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Guangdong Province | Population: 1,220,000
With a location like the Pearl River Delta, Shunde City has always been a fertile and prosperous region. Also called Shuntak, the city of Shunde was a wealthy agricultural zone and today, it is a thriving metropolis of Guangdong Province, China. Although the city boasts of beautifully designed gardens and parks, it is usually frequented by those who like to indulge in nightlife rather than sightseeing.
There are countless nightclubs, bars, massage parlors, spas, lounges, and late-night coffee shops where expats, domestic visitors, and overseas tourists hang out. Unlike many other cities in China, where tourism has grown due to its ancient relics or picturesque ecosystems, Shunde, on the other hand, has become a tourist hub due to its avant-garde culture.
Not much of Shunde City is old! It seems like most of the city has undergone a major makeover. The perennially pleasant climate, beautiful riverside scenery, and mixed ethnicities make the city a very popular tourist destination. Although a major portion of the population consists of Han Chinese, there are lots of people who have migrated from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan and have made their home in Shunde.
The weather is cool after sunset when most of the people, irrespective of their ages come out of their homes in search of beer bars or lounges. The bars serve varieties of beers and Chinese rice wine. These places are open till the early hours of the morning. Some of the places have karaoke or bands playing live music. The best bars are along the canal in the Daliang suburb of Shunde City. Large groups of people come here and order beer bottles by the dozens because bulk orders are very cheap.
The Qing Hui Yuan (Qinghui Garden) is the most attractive tourist spot in Shunde City. It is considered the best garden among the four famous gardens of Guangdong Province. The design of the garden is a mix of Ming and Qing Dynasty styles, the classic Lingnan gardening style, and a water-town scenery style. But the prominent theme is of the famous Lingnan garden style. The garden is spread over a vast area and consists of woods, beautiful water bodies, ornate bridges, pavilions, stone hills, courtyards, carved bricks, wooden carvings, stained glass, etc.
The Baomo Garden, built during the Qing Dynasty era is part of the Temple of Lord Bao. The temple itself is dedicated to Lord Bao Zheng of the Song Dynasty because he was a just and upright statesman. The highlight of this garden is the porcelain relief called “Qingming Riverside Festival” which has been mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records. The bronze statue of Confucius and other art pieces are also worth a visit.
At the foothills of the Taiping Mountain near Shunde City is the lovely Shunfengshan Park. The park has a massive 37 meters tall and 88 meters wide paifang (architectural gateway arch) which is the highlight of the park. The paifang is engraved with lions, birds, dragons, gods, and other designs such that it looks like a toran (Indian flower garland).
Other attractions include Baolin Temple, Bijiang Golden Houe, Xishanmiao, Nanguo Sidu Silk Museum, Li Xiao Long Zu Ju, Shushengqiao Park, Longtan Dragon Mother's Temple, Zhonglou Park, Shunde Daliang Banyuecheng Recreation Ground, Fengling Park, Tianhu Forest Park, Beijiao Park, Dafushan Forest Park, Babiao Laixiang Pavilion, etc.
Food and Dining
The Daliang suburb of Shunde City and the paths along the Qing Hui Park have the best eateries. There are western-style fast food takeaways as well as Chinese cafes along the road. Although the local cuisine has very strong flavors, it is so delicious that it has become popular with overseas tourists as well.
Some of the most popular food include Yingji Yuntun noodles, braised cake with bamboo shoots, Number One Scholar's porridge, Foshan 9-layer cake, silkworm catsup, Dexinzhai's pot-stewed trotter, etc.
Where To Stay
There is no shortage of choices in hotel accommodation in Shunde City. One can select from a range of 3, 4, 5-star hotels, mid-range hotels, budget hotels, youth hostels, guesthouses, service-apartments, low-priced lodges, etc. depending on the size of the group and one’s budget. The amenities of the star-rated hotels include concierge services, in-house restaurants with International menus, on-call taxi services, 24x7 housekeeping, in-room dining, swimming pools, and more. The budget accommodation comes with only basic amenities, but the city has a tourist-friendly and helpful culture.