Jul 21, 2011

China - Guangzhou/Macau

Pearl of South China, Guangzhou (Canton) is a significant harbour and trade centre. It was the first harbour autorized by the central authorities to trade with foreigners, in the 16th century. This megalopolis of 10 millions inhabitants preserve two charming districts: the Chinese old district especially around Liwanhu Park and Liwan Museum and Shamian Island, the former Franco-British concession.

Liwanhu Park

Shamian Island

In 1985 was discovered an intact twenty centuries old tomb while digging to build apartments on a hill in Guangzhou. Fifteen bodies were positionned in five different rooms: the emperor and fourteen people sacrified to keep him company in the afterlife (concubines, cooks, musicians,...). The artefacts found in the mausoleum are displayed in an informative museum.

Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King

The museum also possesses an eccentric collection of ceramic and porcelain pillows. Don't worry, a soft cushion was added to prevent cervical pain and aching waking up.

Pillow in the shape of a child holding a lotus leaf, 12th-13th century

Cloud-shape pillow supported on lion-shaped base, 11th-12th century

Near this museum one can find Sun Yat-sen Memorial, a majestic pavilion which hosts a theater and an exhibition about the firt president of China, a local and national hero.


We then left Mainland China in direction of Macau. This Special Administrative Region is famous as eldorado of the game.

Grand Lisboa casino, a milestone of the city

Nonetheless the city mostly deserves a visit to admire its Portuguese legacy: colorful administrative and colonial buildings, churches, etc. It is always a surprise to meet a sparkling yellow or pistachio green building lost in 100% Chinese urban environment. Not to mention that all the street names and urban inscriptions are written in Chinese AND in Portuguese, even if the Portuguese language is not any more spoken in the streets.

View from São Paulo ruins

 Largo do Senado (square)

Largo do Senado (square), popular drugstore

This territory has also a cooking tradition of its own, mixing Portuguese, Chinese, Indian and even Malay culinary customs, an authentic expression of cross-cultural interchange. Portuguese dishes are easily findable like caldo verde (vegetable soup), peixe assado a portuguesa (fried fish) or sardinhas assadas. Yummy! ;)

 The Macanese cooking, Macau Museum

Meat sheets encrusted with sugar


It was in Macao that Luís Vaz de Camões, the Portuguese greatest poet, wrote a part of his epic masterpiece Os Lusíadas. He spent years writing in a cave on the top of a hill, now Camões garden. On his journey back to Portugal, his ship was wrecked in the Mekong Delta. Camões legendary act was to save his un-finished manuscript holding it in the air while swimming to the shore.

Camões cave in Camões garden


After six months without an haircut.. something needed to be done. Like Luis felt at home, Macau was the right place for it. And the military cut is the easiest one to explain in Chinese! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Coucou les jeunes

    J'adore les photos de Macau, les couleurs des bâtiments sont comme à la "maison"...
    Et j'ai vu que vous aviez dégusté des pasteis de nata avec de la cannelle, seriez-vous partis à la tore de Belem sans nous le dire ?
    Vraiment sympa...
    Gros bisous