The Nanfang / Blog

In Guangzhou, now you can commute by ferry

Posted: 09/30/2013 1:00 pm

Mayor Chen Jianhua was in attendance at Jinshazhou yesterday as Guangzhou launched trial operations of eight new lines in its ferry transport system, a system known locally as the “sea bus”, Xinkuaibao reports. Chen said he hopes Guangzhou will become the ferry capital of the world and this will take the pressure off the other transportation systems in the city.

A hovercraft takes off from Jinshazhou, image courtesy of Nanfang Daily

The new lines are as follows:

S1 Red line: Jinshazhou – Shiweitang – Huangsha – Xidi (50 mins)

S2 Blue line: Fangcun – Xidi – Tianzi – Sun Yat-sen Memorial Museum – Sun Yat-sen University

S3 Green line: Ruyifang – Tanwei – Shiweitang

S4 Purple line: Xidi – Aozhou – Haichuang

S5 Yellow line: Yuzhu – Huangpu Military Academy – Xinzhou – Shenjing

S6 Brown line: Huangsha – Fangcun – Yongxing Street

S11 Dark green line: Huangsha – Sun Yat-sen Memorial Museum – Canton Tower

S12 Dark red line: Changzhou – Yuzhu – Haixinsha

At this stage, the times and frequency of the services vary so passengers need to check the timetables on the day. On the dark green line, seats in the cabin with no air conditioning cost 1 yuan. The most expensive ferry tickets cost 10 yuan.

Ticket prices on existing services will remain unchanged.


Watch: Tightrope walker performs “most difficult stunt yet” in GZ

Posted: 08/12/2013 1:00 pm

Adili Wuxor, who set a world record for the longest ever period of tightrope walking in 2010, walked between Canton Tower and Haixinsha Stadium in Guangzhou at a height of 100m on Saturday, Nandu Daily reports.

And, as always with Adili, he didn’t just walk the tightrope high above the Pearl River but took the time to sit down, stand on one foot and even dance, as a BBC reporter put it.

Adili never uses a safety net, even though on this occasion the rope was just 3cm thick. Adili told reporters that this was his most difficult stunt yet. That is quite a claim to make considering that last year he walked across a 350m high tightrope with two students walking in the opposite direction.


See Hong Kong and Guangzhou go dark to mark Earth Hour

Posted: 03/25/2013 3:54 pm

With Cipriana Botez and Josh Allerton in Guangzhou and Danny Lee in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong may be ‘Asia’s World City’ and a global financial hub, but it also has the dubious title of the world’s worst light polluter – making this Earth Hour even more appropriate.

Darkness fell for 60 minutes on Saturday as cities from around the world joined people in flicking off the lights to raise awareness about climate change.

Tourists gathering on Tsim Sha Tsui’s waterfront were disappointed the city’s had cancelled its nightly light show, but still cheered when the lights went out on many of Hong Kong’s hundreds of skyscrapers precisely at 8pm.

For one hour, the Pearl River Delta was dark.

Guangzhou’s Zhujiang New Town

Guangzhou’s brightly illuminated skyline was missing a few of its symbols. The Canton Tower, along with the neighbouring IFC and Opera House, merged with the dark night sky as they switched off their glittering lights.

Vincent Qiu, who has worked as a Senior Duty Manager at the Canton Tower since its opening in 2010, thinks participating in Earth Hour is part of the Tower’s responsibility to raise environmental awareness.

“I think that as a landmark of the city, the Canton Tower should join such organised events because nowadays the air pollution is very serious,” he said. “We have a very big impact, not just in Guangzhou, but also in the whole China.”

Macau, which also dimmed its lights, fared far better than Hong Kong in adding some weight to its green credentials.

Thirteen major hotels in the gambling enclave joined forces to switch off their lights, and will do so every month in order to conserve energy.

Dining in the dark

Poolside at the China Hotel, a Marriott Hotel, in Guangzhou, a modest yet warm atmosphere engulfed the terrace and indoor restaurant, with candles lit on all the tables and guests dining in the darkness.

“It only began a few years ago so it’s amazing to see how fast it has grown around the world,” said Food & Beverage Guest Service Manager David Nebehay. “The people who created this event were leading by example and that’s what we want to do here, lead by example.”

