Take a Pearl River Cruise
By Viator, June 2013
At 1,376 miles (2,214 kilometers) long, the Pearl River is the longest river in Guangzhou and the third longest in China. It gets its name from a small, stone island polished from the passing current in the shape of a large pearl. While cruises along the stretch of river passing through Guangzhou are available throughout the day, the best sites come at night when the riverside promenade is lit up by Chinese lanterns and the city’s skyline seems to come to life. With many of the city’s most famous locales clustered along the banks of the Pearl River, a cruise is a great way to get an overview of the city.
Starting from the Night Goose Pool, cruise vessels make the one- to two-hour voyage past Xhuhai Square, the Aiqun Mansion and the colonial mansions of Shamian Island while passing beneath ten scenic bridges. The thin, hourglass-shaped Canton Tour with its 7,000 rainbow-colored LED lights makes for quite a sight, especially at night when the spiraling lights come to life.
Many of the ships cruising the river offer packages including a buffet dinner, but unless you want to spend your time aboard elbowing your way through a crowded buffet line, skip the dinner and head to the top deck with a camera in tow. If you opt out of the dinner option, bring along some snacks, as non-dining passengers are only served water, tea, biscuits or fruit at best. When planning your trip, keep in mind that cruise prices may go up and availability may be limited during the spring Lantern Festival and the summer Dragon Boat Festival.
Tours & Tickets
Location: Guangzhou, China
Duration: 3 hours