Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend in Guangzhou

Guangzhou...known to many as 'Canton' it is the capital city of Guangdong province and the home of 10 million people.

I may be moving there soon, so I decided to go and have a look around.

The place is huge! The best way to get around is the subway. The subway here reminded me a lot of the subway stations in Tokyo but a little less confusing to navigate. The subway was clean, cheap, fast and fortunately not too crowded. I suspect that this was due in part to it being the weekend. My guess is that on weekdays that the subway is very crowded.

I took the subway from the FangCun bus station to the TianHe district of Guangzhou. Guangzhou is divided into 12 different districts. TianHe is the 4th largest of these districts and has a population of around 1.10 million people. TianHe is the district where I may be working and is also home to all of Guangzhou's computer stores and a gigantic shopping center called Grandview Mall. Grandview Mall is 6 stories high with each level about the size of the Mall of Georgia.

I was more interested though in the places to eat than the shopping area. Inside the mall was a McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, sushi restaurant, Brazilian steak house (like Fogo de Chao but not as fancy) and a Las Vegas style buffet restaurant, just to name a few. Saturday night I ate at the sushi restaurant and it soon became very obvious to me that the wait staff in Guangzhou are not as friendly as the folks in Zhongshan. All of them seem to have a "big city", snotty attitude. This proved true both at the Hunan restaurant that I visited and the Brazilian steakhouse as well. Taxi drivers were also a pain to deal with. People here are just not as friendly as the folks in Guzhen.

Came away with mixed emotions. Certainly a nicer place to live than Guzhen...more to do, more convenient to get around but none of that hometown atmosphere that Guzhen seems to have. I will be going back in a couple of weeks to look at apartments. Hopefully the real estate people are a little more friendly than the restaurant and taxi folks.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Don't worry about the subway in GZ, it's never very crowded and i am always pretty surprised to still see so "few" people in the metro (especially compared to the subway in Shanghai, or the BUS in GZ).