Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pearl River Night Cruise

After the visit to the Guangzhou Paper Mill, our guides Cindy and Zeng took us to Beijing Road, a very popular shopping area where we also had dinner.  The highlight of the night was the cruise on the Pearl River.  The waterfront of the Pearl River is quite developed (and in some cases overdeveloped).  But the river is now the home of a miles-long light show where the various buildings along the way are trying to outdo each other.  Two graduate students from SCUT were our guides for the day and did an excellent job of keeping us together and on time.


After being served tea inside, we all went out to the railing to watch the various lights on the buildings.



The White Swan Hotel on Shamian Island is famous for being the "headquarters" for American adoptions in China.  All adoptions in China must be processed through the American Consulate on Shamian Island in Guangzhou.  Hence, the White Swan is a very popular hotel to stay at while doing the paperwork.  Around the white swan are a large number of shops catering to visitors to China, where all sorts of souvenirs can be found.  We went to Shamian Island last weekend and did a little shopping (my daughters needed some new Chinese dresses).  The White Swan is the lighted tall building at the left of the picture.


Of course the big event coming up for China  is the Olympics.  Almost everyone we meet asks  if we are coming back for the Olympics in August.  All I can say is "No, too expensive, and I can watch it on TV."  They usually agree with that.  However, the Olympic mascots and information is all over the city, and the buildings on the night cruise are no exception.  This is Huan Huan, one of the 5 Olympic mascots.  There is  one for each ring in the Olympic symbol.  The building alternated between the 5 mascots over a period of about 15-20 seconds. 


The boats were also brightly lighted and decorated as well as the bridges and even the edge of the river.  After finishing the cruise, it was simply a subway ride back to the hotels and a late night completed.



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