Shamian Island

I haven’t been sleeping as good as this since we left England. Each sleep is continuous, not waking up at all throughout the night I feel as fresh as a daisy each morning. Our sleeping patterns are beginning to configure back to normal, which makes the days seem longer and more productive. Every morning is blissful here, we step out of our room into a large open plan lounge, the doors to the balcony are open 24/7 to keep the clean mountainous air gushing around the appartment. Sitting in one of those hanging bubble chairs we enjoy our morning coffee, brewed from the bean, overlooking the skyscrapers of Northern Guangzhou to the west and the misty mountains to the east. Each morning is as breathtaking as the last. 

On our morning route to our local metro station ‘Meihuayuan’ we pass the same shops. Georgia buys a packet of slim cigarettes, to the point where the lady knows what Georgia wants without her asking and we stop by a independent fruit shop and buy some bananas, apples, oranges or grapes for our breakfast. The price for fruit in Guangzhou is probably double what we pay in England. It is not cheap, and that is evident by being able to state I have never seen a Chinese person walking around eating fruit. Usually they’re eating meat on sticks or just smoking. We pay the hefty price for the fruit anyway and begin our day.

Today we were travelling 11km southwards into the city, that gives you an impression of how big this place is. In Meihuayuan we are very North and 11km South of us we’re not even in the centre of the city. We are travelling to Huangsha which is where Shamian Island is situated. It is a man made Island created by the French and British during the opium wars of the 19th century. Shamian Island was a base for the westerners and provided them with a kind of control centre for the wars. It wasn’t until 1946 the Chinese government decided it wanted the island back, which they did. However, during the European reign of Shamian Island the buildings, streets, gardens and layout have all been heavily influenced by the two countries, giving it a complete Western European feel. It is bizarre walking down the leafy and quaint roads, as architecturally I could be walking in Normandy without a shadow of a doubt. Across the Pearl River from Shamian Island is the familiar Guangzhou skyline. Europe within Asia, it is a remarkable place and definitely worth visiting if in the Foshan/Guangzhou/Zhuhai 



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