Xiangshan a county established back in the year 1152 A.D was renamed to Zhongshan in 1925 paying homage to one of the greatest leaders of China’s republican revolution, Dr. Sun Yat-sen also known as Dr. Sun Zhongshan. Having a blooming population of above 1.4 million people, the city is one of the major attractions in the Pearl River Delta. It lies in close vicinity to Hong Kong, Macau and another tourist attraction of the delta, the city of Zhuhai, making the geographical region a hub for Chinese tourism market.
It is an impressive fact that the city that was crowned as a sister city to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1997 did not exist as a dry land before the 2nd millennium B.C after which it emerged from the sea along with the majority of South-eastern China. It inherits the typical tropical humid weather which is in a contrast to what most of the west faces -many of the tourists who visit Zhongshan are westerners. Once you are there, you will be welcomed by a typical feeling of an underdeveloped oriental city that has experienced steep changes in the past few years.
Filled with mesmerizing landscapes typical of a delta Zhongshan has an air of peace to it. With various parks as evidence of the aforementioned, it surely does justice to its second former name; Heing-San which literally means fragrant mountain. The spacious boulevards and impressive monuments that fill up this prefecture level city do justice to the reputation it has.
One of the most visit-worthy boulevards would be the Sunwen Lu West which is specifically popular for the aura created by its lit shops at dusk –try going for a walk between its restored markets that smell of the 1920’s. Included in those buildings is the seven story tall Fufeng Pagoda built more than four centuries ago. Apart from the fact that the structure itself is a breathtaking piece of architecture; it lets you look over the whole of the city from the top story! If you are a bit more interested in history than that; you will certainly have a good time at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall that pays tribute to the Zhongshan. Apart from exhibits regarding his role in the revolution, it has some of the most exquisite artifacts dating as back as the Neolithic ages!
Tired of all the ramblings about history? Have ago at the Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club, the first golf club of China! But that is not everything; the golf club is accompanied by the Zhongshan Hot Spring Resort that tourist love for a leisure time. Tired of cruising around the city, a cozy time between spas, outdoor bathing, swimming pools, Chinese and western cuisines and some of the most cozy guest rooms can surely soothe your nerves.
Other than that, spare some time for a visit to the Jin Ju City; also known as the Xiolan Town –that is if you are interested in garden pavilions and would like to be inspired by breathtaking plantations gardened professionally on virtually everything from roofs, balconies, streets and lanes –and this goes literally. And if you’d prefer a hike in your heartbeat, try the Happy Valley where tons of roller coasters await you. The Monte Carlo Racetrack, Hidden Anaconda or the exhilarating and probably the most impressive ride at the resort; the Dauling Dragon all would be a treat for you and your family. It is a scenic spot that has something for everyone ranging from entertainment, gyms, conference halls, natural attractions and of course the aforementioned roller coasters!
Once you are well into the city of Zhongshan, make sure that you get well acquainted with the locally famous Black Hill; one of the local celebrity mountains through it is not really known in the outer world. The Black Hill, known as the Five Shan peak stands at a mere 531 meters above sea level but is regarded honorably for the natural beauty that it has. It sits near the Five Ridges Xiqiao Mountain which is comparatively more known internationally, but that is for another article. The signature marks of the Black Hill that any nature lover would date are the rock formations and the scattered rocks which give it a sublime look. But that is not all; even the awe-inspiringly different feathered birds that regard the hill as their home give it the feeling of being different from its surroundings. The natural beauty of Five Shan Peak can be directly attributed to its two gardens; the bigger one being more popular, whereas the smaller one might give you a walk alone if your timing is right and your luck in the right place.
A few words cannot do justice to the compelling natural beauty of Zhongshan’s surroundings, the scenic charm of its riverside townships can only be experienced rather than described -a must visit for western and oriental tourists alike!