China’s third longest river runs the length of over two thousand kilometers and brings together four separate river systems. The Xi River, which originates from the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau; the Liuxi River which originates from Conghua City in the Guangdong Province; and the Bei and Dong Rivers which both originate from the Jiangxi Province join together in Guangzhou and flow into the South Sea a further seventy kilometers on. The stretch of water that makes its way through Guangzhou City and is overlooked by Somerset Riviera Guangzhou, is referred to as Pearl River. The name of the river comes from a large boulder in the river bed that is round, smooth and resembles an oversized, shining pearl. Its enormous width of two thousand meters earned it the name of ‘The Pearl Sea’, in ancient times. Today, the Pearl River’s width stands at only one hundred and eighty meters.
The city of Guangzhou has seen much development in recent years, including ten crossing points along the river. High rise buildings have sprung up along its banks: including shopping malls, office blocks and serviced apartments. Guangzhou is also enjoying a burgeoning nightlife and the myriad of colourful lights brought on by nightfall, illuminate the urban cityscape. The bridges, adorned with glowing neon lights, give the illusion of rainbows stretching across the river. A recent rush of tourists have filled up cruise ships, which glide up and down the water, also bearing bright lights of their own.
Running alongside Pearl River is a walkway dubbed the ‘Scenery Corridor’. The path is twenty three kilometers long and is designed specifically for admiring views of the water. Along the ‘corridor’ there are also historic buildings to see including: Huangpu Military Academy, which was the first military academy in Chinese history; the elegant Xinghai Concert Hall and Tianzi Dock, a site that was used for greeting officials several centuries ago.
Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.