Hotel just outside the airport. However, once we were outdoor, it was so cold we had to hasten our steps to walk quickly to Pullman Hotel. It was only when we were indoor in the hotel that we felt so relieved we were back to creature comfort level. We hadn’t experienced such cold for the past few days in Guangzhou and we didn’t know it would be so cold near midnight here.

Rest and Supper at Pullman Baiyun Hotel

Pullman Hotel is a 5-star property with a huge and grand lobby. Display panels on one side of the walls showed arrival and departure flight timings. By this time, most of the hotel facilities were closed. Even the lounge bar we wanted to head over to chill for a while was closing and with no more cakes and pastries available.

Of course the main restaurant that operates 24 hours was still open and available for meals but this restaurant was clearly quite empty when we arrived. So we waited and rested outside on the sofa seats for some time visiting the washrooms from time to time. This was a good place to use the free wifi in the hotel to past time.

Some time later, we entered the restaurant for a bite. We just ordered some simple finger food and also pasta to share to eat a little before our flight home. The waiters here were very friendly and professional. Our food came and we ate a little though we weren’t very hungry. As Accor Plus members, we enjoyed dining discounts and that was why we came here to rest and have a meal before flight time.

Back to Departure Hall for Flight to Singapore

Around 1 am, we walked back to the departure hall. We walked through the cold outdoor area very quickly and then got back into the terminal building. When we reached Scoot’s counter, the queue was very long. So we waited patiently and eventually, got our luggage checked in and then cleared immigration.

Once inside the secured area of the departure hall, it was dead quiet in the night. All the shops and restaurants were closed for the day. We found seats near our departure gate to wait for our flight home. Soon we were airborne and homeward bound.

Concluding 11 Days China Tour

It was a great 11 Days tour of China beginning from Hangzhou down to Huangshan and then Wuyishan. Next was visiting the city of Xiamen where we even stayed a night in a hotspring resort. Then we spent four full days in Guangzhou shopping and dining and visiting attractions in the city. It was a truly fantastic trip with great family bonding time with the children.

Travelling free and easy in China is pretty easy, especially when you can speak Mandarin and can read and understand Chinese. Transport infrastructure in China is so advance and also so affordable. We could visit many cities and places without much trouble. Two years ago, we did a free and easy tour to Yunnan travelling by long distance buses which was very pleasant and affordable as well.

We had already booked air tickets to Chengdu for November and would be visiting this city and Chongqing nearby and of course will visit the famous Jiuzhaigou in a few months’ time. There are so many places to visit in China and we will continue to explore this great country whenever we have the time, especially when cheap flight tickets become available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *