What is Foshan?
Foshan is an ancient tier 2/3 city in Guangdong province, that is connected by subway to Guangzhou. It “only” has 7.2 million people, BUT is 4 times the size of Guangzhou (20 million people). Foshan is the most spread out city I have ever been to in China, and the first where a car is a necessity.
It is part of the Pearl River Delta Project. Probably the scariest super city project in the world, that will also include Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau, and Guangzhou. It will also include Dongguan, which is nice. That’s like 200 million people, or something more.
Getting to Foshan
The nearest airport is Guangzhou Baiyun, from where you can get a bus. Train wise it is connected to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Guangxi province. It is also connected to Hong Kong by the new super train. A business seat for this one hour journey will set you back a whopping $120.
Getting around Foshan
They got busses and stuff, but in reality, you will need to take a taxi everywhere. Taxis in Foshan are cheap enough by international and Chinese standards.
That being said the city is so spread out that you will ideally either need your own vehicle, a driver, or the ability to use DiDi (Chinese Uber).
Is there anything to see in Foshan?
Apparently, there’s a shit ton to do in Foshan, who knew!
• Shende – This is an old style town with temples, street food, hawkers, and everything a tourist could want! Apparently, it also has the best food in the whole of China. From what I tried it has to be in with a shout.
• Bruce Lee Park – There’s a massive park that is allegedly the ancestral home of a legendary singer of Kung Fu Fighting, Bruce Lee. The park is massive! There are man made lakes, food, drinks, boats, and lots of Bruce Lee type stuff.
• Amusement park – I wish I had the name of the free amusement park in Foshan, but it was free, next to the river, and pretty damned cool.
• Leisure in general! There seem to be parks, malls, bars, restaurants, water parks, and all manner of fun everywhere. I never have seen a Chinese city quite like Foshan in this respect.
Sleeping in Foshan
Hotels are cheap as hell in Foshan, a decent 4 star might be as little as $30, whilst the Hilton can be as little as $60. Yeah baby!!! Stay at the Hilton when you visit Foshan. Otherwise, you could get 3 star for under 20 bucks.
Where to eat in Foshan?
If you’re staying at the Hilton that is food fixed! Aside from that Foshan has great street food everywhere, and the restaurants serve Cantonese fare, by far the best cuisine in China (in my humble opinion).
In fact, there is a saying in China that Guangdong has the best food in China, and that Shende (which is part of Foshan) is the best of the best. The restaurant I went to would attest to this. River fish Cantonese sashimi seems to be the specialty.
Where to drink in Foshan
They got a bar street called JiuBaJie (literally bar street), all the usual crap loud Chinese bars you cannot avoid. There’s also a whole riverside of cool bars, and restaurants with great views, and 6 nightclubs I did not visit.
I did though have a wild night with my local friends in a KTV (Karaoke) bar. Beers, bad singing, and pretty girls. You cannot beat that.
To summarize on Foshan!
Foshan really surprised me, I had half expected a dime-store Guangzhou, but it had so much more. Firstly it is huge, and full of contradictions. One minute there is a paddy-field (in the city), and next, you have skyscrapers.
From our point of view at Pioneer Media Foshan offers some great location filming opportunities, and we were to find out experienced crew that are ready to go.
And there’s the food! I went Cantonese sashimi crazy whilst I was here, and Shende lived up to its reputation as having some of the best food in China. I also, amusingly though also ended up having one Wallace Fried Chicken, which did amuse me.
But the best thing about Foshan? The age of the city makes it a great change from Shenzhen, it has more flavor than Dongguan, and Cantonese people are great. Can’t say better than that.