Everytime I go back to China, I pay my respects to my uncle in Huadu, Guangzhou.
Having not been back for 3 years, I was happily surprised by the level of development at the temple:
New additions include:
A relationship stone (supposedly helps your love life if you pray to it):
A temple for the God of wealth and fortune (The roof is made of pure gold!):
(These incense sticks are 5 foot tall, have to be lighted electronically and burn for over 24 hours!)
(Credit to @beingyellow for the above photo)
Afterward paying my respects, I stayed at Uncle L’s place, which looks somewhat like a Bond villain’s lair:
The interior is basically my dream home!
Lamps that turn on when shot
Ridiculously equipped kitchen:
Cutest cat ever:
A bar to cater for any party:
Seriously, my dream house!
After being shown around the place, my uncle suggested we go cycling around Huadu – not for the faint hearted! The heat (over 40 degrees celcius!) and humidity, air-pollution, dangerous driving (drivers swerve like crazy!) and lack of rules (we ended up cycling on a dual carriageway!) made for a “memorable” cycle. The one redeeming factor, however, were the views: Huadu lake was unbelievably beautiful and would made an incredible date spot!
After dinner (containing no less than 12 courses!), I was taken to 元昌号茶莊 (Yuan Chang Hao Tea Parlour) for a lesson in tea brewing and philosophy whilst listening to 古琴 (Guqin, a musical instrument unique to China).
This was quite an insightful experience: I learnt about the different types of tea (Da Hong Pao, Tie Guan Yin, Long Jing, Jasmine and Oolong) the correct brewing methods (you need to warm up the tea set by pouring boiling water over them; depending on the type of tea, the water needs to be at a particular temperature) and also the unique attributes and uses of each type of tea.
By the end of the night, I felt completely relaxed and stress-free – a difficult achievement in a bustling city such as Huadu!
It was a shame that I only had one day in Guangzhou. There is so much to see and eat there that the next time I go back, I have budgeted a week of holiday for it!