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Notes on the Geography of China: Guangzhou: Shamian: Photo 2

world pictures China: Guangzhou: Shamian

Here's the stream separating the island from the rest of the city. The embankment dates from 1859. Here's an early description, from An Official Guide to Eastern Asia (1915), published by the Imperial Japanese Government Railways. "Sha-meen, a low sandy island close to the city, was set apart as a foreign settlement quarter in 1859, and the British and French spent $320,000 (silver) in filling up the shoals around and making the place habitable. Sha-meen covers 44 acres (of which 4/5 belong to the British and 1/5 to the French); it is separated from the city by a narrow channel, which is bridged over at two places, one connecting it with Nam-kwan and the other with Sai-kwan. Towards the S. and S.E. Sha-meen faces the main current of the river and the two towns of Ho-nam and Wa-ti. The two bridges are closed after 10 o'clock at night as a precaution against the the entrance of thieves or rowdies. At the bund of Sha-meen no Chinese boats are allowed to moor. Sha-meen, with foreign consulates, banks, post-offices, trading firms, and hotels constitutes a distinct community by itself, while the river bank, shaded by luxuriant banyan-trees, affords a delightful walk, the like of which is found nowhere else in Canton." (v. 4, p. 344)

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