My first trip to China was in the summer of 1979, the first year that Americans could go in as tourists. I was doing a summer internship in Hong Kong, and signed up with some friends to go on a tour to Guangzhou. We flew there (30 minute flight just ahead of a typhoon), then took the train out 4 days later. Here are a couple of photos from that trip:
I don’t remember exactly where in Guangzhou this picture was taken — somewhere near river, I think. Notice the sign advertising a Charlie Chaplin film. A Charlie Chaplin film in China was a big big deal that summer! Talk about decadent western influence!!!
For readers of this blog who are familiar with Guangzhou, this photo is taken from the 24th floor of the Baiyun (White Cloud) Hotel. At the time it and the Friendship Store next door were on the outskirts of the city. I don’t know if the building is even still there. The last time I was in Guangzhou (10 years ago), it was still standing — across the street from the Garden Hotel, and dwarfed by numerous skyscrapers.