We did some exploring in Guangzhou last week. One of the places we visited was Shamian Island. The locals just call it Shamian as it’s not really an island but rather a sandbank separated from the mainland by a canal. It’s tiny at 0.3 square kilometres. Shamian’s architecture is completely colonial European thanks to its role as an important port for foreign trade during the 18th and 19th centuries. The French and British foreigners lived and worked on Shamian during this time. Many of the buildings have been nicely restored. And someone who had a love for bronze statues decided Shamian was a good place to display them. It was a lovely place to stroll and listen to the birds sing (a rarity it seems in Guangzhou).