Guangzhou Visit

Date: 9-11 July 2016

Venue: Guangzhou City


Day 1: Zhongshan Memorial Hall, Guangxiao Temple, or Chen Clan Temple, Guangdong Museum, Cantonese Opera Night in the Red Boat on Pearl River

A. Zhongshan Memorial Hall

Guangzhou Zhongshan Memorial Hall’s construction was collectively financed by Guangzhou citizens and overseas Chinese so as to commemorate Sun Yat-sen. The construction began in January 1929 and completed in November 1931. It is an octagonal palace architecture full of awe and marvel. The total area of the building is approximately 3,700 square meters, with the height of 49 meters. It is surrounded and engulfed by palace-style architectures which are overlapping one another from all four directions, just like a Chinese dragon whose spine is curled up and folded fourfold into an entirety. The designers employed skillfully the structural principles of construction mechanics by using a steel frame and reinforced concrete composite structure to create a span of 71 m of building space without any supporting pillars. Guangzhou Zhongshan Memorial Hall is not only one of the most iconic architectures in Guangzhou, but also an important venue for large-scale assembly and shows in the city. It has witnessed many profound historic events that took place in Guangzhou.

B. Guangxiao Temple

Guangxiao Temple, one of the famous ancient buildings in Guangdong Province, is a national key cultural relics protection unit. According to “Guangxiao Temple Diary”, in the beginning it was the residence of Nanyue Emperor Zhao Jiande in the second century B.C.. During the Three Kingdoms period, Yufan was banished to live there, and after his death, his family transformed it into a temple.

Guangxiao Temple’s architecture is meticulously structured, especially with such a great number of cultural relics and historic sites, such as the Grand Majestic Jewelry Hall founded in Eastern Jin Dynasty, the Bowl-Washing Spring drilled by Dharma in Nan Dynasty, the Burial Tower, Stone Pillar Column of Tang Dynasty, the Terra Tower of Nan Han period, the Patriarch Temple and Buddha-Lying Hall of Song and Ming Dynasties, and the inscriptions, statues, terminalia tree, and linden, etc. They all are invaluable Buddhist historic sites and relics. The construction scale of Guangxiao Temple comes second to none in Lingnan.

B Alternative: The Chen Clan Temple (Choose either Guangxiao Temple or The Chen Clan Temple)

Chen Clan Academy, commonly known as The Chen Clan Temple, was proposed in Guangxu sixteen years of Qing Dynasty (1890) and completed in 1894. It was an ancestral hall and academy jointly funded by the Chen Clan from 72 counties in Guangdong, providing venue for the Chen Clan youngsters to teach and learn. It is an artistic building complex known for its rich Guangdong distinctions, unmatched by any other existing ancestral halls in the province. Its rigorous layout, elaborate ornamentations, and magnificence make it a national relics key protection unit.

Ever since 21st century, Chen Clan Academy, dubbed “Honorable Ancient Temple”, has twice been included in the “New Century Guangzhou Eight Spectacles”, and was hailed as the “Business Card for Guangzhou culture”, becoming the most artistically rich and culturally rich museum in Lingnan area, and the widely-known tourist spot.

C. Guangdong Museum

The new Guangdong Province Museum, completed in 2010, has a total area of 6,700 square meters. Not only is it the only provincial integrated museum in Guangdong Province, but also a national first-class museum.

Guangdong Province Museum’s displays and exhibitions come in three main directions of historic cultures, arts, and nature of Guangdong, with its area divided into four major sections of History Hall, Nature Hall, Arts Hall, and Temporary Hall. As of December 2009, the number of the collections in the Museum is over 166,000. In addition, the Museum holds approximately 100,000 library materials.

D. Cantonese Opera Night in the Red Boat on Pearl River

“The Ship Says” Cantonese Red Boat, the grandest, longest, widest, and tallest cruise ship on Pearl River, cost the total investment of 10 million Yuan. Within the hull there is a spacious rectangular area, with no distinctive boundary between the performing and audience area. The most enchanting part of this Boat is, apart from its unique design, a love story performance between one man and three ladies whose background is set in Guangdong in early Republic of China. What impresses the audience most after they walk through the hull is the sense of “time-traveling” a hundred years back in Guangzhou City. The sense of three-dimensional space and the water-flow performing arts theater focusing on sensory and psychological feelings creates an immersive situational experience that is both close and participatory. Performances on “The Ship Says” perfectly blend multiple artistic techniques such as opera, dancing, music, movies, mime, and acrobatics, etc.

