Guangzhou - Training day

An athlete - a title, a status I never thought I would be 'awarded' by the organizers for the period of time we were in Guangzhou. I almost roll on the floor laughing upon being presented this tag to wear it around my neck.

Hence this tag is definitely for keeps for the rest of our remaining non athletic lives :p

The first agenda of the day was to go to a 'special' training center where the rowers will be taught different rowing skills by a skilled master. Every competing team was assigned a guide who will be in charged of the meals and transportation.

Looking happy to depart! and some gloomy faces of course...

It was raining EVERY SINGLE DAY we were there and this was just the beginning. Scene of Guangzhou city on a rainy day.

I did not know where we were heading to in the beginning so it was a big pleasant surprise when I was told that we're actually headed towards the Fohsan Huang Fei Hong Wushu Dragon and Lion Association, a training center where kids and adults alike are trained on the skills of wushu, dragon boating and lion dance. Very impressive I must say!

If the name Huang Fei Hong does not ring a bell, I suggest you google the movie Once Upon a Time in China. Back then, I was so in love in Wong Fei Hong I even dreamt of marrying him haha, ok please note that I was only 14 at that time and it was very normal then to dream of marrying some actor. :p

A huge figure of "Guan Gong" outside the building.

I didn't know what this read back then but now I know, it says 'Poh Chi Lam'

Chinese medicine and herbs anyone?

Ermm, the illustration of the history I assume

We walked past a hall where the students in this association sleep. Right on the floor with only a mat and a blanket to keep them warm through the night.

We toured the place for a little bit while waiting for the master to make an appearance. Came to this huge hall where a few students were practicing their lion dance routine. I'm telling you, these kids are very very fit for their age. They have muscles and packs that will put a regular gym goer to shame anytime.

Fooling around with their training equipments.

I swear I had no idea what I was trying to do. Copy and paste from all the kungfu movies I've seen, at least I think this is one of the styles haha...

Can't read what it says but I assume this is the proud corner as many trophies and awards are placed here.

BIG drum!

Biggest lion head in the world!

This is how huge it is...the lion's mouth reminds me of an old Malay folklore called 'Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup' heh

Even the door is MASSIVE!

Enough fooling around, it's time to get down to some serious business.

That day was the day I felt the whole trip was worth it. For it was the first time ever in my life to witness for myself a real dragonboat, made from fine wood,

and stretches milessss long (ok maybe miles sounds a little exaggerated but man, these boats are looong)

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a 50 people dragon boat.

Gold drums...

The men getting ready to roll...

Unpacking the paddles

See I told you that hugeass paddle bag can fit a
small human.

Paddles and butt seats

The 50 men boats were back from training.

I cannot imagine how heavy the boat must be.

Ok, back to our small boat, a 20 people boat.

This is how 'fit' Malaysian dragon boat rowers' are. Note the man in the middle with exposed tummy LOL

And this is how 'fit' the rowers from this association are. It was indeed a jaw dropping, saliva dripping sight wtf

While the men were out there rowing and listening to instructions,

the ladies of the team sat back and enjoy an array of flesh display before them. Although I can't say the sight of men washing their bodies with detergent powder and dirty river water is desirable to look at.

Definitely my first time seeing a big bunch of fit men together.

After the training session, it was time to break for lunch. Lunch was at the big hall where the kids were practicing their lion dance routine earlier.

This lunch, was another event to remember for life. A big bucket of rice was place at the side and you have to scoop your own rice.

Dining place, as simple as it can get.

Do not be fooled by the appearance. This was possibly the best tasting dish/food I've had in Guangzhou in my entire stay. It was SO SO GOOD! Ask anyone from the team!

We were pleasantly stuffed but we had more food waiting for us back in the hotel FOLs :S whether we like it or not, we still had to eat at least a little from this huge amount of food served to us as a respect to the organizers.

After lunch it was time for another training, this time at the real racing site itself.

Countdown to Asian Games

It was a wet wet day... we should have spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping in hotel room or out shopping!

We were bored waiting for the guys to train so we ventured out into the city for quite a bit and I found myself another hidden treasure not found in Malaysia, a green tea with red bean ice cream :p PERFECT! Oh did I tell you they had Green tea Pokka too? I'm a sucker for anything green tea based, as you can tell...

Ok, this post is getting too long.. I'll save the rest of the story for the next post.

I shall end the post with a personal favorite pic, our team photo with the master at Fo Shan and the biggest lion head as the background (even though we're dragonboaters!)

It was indeed an opportunity of a lifetime to get to visit the Fohsan Huang Fei Hong Wushu Dragon and Lion Association, for it is not a place not just any average tourist can visit.

Ok so the rest of the day had been boring for us girls but so what? We're painting the town red later that night so stay tune!

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