Stopover for one night at the Guang Sha Hotel, Guangzhou, China

First stop on my big adventure for 2013 was to be a new one, a stopover in Guangzhou, China. I will be returning again to Guangzhou on the way home for 2 days so this time is just a one nighter on the way to London. I chose the Gunag Sha Hotel close to the airport and had a most pleasant stay.

 

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I was tempted to use the first night to explore the city and scout it out for next time but for once I used better judgment. I decided instead to get a hotel nice and close to the airport and have a quiet night and make it easy for myself when I had to be checked in by 7.30am for a 9.30am flight.

 

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A colleague of my mothers recommended a few hotels in Guangzhou, though a little more pricey then I’d like, and the Guang Sha Hotel just happened to be on the bottom of the page. I paid approximately $70 (AUD) including taxes for the twin room. I was a little skeptical with the pricing and when I first arrived at the hotel. The foyer was a litter older and very basic and the hallway to my room resembled a hospital.

 

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I was pleasantly surprised with charming décor, very clean and a modern TV. The shower was super hot and fresh and toiletries were provided. I also had a lovely big set of windows with trees outside and what appeared to be a nice view though it was night.

 

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Another nice surprise was buckets of noodles on offer. You did have to purchase them – but this is a beauty of Asia – delicious noodle snacks. I resisted but I was excited.

 

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I think I will give this hotel a 4 out of 5 in my rankings for a budget hotel. Clean, quiet and nicely decorated. There was a comfy bed, all facilities on offer including restaurant and free WIFI in the foyer. The staff were a little sharp and a tad unfriendly – but I am seeing that it’s not actively being rude, it’s more a cultural thing, and that’s just how the service is. They did provide hotel transfers to and from the airport and this was very helpful and the drivers were sweet.

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Most recommended for a stopover if flying China Southern Airlines via Guangzhou.

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Happy to fly China Southern airlines anytime

This was my first time flying with China Southern Airlines and I was most impressed with the experience. I picked the flights as they were the most affordable and I also thought, why not, I’ve been hearing a lot about China this year so it’s probably time to go.

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The flights at Christmas time were approximately $1500 (AUD) which is almost unheard of for Australia to UK return – with the Christmas period being one of the most expensive times to travel. I did leave before December 1st which helps. I also included a 2 day stopover on my way back to give me a chance to see the city.

 

The check in was easy and they gave me the option to check my bags right the way through – which meant no hassle during my stopover in Guangzhou for the night.

 

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The seats were incredibly roomy and I was very happy with the cleanliness and look of the cabin. The in-flight entertainment system, which I was told wouldn’t be included, was as good as any other airline if not better in some ways and I was kept busy for all of my 10 hour flight to China. The food options were tasty and had a western and Asian selection- the only thing I would say is I would like ice for my drinks.

 

The service was not great – in terms of friendliness, they were a tad abrupt. However, they were prompt and came quickly when I rang the bell and regularly walked around with water to top up our glasses.

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The toilets were unique with an automated seat down and flushing functionality- not important but fascinating.

 

All in all, after two flights, including a 10 hour and 12 hour, I was very comfortable and happy. I most certainly will be looking at this option for future Europe adventures.

On the travel scene again…. Europe adventures begin

This year has been a busy year of heading here, there and everywhere but it’s time again for a big travel adventure. So off I go to Europe, with a brief stop in China. I’ve planned my trip around spending time with my family and friends. The first priority was to get over to London and the United Kingodm in order to be with my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, grandparents and dear friends. And the best thing, my dad is also coming over to visit with the family so we’ll have his birthday, a wedding of a family friend and Christmas together!

Itinerary – 6 weeks:

–       Guangzhou, China

–       Madrid, Spain

–       Ibiza, Spain

–       Munich, Germany

–       Innsbruck, Austria

–       Nurnburg, Germany

–       London, United Kingdom

–       Finland

–       London, United Kingdom

–       Dusseldorf, Germany

–       Poss – Amsterdam, Holland

–       London, United Kingdom

–       Guangzhou, China

–       Melbourne, Australia HOME – NYE!!!

First stop – Ibiza! After a brief night in Madrid due to flight difficulties. A last minute addition to the . Here is a photo of me there in 2006 in full season Swing! It’s a  bit different this time as it will be Winter… and off season… so not party time! I’m going to relax with two gorgeous friends from the UK who now live in Ibiza and run their Sushi Boy Catering business for private parties. More on this soon as I get to learn how to make sushi with these fab two!

Emma in Ibiza in 2006

Emma in Ibiza in 2006

Next it’s a week in Germany and Austria with my dear friend Tobi, an exchange student from my high school. I’ve visited there before, and he’s visited me. It’s fantastic to have such good friends over so many years even though we are so far. We’ll be going to Christmas markets, eating yummy German food, Skiing!!!! And drinking LOTS of beer!

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Salzburg, Austria, 2006

Then off to visit my old roomie from Mexico and my cousin in the Nurnberg and Erlangen area. More Christmas markets and just some good times with good people in this picturesque area.

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Home to London town. Time with the family and catching up with some wonderful people. It’s been 2.5 years since I was there so it will be great to be there again. Just for a few days then it’s off again.

FINLAND – Cannot believe it! I’m going to meet Santa Clause! The real one! He lives in Lapland in Finland and I’m going with my best friend and her family. We’re taking my friends baby Jacob who is almost 2 years old to see Santa. I can’t wait to share this special time and see this unique country! Something new and different for sure!

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Back to London for Dad’s birthday and some Christmas Lights spectacular before another jaunt to Europe. I might then head to Germany to visit a friend or head with him to Holland – another new place for me. This chapter is yet to be decided.

Back to London for family time and preparations for Christmas – it’s fun to have a Winter Wonderland Christmas which is a bit of a change to my life in Oz. It will be nice to do the winter warmers such as mulled wine, big coats, fireplaces and cozy warm houses.

Christmas Lights with my darling Marchams

Christmas Lights with my darling Marchams

Then … it’s home time! Not before stopping for two days in Guangzhou, China. Another new one! I will be stopping for one night on the way but won’t get to see much, so I purposely extended my stopover in China to see a bit of the Country. I’m flying China Southern and this was the routing – so when in Rome! Or China!

And finally home… just in time for New Years Eve and a night at Eureka Tower!! The highest building in Australia to look out over the city and the fireworks.

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