Lychee Bay or Litchi Bay (simplified Chinese: 荔枝湾; traditional Chinese: 荔枝灣; pinyin: Lìzhī Wān), a set of creeks and lakes that flow southwest to Pearl River, is a tourist attraction in Guangzhou (Canton), Guangdong. Liwan District, where Lychee Bay is located, was named after it. There are many historical relics and historical architectures in Lychee Bay, such as Wenta and Xiguan House. Various cultural activities are held on Lychee Bay, such as the competition of Cantonese opera.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Tourist attractions
- 4 Food
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Lychee Bay is located in Xiguan, Liwan District, Guangzhou. In the past, it usually referred to a large area from Sima Creek (驷马涌) to Huangsha (黄沙). It is a drainage system composed of several creeks, including Xiguan and Liwan Creeks, flowing into the Pearl River. This is called the old Lychee Bay (旧荔枝湾) now. In a modern context, Lychee Bay usually refers to the segment of Xiguan Creek from Pantong (泮塘) to the Pearl River, which is part of the old Lychee Bay.
The origin of Lychee Bay
Lychee Bay's history dates back to 2200 years ago. In 206 BC, Han emperor asked his subordinate, Lu Jia, to come to Guangzhou in order to surrender. After he did so, Lu Jia settled in Xicun, a small village in Guangzhou. He planted vegetables and flowers. Gradually, people started to call this place "Lychee Bay."
The rise of Lychee Bay
In Tang dynasty, people started to build the famous garden "Liyuan" (荔园). In Nanhan dynasty, there has been many gardens like "Fanghuayuan" (芳华苑), "Hualinyuan" (华林园) and "Changhuayuan" (昌华苑). And, it became imperial garden. In Yuan dynasty, there has been lemon gardens. In Ming dynasty, Lychee Bay became a tourist attraction for ordinary people. Besides, it became one of the eight most famous attractions in Guangzhou. In Qing dynasty, Lychee Bay became more famous.
The decay of Lychee Bay
In 1940s, Lychee Bay became a habitation for vegetable growers and poor people because of the rapid development of urbanization in Guangzhou city. In order to expand the city area and build more houses, the citizens cut the trees down. At the same time, Xicun became the industrial base of Guangzhou city. It polluted the river, and the water quality got worse and worse.
The disappearance of Lychee Bay
In 1950s, there were still water channels, but every branch of these water channels was filled with earth. With the establishment of factories in Guangzhou, the water system of Lychee Bay had become a cesspool. In 1980s, more and more water channels were filled. In 1992, the last water channel—from Panxi Restaurant (泮溪酒家) to Fengyuan Bridge (逢源桥) was filled. Lychee Bay disappeared.
The reappearance of Lychee Bay
In 1999, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference raised a proposal about rebuilding Lychee Bay. In 2009, this proposal was finally put into effect because of the Asian Games. On October 16, 2010, water was imported into the river, Lychee Bay had a new born.
Leung Ancestral Hall
Leung Ancestral Hall (梁家祠) is on 34 Liangjiaci Street. This architecture is orientated north and south，which is filled with Lingnan flavor.
Saikwan Mansion (西关大屋) can be represented the traditional culture of Guangzhou. This architecture was first appeared in Qing dynasty, which was for the rich and powerful people. Nowadays, most of them are used for tourism. However, some of them are still used for people to live. There are three features about Xiguan House, brick-wood structure, Tanglong door and Manzhou window.
Located in Longjing Road West, Guangzhou, Renwei Temple (仁威庙) is about 2200 square meters. This temple is specially used for worshiping Zhenwu Emperor (真武帝) and Taoism. Renwei Temple was built in 1052. It is also famous for its decorations, such as wood carving，stone carving and brick carving.
Wen Tower (文塔) is also called Wenbita (文笔塔), Wenchangta (文昌塔), it is located in Lychee Bay. No one knows when did it being built. However, according to its architecture style, it was built in Qing dynasty. Wenta is brick-wood structure，and it is 13 meters high with 2 floors.
People can take electric ships to visit around Lychee Bay.
The price of tickets. Child: 50 RMB. Adult: 100 RMB. Older: 75 RMB.
This kind of cruise ships concludes visiting around Lychee Bay by ship, feeling the flavor of Xiguan and explanation from the guide. This tour is around 50 minutes.
There are many Lingnan foods in Lychee Bay. A lot of people go there and taste traditional Guangzhou food.
Beef offal is famous in Guangzhou. It is not only made by beef, it also has radishes and Chinese medicines. There are many flavours of beef offal, and in Guangzhou, beef offal is salty and spicy. Beef offal has protein which is good for health. However, people should not eat too much at one time. In Lychee Bay, many people would cup a bowl of beef offal.
Water chestnut cake
Water chestnut cake is one of the traditional desserts in Guangdong province and south Fujian, which is canary yellow, translucent and good taste. There are many kinds of water chestnut cake, such as coconut-water chestnut cake and hawthorn-water chestnut cake.
Pickle radish tastes sweet and sour, which is appetizing food. In China, most people think that pickled radish should be with pepper because it can make it has more flavor. However, in Lychee Bay, no one put pepper into pickle radish.