Besides the opera, there is enchanting night scene on the both sides of the Pearl River.


Day 2: Foshan Ancestral Temple, Bruce Lee's former residence, Shiwan Art Pottery Factory

A. Foshan Ancestral Temple

Foshan Ancestral Temple was built during the North Song Dynasty Yuanfeng period (1078-1085), renovated in Ming Dynasty Hongwu five year (1372), and gradually became in the early stage of Qing Dynasty a temple architecture that had its complete system, rigorous structure, and strong local characteristics.

The Ancestral Temple’s main hall is ornamented with a great number of precious artworks, and acts as a folk art museum, and is always commended as the “Oriental Folk Art Palace”. Foshan locals regard the Temple as their roots and origins, and numerous newly-married couples are eager to organize their wedding ceremony in the Temple. Even if they don’t, they would most definitely take wedding photos together in front of the Temple’s doors. Children approaching school age also went there to participate in the pen-opening ceremony, which has been established for many years, and many parents living in Peal River Delta area choose the Temple as the venue for the pen-opening ceremony for their children.

The connotations that the Temple embodies are overwhelming and can only be felt and experienced in person. That way, one can understand the subtlety lying within the Temple.

B. Bruce Lee’s former residence

World-renowned martial arts star Bruce Lee's ancestral residence is in Shang Tsuen Village of Jun’an Town, Shunde, Foshan. A grand tall temple sits at the entrance of the village and that is the Lee Ancestral Hall. The primary hall is dedicated to the souls of Lee ancestors. The whole shrine is cavernous and orderly and solemn. Its height measures 4.2 meters, and there are a lobby and two rooms whose widths are 15 pits and 11 pits respectively. The area measures 51 square meters only and is decorated with numerous photographs of Bruce Lee’s life.

C. Shiwan Art Pottery Factory

Established in 1956, Shiwan Art Pottery Factory has, over the past 40 years, transformed itself from a tiny factory producing solely art pottery to a large-scale modern enterprise in possession of numerous “Red Lion” branded products such as art pottery, ancient garden ceramics, split bricks, western-style tiles, imitated stone bricks, jade stoneware tiles, and garden art bricks.

Shiwan pottery is the famous arts and crafts of Lingnan. Shiwan pottery has a long history, and can be traced way back to the late Neolithic times in the midden ruins where Guangdong Shiwan pottery could be identified. Artistic pottery gathered its momentum in the Tang Dynasty, and reached its peak in the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The manufacturing of Shiwan pottery is by the folk kilns, while the pottery arts are entirely the creation of the folk pottery artists.


Day 3: Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Lingnan Impression Garden

A. Guangzhou University City

Located by the sides of the Pearl River, Guangzhou University City has a total area of 34.4 square kilometers. Within the Centre, there are Zhongshan University, South China University of Technology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou University, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangdong College of Pharmacy, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Jinan University, and Guangzhou Medical University.

Guangzhou University City is the center in Southern China for senior personnel nurturing, and scientific research and exchange. It is a top-notch national university campus where learning, researching, and manufacturing are combined for further development, and it is the “Information Port” and “Intelligence Center” in Southern China.

B. Lingnan Impression Garden

Lingnan impression Park, located in the south of the Xiaoguwei Island Riverside area, has a total area of 16.5 hectares, and is a tourist spot where one can experience local customs and folk culture of Lingnan. There are traditional and typical Lingnan-style building groups in which houses are built by the river. Some of the houses may have narrow doors and great heights, while others may have high walls that resemble the handle a wok, a Chinese cooking utensil. The long Qingyun lane, the quaint Tanglong door, the fine Manchuria windows, combined with the meandering creeks and crystal-clear ponds, always exude splendor and charm.

Lingnan Impression garden’s distinctive streets, temples, local houses, and shops fully demonstrate the essence of Lingnan culture. Its breath-taking scenes highlight Lingnan’s essential native culture and landscape, and restore the life and prosperity of Lingnan folks. The integrity of Lingnan architectures, the deep-rooted folk culture, and the rich pastoral countryside become a window for modern people to understand the ancient culture of Lingnan. In the Garden, there are lion dance, airplane olive, sugar-blowing men, dough figurines, popcorn, foreign cigarettes sales, newspapers sales, street painters, people wandering with caged birds, glass-blowing, goldfish sales, diabolo, shuttlecock activities, rope-jumping, gyroscope performance, and other folk performances and playful activities.