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where are you now? Your Guide to > Foshan Municipality>Guangdong Province;

Foshan Municipality, A prefecture-level city under Guangdong Province, In Chinese [佛山市]

Foshan Overview

7/19/2011 11:17:00 AM    【Big Medium Small】 【Print】    Visitors:147


The prefecture-level city of Foshan ("Buddha Mountain") is located about 25 kilometers southwest of the city of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province (Guangzhou was known as "Canton" during the colonial era... and to round things out, Foshan itself was known by outsiders during the colonial era as "Fatshan", for some reason, either inexplicable or humorous... Buddhas are generally depicted as being rather corpulent, and the British are known for their wry humor).

The city of Foshan lies in the Pearl River Delta, an area crisscrossed by waterways that empty into the Pearl River Estuary which in turn divides Maccau to the south from Hong Kong to the north (China's coastline actually lies on a southwest-northeast axis here). Foshan is Guangdong Province's third-largest city, and one of the most prosperous cities for its size in all of China. In 1970, the city of Foshan was elevated to prefecture-level status, and in 1985 its administration became part of the Pearl River Delta Economic Open Zone. Since both the city of Foshan and the city of Guangzhou continue to expand toward each other's borders, the two cities launched a joint project in 2009 aimed at merging the two cities, though the city of Foshan will most likely retain its name, even if it becomes a satellite city under the auspices of greater Guangzhou.

Foshan has a number of interesting tourist attractions, not least of which are the giant statue of a seated Guanyin Buddha (i.e., the "Goddess of Mercy", the patron saint, as it were, of seafarers) and Yunpu Waterfall (known as one of the "Eight Famous Scenic Sites of Guangzhou"), both located on Mount Xiqiao in the nearby city of Nanhai. There is also an ancient - but 'still going strong' - porcelain kiln, the Nanfeng Ancient Kiln, in the nearby city of Shiwan that is said to stem from the Tang Dynasty period, and whose flame has been burning ceaselessly ever since the kiln was first lit. The Nanfeng Ancient Kiln still produces the same high-quality porcelain that helped to put Foshan's name on the map during the Ming Dynasty. The nearby ancient riverine village, Daqitou Ancient Village, famous for its unique Qing Dynasty architecture with all the houses built after the same last and with pavements of honed granite, is also worthy of a visit.

Lastly, Foshan enjoys the mild climate of southern, coastal China, with natural surroundings that are as lush as one would expect for a countryside that belongs to a rich river delta. The many waterways and the presence of the Pearl River Estuary/ the South China Sea nearby (about 100 kilometers) means that seafood is one of the staples in the city's homes as well as in the city's restaurants. Guangdong Cuisine belongs to the Eight Great Cuisine Schools of China, where the city of Guangzhou, Foshan's neighbor, is considered the flag bearer of Guangdong Cuisine, so the visitor to Fushan can expect to encounter some of the best cuisine in all of China.

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