Ever since Hong Kong joined the ranks of the Earth Hour movement in 2009, it has emitted 35,000 hours of light pollution, while only saving four hours in the process.

A balance is yet to be struck between the environment, and in Hong Kong’s case, tourism. It still doesn’t have laws to deal with external lighting which could alter the skyline’s DNA.

This year’s Earth Hour was set among the backdrop of the worst air quality readings in Beijing, accompanied by thick, hazy, grey skies and more research to suggest pollution in Hong Kong caused several thousand premature deaths.

Check out The Nanfang’s photos in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, at the Canton Tower and the Marriott Hotel, a China Hotel in Guangzhou.


Guangzhou Marathon just 25 days away

Posted: 10/23/2012 2:10 pm

The Guangzhou Marathon is just 25 days away. There will be four events on Nov. 18: a full marathon, half marathon, 10 km race and 5 km race, according to Life of Guangzhou.

The winner of the full marathon will be awarded US$40,000, the organizer said, while the winner of the half marathon will receive US$600 and the winner of the 10 km race will receive RMB 1,000.

If you intend to drive in Guangzhou that day, consider changing your plans. The race will take in 4 districts and 20 roads. After a test run, the race will start in Huacheng Square, go over Liede Bridge, Dongfeng Road, Guangzhou Bridge, Ersha Island, Pazhou, Canton Tower and end in Haixinsha.

To register click here. The website of the Guangzhou government said applications would close Oct. 18, but Guangdong Satellite Television reported this morning that applications are still being accepted.

Theoretical training, such as on how to avoid injury and how to prepare the body, will begin Oct. 26, according to Tu Lijun, a senior official of the marathon. Two days later, physical training will commence.

To find out more, go to the marathon’s official website.


Guangzhou lights up the Canton Tower, holds party to celebrate London Games

Posted: 07/30/2012 8:00 am

Guangzhou is no stranger to big sporting events. It put on a spectacular show when it hosted the Asian Games in 2010, merely two years after Beijing’s show-stopping Olympics. The world’s biggest sporting events may have left China for the time being, but that doesn’t mean people in Guangzhou weren’t part of the London Olympic hype as the historic city held its opening ceremonies. In Guangzhou, all eyes turned to the Canton Tower which celebrated the opening of the Games with a special sporting lights display and a public exhibition showcasing the best of Britain.

Hundreds of people turned out to visit a specially-designed British exhibition featuring iconic London phone booths. The exhibition showcased the best of the UK’s industries and sectors, which have influenced many parts of the world. Audiences were also treated to the Scottish sounds from a bagpipe performance.

Alastair Morgan, the British Consul General, told audiences at the tower: “We hope more and more people come to know a brand new UK from this London Olympics.”

Morgan also dismissed some concerns that problems in the lead-up to the opening of the Games would hurt the UK’s image. “I’m not sure we’ve had a triumph but we’ve overcome the difficulties. We expected challenges, and I’m confident it will be a really positive Games that the world will enjoy.”

Special guests on stage in Guangzhou included two local champions, former Olympic gold medalists, diver Yang Jinghui and weightlifter Chen Xiaomin, while they were also joined on-stage by famed fashion designer Jimmy Choo.

Yao Li, who visited the British exhibition, travelled from Hunan Province with her son on the recommendation of her friend. ”I enjoy the flag-hoisting marches part most,” she said. “The spiritual outlook of each country, the flags, the scales and the colourful suits they dress [in]. I also enjoy watching football games.”

While events wrapped up in Guangzhou with a special lighting display at night, several hours later in London people around the world watched as movie director Danny Boyle orchestrated ‘The Isles of Wonder’, wowing audiences with a memorable opening ceremony.

Of the 379 Chinese athletes competing in London, over 40 are from Guangdong Province, and Yi Jianlian, a Chinese NBA player, from Heshan, led the Chinese team out into the Olympic Stadium as flag-bearer.

Check out the latest Nanfang Studio album with photos from the London Olympics Day Zero at the Canton Tower.


Canton Tower now available for weddings

Posted: 06/4/2012 8:59 am

As a location for a wedding in Guangzhou, there are few options more romantic than Xiao Man Yao, better known as Canton Tower. And if you’re willing to foot the pricey bill, you too can now hold your nuptials there. According to a report in the Southern Metropolis Daily, last weekend the tower held its first ever Wedding Exhibition, appropriately titled: “Happiness begins at Xiao Man Yao”. During the exhibition, organizers announced that for the low, low price of only 3888RMB-12888RMB per table, Chinese and Laowai alike can have the wedding of their dreams.

