As a budget traveler on a recent trip to Guangzhou, China, my wife and I became discouraged as soon as we arrived at the train station. It is one of the largest cities in the country and although we usually do not book before booking our backpacks before booking, this time the lack of hotels of any kind at the Grand Central Station has led us to book Get help.
Shamyan Island, right in the middle of the city on the Pearl River, seemed to be the perfect place to find a cheap hotel, and when we got in a taxi, we were immediately happy to come. This small island, perhaps a quarter of a mile away, is located just off the river and is a small oasis of tranquility in this bustling city. My first impression, believe it or not, was from Savannah, Georgia, in the United States! Much of the architecture is colonial since the days when the British and the French used it as a trading post. The old buildings are generally good looking and there are wide streets and beautiful tall trees that give the whole island a sense of fun. Great place for hiking.
We looked at some cheap hotels but settled in Guangdong Shamyan Hotel, a cheap hotel with a few rough edges but very friendly and helpful staff. I recommend it for large rooms and great location.
At night, the Shamyan Island waterfront comes alive with open-air restaurants right on the Pearl River, where you can sit on the river and watch the boat traffic on the river and enjoy the spectacular views of the city. The prices here are a little higher than in other parts of Guangzhou, but it was a worthwhile rush and we enjoyed our seafood dinner very much.
The interesting thing about Shamian Island is the amount of western population you see rolling around with the carriages carrying little Chinese kids. It is clear that Guangzhou is a center for Americans wanting to adopt Chinese orphans, and since the US Consulate is located on the island, most people stay near the White Swan Hotel.
Shamian Island is a very good base from which to explore Guangzhou, China, and while hotels cannot really be budgeted, we certainly managed to find cheap Guangzhou options on a quiet island, Find out right here. In the middle of one of China's largest cities.