Getting tired of the hustles and bustles of the metropolis and famous tourism cities? How about switch your focal point to a second tier city without too much tourist attentions for a change. Zhongshan, a city located in the Pearl River Delta region in Canton, is one of the typical second tier cities in China. It is known by Chinese people as the hometown of Sun Zhongshan (or Sun Yat-sen), the father of China who started the Xinhai revolution, which ends the two-thousand-year monarchy in China. Zhongshan changed its former name Xiangshan to its current name in 1925, to memorize Mr. Sun.
Wugui Mountain is the only mountain system in Zhongshan. It is a great place for leisure and tourism activities. Combining a variety of vegetation, sizzling streams, and rocks in an infinite array of shapes, Wugui Mountain has the garden-like scenes that will relish your visit. Zhongshan Leisure Valley is established on that Mountain. It is a comprehensive natural resort serving the purposes of holiday, health, entertainment, leisure and business meeting. The Leisure Valley managed to preserve most of the natural beauties of Wugui Mountain. More than 600 different kinds of evergreen seasonal rain forest plants can be found there. It is nothing less than a natural plant museum. The locals see there as a summer getaway destination. The annual average temperature of the valley is 5 to 6 degree Celsius lower than that of the downtown. A variety of activities is available here: barbecue, pinball war games, massage and spa, hiking, archery, tea tasting etc.
When it comes to cultural landscapes, if you are bored by the ancient towns or vintage streets in China, maybe a completely artificial studio town will stir some excitements. Zhongshan studio town is a movie shooting base but it also serves as a tourism attraction. Taking an area of 200,000 square meters, the town is divided into four parts: Chinese district, Japanese district, British district, and American district. There are 63 spots in total. And many of them were originally dedicated to depict the story of Mr. Sun. To have a walk inside this studio town, it might makes you feel like you are strolling through a time travelling tunnel, back to the time when Mr. Sun took refuge in Japan, when Nationalist party was found in Nanjing China. Nearly one hundred Chinese domestic movies have taken shots here. The staged authenticities may give you a new perspective of Chinese modern history.
If you don’t mind venturing far for great food, then the small town Dongsheng situated in the north west of Zhongshan is a must-go. Dongsheng is famous for crisped grass carp. Although Dongsheng is very remote and not so developed, every year tens of thousands of gourmets swarm in for a taste of the best crisped grass carps. More than 6 square kilometers of plants provide you healthy, fresh carps and several well-known restaurants will cater you with a diversity of crisped grass carp themed cuisines.
Zhongshan as a second tier city lacks the diversities which you found in Chinese metropolis. But it contains a more genuine Cantonese culture. One thing should be notice: you might found yourself constantly being stared at by the locals as they haven’t got used to foreigners yet.