Laker Girls in China
Laker Girls Ashley, Dara, Heather, Melissa, Octavia and Veronica are on a two week trip to China to perform at some NBA sponsored events and make apperances on behalf of the league. They'll be checking in with us here on Lakers.com to share their adventures along the way. View photos of the trip here.
Finishing Up the Trip
By Heather and Melissa | October 17th, 2011 @ 4:15pm PT
Ni Hao Laker Fans!!
It’s Heather and Melissa again!
Today was our last full day in China.
We got to do a one day appearance at a coastal city in China named Zhanjiang. Our appearance/show was held outside of a huge shopping mall, where we performed three shows. In each of the shows we danced, signed photos and gave out free NBA items. The fans in Zhanjiang were so welcoming and friendly, we loved their energy! They were very loud and excited, so that it almost felt as if we were at Staples Center!
It was an honor to dance for such a great crowd in Zhanjiang.
Before our flight back to Guangzhou, we enjoyed a nice dinner with one of our interpreters/tour guides, named Tan. Tan was with us for most of the trip, and was so sweet and helpful. Tan taught us many Chinese words and really helped all of us adapt to the Chinese culture. We were sad when he had to see us off at the airport.
We really enjoyed our day in Zanjiang! It was well worth the trip!
Hello again, it is Heather and Melissa checking in with you with our very last “Laker Girls in China” Blog!!
Today we are traveling back to Los Angeles. We are very thankful to have the opportunity to have experienced China’s rich history and culture first hand. Taking in the sights of famous landmarks like the Central Temple and the Five Goats Statue, cruising along the Pearl River and hiking to the top of White Cloud Mountain were amazing experiences! One of our favorite experiences was being able to meet Lakers fans in China!
It was so fun to meet fans that live overseas and see how energetic they are, just like the fans at home!
Our trip to China was such an amazing and memorable adventure! We will definitely remember it for the rest of our lives!
Thanks for reading our blog! We really hoped you enjoyed it!
This is Heather and Melissa signing off.
By Veronica & Octavia | October 15th, 2011 @ 11:39pm PT
Greetings from Kunming! It’s Veronica & Octavia checking in….
We flew from Guangzhou to Kunming last night, so today was full of performances (shows) at The Yunnan University of Nationalities. The NBA event we performed at was similar to the NBA All-Star Jam Session last year that was held at the L.A. Convention Center. The fans here were so excited, loud, full of energy and eager to meet us! We performed early in the morning and also had the chance to watch three other dancers perform hip-hop routines. It was fun! As lunch rolled around, our tour guide Bamboo and Isabella (our NBA translator) took us to this authentic and classy Chinese restaurant. The food was delicious!
After lunch, we went straight back to the University to perform two more shows. We were told that compared to other cities that have four seasons, Kunming only has spring. However, today was cold, windy and dry, which was much different from Foshan and Guangzhou’s hot humid weather that we experienced. Because it was cold, it took us a little longer to warm up. But as soon as we heard the fans shouting for us, we forgot all about being cold! The MC involved the audience with a short Q&A with each of us. Isabella translated the question and answers and we were so humbled by their excited reactions when they learned a little more about our group.
When our last show was over we drove straight to the airport during rush hour. We made our flight and going to stay the night in Guangzhou. We have a busy day tomorrow in Zhanjiang to do more shows and meet more great fans!
Goodnight! It’s hard to believe that our trip is coming to an end, but not yet…….Heather and Melissa will update you on our last days in China.
Thanks for reading Lakers Fans!
Ashley and Dara in Guangzhou
By Ashley and Dara | October 14th, 2011 @ 6:51am PT
October 13, 2011
Hey Laker Fans!
This is Ashley and Dara again keeping you updated on our trip here in China. We are now on our final few days in the city of Guangzhou, and today (Thursday) was a free day for our group.
