Firstly, huge apologies for the lack of activity but I now plan to post more topics and recipes very soon! And what better way then to show you all pictures from our backpacking trip in China & Malaysia back in May 2014. Since it was a long journey, I thought to put up one post a day of each leg of our backpacking trip.
LONDON – GUAGZHOU, CHINA
Our trip started off from London Heathrow to Gaugzhou, China via China Southern Airlines (which have to say was a superb Airline for such a cheap flight it had all the necessities and luxuries of a mid class flight! – ticket price was approx £400 each return via holidaygenie.com).
The stopover in China was approx 23 hours long where the airline had also given us a free hotel for the night -another surprise! The hotel was very clean and the staff knew some sort of English which was perfect for asking questions regarding the shuttle bus and what’s for breakfast.
Since we had a long stopover, we decided the next morning to explore more of China especially the old architecture and mosques. We first rang for a taxi from the hotel so we can get to the city which is a 40 minute to 1 hour drive depending on traffic.
(Quick note, to get around China, make sure you have the place you want to go screenshot on your phone in Chinese chatters – NOT English. Oh and go for the green coloured taxis!)
We had wanted to explore the old mosque of Saad Ibn Waqas (companion of the Prophet, peace be upon him). When we had entered the city, it was bustling with loads of people and it now hit us that we were in a different country with the Chinese women riding their bicycles on the main road with straw hats and their weekly groceries shopping hanging onto their baskets. The air was so humid and sticky also as you hear the sounds of the Chinese language wherever you walked past…I loved it!!
We tried finding the mosque after walking around the main park while getting used to a few locals raising their heads twice seeing us walk past them – I guess you don’t get much tourist in Guagzhou, but yet I still loved it, they had a friendly nature to them and it was the help of a Muslim China man that lead us in the end to the mosque.
And what an amazing mosque it was!! Built in the traditional Chinese style but with elements to symbolise it was a place of worship, the mosque was nestled in a backstreet entering via a garden footpath that was completely cutoff to the hustle and bustle of the city. The atmosphere suddenly became so serene and beautiful with the constant song of the exotic birds in the garden – at this point I was mesmerised with its serenity even though still being in the heart of Guagzhou.
After praying in the mosque we then kept walking along the footpath to find the tomb of the person the mosque was dedicated to – Saad Ibn Waqas.
(While bumping into a few locals and cats!) #catfans
After we stayed there for an hour or so absorbing the surroundings and beauty of the area. We decided we had to quickly make it to the hotel as after all this was just the stopover and we didn’t want to miss our flight to Malaysia where our journey really began!
First things first, we had to figure out is how do we get a taxi? It was easy for us at the hotel as they simply called them to pick us up, being in a completely different country and not knowing the language I might add, we had to ask the locals – in our attempt with sign language and English!
This local told us how – just to simply wave your hand and flag one down! He was a very humble person and a local Muslim that lived in the area, after he kindly told us how to get a taxi he then went back to baking bread for his stall. Which I had to quickly take a photo of!
After a few minutes we managed to flag a taxi down thankfully and then using our hotel business card as the directions on where we wanted to go – we were on our way back to the hotel!
We then quickly boarded our shuttle bus and was on the way to the airport to continue our backpacking trip in Malaysia – next stop Kuala Lumpur!!
A quick snap of our airport food. It was noodle broth in a mix of seafood with omelette on top. This wasn’t bad at all and wouldn’t mind recreating this dish -minus the octopus though- the broth was the best part with it looking weak it actually had a lot of flavour! This was accompanied by cute cherry tomatoes and freshly squeezed apple juice (we had to share one because of the high costs of airport food as we were on a budget backpacking trip).
Next post will be up this week of our trip in Malaysia!