Shamian Island is one of the highlights of Guangzhou city, a well preserved and scenic foreign settlement made up of old buildings built by foreigners from many countries. Road traffic is controlled so it is a good way to escape from the traffic and crowds of the city although it might not really offer anything unique to Westerners apart from a nice stroll and some dining options.
The bulk of the island was an English concesssion with the remaining part granted to the French. Many foreign embassies used to be in this part of the city although now the only active embassy here is the Polish embassy.
The island was an important port for foreign trade once hence many foreigners lived and did business here. A number of bronze statues are scattered across the island as well.
When we visited, we saw newly-weds having wedding photos taken, as well as fashion bloggers working on their next blog post photos.
The island is easy to access via public transport and would be a nice addition to any trip to the city. All photos are mine.