So, today, all of us decided to spend our free day shopping again. We believe Heather and Melissa already told you about the place we went to shop at yesterday – it’s called Beijing Road, which is an outside shopping mall where you can bargain for good deals. That’s is exactly what we set out to do!
We ended up shopping for about six hours! Our purchases included lots of fun stuff, like purses,wallets, watches, scarves, shoes, etc.
However, at the end of the day it was pouring rain!! We all had our hands full with shopping bags, with no free hand to hold an umbrella (it was quite comical!).
While trying to get back to our hotel, we were running through the rain trying to flag down twotaxis to take all six of us back. It was just our luck that every taxi thatpassed us, was either full or not for hire. We must have really stood out, because as we failed to hail down any taxi cabs, a nearby woman approached us … and she spoke English! Let’s just say she became the hero of the night!
She informed us that we could take the subway back to our hotel, and she helped us buy our tickets and wrote down our stops. She was so sweet. What a great public transportation system they have here!
Thankfully we made it back to the hotel safe and sound, but definitely ready to put on some dry clothes. Now we’re all just happy to be back at the hotel after, again, a great day of shopping. We have an early start tomorrow, so good night for now!!
October 14, 2011
Good morning L.A. – from Dara & Ashley again!
Today was a travel day for our group. We took a flight from Guangzhou to Kunming, Yunnan, China. This morning we started off the day with another yummy breakfast at our hotel here in Guangzhou.
We all laughed together about how sore our bodies were from a long day of shopping yesterday and discussed just exactly how much yuan (Chinese money) we all spent! Yikes! Well, when we arrived in Kunming we were welcomed by an NBA representative named Bamboo (she told us that is her American name).
She was super friendly and even greeted each of us with a flower, which was so sweet. The rest of the day we spent settling into our new hotel and preparing for tomorrow’s appearance here in Kunming.
Stay tuned because Veronica and Octavia will be next, filling you all in about our appearance. Until then “WE LOVE LA”!
Signing off, Ashley and Dara
Melissa and Heather in Guangzhou
By Melissa and Heather | October 13th, 2011 @ 9:55am PT
October 10, 2011
Hi Lakers Fans!!
It’s Melissa and Heather!! Today we got to experience one of the most serene and famous spots of natural beauty in Guangzhou……we traveled up White Cloud Mountain. We began the journey with a cable car ride up to about the middle of the mountain and then we hiked up the rest of the way. We made it all the way to the top! All of us had the chance to stand on the Moxing Summit and look over the entire city of Guangzhou. It truly was an amazing experience and the view was breath taking!
We visited a few landmarks on the way to the top. Our favorite landmark we got see was called the praying pavilion. Aside from the beautiful view and greenery, we also got to ring a bell where the number of times you ‘gong’ the bell, coincides with a specific wish or prayer. For example, Heather rang it one time, for “happiness”. Our tour guide, Howard, rang it four times for “good health”…..and Melissa rang it ten times for all ten wishes/prayers.
The hike was long and tiring, but well worth it!
This experience is something we’ll hold on to for the rest of our lives. The nature and views we experienced were so peaceful, not to mention, unforgettable.
October 11, 2011
It’s Heather and Melissa checking in on Tuesday.
Today our group went to the South China Botanical Gardens! This botanical garden had thousands of unique flowers and plants throughout its grounds. It also contained a children’s carnival, warming houses and many statues of significant individual people that influenced the knowledge of plants/living species that we know today.
Not only is this garden used to house multiple plants/trees and attract tourists, but it is also used by many local residents to have their professional wedding pictures taken! We say this because, when we walked the grounds of the botanical garden, we got to see multiple brides and grooms getting their pictures taken for their big day! We even saw a beautiful bride sitting in a tree. The tree she was sitting in had huge branches…it was a very nice setting! (we’re sure their photos will turn out great!)!
In addition, we saw a variety of elementary school children, dressed in their school uniforms, today on field trips. So, we are certain this attraction is very educational for the children as well!
