A trip to Guangzhou cannot avoid visiting the banks of the Pearl River. Guangzhou exists because of this mighty river. It is so vital to the city that the VB of Guandong is named after the Pearl River – Zhujiang.
The city loves its river and the way its pleasure boats, the buildings on the banks and the bridges light up in an orgy of neon in the evening. After a long day of walking the blocks on the northern banks, I parked myself on Shamian Island and watched a procession of dazzlingly lit boats cop a gander at the Island before u-turning and heading east under all the bridges. I sampled a couple of Zhujiang drafts (in a bottle) and enjoyed a clear and mild evening. It is a bland and forgettable drop.
The boats look wild enough in daylight, but they go nuts after dark. Guangzhou is less western than Shanghai or Beijing and bars can be hard to find. Tomorrow night I’ll visit Zhujiang New Town, which was rice paddies fifteen years ago. The expats apparently have had an impact, but I’m sure the Chinese influence will still dominate.