Monday, May 16, 2011

Guangzhou: Shamian Isle

Shamian Island is a very small enclave spanning only a few blocks (bordered on the south by the Pearl River) that had been divided into two concessions, given to France and England, by the Qing Dynasty government in the 19th century. I spent one night at the Guangdong Victory Hotel there ~ an elegant massage and spa is next door ~ and the White Swan Hotel, perhaps Guangzhou's most famous hotel, is there as well. Both hotels are ideal departure spots for a day exploring beside the Pearl River. All of the original Shamian Island colonial European architecture remains, flanked by trees, tranquil parks, and pedestrian avenues... thus attracting the always busy Guangzhou wedding photographers. In fact, I probably encountered at least 10 couples posing during my late morning walk. Weddings and wedding photography are definitely big business in China!

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