Getting to see all of the school children in the garden was another highlight of our day; they were so energetic and seemed to love the garden too!
Our day in the South China Botanical Gardens was very fun and informative!
We loved being able to see the variety of trees, plants and flowers. The aesthetics of the garden was incredible, making us feel as if we were in the jungle!
Well, that’s it for us today…......until tomorrow.
October 12, 2011
Hi Lakers Fans!
Today was a very eventful and unforgettable day! We started off the day right; we went shopping on Beijing Road in Guangzhou.
We had so much fun bargaining and searching through the stores for the best deals. It was a shopping experience unlike one you would get back home. We were only there for a few hours, but all six of us left Beijing Road with at least three shopping bags each!
Today, in the evening, we took an hour and a half boat ride on the Pearl River. The Pearl River is the river that runs through the center of the city and is the longest running river in China. It is filled with historical sites and showed us many unique architecture scattered throughout the city. To see the center of the city at night time was so amazing and beautiful! The city lights were not the “norm” in color……the buildings and bridges we passed by on this cruise had so many different colored lights shining throughout the city, it looked like rainbows everywhere! All of the lights coming from the city buildings made for a picture perfect boat ride.
It sure was an incredible evening…….
Needless to say, today was yet another, wonderful adventure.
Octavia and Veronica Check In
By Octavia and Veronica | October 10th, 2011 @ 11:30am PT
Friday October 7, 2011
Ni Hao Lakers fans!
It’s Octavia and Veronica reporting from Foshan, China!
It has been pretty overcast, gloomy and rainy but the temperature is very hot here! We definitely miss that California sunshine. Nevertheless, we are having a blast in China! Today we went shopping in downtown Foshan, near the Central Temple. We found shopping centers that are very similar to ours back home. However, the language barrier was a bit more challenging than expected. I, Octavia, did not know how to explain that I wanted to try on a bigger size. Body language and gestures saved the day and made my purchase successful! After shopping, we had to head back to the hotel to get ready for our appearance…..I must admit, the taxi ride was interesting! The driver took an unfamiliar route back, which concerned us a little, but we eventually got back to our hotel safe and sound. Our evening appearance was so much fun! The fans here in China, are just as excited about the L.A. Lakers team, as the Lakers fans back home are! Performing our routines for the fans was great! In addition, it was amazing to get the chance to meet the fans while signing our team photos. We also got the chance to cheer on participants in a “3 point shot contest” and gave away Lakers items.
Well, that’s it for now! We have an early start tomorrow because we are heading to Guangzhou in the morning!
Saturday October 8, 2011
Hey there LA!
Veronica and Octavia here, from Guangzhou! We are in one of the biggest cities in China!
Today we explored our surroundings! Guangzhou is a very populated and busy city. We immediately decided to hit the streets! Tea tasting is common in China, so Octavia and Ashley went to taste different flavors! Meanwhile I (Veronica), Melissa and Heather found a Starbucks Coffee! We were thrilled! After walking around the area near our hotel, we found a Chinese restaurant that just so happened to be celebrating their one year anniversary. To celebrate they had five different performances. One performer in particular reminded us of “Red Panda” who sometimes performs at our Lakers home games. (Half-time Show) We are now back at the hotel and settled in………cannot wait for a fun filled day of site seeing tomorrow!
Sunday October 9, 2011
Good Afternoon from Guangzhou!... Good Evening in Los Angeles!
We just got back from visiting the Guangzhou Park Museum, Six Banyan Temple and Chen Family Temple/Guangdong Folk Arts Museum.
The Guangzhou Park is the largest in this city and was packed for a Sunday morning! There were people dancing, playing hacky sack, reading and exercising. We saw and learned about the great history of the 5 Goats and 5 Immortals Statues. They are of huge significance in the city of Guangzhou because it is known as the “City of 5 Goats.” Here we also saw the 5 story tower that was once the tallest building to overlook the sea and city.
