Discover the beauty of Guangdong (II)
2013-January-14 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Diaolous, which incorporate elements of Chinese and Western architecture, lie along the route in Kaiping City in the west of Guangdong.

A native on Techeng Island, Leizhou.

Memorial arches in Yangjiang.

Different parts of Guangdong Province have their own distinct scenery, customs, delicacies and culture. A tour of the province can be highly rewarding and now is as good a time as any to take that tour. This week, we look at the west of the province. Compared with the established tourism destinations in eastern Guangdong, the west of the province is still in its development phase. However, because of this, it is a good place to enjoy the purest examples of Cantonese culture.

As well as much coastal and island scenery, the area also boasts some rare cultural elements. Taishan has much Christian influence, Yangjiang bears the effects of ancient Maritime Silk Road culture, Zhanjiang has a distinct folk dance and Leizhou is known for its stone dog culture. The influence of overseas Chinese culture can also be found in various areas.

If you are going to explore the many travel routes, you need to give yourself plenty of time.

Coastal route

The first route covers cities such as Maoming, Taishan, Zhanjiang and Yangjiang. There is much interesting scenery and culture along the way.

Leizhou Ancient City, with its stone dog culture, is about 70 kilometers away from Zhanjiang. There are many cultural and historical relics on the Leizhou Peninsula, such as Leizu Temple, Sanyuan Tower, Shixian Temple, Tianning Temple and Xihu Lake Park.

Another attraction is the Huguang Rock in Zhanjiang. Ma'er Lake, which formed 14 to 16 million years ago after the eruption of Pingdi Volcano, was named as a "natural yearbook" by geologists. Field route

The second route features hills and fields. The world-renowned diaolous, which incorporate elements of Chinese and Western architecture, lie along the route in Kaiping City.

Kaiping is the 36th UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique diaolou culture and the influence of overseas Chinese culture.

The diaolous were built at the beginning of the 19th century, mostly by overseas Chinese. These immigrants returned to their hometown with money and built the unique Chinese homes using knowledge they had learnt from Western architecture. As at that time the area was infested with thieves and brigands, the buildings were designed to be difficult to infiltrate.

The best way to visit these buildings across the fields is by bike. As the area is quite large, you may need about two days to make the whole trip.

River route

The route along Xijiang River is also recommended for those who are interested in the long history of Guangdong Province.

Xijiang River has a cultural history of more than 2,000 years and was an important area for trade and worship of river gods in ancient times.

Zhaoqing, Sanshui, Deqing, Fengkai and Yunfu are all important cities along the river.

The Seven-star Cave in downtown Zhaoqing city is one of the most famous attractions in the area. It is famous for its seven peaks that together form a highly evocative landscape. Some think that it resembles the stunning mountain and water scenery of Guilin and Hangzhou.

Panlong Gorge in Deqing County, Zhaoqing, is also recommended. It is not only an important spot for its wilderness and ecological treasures but also an area of cultural significance, with dragon legends attached to it. Panlong Gorge is known for providing "the most exciting rafting adventure in China."

Transport: Travelers can take long-distance buses at Luohu Bus Station, Yinhu Bus Station and Futian Bus Station to get to the destinations.

 

Editor: Jecey
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