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Image: Ancient and Modern Mix in Modern Foshan

Image: Anne and Sophie Demonstrate Kung Fu in Foshan

Image: The Art of Chinese Motorcycle Zen, as practiced by a Motorcycle Taxi. Complete with Rider Taking-5. This Machine Appears to Feature the Latest in Ergonomic Design

Image: Fun with Clay at Foshan Nanfeng Ancient Kiln

Image: View From The Golden Lake Hotel, Overlooking my Gaff and Foshan TV & Radio Tower

Image: Foshan TV Tower at Night

Image: A Pretty Girl, Now My Wife!

Image: Caroline and Chris take a fast cab in Long Jiang

Image: The Owner of my Local Corner Shop

Image: Ancient Nan Feng Kiln, China's oldest working Dragon Kiln

Image: The Veg man I use at local 'Wet Markets'

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Image: A Local Scavenger Woman Taking a Break From The Pressures of Modern City Life in Foshan
Tourist Guides for China
Foshan Tourist Guide (March 2010)

Foshan 佛山

My name is Jonno, and I live in the City of Foshan, Pop 4 million. Foshan is one of the few Cities in China where foreigners are a relatively common sight and have been for millennia. Foshan means Buddha Mountain, whilst my home District called Chancheng means Zen City. Foshan City will be host to a large proportion of the 2010 Asia Games (Guangzhou) with International standard swimming pools and sports arena's newly built for the purpose.

Foshan is a very old city, with a history dating back more than 7, 000 years, and written records for over 4 millennia. Throughout this history, it has been know by two names - either Foshan (Chan Cheng) or Nanhai (Gui Cheung). Early trade maps may use the name 'Pan Yu', which is today a large town/small city near Nanhai and Shunde; and just within the southern extremities neighbouring Guangzhou City District. However, the port referred to in such maps is actually quite close physically to modern Nanhai port. There is a local rivalry here I won't go into, so visitors should consider Foshan and Nanhai to be the same thing. The Buddha Mountain is actually situated in Nanhai city district and is called Xi Qiao (Si Tew) ... and is the big hill West and slightly South a bit as seen from the city centre.

Foshan City comprises the City of Foshan, and four other areas of massive proportions best described as 'Counties'. These five are: Foshan, Nanhai, San Shui, Gaoming, and Shunde. Nanhai 'Gui Cheung' is the centre of Nanhai, and also a physical part of Foshan City proper. Foshan City District is bounded by the mighty Pearl River (West) to the West, which in ancient times was the boundary between the fledgling Chinese Empire and what is know as 'The Badlands' or 'Bandit Country'. However, that was the view of Northern Emperors, as this area was all part of the Yue or 'Cantonese' Empire also.

Foshan is one of only 3 cities in China that has always been 'Open' throughout Chinese history (Kaiping and Hong Kong being the others). This openness relates not only to Trade, but also to thinking, and language

Foshan people speak one of the 4 main Cantonese dialects, called "'Ba't wah". This is Guangzhou Cantonese as spoken throughout Guangdong Province, neighbouring Guangxi Province, and Northern Vietnam. The other main form of Cantonese is extremely similar, whilst Taishanese is not. The version of Cantonese used in all modern Western phrasebooks' is a small and insignificant dialect peculiar to rich and influential people from Hong Kong - you could consider it analogous to Queen's English, as spoken in greater UK currently. If you veer off the beaten track and go exploring some of the warrens of back streets (Quite safe), then local people may reveal their local language to you. It is Guangzhou Cantonese, but with local quirks mainly centring around the pronunciation of vowels and greater use of scale and pitch.

Out and About

Modern Foshan is a lively, clean city, with everything you would expect - cars everywhere, MacDonald's on every corner, large Western style shopping centres, hypermarkets, nightclubs, and street bars where you can drink and chat 24/7.

The main roads are wide, clean, and washed regularly; although a tad chaotic! Local industry makes this a truly vibrant place, although there is a problem with air pollution that is slowly being addressed - this is the only bad thing I have found in this great city. Factories are now moving into the nearby countryside with Government assistance, and new premises are very eco-friendly.

Amongst the high rise, you will be delighted to find a plethora of parks and green spaces which team with life in the evenings, and most offer various local forms of entertainment. The one nearest me has a round for Latin Dancing and Waltzes - a tad odd as a Chinese pastime, but very entertaining

For an informative overview of Foshan, please have a look at the local government sponsored website, which is a mine of local information. I live in ChanCheng area, and my apartment is one of the big ones behind the picture of the Foshan Radio Tower - left (The Eiffel Tower with a ball in it). There are also pages relating to the other Foshan Districts, please use their menu's for navigation. This website rewritten in 2009 and you can find basic pages here

Foshan lies within the Tropic of Cancer, and officially has sub-tropical weather. All I can say is that for most of the year it is very hot, dry, and humid with average summer temperatures stuck at 36 degrees 24/7. Winter is January and February, and is very cold as they are simply not geared-up for cold weather at all. The rest of the year ranges from pleasant to very hot. Although always very verdant, it only rains twice a year = 4-weeks around the beginning of June, and monsoon season for another month starting the end of August. Otherwise umbrella's are normally used to protect from the sunshine!

