Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

February 2021

I’ve been back from my two-week Chinese New Year holidays for more than a week already but let’s admit it, the holidays could always be longer. This year, Chinese New Year was celebrated in my husband’s hometown, with a brief visit to a nearby city in Hubei province beforehand. The week post-CNY was spent in Guangdong province in the south, close to my hometown. Good company, good food, and good times!

Evening stroll along the river that runs through the urban centre of my husband’s hometown.

Abandoned shack in Xianning, a city known for its hot springs. The graffiti on the door says “Zhang Fengming is a pig”. Hmm, I wonder whom Zhang Fengming offended…

Plum blossoms in full bloom in Xianning! Didn’t have to go to the plum blossom gardens in Wuhan to see them this year šŸ˜‰

We encountered the plum blossoms along the boardwalk that runs along the Crescent Bay in Xianning. ZJ was probably chewing a sugar cane slice (a whole bag in his right hand) as he commented on the beauty of the plum blossoms.

Whereas we were still in mid-winter in Xianning, we immediately entered what felt like mid-summer when we reached Zhuhai in southern Guangdong province. Sun, T-shirts, and iced bubble tea are preferred here! This rainbow staircase in the Hengqin district in Zhuhai further brightened our day!

Instead of plum blossoms, we saw these bright flowers in Zhuhai, tentatively identified as araguaney by a plant-recognition app. Too pretty – I am in awe!

Not smiling here as we were resting during a hike on Jiangjun Hill. It wasn’t a tall hill but there were lots of stairs going up and down and up and down and…up up up. Do not underestimate even the most gentle hills…!

View of Macau in the distance, from the top of Jiangjun Hill. I had been there several times but Jian hadn’t, and the original plan was actually to visit Macau, but with COVID restrictions, that had to be cancelled. So close, but so far away…

Highlight of any trip to Guangdong: FOOD!! From left to right, top to bottom – 1: stir-fried gailan with beef in Zhuhai; 2: steamed garlic oysters in Zhuhai; 3: Hakka-style chicken in Zhuhai; 4: deep-fried spare ribs with beefsteak plant in Zhongshan; 5: wonton and beef brisket noodles in Zhongshan; 6: clay pot rice with chicken and spare ribs in Zhongshan; 7: steamed chicken feet @ dim sum in Shunde; 8: pineapple bun with roasted pork filling @ dim sum in Shunde; 9: shrimp pork dumplings (siumai) @ dim sum in Shunde. This is my type of food – I MISS IT SO MUCH!!

In the last photo, I mentioned Zhongshan and Shunde (a district of Foshan), which are cities in Guangdong that we visited after Zhuhai but didn’t further show in the photos. These places, especially Shunde, are known as food havens in China and they did not disappoint. With limited time, we were only able to sample a small portion of the local gastronomy offered by Zhongshan and Shunde. This definitely wouldn’t be the last visit…I will be back!!!

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