Island sights in Guǎngzhōu
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The leafy oasis of Shāmiàn Island , which was acquired as a foreign concession in 1859 after the two Opium Wars, is a peaceful respite from the city. Back in the 19th century, the British and French were granted permission to set up their warehouses on this 'sand surface island'. The sandbank was connected to the mainland by several bridges, with iron gates that prohibited any Chinese from entering the island. Major renovation has restored some of the buildings to their original appearance, transforming them into chic restaurants and hotels.
Shamian Dajie is a tranquil stretch of gardens and trees. The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, built by the French in…