Chinese courses in Guangzhou – Expat Chinese Autumn 2018

Chinese courses in Guangzhou


Autumn 2018 is here! This time of the year is always very exciting time at my Chinese language center, Expat Chinese. Meeting new students again after Summer holidays and making new friends with our new comers. New courses are starting and all of our teachers are eager to get the Autumn rolling.

When I started teaching Chinese back in 2014, and even when I officially started Expat Chinese in January 2017, I would never have known that it would grow to be such an excellent Chinese learning center as it is now. And this is just the beginning! Expat Chinese is definitely my dream come true.

Our Autumn semester starts next week and some of our courses still have spots available. Please see the picture above for more details.


View to modern Guangzhou – Huacheng Square

Liwan district is my favorite part of old Guangzhou, but for modern view I head to Huacheng Square and the long park that runs North to South between Zhujiang New Town and Liede. Luckily my office is right next to the park!

The park is beautiful during the day and magnificent after dark when all the lights are lit!

Huacheng Square is a must place to visit for anyone traveling or living in Guangzhou. You can find the Opera House, new library and Guangdong Museum at the South part of the square. With a beautiful view of the Canton Tower.

On the photo above, taken from the Four Seasons Hotel at 72nd floor, you can see the library on the left, Guangdong Museum is the black building and the Liede bridge n the background. I cross that bridge everyday to work.

The Guangdong Museum has a great exhibition on the history and culture of the province.

In the evening there are water, light and music shows, but they can be very crowded so be careful.

All in all, Huacheng Square is a great place to visit and take visitors as well.


Where to go with kids in Guangzhou – Aoti Utopa Mall

New shopping malls made for kids are popping up all over Guangzhou. Aoti Utopa Mall used to be a furniture mall, but it has transformed into a kid’s paradise.It isn’t a fancy mall and looks old on the outside, but it has pretty much everything you need.

Address for taxi or GPS: 广州市天河区奥体南路12号优托虭·奥体店

So what does Aoti Utopa Mall include?

Outside there are amusement park rides, two water parks, wall climbing, diving training and other activities. Outside there is also two big slides for free that kids and climb and slide on.

Inside you find many indoor playgrounds, trampoline park, swimming playarea, shops, restaurants and a Auchan supermarket. The restaurants are more for the Chinese taste, but does have Pizza Hut as well those wanting western food.

Pictures from our visits:Carousel ride 20rmb or buy a set of tickets for 300rmb so each ride is 10rmb.Rentable stroller with airplane functions for the kid to enjoy. 3rmb per 15 minutes.Waterpark with a shallow pool for younger kids and deeper pool with more obstacles for older kids or adults. We bought a discounted ticket on 亲子周末 app and paid only 29.90rmb for both of us.Ball pit in the middle of the shopping mall. There is a “tree” climbing activity next to it as well for older kids.小Q indoor playground. This is a chain with locations all over Guangzhou. It doesn’t has as many climbing or slides, but has a lot of games, cars, role play, supermarket toys. One time ticket is around 80rmb.

This is just a small portion of activities and play areas that Aoti Utopa Mall offers. Go and see your self!

Parking is free for two hours. During weekends the huge parking lot gets full, so better to arrive early. This Saturday at 10:30 there was lots of space left, but at early afternoon when we left it was almost full.

All in all it’s worth to visit with kids!


Where to go with kids in Guangzhou – Lingnan Impression Park

There are many great places to visit with your family or kids in Guangzhou, after today I’m going to add Lingnan Impression Park to the list. I was a bit worried if it would be just a fake theme park, but it actually had everything needed for a fun day with the family.

Lingnan Impression Park  岭南印象园 is located in University Island, just half an hour drive from the Guangzhou city center. Tickets are 60rmb for adults and 30 for kids, small kids get in for free. Many discounts are available if you book in advance through group buying apps.

The area is big enough to spend half a day, we ended up staying for five hours, but 2-3 hours can be enough too. The village main street is the busiest, but even today on a holiday it wasn’t too crowded. Areas around the small lake were quite quiet during morning and lunch time, offering some peace and beautiful views.

The main street offers a few restaurants, coffee shops and plenty of Cantonese culture shops. All the traditional art forms are present here, including Lingnan architecture, sugar painting, paper cutting, Cantonese opera, costumes and so on. The park is full of great spots for photos!

The park is located on the spot of the original Lianxi Village. Fok family temple is one of the oldest, constructed in the Ming dynasty and renovated in 2002. There are a few other old buildings as well, but mostly is newly built replicas that continue the Lingnan architectural style.

During the day there are several shows being presented around the area, including puppetry, dancing and Cantonese opera. You can visit several temples and replicas of private houses to get a glimpse on how the wealthy lived back in the ancient China.

Don’t forget food! The main street is full of small food stalls and there are at least three Cantonese restaurants in the park. Coffee shops serve ice cold drinks and ice cream is available no more than few  steps away no matter which part of the park you are.

Besides getting to know the Lingnan culture, the park is also a big playground for kids! There are several play areas for kids of different ages. Huge sand pit, climbing, slides, catching small fish and even a splash pool that is open during the Summer holiday.

Kids will enjoy the playgrounds for sure, no matter what age! Anna’s favorites where the slides and playing with the sand.

These slides have to wait a year or two before we let Anna go in them, but luckily there were smaller slides and climbing nets for the toddlers as well.

All in all we enjoyed our day at the Lingnan Impression Park a great deal. We didn’t get to visit any of the museums or temples, but today was all for having a fun family day so we spent our time at the playgrounds. Next time we want to visit the farm side and see the small animals too, this time Anna’s nap time didn’t allow us to see everything.

More family friendly sights and activities in Guangzhou coming soon!


Day off at Xiaozhou Village

Xiaozhou village is an old historical village and the first time I visited it was by accident more than 7 years ago. We were curious students who walked over the bridge from University Island and found the art village by pure luck. After that I have roamed the alleys of Xiaozhou village at least ten time, but the previous visit was almost two years ago. So it was time for a new visit with our daughter Anna!

We started off with a delicious Cantonese breakfast, Anna loved the egg rolls, congee and dumplings! My husband Alan was also impressed how the flavors brought back memories from his childhood. A perfect start for the day.

Xiaozhou is Guangzhou’s own little “water village”, with a narrow canal going like a snake through the village. Before it was an important life line for the villagers and even these days I saw villagers using the water for washing carpets and rugs.

Numerous small bridges can be found all over the village. Keep an eye on your kids as many of them don’t have railings or gates! On the bridges you can also see art students from the University Island drawing or photographing the views.

Old traditions are still important all over China, including Guangzhou. Offerings are made to ancestors and gods especially on imporant festivals and holidays. Even though Xiaozhou has become more touristy through the years, the locals still keep their old habits and it’s perfect for getting a glimpse on the true life of Cantonese locals.

Xiaozhou also offers peacefull coffee shops, made for reading and writing you bestseller novel. You might notice that some of the coffee shops iare the owner’s living rooms, the family with pets bring lively athmosphere. Our daughter Anna was eager to play with cute little dog at one of the coffee shops, but once the dog came closer she got a bit afraid.

All in all we had a lovely morning and lunch at Xiaozhou village. Next week is 8 day holiday because of the national day, so we hope to explore even more old and new places in Guangzhou.