A town just outside of Guangzhou only about an hour away (in good traffic - not a Friday night!!) and can be reached on the metro as well. It is known for the founding area of Kung Fu! And has a lot of history within the town and also some lovely newer areas too. Kate and I headed down for a few nights stay in the Marco Polo hotel. It is in a really central location to all the main tourist attractions and a 3 minute walk from the lively courtyard areas of the restaurants and shops, which I can describe as a lesser version of the lanes in Brighton. So I would definitely recommend this hotel to stay in.
On arrival we headed straight out to the restaurant area to a Tripadvisor recommendation:
The Locksmith. And it didn't disappoint. Great decor and design in the restaurant downstairs, which makes you feel that you are in your own dining room the way the booths and tables are arranged. There is an extensive cocktail and drinks menu as well as delicious selection of food too, the waiters are also very attentive, no dehydration for us two!! Upstairs there is a cocktail bar which has so many different drinks and the whole design of the place is really quirky and fun.
There was also a night market with trinkets and small things for sale and an area behind the temple, just below our hotel, selling food and drinks.
This is the biggest tourist attraction in the area - and I can see why. It is a beautiful Ancestral temple which dates back to the 1300's!! Here it has a museum dedicated to the development of Kung Fu in the area, as well as memoirs of the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty. The whole site is vast in flowers, buildings, relics and ancient Chinese architecture. It felt good to see a bit more of old China and it was much more like the China I imagined (and watched on Mulan ha!)
Here they also do a Lion Dance show 3 times a day and a Kung Fu show - just make sure you look at a map so you know where in the compound to find it so you don't miss the start!!
This is regarded as one of the four best gardens in the Guangdong Provence and is absolutely beautiful! Walking around it was pretty peaceful considering it was in China!!!