Trekking Through China…Guilin and Guangzhou

By this point in the trip, I was admittedly very fatigued. My brain suddenly felt like it had hit a wall and refused to absorb any more information. The next few days between Yangshuo and Macau were a bit of a blur. My notes on those days are sketchy, though I did manage to snap a few photos.

GUILIN: Since my notes only say “very pretty”, I’ll use Wikipedia to help explain:

“Elephant Trunk Hill is the symbol of the city of Guilin. It got its name because it looks like an elephant drinking water. The round opening that would be under the elephant’s trunk is known as Water-Moon Cave because at night the reflection of the moon can be seen through the arch and it looks like it is under the water and floating on the surface of the water at the same time.”

Elephant Trunk Hill…it really does look like an elephant’s trunk drinking water, doesn’t it! Amazing sight!

I’m not sure what was at the top of those stairs, other than a spectacular view, but I couldn’t muster the energy to find out that day (LOTS of stairs, and not much of a rail to hold onto)

My step-daughter was much braver than I!

This was taken at a little park beside our hotel in Guilin.

The park beside the hotel was beautiful. We also had a small market on the other side of the hotel. Both sides were humming with activity throughout the day and well into the night.

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GUANGZHOU: Chen Ancestral Hall/Guangdong Folk Arts Museum

Again, since I didn’t write any notes about this stop, I’ll have to rely on others to help me. I found this wonderful description from a reviewer on TripAdvisor here:

The Chen family was a leading family in and around Guangzhou and Chen is still an often found name in the area. They maintained a family center in the city where the annual Chinese New Year was celebrated, as well as formal family events such as weddings and funerals. Young scholars lived in the ancestral home when studying in Guangzhou and the patriarch was in residence.

I don’t know how the residence survived the cultural revolution but I heard it was used as public housing, having been stripped of everything old. It has been wonderfully restored and refurnished with antiques gleaned thoughout the province. There is some traditional Guangdong tile work on both rooflines and walls that is well worth the visit. The forecourt has been made into a public plaza and a portion of the home dedicated to museum activities.

There is more info here.

But the pictures are mine (except for the last one)…here’s what my camera captured that day.

Pottery and lime sculptures line the rooftop at the Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou

More of the ornate sculptures on the roof of the Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou

Colourful and intricate carvings on the roof of the Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou

Amazing artistry! Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou

This is carved right into the stone brickwork (Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou)

Inside the Hall is a wonderful collection of sculptures, folk art, wood carvings and so much more. This was my favourite statue.

This was part of the collection of headdresses , I think from the Qing Dynasty (Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou)

These headdresses were crusted with gold and jewels! They must have been very heavy to wear! (Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou)

A beautiful example of hand-embroidered clothing from the Qing Dynasty era. (Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou)

And another elaborately ornate headdress (Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou)

This is a “sedan for the gods” carved out of wood. Difficult to take a decent picture with the glare. (Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou)

I found this picture in an online travel brochure for the Chen Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou…it shows (better than any of my photos) the beautiful wood carvings all along the left side (some of these are doors which open to various displays inside), a pleasant park-like courtyard to the right (where the statues and various bigger pieces are displayed). The museum was a large complex of halls, wing-rooms, courtyards and connecting verandas…all full of ancient relics, carvings, embroideries and folk art.

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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2012. All rights reserved.

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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
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4 Responses to Trekking Through China…Guilin and Guangzhou

  1. Bama says:

    This reminds me of my trip to Southern China last May. When I was in Guilin I was lucky enough to meet a local guy who later took me and my friend around the city. While for Guangzhou, I happened to stay in a small island where British and French colonial buildings were ubiquitous.


    • Sharon says:

      Thanks for writing, Bama. That would be a wonderful way to see Guilin…a local would know all the most interesting places to see, places that a large tour group wouldn’t be able to visit. We didn’t see much British and French influence in Guangzhou, but then our only stop there was the Chen Hall.

      Would you ever go back to China? We came back with the feeling that we’d seen enough. We’d prefer to explore other Asian destinations now that we’ve experienced this trip to China.


  2. Amazing art – all of it!!


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