If you are looking for a city in China to visit outside of Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai you may want to consider Foshan. The city is located in the central Guangdong province, with an urban population of approximately 7.2 million. Foshan is known to be a Cantonese cultural haven as it gave the world Chinese opera, lion dancing, and kung-fu. For visitors to China looking for something new, here are five things to include in your Foshan travel itinerary.
Make a Temple Run
Regarded as a national tourist attraction endorsed by the China National Tourism Administration, the Foshan Ancestral Temple is a Daoist temple that gives you a peek into Foshan folk culture. A quick glance of the temple’s ceiling will show how Foshan has always been a creative and cultural force in China. Foshan International states this landmark was constructed during the second half of the 11th century and was later renovated after a fire in 1372. Moreover, this is known to be the oldest temple in Foshan.
Visit Liang’s Garden
Liang’s Garden is one of Guangdong’s most famous gardens. Surrounded by traditional buildings, the site was initially built during the Qing dynasty in 1796 and has lasted over four decades. What makes this garden so special? Aside from the fact that it continues to stand tall after hundreds of years, this destination is an exemplary study of how China manages to preserve their heritage in spite of the aggressive economic, technological, and even cultural developments the country continues to enjoy.
Enter The Dragon
Foshan is not only one of the most important places in the world for kung fu, it is also the ancestral home of its most famous practitioner: Bruce Lee. The Bruce Lee Paradise Theme Park is a 3,000-acre theme park that celebrates the kung-fu legend. The park has the largest statue of Lee in the world along with a commemorative museum in honor of the star.
While Bruce Lee wasn’t as famous in China as he was in the west, his legend has continued to grow since his untimely death. His daughter Shannon Lee set up her own podcast in 2016 to share her father’s aphorisms and provide inspiration. Just five weeks into production, the podcast amassed more than 200,000 downloads. Lee’s image has continued to be used in a wide range of outlets including the online gaming industry. The slot game Bruce Lee on digital gaming platform Slingo shows how culturally iconic Lee has become. The game uses images of Lee from his collection of famous films. Whether it is listening to a podcast, playing online games, or making a pilgrimage to a dedicated theme park, Lee’s fans will always seek out their hero some way or another.
Discover Foshan Pottery
Nanfeng Kiln is famous for Shiwan ware, a form of Chinese pottery created through the use of kilns, which they have been doing for over five centuries. This tourist attraction belongs to the Ancient Nanfeng Cultural and Creative Zone and was actually constructed during the Ming Dynasty. Arts and crafts is a gateway to a country’s culture and this is definitely an interesting way to immerse yourself in Foshan’s heritage.
Visiting the Flowers’ World of Shunde will captivate you in more ways than one. Made In China explains that this tourist destination is home to at least 600 flower manufacturers. The site also features different aspects of horticulture that include landscape gardening, stone gardening, bonsai gardening, and more. As the park covers about 600,000 square meters, your senses will be absorbing different kinds of arresting beauty.