The Guangdong Museum is a modern museum. The blocky building has an artistic quality that practically screams “this is a museum.” It stands against a backdrop of towering buildings in what I assume is downtown Guangzhou.
Inside is a large open space that extends from the main floor to the roof. A stage in the center indicates this space is used for presentations or small shows. A wide stairway on the right leads up to the second floor at a shallow angle. Exhibits on the second, third, fourth, and fifth floors cover a variety of topics. Scrolls of Chinese are displayed under glass cases and descriptions of past existence are written alongside various artifacts.
There’s an exhibit of inkstones. Inkstones are small slabs of stone used for holding ink. A purple-ish volcanic tuff is one of the four famous inkstones in China. It originates from somewhere in the Guangdong province. The contains a large collection of smooth flat stones, There’s a small display that allows you to run your fingers over the surfaces of several stones.
The exhibit on wildlife and geography are the most interesting to me. They have a “hall of gemstones” which contain the largest amethyst geodes I’ve ever seen. I love amethyst and to see a geode a foot in diameter standing eight feet tall is a marvelous sight. I wonder how much it must weigh and if my backpack straps are capable of sustaining that much weight for the trip back to my apartment.
Rocks and minerals change to displays of plant life and Chinese herbal medicine. Dried leaves and roots are listed along with descriptions of their uses. I could spend hours here if I really wanted to read all the details.
After the plants come animals. Reptiles, taxidermies birds, wildcats, southern China is home to a large variety of animals. Intricate snake skeletons sit behind glass. They almost look like the ivory cavings from earlier.
The winding walkway opens up to a large room where pretend fish hang from the ceiling awash in blue light. A small whale is at the center of the display. It’s difficult to tell if the whale is papermache or if it’s made of something more durable.
Large skeletons of sea creatures line the walls and more fake sea creatures, mostly sharks and rays, hang from the ceiling in another display spot. One particularly ugly, unhappy, flat faced shark reminds me of Finding Nemo. Another looks very similar to the whale shark in Finding Dory.
These displays are all along the outer wall. In the center of the room, a floor down, are a collection of dinosaur skeletons. The neck of the tallest one reaches up well above everyone’s head on the second floor.