Shamian Island is a reminder of Guangzhou’s colonial
history and covers an area of 24,000 sq meters at the side of the
Pearl River. It is not a true island, the name Shamian means sandbank,
and it is now connected to the rest of the city by a series of bridges.
From the mid 18th to the mid 19th century, Shamian
was the only place where foreign merchants were allowed to live
in Guangzhou. The large villas and shady tree lined avenues that
were constructed then have a faded charm and create a contrasting
atmosphere to much of the city.
While most of Guangzhou is battling along at breakneck
pace Shamian is merely ambling. Along the river, the park area is
a great place for people watching and tea drinking. Or walk along
the wide sidewalks and dine in the open-air under the old trees.