I’m a history buff, so I’d heard of Canton. I knew nothing about it, I’d just heard that it was an important port city to the colonial British in Cathay. Cathay is China, and Canton is Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. And I can’t believe I knew nothing about it before coming here, because it’s a Tier 1 city…meaning in terms of population and economy, China ranks Guangzhou at the same level as Beijing and Shanghai!
I stayed in a hotel on Shamian Island, which is where the British — and other colonists — set up shop; company headquarters, banks, tennis clubs. All of their 19th and early 20th century buildlings are now protected, and house galleries, hotels, restaurants, and consulates.
The Victory Hotel, where I stayed.
Please note the tree being held up by…other trees!
The canal and brides on the north side of the island.
Lots of photos of beautiful buildings. Be warned.
And lots of centuries-old trees…
Down the centre of the island is a long promenade, with different-shaped paths and trees.
I can’t say if this electricity is “modern” or…not.
Starbucks. I know. But hey, they chose a lovely location.
A sample of what the buildings were used for.
See the running track?
The ORIGINAL Bank of Taiwan!
Our Lady of Lourdes, Guangzhou Parish!
Looking up at the vestry.
Inside the church courtyard.
Traditional red lanterns on a modern hotel in a 19th century building.
The Armani shop housed in here must feel right at home…
The veranda of my hotel’s restaurant–it sits on the third floor.
Shamian Greenway — a long park running along the south side of the island, right against the Pearl River.
The Rose Garden restaurant.
This is a fish market!
Guangzhou was the first place I saw these New Year decorations. For all I know they’re real fireworks!
Christ Church, Anglican.
This church’s gate was open, so I slipped into the courtyard…