Foshan, located in south central Guangdong Province, is a major part of the heavily-populated Pearl River Delta area and a major hub of South China’s history. West of Guangzhou, it’s the westernmost large city of the Pearl River Delta megalopolis and neighbors Hong Kong and Macau in the south. HK is separated from Foshan by Dongguan and Shenzhen; Macau is separated from Foshan by Zhongshan, and Zhuhai.
Features of Foshan
- Hometown of martial arts: Many Kung Fu masters are from Foshan, such as Yip Man and Wong Fei Hung.
- Profound culture: Foshan is the birthplace of Guangfu (Pearl River Delta area) culture, which is one of the three important cultures in Guangdong along with Chaoshan culture and Hakka culture.
- Foodies’ paradise: Shunde, a district of Foshan, has been awarded the title of "City of Gastronomy" by UNESCO. Only three cities in China have been awarded the title.
- First national city of lion dance and dragon boat: Foshan is the birthplace of lion dancing in southern area. Its dragon boat race also enjoys a national reputation for its wonderfulness.
- Lingnan architecture: Foshan retains many characteristic examples of Lingnan (‘medieval South China’) architecture.
7 Top Things to Do in Foshan
Foshan provides various attractions and activities for visitors from historic temples to exquisite gardens, from interesting cultural experiences to tasty food explorations.
1. Visit Ancestor Temple — "Palace of Oriental Folk Art"
Ancestor Temple is a Taoist temple, but it’s more like a museum of architecture and folk culture.
It displays the excellent architectural art of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) dynasties. The ingenious architectural decorations include wood carvings, brick carvings, stone carvings, pottery sculptures, and lime sculptures.
It also shows the rich folk culture of Foshan. There you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a kung fu show, lion dancing, and Cantonese opera. On site, there are the Confucian Temple, Huang Feihong Memorial Hall, and Yip Man Hall where you could explore the roots of Foshan’s culture.
2. See Ancient Buildings in Lingnan Tiandi
Lingnan Tiandi (‘South China Land’) is a cluster of exquisite Lingnan-style architecture areas. There are 22 cultural relic protection sites, 128 historical buildings, and 8 historical lanes and streets.
You will see Lingnan-style constructions such as arcades, green brick houses, and stone roads. Each building is a witness to the history of the city. Some of the buildings have been rented by galleries, cafés, bars, eateries, handicraft shops…
It's a good place to stroll or just to do people watching. Do take time to walk around the many alleys and by-lanes and do some window shopping at the galleries and handicraft outlets. The vibe there is similar to Xintiandi in Shanghai.
3. Visit Ancient Nanfeng Kiln — Origin of Foshan’s Pottery Art
Medieval Nanfeng Kiln was built in the Ming Dynasty. It is the oldest and best-preserved kiln that has been used continuously to this day in the world. It was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2002, as it has been producing ceramics for more than five hundred years.
The original working place for making pottery is retained there. You could visit the Shiwan Ceramic Museum and make your own pottery.
4. Explore Beautiful Liang Garden
Liang Garden is one of the best representations of Lingnan Garden art of the Qing Dynasty along with Qinghui Garden in Shunde, Yu Yam Ancestral Garden in Guangzhou, and Ke Garden in Dongguan.
Liang Garden features a delicate layout, complex residence buildings, ancestral halls, and diverse parks landscaped in the Lingnan style.
5. Learn Kung Fu with a Local Master
From the early Ming Dynasty (the 14th and 15th centuries), martial arts were popular in Foshan. By the turn of the Qing and Republican periods (1912), Foshan had numerous martial arts genres.
A number of internationally influential martial artists and martial arts organizations emerged. Many world-famous styles such as Choy Lee Fut, Hung Ga, and Wing Chun are rooted in Foshan.
Many of the inheritors of these schools have opened martial arts schools in Foshan. If you are interested in Chinese kung fu, we can arrange an authentic experience for you.
6. Discover Shunde — and Satisfy Your Taste Buds
“Guangzhou is the gathering place of Cantonese cuisine, while Shunde is the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine.” — a Guangdong saying
The 600-meter Huagai Road Pedestrian Street is where many authentic snacks and dishes can be found. Its small roadside restaurants will surprise you with their tasty excellence.
Apart from enjoying the food, you could visit Qinghui Garden, a classic Chinese garden and enjoy some quiet time in Fengjian Water Town.
7. Enjoy Bruce Lee Culture
For Bruce Lee fans, there’s the Bruce Lee (Li Xiaolong) Ancestral Home in the south of Shunde District. It was Li Xiaolong’s grandfather’s house, where Bruce’s father lived growing up, and Bruce lived only briefly during his childhood.
It’s next to Bruce Lee (Li Xiaolong) Park, which has a huge statue of the martial artist and nice hilly and watery scenery for a city escape.
Best Times to Visit Foshan
Foshan has a pleasant climate and is suitable to be visited all the year round except for typhoon days in summer. The best times to visit Foshan is from September to April, when it’s not so hot or stormy.
- Spring will be warm and wet. Average temperatures are about 21–27°C (70–80°F).
- There are occasional typhoons in summer. August is the hottest month reaching 26–33°C (85–92°F) on average daily.
- Autumn in Foshan is short with dry and comfortable weather.
- Foshan’s winter is mild. You could feel a strong flavor of the Spring Festival and experience traditional celebrations if you at visit that time.
How to Get to Foshan
By plane: Foshan has a small airport — Foshan Shadi Airport. It is about 30 minutes’ drive from the downtown area with a few flights from Beijing, Shanghai, a few other less-well-known cities in China. It would be better to fly in to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, about 40 km (25 miles) north of central Foshan.
By bullet train: Bullet trains from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Guiyang, and Guilin to Foshan West Railway Station are recommended.
By Metro: Guangzhou has opened the Guangfo Intercity Metro Line, which connects Guangzhou downtown and Foshan with a half-hour ride.
From Hong Kong to Foshan, there are long-distance buses taking about 3½ hours. You could also transfer in Guangzhou or Shenzhen for trains etc. to Foshan.
Getting to Shunde
You could take buses or a taxi from central Foshan to Shunde District. The journey is about 1 hour by taxi.
The intercity bullet train from Guangzhou South to Shunde takes about 10 minutes!
Plan a Trip to Foshan with Us
It will need at least two days to explore Foshan and Shunde. Contact us if you are planning a Foshan trip. We can expertly create a trip for you based on your group size, time, budget, interests, preferences, and other requirements.