Foshan is a large city, with a registered population of more than 4 million, which is increasingly being integrated with Guangzhou. Even though it is highly urbanized, it is a lively, clean place, famous as the hometown of ceramic art, Cantonese opera, and martial arts. (Read our overview.) In March next year, the Guangfo Intercity Railway will open, bringing all of the major towns into close proximity to the Guangzhou South station, where the High-Speed Railway comes in from Hong Kong and Shenzhen. In the meantime, Foshan West Station (in the Chancheng District) is a good jumping-off place to start a visit. This is a place that is worth exploring if you are into temples, gardens, and the ancestral homes of Bruce Lee and Wong Fei-hung. There is also a collection of five major theme parks here in the Shunde district.
Following are our Top 10 recommendations.
- Zumiao Ancestral Temple: Foshan’s calling card
Address: Zumiao Road, Chancheng District, Foshan
The Daoist temple nestled in the main business district is perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Foshan. It is said to have been built during the Northern Song Dynasty, renovated only once in its 600 years. Beidi takes pride of place here, as the leader of all the Foshan gods. Covering 3,500 sqm, the architecture is stunning, especially the rich ceiling decoration. Audio guides are available, which provide detailed historical narrative. Martial arts and lion dance shows are held daily.
- Ancient Nanfeng Kiln: Ceramic gems
Address: Gaomiao Road, Shiwan Town, Chancheng District, Foshan
Built during the Ming Dynasty, this old wood-fired kiln has lasted for 500 years. Today it is still humming away, producing ceramics in a largely unchanged process, garnering fame across the country as a “living relic and unmovable national treasure” and a “living fossil of pottery and porcelain”. A Pottery Park and Peacock Garden are part of the complex. Pottery courses are a must, and visitors can make their own souvenirs to take home. Nearby Shiwan Town has some good shops as well, and the Ceramic Art Museum is not to be missed.
- Lingnan Tiandi: architectural landmark
Address: Donghua Vil. Central Area, Zumiao, Chancheng Dist, Foshan
Modern techniques have been used here to transform the precious historical buildings of the typical Lingnan (Cantonese) style in this village, not far from the Ancestral Temple. Quaint streets and lanes retain their original cultural characteristics while injecting modern commercial elements, providing tourists with a new leisure and entertainment experience. Situated right next to the city’s main transport hub, this is an excellent place to relax, eat, and shop.
- Liang Garden: Lingnan culture outdoors
Address: Songfeng Road, Chancheng District, Foshan
A typical model of southern Chinese gardens during the Qing Dynasty, this is one of the four most famous gardens of Guangdong. It consists of residence, ancestral hall, and gardens. In the Lingnan (Cantonese) style, presents an elegant, original and picturesque charm. An ideal choice for architectural aficionados to explore.
- Wong Fei-hung Memorial Hall: a master’s home
Address: Chancheng District, Foshan
Wong Fei-hung (Huang Feihong) Memorial Hall dates back to the Qing dynasty, reproducing the style of folk residence and ancestral temple when the great martial master was alive. There is a cinema here, as well as a hall and patio for practicing Wushu. Traditional kungfu performances are the highlight of the day.
- Bruce Lee Ancestral House: are you a fan?
Address: Shang Cun Village, Jun’an Town, Shunde District, Foshan
Moving south to the Shunde district is worth it for fans of the late, great Bruce Lee. This is a simple residence, typical of the local style with gray bricks and black roofing tiles, covering only 51 sqm. But it has the world’s biggest statue of the martial-arts legend, who gained fame in the movies, both in Hong Kong and Hollywood. It is now a major tourist attraction, pulling in fans from all over the country, and the world.
- Qinghui Garden: natural beauty, Lingnan style
Address: Shunde District, Foshan
The garden here is one of the country’s ten most famous, integrating Ming and Qing dynasties styles, blended with the Lingnan (Cantonese) ancient gardening style. A classic example of how Lingnan gardening culture made use of the mighty Pearl River’s strengths. Water, trees, stone hills, and small bridges surround booths and pavilions, while splendid courtyards can be enjoyed for a rest. Attractions such as the Boat Hall, Bixi Thatched Cottage, and Chengyi Pavilion are must-sees.
- Chuanlord Holiday Manor: holiday paradise for family
Address: No. 8, East Jianshe Road, Lunjiao, Shunde District, Foshan
Shunde is also home to one of the province’s major modern tourist attractions. Chuanlord Holiday Manor, a collection of five theme parks, provides a full day or two of family entertainment. The Screaming Park is equipped with hundreds of exciting rides. The Fairytale Animal Kingdom has lions, tigers, and wild boars living in “castles”. Vacation Village has gardens planted with fruits and vegetables. Visitors can taste home-made dishes, enjoy songs, dances, magic, and acrobatics in Big Stage, and eat in the underwater restaurant with fish swimming around you. If an experience of country life is your thing, Farm Stay Park is for you. In Water World, there are water sports, swimming pools, and a herbal spa, among others.
- Xiqiao Mountain: enjoy natural scenery
Address: Southwest of Nanhai District, Foshan
Further north in the Nanhai district stands this ancient dormant volcano, a cultural symbol of Foshan. The mountain is an important scenic area and designated as a national forest park and geological park. Covering 14 sqkm, Dacheng Peak is the highest of 72 peaks here, rising up to 346 meters. The Nanhai Guanyin Culture Park contains a 66-meter statue of the goddess Guanyin. Other top spots incliude the Baiyun Caves, Tianhu Park, Biyu Cave, and Cuiyan Rock, with convenient transport between them.
- Sanshui Lotus World: home to lotus culture
Address: Nanfeng Avenue, Sanshui District, Foshan
The world’s largest lotus theme park also has the most advanced cultivating technology. It is a good spot for viewing and learning about the lotus flower. It is home to more than 600 well-known flower manufacturers, with a flower trading center, landscape garden, stone garden, bonsai garden, palm garden, ornamental fish breeding park and other sections. Visitors can explore holiday villages with a countryside style.