Guangzhou Trippin' for 4D3N

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Recently Shawn and I decided to go on an impromptu trip to Guangzhou!

It was mostly spurred by my constant nagging and me randomly sending him travel photos on Instagram and (I think) he decided to give in -- and ta-da, we booked the trip just 3 days before the departure date!

We've heard so much things about Guangzhou - being the city of food and shopping, or rather, akin to being an alternative to Bangkok if you're sick of the land of smiles.
Guess that kind of set our expectations for GZ!

Our itinerary was mostly planned based on the proximity of the landmarks we wanted to visit (eg. Beijing Pedestrian Walking Street) and several travel blogs that recommended a day trip to the outskirts of Guangzhou - Qingyuan so we could visit the famous Glass Bridge at Gulong Gorge!

Here's a short breakdown of our 4D3N itinerary in Guangzhou:

Day 1 (Thursday): Flight to Guangzhou + Shahe Wholesale Market + Beijing Pedestrian Walking Street + HaiDiLao
Day 2 (Friday): Guangzhou Restaurant + Shangxiajiu Walking Street + Canton Tower
Day 3 (Saturday): Qingyuan - Glass Bridge at Gulong Gorge + Dinner at Beijing Pedestrian Walking Street
Day 4 (Sunday): Flight back to SG

Flight to Guangzhou + Shahe Wholesale Market + Beijing Pedestrian Walking Street + HaiDiLao

We took Scoot to GZ and since it was a 5am flight, I topped up an additional of $20 for the "silent" area so we could get some rest before starting the journey at GZ!

Upon arriving at the airport, we decided to get SIM cards so we could have data on the go. The SIM card counter is located at the arrival hall, just right beside the money changers.  However, the price for the SIM card was super crazy expensive!

We paid RMB360  (SGD 70) for two sim cards, they come with 3GB data each and it's only valid for 7 days. 

Damn, I'd actually opt for Starhub's roaming instead since they're only charging at $15 for 3GB.
But I needed the local number since we might be making calls to our Didi drivers / hotels / restaurants for reservations. (The complimentary local calls actually came in VERY handy for our trip!)

We took a taxi to our accommodation from the airport, as we were having a bit of difficulty using the local transport app due to network problems. Always ensure that the taxis run on meter fares, some of them would come up to us and quote us a price but I've done my homework - some visitors shared that the meter fare is much cheaper than those!

Our accommodation is located conveniently beside Mayflower Plaza at Zhongshan Road, just a 3 minutes walk away from Beijing Pedestrian Street! Making it super convenient to visit the local eateries, shopping malls and street shopping anytime.

Some friends have actually seen pictures of our accommodation and asked where we stayed at - Pengman International Apartment, which has huge space and comes with a small kitchenette (oven, microwave) and a washing machine too! We only paid around $70+ per night, which I think is reasonably affordable for such a huge space.


We headed out for a quick lunch at the nearby street before heading off to Shahe Wholesale Market!

 Tried this claypot rice which apparently looks popular with the local office crowds, but the rice was slightly bland.. I still prefer Singapore's and Malaysia's!

We called a DiDi car to the Shahe Wholesale Market after, using the app is so much cheaper than hailing a cab on the street!

I didn't get to take much photo at the Shahe Wholesale market, but it was SO crowded.

Apparently the name "Shahe Wholesale Market" has at least 10 over wholesale MALLS in that area, which means we had to wriggle our way around the cramp alleys of the wholesale malls, while sharing the space with deliverymen pushing metal trolleys with piles of apparels on them.

Honestly, we didn't really enjoy our time at Shahe Wholesale Market except the part whereby I got a few tulle skirts for $4 each. The toilets ARE so horrendous though, I left the place with tears in my eyes. Not even kidding.

The shop lady had left the tap running to clean her mop and when I came out of the cubicle, it was flooded with water! Can you imagine how traumatising this is - knowing that the water's mixed with pee, saliva and god knows what. My foot was so sticky and I was spamming my hand sanitizer all over my poor foot. Public toilets... My biggest pet peeve.

We ended our time early at Shahe (thankfully, since everywhere was selling the same things) and decided to explore Beijing Pedestrian Street to walk around before our dinner at Haidilao!

 Oh right, welcome to China.. Charles and Keith.

Really love China's yogurt drink.. They are the BEST.

All time favourite in China - Skewers! It's super cheap, we had about 40 sticks for SGD2?

Omg this mango dessert is really good! It's quite popular and you won't miss it on the streets. Shawn and I were fighting for the last bit hehe.

We called up the Haidilao restaurant to make reservation, and realised that the HDL branch at Beijing Pedestrian Street was closed for renovation!

