This Muslimah Travelled Solo To Guangzhou, Here's Her Experience


Noor Aishah Karim •  Aug 02, 2023

Amira (@asingaporeanabroad) , an intrepid traveller who loves cultural exploration and authentic cuisine, embarked on an unforgettable journey through Guangzhou. Fueled by her curiosity and desire to connect with the local community, she set out to discover the hidden gems of this diverse and enchanting part of the country. Along the way, she savoured the unique flavours of halal cuisine, marvelled at ancient architecture, and forged meaningful friendships. Join us as we delve into Amira's captivating experiences in China.

Credit: Amira

Cultural Immersion and Warm Hospitality:

Amira's visit was to Guangzhou, where she instantly felt the warmth of Chinese hospitality. While she didn't venture out much beyond malls and landmarks like the Bund, she made it a point to find halal spots near her location.

"I don’t often venture out often in China, other than the malls or specific landmarks like the Bund or Guangzhou Muslim street food. Usually, the first thing I do when I touch down is to find any halal spots near me! Sometimes they even have halal supermarkets in the vicinity," Amira shared.

Credit: Amira

Ramadan in Guangzhou was an extraordinary occasion for Amira. "For work, I stayed for two nights! In the past, I visited Shanghai, the Bund, Zhengzhou, and Hangzhou Muslim areas and halal food spots in the past. I was then also in Guangzhou mosque during Ramadan pre-COVID, and I met a Malaysian couple and had post-iftar dinner with them!"

A Journey of Friendship and Exploration:

Her quest for authentic experiences led her to visit mosques and interact with fellow travellers from different parts of the world. In one mosque, she struck up friendships with Pakistani students studying in China, fostering bonds that transcended cultural boundaries.

"Meeting the locals, admiring the mosque architecture, exploring the area, breaking fast with them, trying to communicate with them, and experiencing tarawih in the local China mosque."

Credit: Amira

"One mosque was local, no foreigners, and everyone was curious about me! They gave me their fruits and bread, which were so kind. They also lent me their tasbih during prayer, etc. After tarawih, some of them came up to me to see my telekung, and they were very intrigued. They had never seen one before, I guess! They just wear coats and long clothes to pray in," she continued, sharing her captivating experiences.

"The other mosque had about 30% foreigners, and I even made friends with people from Pakistan studying there. Trying their local meat baos was also quite an experience! They had a cool way of eating it. I have a lot of stories from this experience! Mainly, I document it in my photo carousel on TikTok," Amira enthusiastically recounted.

Culinary Delights and Culinary Challenges:

When asked what types of cuisine she was most interested in trying during her trip? she said, "Authentic Chinese cuisine! My favourites are the hotpot and lamb skewers that are BBQed on a grill. I get “jelak*” of Lanzhou noodles because they are common everywhere in China. I try to find a halal hotpot or BBQ!"

*Jelak = bored or just can’t eat anymore cause you eat it way too often

Credit: Amira

When asked if she came across any halal restaurants, Amira said, "Yes! Not always, but usually, there are dotted around. I use Google Maps. Google itself doesn’t have updated information, so I rely on maps and find out myself when I go there 😂 One of my crew hotels even had a halal menu!!"

Amira's passion for food led her to savour many authentic Chinese dishes. "I tried BBQ grilled huge octopus street food at Qingdao street market and seafood at Nanjing street market. Preferably, I want to dine at specific halal restaurants. Halal-friendly options are usually Western, and if a normal China food stall sells seafood or veg options, they commonly sell a lot of pork and lard too, and that will be challenging to eat there, and I will have an internal debate about whether to eat there or not," she explained.

Amira's experiences in Guangzhou were nothing short of extraordinary. From the warm hospitality of the Chinese Muslim community to the culinary delights she savoured, her journey was a testament to the enriching power of travel. Through her interactions and adventures, Amira demonstrated that cultural exploration goes beyond sightseeing; it involves connecting with locals, breaking barriers, and fostering mutual understanding. Guangzhou left an indelible mark on Amira's heart, and her stories serve as an inspiration to fellow travellers seeking to embrace new cultures with open arms and open minds.

Wanna see more? Check out thistiktok by Amira as she documents her iftar in China!