The Six Banyan Temple was beautiful. This is a place where many people come to pray and pay their respects to their gods.
Our last stop was touring the Chen Family Temple. This temple is over 110 years old and because so many people visit this attraction, I was told, that they have reconstructed it many times. The roof is made out many colorful intricate limestone sculptures, brick carvings and ceramic statues telling legends and myths. We were so impressed with the ancient detailed art and designs.
Thanks for reading Lakers Fans!
Please take a look at our China Trip photo gallery as well….…….we hope it helps you all understand what it is we are experiencing here in China, while getting the chance to represent the NBA and your Los Angeles Lakers.
Melissa and Heather will keep you updated on our next few days!
By Ashley and Dara | October 6th, 2011 @ 9:30am PT
Hey Laker Fans!
This is Ashley and Dara reporting to you live from Foshan, China!
We were both fortunate enough to be two of the six Laker Girls chosen to travel to China for two weeks, for some NBA events/appearances. Over the next few days, the two of us and the rest of the girls will be keeping you updated with the highlights from our China trip!
Our journey began when we arrived at LAX on the night of October 3rd to be ready for our 1:35 am flight (which, by the way, was almost 15 hours long!). The good news was, our seats on the plane had a TV with a wide variety of great movies, TV shows and even games, which made it much easier to fall asleep.
Eventually we arrived in Guangzhou, China, on October 5th and took a bus ride to our first stop here in Foshan. Thankfully we had no events scheduled for our first day, which allowed us to rest and adjust to the time change. While trying to fight the jet lag the six of us went to a mall next to our hotel in hopes of finding some food ... and, oh my, did we find some food!
The restaurant we chose, naturally, had a menu written only in Chinese, with only one server who spoke very little English. We all based our meal orders solely on pictures! Hee hee. None of us ever imagined how difficult the language barrier would be.
For example, Octavia asked if they had hot sauce or soy sauce, and after talking to what seemed like the entire staff, our server brought us a bottle of ketchup and a full jar of Miracle Whip! It was funny!
The cool thing about this whole ordeal was how sweet and accommodating the staff was to all of us. The server even called his wife to let us speak to her, hoping she could translate for him. This was a start to a great trip.
On our second day here in Foshan we kicked the morning off right with the amazing continental breakfast at our hotel. It was unreal! There was every type of dish you could imagine. Things like bacon, hash browns, a noodle bar to make your personal pasta, sushi, omelets, pastries and freshly squeezed watermelon juice! It seemed like there wasn’t anything we couldn’t get! After the dinner we had the night before, we were more than happy!
That afternoon we had our first Laker Girl event/appearance of the trip. For the first shift of the event we only had to perform a couple of our dance routines on a basketball court set up outside in a Foshan plaza. Since our next event didn’t begin until later that evening, we decided to go on a tour of the Central Temple in Foshan. Despite the rainy weather, the Temple has been the high-light of our trip, at least so Far! It was really cool to see and experience such a historical site. We have a tour guide named Tan; he told us the Temple has been around for over 700 years! Being there felt like we were officially in China!
Once we finished our tour we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the second shift of our appearance. Oh, and don’t worry, the rain stopped. This half of the event went by really fast, as we performed a couple of routines again and then autographed photos for the fans.
For dinner, we all dressed up to celebrate Veronica’s Birthday at Aqua Café in our hotel (Veronica is another teammate on the trip with us, along with Octavia, Heather and Melissa).
It was a great way to end the night - with good food and great friends. There hasn’t been a dull moment yet! Tune in for more updates and fun stories from our fellow teammates here in China!
Oh, before we forget, we will attach photos too; hopefully that will help you experience and share some of our China moments/adventures!
For now, it is 12:30 am here on October 7th, meaning its 9:30 am in L.A. on October 6th (Weird huh?).
Thanks for reading, sweet dreams and good night …Or should we say good morning?