Decided to google for the nearest Haidilao, called and made our reservation! 

The awesome thing is that the lady on the phone helped us to get queue tickets, so that meant we need not have to head down to queue and we were instantly notified via SMS on the status of the crowd.

The table was ready just after 15 minutes we made our reservation, super fast!

Super loving the variety of ingredients available in China, they have so many types of meat and seafood available!

Sadly they didn't have the collagen soup that we loved in Singapore :(

The best condiment to go with the tomato soup - only available in China's HDL it seems! Minced beef bits with chopped spring onions :)

 Aww.. Happy Birthday boyboy *rolls eyes*

Try this: their handmade yogurt rabbit jelly! 

 Guideline on cooking your food!

I'd say that the service here is really amazing, and I guess the services are pretty standardised worldwide! However, they go beyond here in China - especially for birthdays, when the longevity noodle and an egg is served to the birthday boy, and the service staffs will dance as per request. 

We even played Taboo with the staffs and won ourselves a Qingdao beer! Woohoo. They should totally implement such fun activities for staffs and customers to interact in Singapore too :/

Sucha great experience though, having to have a proper hotpot at HaiDiLao in China. There're so many food items that we don't see in Singapore, especially some of the meat since Singapore does not allow certain import of meat.

Guangzhou Restaurant + Shangxiajiu Walking Street + Canton Tower

We woke up with a hungry stomach, resisting the temptation to try out the famous egg tarts just right below our accommodation.

We were saving our stomachs for dim sums!!!!

A visit to Guangzhou is not complete without trying out their dim sums, right?

Did some research on the best and authentic dim sum places to patronise, and by authenticity I meant not much tourists but more of their locals!

We stumbled upon this very old-school looking dim sum restaurant called Guangzhou Restaurant (广州酒家) located just at Shangxiajiu Street.
When we first entered, we thought it was just one storey, but were shocked that it was 3 storeys of DIM SUM GOODNESS! Woop woop.

Upon arriving there, we were told to expect an hour's wait to be given a table.

Hearing that, our hearts sank. We came with a hungry stomach and had to endure an additional hour to eat? :(
However, the queue moved pretty fast and we were in less than 30 minute's time!

You get to top up an additional SGD $3-$5 per pax to be seated at the most prestigious (and VIP LOL) spot in the building, whereby you get a panoramic view of the entire building.

Btw, we kinda over ordered and had SO MUCH to eat! The highlight was definitely their century egg porridge, 
which isn't pictured here cos I gobbled it up within minutes!

So my boyfriend doesn't get why we're paying extra for a good view. Btw, the extra money you're paying includes a free pot of premium Chrysanthemum / Puér tea!
So. worth. it.

And off we go, exploring Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street with love!

It's pretty much the same as Beijing Pedestrian Street, just that the latter offers a much more wider range of stores, and a few massive malls around the vicinity!

I'd recommend sticking to Beijing Pedestrian Street if you do not have much time in Guangzhou. 
That said, we still managed to score a set of customised couple tees at Shangxiajiu at a very good price, and of very good quality as well. I too, got a pretty sailormoon tote bag - super love it!

Next up, we went to Guangzhou's famous landmark. Probably their most notable one - Canton Tower!
It serves as a radio and TV tower too, as well as a multi-purpose observation tower.

Would I recommend this place? Nope.

We did not know the prices were SO crazy expensive. 

It was more expensive than a ticket to USS, and I dare say this is NOT EVEN WORTH IT. 
Probably a waste of land and resources. 

The prices were priced separately, so if you're thinking to head up to the observation deck alone, it's probably about $30, and that excludes entry to another side of the observation deck. 
And there were a couple of decks! Plus it also excludes the rooftop, and the bubble trams were another charge too.

You'd probably spend more than $100+ per person just to have access to everything. 

The view from the top is very stunning though

We probably wouldn't mind spending $100+ per pax if the experience was kinda private, but NO. 
It was flooded with their own people, being super rowdy and noisy. All of us were standing so close to each other, and the whole tower was so noisy!

So NOPE, not going to pay that and suffer.
I'd rather spend that money on a lavish dinner in a 6-star restaurant in GZ.

After an entire day of walking, we decided to look for a massage parlour to massage our tired, aching legs. Unfortunately, massages doesn't seem to be very common, we only managed to see 2-3 massage parlous along the entire stretch of Beijing Road - leading to our hotel!

A pretty good deal - full body massage + foot massage + free flow drinks & snacks at $39 per pax?

In all honesty, I still prefer the massages in Thailand/Indonesia as compared to China's. My shoulders were aching so badly the next day!

