Another whirlwind business trip brought me to china once again- this time, the busy city of Guangzhou. Famed as one of the up and coming cities after Beijing & Shanghai, Guangzhou is loud, busy and bustling with life. I knew immediately that I wanted a bit of peace and quiet in the loud place  so I jumped at the chance to stay at the lovely Shamian Island.

quiet park area near dusk

Shamian Island, or Shamin Island, is a small sandbank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou. The island’s name means ‘sandy surface’ and it was once divided into two areas as concessions given to the United Kingdom and France in the 19th Century, during the Qing dynasty. The beautiful tree-lined streets, and colonial European architecture are reminiscent of a bygone era. 

How to go: refer to this article here, scroll down for detailed directions on how to go to shamian island. 

the peaceful streets 

busy road leading away from Shamian island into the main city

The island has a few hotels, restaurants, small eateries and tourist shops selling souvenirs. The island is considered an upmarket residential area inhabited by the affluent upper class. Aside from the hotels and shops, there is also an elementary school and a park for the locals to exercise and relax at. 

store owner 

exercising at the running track in the park area

I loved the feeling of waking up and opening my window to the beautiful colonial style buildings, and the serenity of Shamian island. It’s the perfect escape from the craziness of Guangzhou city.

Shamian island is also breath-taking at sunset- the ombre coloured sky was the backdrop against the beautiful cityscrape of Guangzhou city on one side, contrasting strongly against the calmness and serenity of the rustic shamian island. 

sunset at Shamian island

evening at Shamian