Shopping, sight-seeing, studying—in this article we're checking out Guangzhou's Haizhu District again. Not as popular with foreigners as Tianhe or Yuexiu Districts, Haizhu offers some less-explored areas of the city. In Haizhu's Hidden Treasure's Part I, we looked at the eastern part of this island district, and in Part II we'll mention some sights in the western half (as bisected by Metro Line 3). Here are a few things to do in Haizhu District that may go overlooked on foreigners' Guangzhou itineraries.
Hai Zhuang Si Temple
1) ShoppingView In Map
Indulge in Guangzhou's favourite past time, shopping, at the Wanguo Outlet Mall. Wander through the shiny halls of this ‘factory mall' and snap up some deals on international brand names like Nike, Adidas, Wrangler and Arsenal—at a discount. Like most malls in the city, it also boasts a few restaurants, fast food joints and a department store (Carrefours). Or, if you're in the mood for an outdoors excursion and still want to keep shopping, nearby Jiangnanxi Road boasts good street-side deals and a less hectic feel than crowded Tianhe District.
Add: 40 Qianjin Lu, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8444 4200
Getting there: Metro Line 2 Jiangnanxi Station, exit E
2) Wedding PlanningView In Map
Haizhu District is also home to Guangzhou's Bridal Market, a few streets full of wedding apparel and paraphernalia. Walk through multilevel shopping malls chock-a-block with wedding gowns, bridesmaid's dresses, tuxedos and nifty accessories for the bride and groom. Traditional Chinese qipao are also on offer. Can't find what you want off the rack? Most stores will take your measurements and order the particular style you want made to fit you. Many of these shops do wholesale (good if you're planning a multiple wedding!) but even these will consider one-offs for the right price. If you're not looking to tie the knot, this still might be a place to check out for your next fancy dress party.
Add: Jiangnan Dadao, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Getting there: Metro Line 2, 2nd Worker's Cultural Palace Station
3) Temple-GoingView In Map
A nice surprise after a grimy day of shopping the concrete streets of Canton, the peaceful gardens and golden statues of Hai Zhuang Si, or Sea Temple, are a beautiful place to stop and contemplate life. The buildings are kept up so well as to look new, but the giant banyan and other trees show the temple's 300 year history. Especially nice is the huge red-beribboned prayer banyan tree in the middle courtyard.
Add: 337 Tongfu Zhong Lu, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8439 9172
Opening hours: 07:00-21:00
Website: http://www.gzhz.org/ (Chinese)
4) Visiting HistoryView In Map
One of Guangzhou's most famous sons has a memorial hall dedicated to him in Haizhu District. Deng Shi Chang (1849-1894) was a young boy in then-Panyu district during the Opium Wars. Determined to devote his life to his country's causes, he enrolled in the Fuzhou Naval Academy and became one of the first Chinese people to get modern marine training. He's a hero today because of his brave demise—during a battle against Japan in the Yellow Sea, Deng decided to drive his ship straight at the enemy and take as many of them with him as he could. Unfortunately for last wishes, the boat exploded before the ships collided, but his last gesture is honored, along with his life, in this gray-brick memorial hall.
Next door, through the same courtyard, is the small Haizhu Museum, which hosts crafts and photo exhibitions by local artists.
Add: 2 Longxian Li, Baogang Da Dao Zhong, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3438 4021
Price: 5 RMB
5) Going Back to School View In Map
You don't have to enroll in classes to enjoy the manicured grounds, shady trees and turn-of-the-century architecture of the South Campus of Sun Yat-sen University, set in a long strip between the river and Xin Gang Xi Lu (a.k.a. Xi Gang West Road). Take a photo with a statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen—he founded the university in 1924—peek in the Zhongshan University Museum of Biology, or stop at a cafe and feel like a college student again. If you want to see Haizhu from the river, it's easy to take a 5 RMB boat trip from the Zhong Da Wharf back to Yuexiu District.
Add: 135 Xingang Xi Lu, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Getting there: Metro Line 8, Sun Yat-sen University Station
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Keywords: Haizhu District Guangzhou things to do Haizhu district hidden treasure Haizhu district
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