Located on the coast of Southern China, Zhuhai offers visitors a laid back environment, sightseeing and a relaxing coastal escape. Zhuhai is quite popular with domestic holidaymakers, offering a nearby escape for residents of Southern regions, and also offering great value for those living in Macao, and even Hong Kong, who want to stretch there dollar further.
Outside of public holiday periods and weekends, Zhuhai offers a lot more value when it comes to accommodation, services and eating out in comparison to that found in Hong Kong or Macao, albeit the three destinations offering vastly different experiences.
The city has a few attractions, but it’s most popular for it’s relaxing coastal lifestyle, islands and vibrant nightlife.
Sights to see include the famed Fisher Girl Statue, Zhuhai City Museum, New Yuanming Palace (a recreation of the Summer Palace in Beijing), Mao’s old plane at Jida, Lianhua Road for shopping during the day and bars at night, and the massive underground shopping mall right at the Gonbei Port. Outside of the city there is also a temple and large resort, two things I hope to catch on my next visit to the area.
On a beautiful clear day, not to be missed is the simple relaxation of walking along the coastal road, referred to as ‘lovers road’ to take in the views of the outlying islands. Bus number 99 runs along this lengthy stretch of coast and can take you to the Fisher Girl statue. Theres no much to do at the statue, but it’s a seemingly popular place to hang out and take photos. For another escape from the hustle of the city head inland and try Bailiandong Park (aka White Lotus Cave Park) which offers peaceful gardens, lake, temples and walking tracks around the small mountain.
As a tourist the three main areas of interest are Gongbei, Jida and Xiangzhou. At Gongbei is the border crossing to Macau, the large underground shopping mall and the shopping street/bar street Linhua Lu. At Jida there’s the Jiuzhou Port, Jiuzhou City (shopping), Zhuahai Museum, Lovers Road, Fisher Girl Statue and more. I didn’t explore Xiangzhou this time round.
The Zhuhai Museum is an area that’s been getting a big facelift. Across from the museum is the Guomao (International Trade) Shopping Center which features many western name restaurants and coffee houses. In the redevelopment a Marriott Hotel will open here in 2013 (Renaissance Zhuhai Hotel). The museum features local history plus ceramics, jade, bronze works and much more.
Coming from Shenzhen, the ferry arrives at Jiuzhou Port from where you can catch a free bus to Gongbei bus station near to the Gongbei port. To find the free bus walk past the ferry ticket desk to the bus ticket desk and show your ferry ticket.
As for getting around I made regular use of the number 1 bus, 2 bus for travelling short trips up and down Ying Bin Nan Lu. Both of these buses run up and down Ying Bin Nan Lu from Gongbei Port, when they reach Jiu Zhou Da Dao the 1 bus goes left towards New Yuanming Palace and 2 bus goes right towards Jida. For heading up and down the coast road from Gongbei, Lovers Road, to Jida Beach, Ma Zedong’s old plane and Fisher Girl statue, the 99 bus was perfect. The buses are fixed fare, so you just put 2 RMB in the slot as you get on at the front of the bus and get off at whichever stop you like.
The first hotel I stayed in was the Overseas Chinese Hotel, a 15 minute walk from Gongbei Port and conveniently located next to a bus stop where you can catch the number 1 or number two tourist buses. The hotel is most certainly ageing, but it serves it’s purpose. The bed is clean, comfortable, it even had a bath tub and the room was reasonably quite. What makes the place worthy is the the staff at the front desk, surprisingly they all spoke some level of english.
I also stayed at the Starway Hotel Silver Zhuhai in Jida, again very reasonably priced and quite new. Extremely comfortable bed with soft pillows and overall very clean hotel. It also had a breakfast buffet which which included noodles, dumplings, buns etc. plus coffee, toast and jam. Staff at the front desk there spoke English too.
Map featuring Zhuhai Hotels