At the busy event, there were a variety of wedding themes and colours on display for the perusing couples: boisterous Chinese-style in red and white, elegant Western-style in Tiffany blue, or a mixture of both. The Manager of the Exhibition, Mr. Lei, argues that despite the steep price tag, couples are still getting a good deal: “Compared with five-star hotels in Guangzhou, the price is not expensive. Even lobster is included in a 4888RMB feast.”

For interested couples, Canton Tower offers no shortage of reception options. For the thrifty couple, there’s the exhibition hall, which can hold 45 tables, while the 900 square metre banquet hall can hold 30 tables. There are several more options for the more particular couple, such as the Lutece French restaurant on the 105th floor, the revolving restaurant on the 106th floor, or the rooftop terrace. Although the wedding packages may be pricey, Lei added that couples simply visiting the tower to take photographs won’t have to pay. It’s good to know that even amongst such opulence, there’s still a deal to be had.


Guangzhou people put protest to songs… er, approved ones, anyway

Posted: 06/2/2012 7:00 am

The "complaint choir"

The People’s Daily, the Community Party’s venerable broadsheet, has published a story on Guangzhou’s seemingly civil society.

The paper reports people in Guangzhou who are upset about certain things, like traffic congestion and long workdays, have banded together to sing about their concerns.  It’s being called a “complaint choir”, and they’ve been making the rounds of popular Guangzhou sites like the Canton Tower and Shamian Island.

While their vocals weren’t professional, the chorus’ appeal comes from its humorous and thought-provoking lyrics about issues nearly all residents can relate to.

Such lines include: “The leather shoe I threw away became a pill capsule in a jiffy.” The words express food and medicine safety concerns that arose after a China Central Television expose revealed some producers were illegally making medicine capsules with industrial gelatin extracted from leather waste.

The article says the 15 people – most of whom are students – just formed organically to voice their complaints.

It’s an interesting idea, but one wonders what would happen if Guangzhou people sang about non-government sanctioned subjects, such as the dilution of Cantonese culture in the city.  Would the People’s Daily have written a fawning article then?

We think not.

Still, it’s a start.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.



Sky Drop ride opens at Canton Tower

Posted: 01/20/2012 7:25 pm

As of Wednesday this week, Guangzhou’s Canton Tower is now home to the world’s tallest drop tower ride.

Plummeting 484 meters from its peak, the Sky Drop now holds the title of world’s tallest amusement ride, writes New Express, gaining the title from the Stratosphere’s Big Shot ride in Las Vegas, which tops out at 329 meters.

The ride opened January 18 and has two types of cars, a 6-seater and a 4-seater. 130 RMB will get you up the ride, or you can pay out 230 RMB for a ticket that also gets you up to the tower’s open-air observation deck 450 meters above ground level, as well as a ride around the Guangzhou Eye.

As for how popular this will turn out, one newlywed couple has already kicked things off by bringing their whole crew to the ride, going up themselves in full wedding drag:


New ride at top of Canton Tower gives spectacular views

Posted: 09/5/2011 9:44 am

Not for the weak-kneed

This story is by Nanfang Reporter Ellen Wang

A local newspaper published a story and photos last week from the newest attraction in Guangzhou. Here’s a translation of the article:

Ferris Wheel 450 meters high starts operation in Guangzhou

Guangzhou will embrace its own version of the “London Eye” today. Citizens and visitors in Guangzhou are now able to overlook the whole city at a height of 450 meters from every angle, thanks to a newly-built ferris wheel at the top of the Canton Tower, a landmark formerly known as Guangzhou TV and Sightseeing Tower.

The Canton Tower Ferris Wheel will start its trial operation on September 1 and be open to the public beginning at 5 pm. A single ticket is priced at RMB130. At the same time, with the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival approaching, the Canton Tower is giving a promotion package which includes food, souvenirs and a tour in the E district of the Canton Tower, costing RMB599 per person or RMB2999 per cabin.

As there is still some ongoing construction at the top of the Canton Tower, the ferris wheel will only be open from 5 pm to 10 pm during its trial operation.



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