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Shamian Island

Introducing Shamian Island
Guangzhou Shamian Island was originally called Shicui Island ("Shicui" literally means "picking up green jade"). Shamian Island was a key ferry for domestic and foreign trade and a scenic spot in the Song Dynasty (960 AD – 1127 AD), the Yuan Dynasty (1206 AD – 1368 AD), the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD – 1644 AD) and the Qing Dynasty (1616 AD – 1911 AD). In the wake of the Opium War, Shamian Island became British and French concessions.

Shamian Island Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Shamiandao 沙面岛
• Best Time to Visit: September to November
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 2 to 3 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, Architecture, Leisure
• Opening Hours: All day
• Entrance Fee: Free
• Address: No. 53-54 Shamian North Street, Liwan District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province

What to expect at Shamian Island

In the old days, Guangzhou Shamian Island was a historical scar of Guangzhou and also the first street populated by foreigners. For Chinese people, it is fair to say that Shamian Island has a sad and inglorious episode in its history. Nonetheless, washed by the stream of time, the traces of that sad history have gradually blurred and faded. A multitude of European-style buildings left over from history have made Shamian a showcase of European architecture. Pay a visit to Guangzhou Shamian Island, and you will see dating couples immersed in romance, senior citizens taking a stroll and newly-weds shooting their wedding photos. In a word, Shamian Island is a travel card of Guangzhou.

For everyone who has visited Guangzhou Shamian Island, the first impression is, more often than not, romance. Wherever you go, you can see pairs of newly-weds shooting their wedding photos. As some photographers say, line upon line of western-style buildings, coupled with the tranquil surroundings, make Guangzhou Shamian Island a perfect destination for photo shooting. The combination of Western-style buildings with Western-style wedding gowns can produce photos that forever linger on the minds of the newly-weds. In recent years, some newly-weds have chosen to wear traditional Chinese wedding costumes for photo shooting in Shamian Island.

Guangzhou Shamian Island is not only a prime location for photographing, but also a main destination for business travel. Populated by a number of foreigners, Shamian Island is frequently visited by foreign tourists. As a tour guide says, Shamian Island is a must-go place for tourists. Tourists from France must be feeling a sense of familiarity when taking a stroll around Shamian Island, which is home to a variety of French-style buildings. As with Shanghai, Shamian Island boasts a vast array of foreign buildings left over from China's colonial periods, which makes Shamian Island a main attraction to foreign tourists.

The 16th Asian Games represents a new journey of Guangzhou. It has provided an opportunity for Guangzhou to reflect on its history. Culture received top priority in Guangzhou's Asian-Games program. Culture is the soul of a city, communicating its unique character and temperament. Cultural and historic heritages in Shamian Island have been well restored before and during the Games. One can get a glimpse of the historic beauty of Shamian Island from these well-preserved cultural and historic heritages.

How to get to Shamian Island

By Bus
• Take Bus 1, 9, 25, 57, 64, 75, 105, 106, 181, 208, 209, 217, 251, 270, 297, 538, 552, 556, Guang 81, Guang 123, or Guang 281 and get off at Shizhong Yiyuan Station.

By Metro
• Take Metro Line 1 and get off at Huangsha Station (Exit D). Then walk around 10 minutes to Shamian Island.

Additional travel advice on Shamian Island
• There are many nice cafés and restaurants serving Western food and drinks at Shamian Island.
• It is not recommended to visit the island on public holidays.

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