Guangzhou 3

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Visited a temple in Guangzhou this afternoon and felt a little guilty taking pictures. Chinese people usually never take pictures of temples. I loved Guangzhou. It has a nice mix of a new and modern downtown, as well as a traditional sort of feel. With a population of 13 million, it really didn't feel like it. No one honked their horns, no traffic pile ups, not a lot of electric scooters or bicycles, and the atmosphere felt more welcoming. There were significantly more trees and greenery probably due to the higher quantities of rain, but as such, and with its proximity to the ocean, it was humid and hot. I couldn't imagine what it would be like in the summer. However, only after 2 days here, it's looking like an option after graduation. Although Beijing is the epicenter of politics for China, living there after graduation frankly seems undoable. I need a change and Shenzhen and Guangzhou were options to begin with, but this trip has moved them higher up the list. The food was terrific, both smaller populations than Beijing, cleaner air, closer to the ocean - which means better seafood and easier hubs for trips to Southeast Asia, and a warmer atmosphere. I think I liked Guangzhou so much because it didn't feel like China at all. To clarify, I wan't reminded that I was in China with every exchange. For example, people spit in napkins and then threw them away, compared to just spitting on the ground. People were also more interested in talking, whereas in Beijing, everyone is solely focused on their own life. 

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Degen Hill

About: Degen Hill is a travel junkie, gym enthusiast, and avid writer who currently resides in Beijing. He is a 28-year-old graduate of Eastern Washington University where he studied Spanish & Communications and quickly learned that life's too short to not travel. Degen is aggressively realistic, open-minded, sarcastic, curious, and results-driven.

Currently: Degen graduated from Tsinghua University with a Master's of Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy in Beijing. He is now a reporter and editor for the political magazine China Today (今日中国). His Chinese language ability is a work in progress and enjoys the challenge. He is currently living in Andingmen (Right above the Forbidden City).