Qingyuan - Glass Bridge at Gulong Gorge

Guangzhou recently opened up the world's highest glass bridge - Gulong Canyon Glass Bridge, located at Qingyuan.

A pity we didn't set aside enough time to spend in Qingyuan, it was about an hour's ride from Guangzhou Railway to Qingyuan Railway.
There's so much things to do at Qingyuan, since it's known for its beautiful mountains, waterfalls and caves! 

Have read so much about this place, and of course we didn't want to miss this for the world.
Despite having a great fear of heights, Shawn still agreed to go along with the plan!!

We woke up early, took the Guangzhou high speed train (we opted for a more comfortable option, so class A!) to Qingyuan.

It's about $14.50 per pax for a one-way ticket, tickets are available on

We almost missed the train to Qingyuan :( Because tickets were fully sold out that day and if we didn't catch the train, we wouldn't be able to go to Qingyuan.

Thankfully we RAN and made it for the train. BY 1 MIN. Lucky us.

Our trip to Qingyuan was so disastrous, I don't even know where to start.

When we found out we didn't have enough renmingbi to pay for the entrance tickets, and probably food and transport, we panicked at the entrance at Qingyuan Railway.

Desperately looking for a bank or ATM, but they didn't have at all.

We even approached some of the locals, but they all refused to change our singapore dollars to their RMB currency because they were so afraid that our money was fake. 

Worst part was it was a Saturday. The banks were all closed and all of them were so unhelpful! 

We bumped into a taxi driver, he agreed to bring us around to find the nearest money changer and see whichever hotel was willing to allow us to swipe our credit card in exchange for RMB, which we found one. So thankful! 

The rest of the trip was already settled, I paid the attraction tickets and train tickets via with credit card, while the car transport was paid with cash.

So lesson learnt, CHANGE MORE CASH!

They only allow about 10,000~14,000 visitors to the national park per day, and the entrance was already so packed with tour groups and loudspeakers blaring, disrupting the serenity of the national park :(

The place is really beautiful, but they probably could tighten their crowd control in general, the experience will be much better.

And finally, we reached the start of the glass bridge! It wasn't as scary as I thought, since most of the time, the people were blocking my view of what was beneath. 
Shawn was pretty scared since he has a phobia of heights, but he managed to make it through the bridge!


To be on the glass bridge, all visitors will be given a special footwear to wear over your shoes!
This is to ensure that our shoes don't damage the glass bridge.

Wanted to take a photo for him but these two kids went right in front of him to peek through the glass floor, looks like as though they're bowing to him! HAHA

Opposite is the famous UFO shaped glass bridge, another attraction as part of the Canyon Gulong Park!

And seeing lots of waterfalls along the way.. We were pretty "far"from the waterfall, but still managed to get wet!


The place was quite touristy among their locals to be honest. 
Furthermore, we shouldn't have picked a Saturday to come by. I'm sure the weekdays will be much quieter and off-peak!

Taking the train back to Guangzhou!

After an entire day out at Qingyuan, we were so famished and tired, and couldn't wait to go back to Guangzhou to feast!

Decided to go back to Beijing Pedestrian Street to have dinner. 
We still had quite a fair bit of RMB left, so Shawn and I decided to have a nice hotpot at 野妹火锅 aka Wild Sister Hot Pot?? HAHAHA


If there's one thing we truly loved Guangzhou, it'd have to be the food!

野妹火锅 is located right in the middle of the Beijing Pedestrian Walking Street on the 2nd floor, and there was already a long queue of teenagers outside the restaurant.
We were given our number, but they're really, really fast. In just less than 30 minutes, we were in!

The special thing about this place is that WE GET TO PICK OUR INGREDIENTS at their fresh supermarket, right inside their restaurant!

Grab a basket, and choose your meat, ingredients, drinks from the shelves, head to the cashier and pay. They'll deliver to your table, and you can cook the fresh ingredients you've purchased in your hotpot.

I super love the concept - sucha great business idea to do in Singapore!

They also provide free tea, condiments, and their duo soup base is only SGD 7+. 
So much more affordable than HDL! 

Shawn commented that their beef slice is even better than HDL, and it's only $4 for one serving.

Talking about this place makes me miss it again!

Queue at Heytea at 9pm? 

We ended the night with buying lots of supper like HeyTea, Mcdonalds, Century Egg Porridge from a street stall.

Their Heytea is sooooo awesome, I MISS IT SO MUCH :(

If there's one thing that I really really love about Guangzhou, it'd be their FOOD!!

Though I don't think both of us will be heading back anytime soon, gotta explore more places in the world together! (:

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