Two Famous Cities in Guangzhou
If you wish to ravel a little further afield, you will appreciate a journey to Conghua, about two hours by bus from the city. It is located on the west bank of the Liuxi River at the foot of the pretty Qingyun Mountains; it is a verdant area with luxuriant stands of bamboo. You can take many pleaser walks along the river and in the woods, and when the water level is high enough you can even swim off the river bank. Most people visit there to rest awhile and to enjoy the hot spring a few miles to the north. The gust house at the hot springs has spacious rooms with huge step-down bathtubs The resort is excessively crowded on weekends. There are CITS excursions to Conghua, or you can travel independently from the long-distance bus terminal at Hongyun Road, near he Guangzhou East Railway Station. As soon as you arrive at Conghua on the local bus, buy your return ticket to Guangzhou, or you may be forced to stop over.
The excursion to Foshan is popular. Located 18 miles from Guang- zhou (one hour by bus), it was once a well known religious center. The town is called Buddha Hill after the statue standing on a small hill in the town. The pottery of Foshan was known over a thousand years ago. The sites of several kilns dating from the Song Dynasty have been excavated.
Foshan was once a more important town than Guangzhou and is reputed to have had a population of about one million It is still an important industrial town, although the population is now only a third of what it Was centuries ago. The town is famous for its crafts: paper- cuts which are renowned throughout China), silk products, and metal castings. However the main craft activity is still the manufacture of pottery. You should not miss visiting one of the famous pottery factories at the town of Shiwan, located some 20 minutes from Foshan by bus. Tour groups usually eat lunch at the Taodu Restaurant in Shiwan.
In Foshan there is an interesting Temple of Ancestors, or Zu Miao, founded under the Song (AD. 960–1279), with some extant buildings dating from the fourteenth century when the site became a Taoist temple. No nails were used in the construction of the temple, the wooden beams being fastened together by joints cut in the extremities. There are many statues from the Ming (1368-1644), including a large statue of the mythical Black Emperor, Heidi (sometime called Beidi, or Northern Emperor) who ruled the ocean and inland waters.