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Hong Kong - Guangzhou, Zhaoqing and Foshan - 4 days/ 3 nights

 

 

 

pear at night

The Pearl River at Night

 

 

  

 

The Province of Guangdong, borders Hong Kong and  has a very interesting history.

 

Around the time of the birth of Christ, Guangdong was far away from the centre of ancient Chinese civilization which was located in the north China plain. It was then populated by peoples collectively known as the Hundred Yue.

 

It was about this time that Chinese administration in the region began with the expansionism of the Qin Dynasty. After having unified most of China, the Qin expanded southwards and set up Nanhai Commandery at Panyu, very close to what is now the city of Guangzhou (Canton).

 

After a short period of independence, between the fall of Qin and the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han, it finally became part of the Wu Kingdom.  Guangdong was made its own province, the Guang Province, in 226.

 

As time passed, the demographics of what is now Guangdong slowly shifted to (Han) Chinese-dominance, especially during several periods of massive migration from the north during periods of political turmoil and/or nomadic incursions (the Mongols under Genghis Khan). This was from the fall of the Han Dynasty onwards.

 

Guangdong then became part of the unified China and has remained so ever since, through the many changes of Capital and Emperors and even through the Communist Revolution.

 

After the isolation of China from the rest of the world, it was Guangdong that started the trade with the west and Canton, now named Guangzhou, was one of the principle ports of trade.

 

Although the capital of China has always been in the north, a great deal of the trade and food production was in this area.

 

 

Guangchau

Chen Clan Temple              Skyscape Guangzhau                     Zhaoqing

 

 

ITINERARY.

 

 

Day 1       Hong Kong - Guangzhou

 Depart Hong Kong by high-speed Through Train 

 

Arrive Guangzhou 

Met on arrival and proceed directly to the Guangzhou Museum which is, in fact, the Zhenhai Tower, the last standing remnant of the   city wall of Guangzhou. The Tower was originally built in 1380 during the Ming Dynasty but it has been the focus of much upheaval, resulting in the tower being destroyed and rebuilt a total of five times. It was last occupied by both the British and French during the Opium War. It commands a fine view of the city.

You have the option of walking through the park to the restaurant for lunch, or taking the coach. 

 

Dim Sum lunch at the Bei Yuan Restaurant.

 The Bei Yuan dates from the 1920's but the present two storey building and courtyard is newer.  

 

After lunch, visit historic Shamian Island (Pictured below) before checking in at the hotel which is very close by.

 

After a short Trade War between the west and the Qing Dynasty government during the early 19th century, Shamian Island was divided into two concessions that were permitted to trade, one being for the British, the other for the French.

 

It remains a tranquil reminder of the colonial period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. 

 Hotel: White Swan   -  

This beautiful hotel is ideally located on Shamian Island overlooking the Pearl River.

 

Relax until it is time to go for dinner. Perhaps a swim in the pool overlooking the Pearl River, or you may prefer to do some more local sightseeing and shopping.

 

Enjoy a pre-dinner drink at Ta Ying Lou, an interesting four storey building that was erected circa 1910 and is a mixture of Chinese and western styles. It overlooks the Pearl River and was once home to Chen Shaobai, an intimate friend of Sun Yat-sen and a patriot in the Xinhai Revolution of 1911.

 

Proceed to the Guangzhou Restaurant for dinner. This is one of the most revered Cantonese restaurants in the city. The restaurant is close enough to the hotel to enable you to walk back, or you can transfer by coach or taxi.

 

 

Day 2                     Guangzhou Sightseeing then to Zhouqing

  

After taking breakfast overlooking the Pearl River, depart for the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Clan. In the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), a man named Chen achieved third place in the highest imperial examination and he was conferred with a title of high office. This made the Chen family well known and it was decided that all the Chen families would raise money to build a temple to make sacrifice to their ancestors and to encourage their offspring to study hard. The temple was completed in 1894 with money donated by the Chen families in Guangdong Province, as well as some overseas Chen families. The Temple possesses some exquisite examples of fine carving in wood and stone.  

 

Continue to the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees and the Six Banyan Pagoda. Originally built in 537, the temple has been rebuilt several times. It is located in a peaceful compound and has a rich collection of cultural relics. 

  

Time permitting, you might like to take a short stroll in Guangzhou's interesting "antiques street" before taking lunch at the lakeside restaurant.

 

Lunch at Panxi Restaurant.

 

After lunch depart Guangzhou by car/coach for  Zhaoqing.    

 

Hotel: OYC  Hotel

 

 

Day 3                                     Zhouqing Sightseeing

 

The pleasant scenery of Zhaoqing has been attracting tourists for a thousand years. The first Europeans settled here as early as the sixteenth century, when the Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci, spent six years here before being invited to Beijing by the Emperor Wanli. He remained in Beijing and died there in 1610. A morning city tour will include a visit to the lanes of the original town, a Ming pagoda which is the tallest in Guangdong Province and an ink stone factory.

 

For more than a thousand years Zhaoqing has been producing some of the finest ink stones in China.

 

After lunch at the hotel, the afternoon is at leisure for relaxation or for walking in the Seven Star Crags limestone formation region. The tranquil artificial lakes and surrounding parklands are adorned with brick paved pathways, arched bridges and numerous pavilions.

 

  

Day 4                                     Zhouqing – Foshan- Hong Kong.

 

After breakfast, depart Zhaoqing by car/coach for Foshan.

 

Arrive at the Ancient Nanfeng Kiln. The kiln is the oldest in China and it is still operating today. This national treasure dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644).

  

After inspecting the historic site, enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant.  After lunch you will be free to stroll around the many shops selling locally made ceramics at incredibly low prices.

 

Transfer to the station.  Depart Foshan by train

 

 Arrive Hong Kong (Hung Hom Station).       

   

This suggested itinerary can be changed to suit your own requirements. It can also be combined with other touring arrangements in China or elsewhere in Asia.