Guangzhou Photo Gallery - Shamian Part 1

The British started trading in Canton in the late 17th century and other Western powers followed during the 18th. Tensions started rising as imperial China imposed many trade restrictions, and coupled with the British opium trade that ended in war, the city was forced open as a treaty port in 1842, and Shamian became a concession for the British and the French in 1859.

Foreigners were previously confined to their warehouses in the city until Shamian became a concession. The 800m sandbank was divided into 2 halves with the British on the western side and the French on the east, with Chinese people forbidden to enter.

While the architecture represents an era of humiliation in Chinese history, today, Shamian is bursting with tourists and couples going around taking their wedding pictures.

From west to east, there are only 3 main parallel streets on the island, with a wide leafy boulevard in the middle for pedestrians only. I started my visit on the east side.

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