There is no better way to see Guangzhou by night than to take a cruise on the Pearl River. Most of the buildings along the Pearl River are brightly lighted up at night with dazzling neon lights that change colour and pattern every few seconds. Likewise, the many bridges that span the Pearl River are illuminated with multi-coloured lights.
The Pearl River, or Zhu Jiang as it's known in Chinese, is China's third longest river at about 2,200km. It flows into the South China Sea further downstream from Guangzhou between Hong Kong and Macau. The river is extremely important for Guangzhou as it's used for trade as well as for shipbuilding yards. The riverside walk on the northern bank is lovely as you pass by several colonial buildings. It is also possible to take a cruise on the river with boats leaving from the Tianzi Pier just east of the People's Bridge near Shamian Island.
The Pearl River (Zhujiang) is the largest river system in Southern China and runs for approximately 2,200km.
There are 8 municipalities included in the Pearl River Delta - Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguang, Zhongshan, Foshan, Huizhou and Jiangmen.
If there is anything that you can enjoy, it is a night cruise on the Pearl River. While it is not as interesting during the day, the many bridges that cross the river are lit by neon lights at night. There are several night cruises available. Some are just cruises and others provide tea and Chinese delicacies. I highly recommend any of them.
The particular one I took was selected by my relatives and was excellent. We had unfortunately had a very lovely dinner at one of the restaurants nearby before we cruised. We rode the cruise down to Shaiman Island before back tracking to the boat dock.
There are a few boats making trips each night most belong to the blue dolfin group. We booked our ticket at the Garden Hotel travel office and the assistant wrote down the adress in Chinese for us to show the taxi driver. So I can't give you an adress for the dock but it was on the north side of the river east of the Landmark Canton Hotel and west of the next bridge. You need to book at lest one or two days ahead as they fill up quickly. It was a 2 hour round trip up the White Swan and down past the Concert Hall. They serve a buffet meal as soon as the boat is moving and then allow you out onto the deck. I have previously described Guangzhou as Birmingham with more neon seeing the city from the river has only confirmed this. Most buildings are lit up at night and there are a few European style Buildings to see alongside the skyscrapers.
Pictured here, the Pearl River, called Zhu Jiang in Chinese... Although too polluted to swim in, it is still nice to take a stroll by it, especially during the night... Or, if you like, you can take a night boat cruise on a neon lights boat such as the one you can see here...
The Pearl River is large river across this city, lots of heavy transport on it as well as leisure for cruising and fishing.