Wuzhou has been an important port in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region since ancient times. Situated at the junction of three rivers¡ªXunjiang, Guijiang and Xijiang (West River), it became the gateway for river commerce from Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan to link up with Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau and the rest of the world. The city's historical role and its prosperous past earned it the name "Little Guangzhou", after the capital of Guangdong Province which itself is an important commercial and trading center in Southern China.
Remnants of Past Glory: If, after the 10-hour boat trip from Hong Kong, you roam the streets of Wuzhou, you may remember the Guangzhou in the past. There are buildings of both Chinese and Western architecture. The Shili (Five Kilometer) Embankment, which links the north bank of the West River and the east bank of the Guijiang River, reminds you of a similar embankment in Guangzhou. Another similarity between these cities is the existance of The Xinxi Hotel, which in Wuzhou is the oldest hotel in town.
Among the many restaurants lining the streets, you would again discover similarities to old Guangzhou. The building's façade, cuisine and decor differ little from those of Guangzhou. However, they are not complete reproductions of Guangzhou restaurants. Specialty local dishes are also on offer, most notably snake meat and other stewed dishes.
Having supper at one of the street food stalls serving local Wuzhou food is an exciting experience. For further adventure you can ride around town in a horse-drawn carriage. The clatter of hoofs accompanying a tour through the older neighborhoods will take you back in time.
A Major Water Passageway: Wuzhou is one of the oldest cities in Guangxi and was called Cangwu in ancient times, but since the Tang Dynasty (618-907) it has been known by its present name. Due to its location on a bay joining three rivers, Wuzhou is home to the second largest harbour-second only to Guangzhou-in the whole Pear River valley. Many overseas Chinese of Guangxi started their voyage out of China from Wuzhou.
If you stay at the Wuzhou Hotel by the banks of the West River, you should take the opportunity to use its roof garden for panoramic views of the city. In the early morning, you will hear the sound of ship horns breaking through the mist as the West River begins its day.
As the morning mist disperses, a magnificent view of Wuzhou is presented to you, The Xunjiang River in the southwest first meets the Guijiang River, which runs from north to south; then, together, the waters converge into the West River, surging eastward. The city of Wuzhou is divided into two by the Guijiang River. Its urban area is situated between the West River and three mountains-North Mountain, Guanyin Mountain and Baiyun (White Cloud) Mountain.