In Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), the cities share not only geographical proximity, but also similar language, culture and customs, based on Lingnan culture. Where to experience the authentic Lingnan cultural vibes? Here are some destinations recommended by natives and expats living in the GBA for many years. Follow the list and start your cultural tour!
Sylvia Xu, a reporter living in Guangzhou for 14 years
I will definitely recommend the Cantonese Opera Art Museum and Yongqing Fang, both of which lie in Guangzhou's Liwan District. At Yongqing Fang, you can drink coffee, try desserts and find many creative products made by intangible cultural heritage inheritors. It's a nice choice to savor the Lingnan culture and the hustle and bustle here.
Yongqing Fang (Photo: Nanfang Daily)
Cantonese-style pavilions, bridges, rills, and corridors... Cantonese Opera Art Museum, featuring the characteristics of Lingnan traditional gardens, is also situated in Yongqing Fang. People can enjoy Cantonese opera performances for free, which is popular in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. At the exhibition hall, there are cultural relics of Cantonese opera such as costumes and headdresses, which are eye-opening.
Cantonese Opera Art Museum (Photo: Sylvia Xu)
Ruben Diaz Jr. from California, the US, who has settled down in Foshan
Lingnan Tiandi (岭南天地) is like a beautiful garden, an ancient temple and a lively restaurant district all rolled into one. The beauty of Lingnan Tiandi has to be the wide variety of shops, restaurants and activities available to anyone strolling through. Many beautiful girls seem to spend entire days at this place taking pictures of themselves or even recording daily social media posts.
Lingnan Tiandi (Photo: Nanfang Daily)
Less than 100 meters from Lingnan Tiandi is a famous scenic spot in Foshan, the Ancestral Temple, or Zumiao (祖庙). I have visited Zumiao and Lingnan Tiandi quite a few times with many friends, my family, and of course my lovely wife.
Ruben Diaz Jr. and his family members pose for photos in front of Zumiao. (Photo: Ruben Diaz Jr.)
I love the idea of keeping all the old buildings in Lingnan Tiandi and remodeling them into modern businesses and restaurants. It's the perfect mix of the old and the new. They change the decorations and attractions quite often, so it always feels new and different to me and my daughter. Flowers, balloons, animals; she loves it all. The hardest part is taking her home if she hasn't fallen asleep.
Priyasha Sharma from Mumbai, India, who has been living in Shenzhen for about 7 years
I have been living in Shenzhen for around 7 years now and my favorite place is Yantian subdistrict. It is located in Yantian District, Shenzhen City, surrounded by mountains on three sides and facing the sea on the other side. I'm from Mumbai, India, which is also next to the sea, so I have a special love for spots next to the sea. In Yantian, you can see the port, have a walk, run, cycle, have a nice coffee, and click great pictures next to the sea with a great view of the pleasant mountains.
Priyasha Sharma poses for a photo next to the sea in Yantian subdistrict. (Photo: Priyasha Sharma)
As I live in Luohu, Yantian is a 15 to 20 minutes drive from my home. I usually go there to run, have coffee, and also sit in the hotel lobby, working there with my laptop and enjoying the amazing sea view. I went to Yantian the first time in 2019 and my friend took me there, after that I fell in love with the place. Now I go there almost every week and take my friends there as well.
The sea view in Yantian subdistrict (Photo: Priyasha Sharma)
Priyasha Sharma poses for a photo by the sea in Yantian subdistrict. (Photo: Priyasha Sharma)
Melody, a student of the University of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Palace Museum displays more than 900 precious cultural relics from the Palace Museum in Beijing, many of which are on public display in Hong Kong for the first time. Some of the collections have never been publicly exhibited. I was so excited when I heard the news and booked a visit right away.
The painting Rhapsody on the Luohe River Goddess (or Luoshen Fu Tu) by artist Gu Kaizhi of the Jin Dynasty (265-420) is on display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum. (Photo: Melody)
Melody's ticket to the Hong Kong Palace Museum (Photo: Melody)
There are many precious cultural relics of many countries in the museum, such as Chinese Art, Chinese ceramics, and some treasures of Tibetan Buddhism. Some ancient Chinese paintings, such as Autumn Colours over Rivers and Mountains, and Nymph of the Luo River, make me feel that I can travel through time by looking at it, have a dialogue with the ancients thousands of years ago, and experience their lives.
A white glazed baby pillow from the Ding Kiln in the Northern Song Dynasty is on display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum. (Photo: Melody)
I think this museum can enable young people in Hong Kong to better understand our country, including the country's history, culture and some traditions of the Chinese for thousands of years. The architectural design of the museum is also very distinctive. I highly recommend it.
A distant view of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (Photo: Melody)
Anna Wong, a university student from Macao
There is a must-see attraction in Macao, the Ruins of Saint Paul's. Near it, there are many fun and interesting niche attractions. As you follow the stairs next to the Ruins of Saint Paul's up the hill, you will reach Fortaleza do Monte. Fortaleza do Monte is located on top of Persimmon Hill in the center of the Macao Peninsula. The center of the current Fortaleza do Monte is the Macao Museum built in 1998, and its top floor is built into a garden. Here, you can overlook the scenery of the old city of Macao, and you can also visit the Macao Museum.
The Ruins of Saint Paul's (Photo: Anna Wong)
And if you go downhill on the other side, you can reach Guanqian Main Street and Guanqian Front Street, which have been transformed into a colorful community. The coffee shops, specialty goods stores, and niche boutiques here can make you linger. What is more noteworthy is that there is also a Macao Coca-Cola Collection Museum!
The Senado Square near the Ruins of Saint Paul's (Photo: Anna Wong)
And my personal favorite is a tea restaurant near the Ruins of Saint Paul's. The Hong Kong-style milk tea and shrimp smoothie egg rice here have become my must-haves every time!
Shrimp smoothie egg rice (Photo: Anna Wong)
Author: Holly, Ariel, Alice
Editor: Wing, Steven, Monica, Jerry