Since we were kind of snowed in this weekend (yes, it snows even in Texas sometimes :)), I decided to postpone my weekly run until better weather comes around. Luckily, that usually happens pretty quickly around here. I still want to keep my legs used to running, so no worries, I’m not abandoning my new travel workout 😉 Until then, let me share one of my favorite runs in Guangzhou a month ago.
Luckily our last trip fell in the colder months of South China (still balmy compared to Europe). I wouldn’t attempt to run in Guangzhou during the summer when even a small walk will make you sweat like a crazy person due to heat and humidity. But we were really lucky this time around. Except for a few rainy days, the weather was pretty good (60-70 F or so) for December/January and the Chinese smog wasn’t too terrible either.
A while back I already mentioned the South China Botanical Garden in Guangzhou as a great place for some nature and fresh air if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Well, it’s also a great place to get a workout in while still enjoying some exotic sights like huge bamboos and mango trees. I also learned something about trees strangulating other trees (I actually stopped briefly to take a picture, so you can read it yourself below). Even if you don’t run, you should still check it out if you’re in Guangzhou. It’s a little north of the city, but one of the only places with semi-fresh air. Plus, they are in the middle of a project extending Guangzhou’s subway network and soon, there will be a station close to the South China Botanical Garden. So, it’ll be easy to get there. Try going for a walk or rent one of the fun, four-wheel bicycles with a few friends. So much fun!
There are quite a few public parks in Guangzhou that are free of charge. However, the Southern China Botanical Garden was closest to where we were staying and the entrance fee is really small. I think the entrance fee also makes for a less people out and about. There were still quite a few families and even more older couples enjoying the day and taking a walk. Curiously enough, they didn’t seem too surprised by the crazy foreign lady jogging through their park. If you’ve ever been to China, you know that staring there isn’t considered as rude as it is in Western countries, so we’ve had plenty of people stop and stare in restaurants. So, the fact that people didn’t even really notice me, shows that working out is really considered part of daily life in China. I haven’t seen that many people running in China, but when we got up early enough we could spy quite a few people from our window practicing different poses with fans or swords and walking back and forth with their arms and legs swinging high. And that’s just in the little gardens between skyscrapers. I’ll try to dig up some pics, but I’m not even sure if we took any… usually these workouts happened so early that I was still half asleep.
In the meantime, enjoy some picture I took while running in the South China Botanical Garden.
© 2012, Country Skipper. All rights reserved.