Example Cultural Experiences
Shamian Island, previous known as Zhongliusha or Shicuizhou, is an elliptic sandbar in the Liwan District of Guangzhou City. The island's name literally means "sandy surface" in Chinese.
Shamian Island is a great place for a stroll. Being only 900m long from east to west and 300m from south to north, the island’s traffic control results in a completely different atmosphere and pace of living. The island also boasts colourful 18th century European and American architecture, with a Chinese twang. Head down the broad boulevards, like long garden topiaries, and be sure to grab a coffee in one of the bars or cafes on the southwest side for a great view over the Pearl River.
History: The Island has great historic significance. From the Song and the Qing Dynasties, it served as an important port for Guangzhou's foreign trade, and then become a strategic point for city defense during the second Opium Wars (1856-1860).
As one the manufacturing centres of China, Guangzhou boasts a variety of wholesale and shopping markets. No trip would be complete without a visit to one or a few of these. For example:
- Guangzhou Baiyun World Leather Trading Centre - Guangzhou’s largest leather product district.
- Guangzhou Metropolis Shoes City - the largest footwear “one-stop to buy ” wholesale market in the Pearl River Delta.
- Guangzhou Jade Market- (Jade is greatly valued in China, and has been throughout history. It represents ancient wisdom and beauty, it is also said to have healing and protective powers. Located on Xiajiu Rd, the market covers an area of about 10,000 sqm. Most of Guangzhou’s jade traders are here, selling everything from rings, bracelets and pendants for under 100 yuan, right up to amazing sculptures costing tens of thousands.
You can spend several days in the above areas, browsing through all the different buildings and side streets.
Example Site Visits
RAFFLES DESIGN INSTITUTE
Founded in 2002, Raffles Design Institute in Guangzhou is an extension of the wider RafflesEducationCorp Singapore and its outstanding education resources. The institute is the first full-time higher education institute in Guangdong that conducts business and design programmes in English.
The design institute offer students the unique ability to immerse themselves comfortably in the Chinese fashion and design culture, while enjoying the familiarity of using English. Many of the schools graduates go on to enjoy successful career opportunities at internationally-renowned establishments like: Nike, Adidas, HP, Wrigley and Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL).
Itinerary: The visit will include a half-day outing to Raffles Design Institute; where the group will be given a private tour of the facilities by the institute’s Academic Director, followed by a customised workshop and/or lecture.
INDUSTRY TOUR OF ZHONGDA FABRIC MARKET
With over 4,000 vendors, Zhongda Fabric Market is Guangzhou’s largest fabric wholesale market and one of the biggest in China.
This is where designers, production houses and factories go to source new, innovative fabrics.
From the moment you step out the metro, you are faced with an abundance of fabric, accessories, laces and glitter sellers – all crammed into large and small markets. Many are located in old multi storey buildings, filled with a maze of walkways and hundreds of shops on each floor.
Itinerary: The visit will include a walking tour through the fabric market with your host, a designer from Guangzhou. Your host will help you navigate the over 4,000 vendors, explaining the process behind sourcing the best materials and a fabric markets role in the end to end fashion retail process.
Guangdong Province is China’s most famous factory area. Hosting a range of manufacturers, one can basically manufacture any product within the province limits.
Increasing government regulations have caused the cities of Guangdong province to develop clusters of factories, with each area focusing on manufacturing products for a particular industry. For example, Foshan specializes in furniture and housewares, Shenzhen specializes in tech hardware products and Guangzhou has 4 main specialties - textiles, petrochemicals, electronics and automobile manufacturing.
Itinerary: A full day tour will include factory visits in Foshan and Guangzhou. The day will being with an apparel factory tour, during which the group will be shown the full production process – from cutting, to stitching, tailoring, finishing, packaging and the showroom of final products.
The group will then enjoy a local Chinese lunch.
After lunch, the group will visit a bag factory and be shown a paint by numbers process of how a bag is made.