Fun in Guangzhou
2013-March-11 Source: Szdaily web edition
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A family has a photo taken in the traditional style at Yanfang Photo Studio on Chaotian Road in Guangzhou.

A child has fun near a sculpture on Ersha Island.

Western-style buildings in Shamian in Xiguan.

The gate of a folk art museum in Xiguan.

An alley on Ersha Island.

Travelers in South China often ask: “What is fun in Guangzhou?” It may seem like a simple question, but there are many intriguing answers. Chen Pan, a travel and food columnist who lives in Guangzhou, can tell travelers how to explore the beautiful, traditional city from new angles. Zhongshan Road 6

Chaotian Road, off Zhongshan Road 6 in Guangzhou, is a kind of small alley that’s commonly seen in the Guangdong Province capital.

The road is home to Chen’s favorite Cantonese restaurant, Yayuan. As a professional food columnist, Chen often craves Yayuan’s traditional tastes, such as fish with soy sauce and sugar, fish soup and clay pot rice.

“Once, I passed by the restaurant and saw a waitress arranging chairs and tables very carefully. If a restaurant has such strict standards for its tables and chairs, it must be very strict with its dishes,” Chen said.

On the other side of the road is Yanfang Photo Studio, one of the oldest photo studios in Guangzhou. The studio offers black-and-white photo services with ancient machines.

“I like to take pictures at this studio, posing in front of old cameras under the guidance of an old photographer. It is so easy to take a picture nowadays as everybody has a camera on their mobile phone, but it feels different to take a picture in the old style,” Chen said.


Xiguan used to be inhabited by the rich and powerful. The place has been well preserved and it’s the best place to experience Guangzhou’s traditional lifestyles and customs.

In Chen’s opinion, today’s Xiguan is not as beautiful or pure as it used to be due to the large amount of commercial venues and tourist shops, but you can still find remnants of quiet, ancient times and avoid tourists in some small alleys.

“There is a lot to see in those alleys, such as fruit vendors, old shops and a traditional Xiguan house. Many of the buildings and lifestyles date back to the 1980s and are nice places to explore and discover,” she said.

Other recommended places include Qingping pet market, Duobao Road and Dadandi. There are many delicious and cheap Cantonese restaurants on Duobao Road and frugal shoppers like to buy cheap products in Dadandi.

Ersha Island

Ersha Island may be the slowest place in downtown Guangzhou, with beautiful roads and luxury villas that are home to the capital’s wealthiest citizens.

“Although we can’t afford the villas, we can still enjoy a great time there. The views and the sunshine are free,” Chen said.

Chen likes to cycle around the island. “The views around Xinghai Concert Hall and Guangdong Art Museum are the most beautiful,” she said.

Lovers can also see an art exhibition, enjoy a cup of coffee or walk dogs on the island. There are also places where you can fly kites or go skating.

Transport: Take a coach or a train to Guangzhou from Shenzhen and take a taxi to those areas.

Editor: Jecey
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