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Serenity in Madness: Shamian Island

Shamian Island is a beautiful piece of history and calm in the insanely busy Guangzhou.

Another whirlwind business trip brought me to China once again, this time in the busy city of Guangzhou. Famed as one of the up and coming cities after Beijing and Shanghai, Guangzhou is loud, busy and bustling with life. I knew immediately that I wanted a bit of peace and quiet in the loud place so I jumped at the chance to stay at the lovely Shamian Island.

Shamian Island, or Shamin Island, is a small sand bank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou. The island’s name means ‘sandy surface’ and it was once divided into two areas as concessions given to the United Kingdom and France in the 19th Century, during the Qing dynasty. The beautiful tree-lined streets, and colonial European architecture are reminiscent of a bygone era.

The island has a few hotels, restaurants, small eateries and tourist shops selling souvenirs. The island is considered an upmarket residential area inhabited by the affluent upper class. Aside from the hotels and shops, there is also an elementary school and a park for the locals to exercise and relax at.

I loved the feeling of waking up and opening my window to the beautiful colonial style buildings, and the serenity of Shamian island. It’s the perfect escape from the craziness of Guangzhou city.


I'm Wenlin, a 500hrs Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance USA & Yoga Therapist based in Turin, Italy. I have taught for corporates, resorts and festivals across Asia and Europe, and specialise in Aqua Yoga for Arthritis, Yoga Therapy for Back Pain and Qigong Fusion Flow, a flow I created that blends Qigong with Vinyasa Yoga.

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