Local people are very warm, welcoming and friendly. They will be very curious about you, and be very happy to socialise. Please read the Social
sections for more information

Throughout a history stretching back over 2, 000 years, Cantonese have always been Open and Outwards looking. Ask your local restaurant owner anywhere in UK, and it is highly probable their family roots actually lie with Foshan. Small World!

Foshan is primarily a business centre, and many visitors are here to invest or export, although there are a few import specialists also. As early as the Qin Empire Circa 220BC Foshan was regarded as one of the four foremost ceramics cities in the whole of China. Today ceramics still plays a central roll in the city's economy, which includes the manufacture of fine vases and delicate miniature figurines. However, most trade is related to bathroom products such as baths, showers, and bathroom ceramics.

The nearby town of Long Jiang in Shunde county is China's leading manufacturer of furniture. The sheer scale of manufacture is quite astounding, covering an area 20 miles long by several miles wide. Within this are major permanent exhibition centres, the most notable being located 5 miles from Foshan city centre at Le Cong. Not only does this area support many factories and showrooms, but it also includes all the support industries such as specialists in wood and leather. The industry is so massive that some exhibition halls are dedicated to particular types of furniture, such as: Office, Hotel and Home furnishings.

Many business people also use Foshan as a convenient centre for attending the Canton Fair, which is now housed exclusively at Pazhou. With the opening of Foshan light railway (Metro) due in summer 2010, access to this and Guangzhou will be made extremely easy, as will connections to Hong Kong.

Kung Fu
Foshan is the world centre for Kung Fu, and offers tourists many opportunities for training and learning about the history of Kung Fu. This history dates back several centuries to when the Shaolin Temple was sacked by the forces of the then Emperor, and survivors fled to Foshan. Huang Fei Hong's Father settled in Luzhou Village, which lies at the foot of Xiqiao Mountain, and this area is one of the main Kung Fu centres today with several Martial Arts schools and memorial halls located thereabouts. This should be the preferred destination for Kung Fu enthusiasts, whilst the city centre is more suited for Kung Fu tourism. The Ancestral Temple lies in the heart of the city and is home to the Ip Man (Yip Man) memorial hall.

Ip Man was a real life person and Wing Chun Grand Master who lived in Foshan City. During the hardships and atrocities of the Japanese invasion during WW2, Ip Man became a champion of the ordinary people, and showed a spirit that could not be broken. He was Grand Master Wing Chun style Kung Fu and Bruce Lee's Sifu. Bruce Lee was a regular visitor to the city and we have links to training videos shot of them practicing together. There is also a dedicated Bruce Lee memorial hall and museum located in the nearby county town of Daliang in Shunde. This is located at the village where Bruce's Father lived, and Bruce visited on one occasion. Please see our Kung Fu pages for further information.

We have compiled an extensive guide to Foshan City, which is divided into sections for easy reference. Please use the Foshan Menu on your left to navigate these pages, which highlight all major activities and things you may like to do or know about. The categories are self explanatory, and deal with areas such as: Transportation, Hotels for all budgets, Restaurants and Nightlife. The basic pages are now complete (27th March 2010), although we will continue to add more information as required. We also take a look at traditional Chinese culture and highlight places of special interest.

All other guides to Foshan city do not differentiate between location, therefore you will find information concerning an attraction physically located several hours drive distant, grouped with sights within easy walking distance of the City centre. We do not consider this to be helpful to visitors, so have broken this down into three sections: Foshan city attractions, Foshan County venues, and also include destinations that are relatively nearby but outside of Foshan City District - good examples being beautiful Zhao Qing city; and another is Chime Long Amusement Park, Circus, and Zoo.

Foshan has several great shopping areas which we describe in detail. One is located around the city centre known as Bai Hua. A second is located nearby at Dong Jian, and here we actually walk the streets with you and not only show you the best shopping plazas and streets, but also provide options for snacks, juices, and restaurants where you can relax and take the strain off your feet for a while.

Vibrant, export driven, always 'Open' and Outward looking - whatever you want from China as a whole, you will find in abundance in this microcosm of humanity - but don't take our word for it, come and see for yourself.....

Welcome to Foshan
This information is as supplied by China Expats and our friends, as dated 10th July 2010, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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