Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Monday, 4 April 2016

Visiting China For The First Time; A Trip To Guangzhou

Oh hello hello, a long and over-due post from me. I did a little poll on Twitter (@emshelx) to see how you guys wanted me to share my travels and the majority of you said vlogs and blogs so whilst out in Asia, I made it my mission to get a sort of live vlog up every Sunday from each location I'd visited (I hope you've been enjoying them so far!) head here to watch the ones you may have missed. But now, it's time to share more of my time away with you on my blog posts. First up, part 1, China, Guangzhou! I am so excited to be writing these up!!!

We landed in Guangzhou on the 13th March after a very long flight from London, with a very nice pit-stop in Paris (leading to me accidentally purchasing the Chanel shoes of my dreams, more on that later).

We checked straight into our hotel, The Holiday Inn in Guangzhou. If you read EmTalks a lot, you'll know I'm a sucker for a luxury hotel. I wouldn't really say Holiday Inn's are luxurious and I've never stayed in one before but the location was perfect and it ranked high on Tripadvisor so we went ahead and got a suite. Here's an image of the bed I really couldn't make but honestly, the room blew me away. It was huge.

It might not have been Instagrammy and white, but it was clean, fresh and so comfortable. It was also so nice to just have so much space.

holiday inn guangzhouThere I am wearing my new ASOS trench and my fave new lil top

holiday inn guangzhou

We had a wardrobe room and our own little office space which meant I could update my blog and YouTube throughout the trip. Apparently, social media doesn't work in China but to my surprise, in the hotel it did. It didn't work anywhere else apart from our hotel room though.

China is pretty polluted as you can see, the view from our bedroom window isn't the freshest. 

We made a lot of use out of the gorgeous, roof top hotel gym. I'm a sucker for a hotel with a good gym.

I like to keep fit whilst I'm away so love morning workouts. It's so hard to push yourself when away though, if you're looking for some tips, don't forget to read my post about how I stay motivated to work out. I'm in love with my new little shorts (online here). 

After a quick morning dip, (playsuit online here), it was time to refuel. 

Not only am I a sucker for a good hotel room, good hotel gym but also, a good hotel breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I like to fill up, The Holiday Inn was perfect for this, plus, you got to sit with the fish! You can read about my favourite breakfast foods here. I was extremely impressed with the service and the features of this hotel actually. Out of all the hotels on our trip, this one really did have the full package and I'd highly recommend staying here.

We sampled the local cuisine

chinese bakeriesand a naughty me found it difficult to resist the Chinese bakeries. 

guangzhou china

I sampled more bubble tea than one should ever consume.


We visited Guangzhou because Matt has a very exciting project coming up. Next time we go, we'll be heading to more touristy parts of China (Great Wall, Beijing etc) but actually, it was incredible to explore an area which has basically no tourists at all. I didn't see one other tourist whilst in Guangzhou so it really was an authentic experience. 

The food in China is incredible, it's fresh, healthy and filling - as long as you order the right things. Luckily, we had a translator with us who helped because otherwise everything is in Chinese (obviously) and it would be pretty hard to get by! As much as I adore places like Miami, New York and Barcelona - nothing beats going somewhere completely alien to you and really immersing yourself in the culture. 

  Guangzhou is manic, with bikes and people everywhere but it's all part of the fun.

It was a relief though, when we found Shamian Island. A beautiful, quaint, French part of Guangzhou. 

Sadly the weather was not on our side, I only packed Summer clothes so had to grab some leggings and throw my trench over the top. I looked like a drowned rat by the end of the day but hey, it's part of the fun.

Shamian island is beautiful, even in the rain.

 I took my new Aspinal bag for a spin, I'm obsessed with these sandals too - even if they did get a little bit wet and I didn't take this shirt off, it's so easy to wear.

I got a fresh gel mani from Nails Inc at their champagne bar before the trip. I'm becoming obsessed with going there to get my nails done because it lasts so long and looks so neat! Obviously the rings are from LVNDR

Shamian island starbucksWe found the cutest Starbucks you've ever seen on Shamian island. 

Weather really wasn't on our side, leaving the sky line looking pretty gloomy... I got my hair done by my favourites at Sassoon Salon (Lee and Louise are the dream team) right before flying, typically, the rain ruined my fresh blow dry but my gorgeous new colour and cut stayed intact. Nothing beats a pre-holiday cut and colour and I made sure my suitcase was rammed full of Sassoon products to fight the different temperatures throughout my trip. Travel really isn't too great for the hair so I always prepare with a good cut before I go and by taking my favourite products, in my case, it's always Sassoon.

Nothing brightens up a day like some fresh coconut milk and fruit though. 

orient express china

That evening, we ate at the Oriental Express, inside a train in Shamian Island. It was such a special meal in such a perfect setting. It was one of those moments that will be a memory for life.


We had the loveliest night and it gave Matt the chance to take his new watch by OWL watches for a spin. 

Naturally we went for the most sickly dessert on the menu.

 The following day, we went to the famous shopping street; Beijing road. 

and wandered through the most incredible park. The weather was a lot warmer and silly me, I put my jeans on.


From rain, to bright sunshine, from smog/pollution to sky scrapers - we really did see it all in our first few days in China. One minute we were in the craziest shopping mall almost getting trampled on and the next minute, we were wandering through a quaint, picturesque park taking in the beautiful sights and the seemingly fresh air.

Don't forget to watch my China travel vlog below! It would mean the absolute world to me if you could subscribe to my channel here!

Have you ever visited China? Where would you recommend? Have you visited Guangzhou or heard of it? Where's your favourite place to visit?

Lots of love, Em x

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