As a part of the SMU in China: Business program, we went to visit Guangzhou in mainland China. Through various lectures, we were well aware of the city’s impact on China’s economy as a newly developing city near the Pearl River. We were excited to go on the trip to be able to see the city ourselves. Thanks to SMU and CUHK, a bus was arranged to pick us up at 9 AM in front of the I-House. The bus took us to the Hunghom station from where we took the train to Guangzhou.
The train ride reminded me of my childhood and my family vacation to different parts of Korea. Looking out the train window listening to my music, I tried to recall my memory to read different characters. Despite studying Chinese for about three years, I was somewhat disappointed to find myself not being able to recognize many characters. Being surrounded by the Chinese environment made me realize how much I missed studying the language and making friends. As the train rolled into China from the Hong Kong side, most of us fell asleep.
When we arrived at the train station in Guangzhou, a tour guide name Dragon greeted our group. We were led by the tour guide to our bus and were taken to a local Chinese restaurant. Lazy Susan, Chinese decorations, the black tea, wait staffs dressed in typical uniform, every element of the environment made me feel nostalgic. After the lunch, we visited the Yuexie Park where the famous statue that represents Guangzhou is located. We walked around for a bit and were able to check into our hotel,which was surprisingly very nice.
The hotel was located in the Shifu area,where locals go shopping. After checking in and resting a little, we were able to walk out the hotel and be surrounded by people, shops, and local food. They even had scorpions on stick! We spent the evening walking around the streets bargaining for goods. Thanks to the strategic location of the hotel, I was able to purchase a cheap swimsuit and after returning to the hotel, I was able to enjoy the rooftop pool. It was awesome!