The Haizhu Square is located in the Haizhu district of Guangzhou, which is one of the older areas of the city. It’s a very busy part of town where you’ll find lots of people swarming the streets, transporting large amounts of boxes by truck, bike, scooter, car and even on foot. There are many great things to do around this area if you know where to go. In this post I’ve listed 5 of those things.
A lot of tourists go to the Haizhu Square area to take care of their visa issues at the Entry and Exit Administration bureau, also called the Public Security Bureau. They don’t always take the time to check out the area though, which is a missed opportunity.
I’ve been living in this area for 2 months now so I’m getting more and more familiarized around here. If you ever go to Haizhu Square, do yourself a favor and do one or more of the following things.
If there’s a birthday coming up but you don’t know what kind of present to give, Onelink International Plaza probably has the solution for you. It’s a 6 floor shopping mall with very special items for sale that you won’t easily find somewhere else. There are many wholesale stores in here but most of them sell small quantities too. Onelink is very popular with foreigners doing business and tourists that want to go back home with a couple of unique souvenirs.
It would be close to impossible to name all the items that are for sale here but some of the more prominent ones are: garden fountains, all kinds of clocks, vases, lamps, electronic jukeboxes and many trendy home decorating items. They are mostly being sold for wholesale prices so it would be very difficult to find a better price somewhere else.
Because I live near the Onelink Plaza building and walk past it almost daily, I’ve visited the place many times but still keep discovering new items. There are items in here that I didn’t even know existed. You can spend a couple of hours here just being surprised by the wide variety of products and it’s a great place to spend a boring Sunday afternoon.
The Pearl River is only a 5 minute walk from Haizhu Square and there’s a lot going on at the riverside. There’s a walkway next to the river that goes on for miles, which makes for a relaxing walk. This street is called Yanjiang Zhonglu and it’s home to one of the big nightlife areas of Guangzhou, with many clubs and bars and a variety of restaurants.
There are a couple of docks where you can buy tickets for a boat trip on the Pearl River. Most of these sightseeing boats have a restaurant on board. They will go up and down the Pearl River for about an hour and show a different side of the city where all of the bridges are beautifully lit and some of the skyscrapers have a light show going on.
Just one metro stop away from Haizhu Square, or a 10 minute walk, is Beijing Lu (Beijing Road). This is probably the busiest but definitely the oldest shopping street in Guangzhou. There are many clothing shops, most of them being large chain stores. It’s possible to get cheap deals here but you have to shop around for it a little and you definitely need to haggle.
Like all busy streets, there are always some people harassing you. Once you enter Beijing Lu, especially being a foreigner, people will offer you all kinds of crap that is mostly fake. Those people can be handled best by just ignoring them.
When you’ve had enough of the shopping craziness around here, you can visit a temple in this area. It’s in one of the side streets of Beijing Lu, called Huifu Donglu and it’s a good place to relax. You can burn some incense or just enjoy the architecture of an old Chinese temple.
Anyone who loves shopping for shoes will feel right at home around Haizhu Square. There are several shopping malls grouped together here, which consist of shoe stores only. Many of the shoes are cheaper then 100 RMB here. They have sport shoes, working shoes, boots, children’s shoes, sandals, men’s shoes, high heel pumps and everything in between. I have never seen this many shoes in one place before.
The shoe market is very big in the Guangdong province, which Guangzhou is a part of. For example, factories in Guangdong produce around 6 billion pairs of shoes in a year, which amounts to 60% of the total world output of shoes. This explains why there is an abundance of shoe wholesalers in this area. Most of the shopping malls are a bit older and it’s an experience in itself to walk around in this maze of shoes.
People are driving on and off with large amounts of shoe boxes all day long and probably every type of shoe imaginable, is for sale here. If you can’t find a pair of shoes to your liking in this area, you will not succeed in any shoe store anywhere in the world.
When you walk out of the metro station of Haizhu Square, the first thing you will see is a McDonald’s restaurant. Even though it can be tempting to go here, the wide variety of Chinese restaurants would be a much better choice.
You will also get lots of food offered to you on the streets. Some of this food tastes very good and it’s priced extremely cheap. The type of food that street vendors offer, varies from wraps filled with vegetables to chicken meat on a stick or even duck heads.
A very good option for food are the restaurants around Beijing Lu. If you go into any of Beijing Lu’s side streets, you won’t have trouble finding a cheap restaurant. There are a lot of them when you enter the first side street to the left, which is called Huifu Donglu. This is also where the temple is located. Many of the restaurants here are catered to foreigners but they still offer very cheap meals.
I have made a more detailed post about my favourite places to eat around Haizhu Square, which can be found here.
If you’re ever in the neighborhood of Haizhu Square, it would be a shame not to enjoy all it has to offer. It is a very lively area where you can experience the original and authentic Guangzhou. After 2 months of living in the area, I still discover new things here on a daily basis.