Daytripper: Foshan's Posh-Trad Village

By Rakini Bergundy, July 5, 2024

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Shanghai's Xintiandi is a spectacular area to lose a few hours or days when in the Paris of the East. 

Located within what was historically the French Concession, the area is a dreamy blend of eastern and western styles of architecture which give it the eclectic elegance that makes Shanghai such a magical place. 

Guangzhou saw this and answered. 

In fact, it was our first visit to Foshan's Lingnan Tiandi that made us reconsider our opinion that Foshan was just a suburb of the Guangdong capital. 

Situated in the heart of Foshan's Chancheng District, Foshan Lingnan Tiandi is a vibrant mixed-use development that beautifully merges traditional Lingnan architecture with contemporary urban design.

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Foshan Lingnan Tiandi is a labyrinth of picturesque Lingnan alleyways. Image via That's

Since its phased opening, with the first two phases already attracting throngs of visitors, Lingnan Tiandi has become a celebrated example of how historical preservation can coexist with modern retail and lifestyle amenities. 

Covering an impressive area of 143,000 square meters, the development is not only a residential and commercial hub but also a cultural and entertainment destination.

xiqiao-cave.jpgNearby Xiqiao Mountain has a number of very impressive caves. Image via That's

Foshan has more to offer than just shopping and eating. 

Nearby Xiqiao Mountain is a very manageable day hike with a multitude of wild pathways and impressive caves to explore. 

Guanshandu(关山肚) is a quarry that has filled from beneath with natural springwater and also makes for a beautiful hike or a spot to plop a folding chair into the remarkably clean water and have a picnic.

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Guanshandu is a great spot for a picnic. Image via @一隻小肥猪/小红书

A six-minute drive from Lingnan Tiandi is Xianxing bookstore - a cute and extremely wanghong place to curl up in a corner with a lemon tea and a magazine. 

For those willing to venture a bit deeper into Shunde, consider shadowboxing at Bruce Lee's ancestral home or reciting poetry under a pavillion at the Qinghui traditional garden.

xianshan-bookstore.jpg

Image via @黄公子ces't la vie/小红书

GETTING THERE

Traveling to Foshan Lingnan Tiandi from central Guangzhou is straightforward via the Guangzhou-Foshan metro line. 

Take Line 3 southbound towards Panyu. Then, switch to the Guangfo line at Lijiao Station (沥滘站) and ride it directly to Zumiao Station. 

From Zumiao, Foshan Lingnan Tiandi is just around the corner.

STAY

Cordis Foshan

Nestled at the corner of Lingnan Tiandi, the hotel is strategically placed to offer guests a blend of upscale hospitality right at the heart of this vibrant pedestrian shopping area. 

Opened in April 2024 by Langham Hospitality Group, this is the ideal place to stay and experience the best of Foshan.

Cordis-2.jpgCordis Foshan opened in April 2024. Image via Langham Hospitality Group

With 390 spacious rooms and suites with private balconies, we highly recommend a room that looks out over the bustling traditional laneways below. 

If you've found bathtubs far and few between during your time in Chinese apartments, a surprising number of rooms at Cordis Foshan can satisfy this desire. 

Make it a mini vacation and plan your visit to Lingnan Tiandi so that it involves lunch, dinner, drinks, and breakfast before you head back to the big city. 

There will still be a myriad of restaurants calling you to come back and keep exploring.

EAT

There is an abundance of restaurants in Lingnan Tiandi. Previously, our favourite restaurant was Yak, an unassuming modern spot that you might guess was a bicycle repair shop. 

Yak (used to) do extremely fresh and high quality shengyan, Chaozhou-style raw marinated seafood that's not for the faint of heart. 

To our great dismay, we strolled along the side street from Cordis Foshan and arrived at the next corner only to discover that Yak had abandoned Chinese ceviche and opted for the same old barbecue that you can find literally everywhere else.

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Fatti's hot dogs are outrageously satisfying. Image via That's

But worry not, as we knew our other favorite Foshan gem was mere meters away. 

Fatti's is a hole-in-the-wall down one of Lingnan Tiandi's narrow alleyways. 

They offer something that is truly an iconic taste of home: gourmet hot dogs. 

Fatti's opened just months before the pandemic kicked off, and they not only weathered the storm but are preparing to open a second location (under a new name) within the East Gate of Yuexiu Park in Guangzhou's Xiaobei neighborhood.

We order the American Chili Hotdog (RMB38) and onion rings with mayo and barbecue sauce to dip. Intent on doublefisting glizzies, owner Michael recommends we try the Hawaiian (RMB28)

These dogs hit the table loaded. 

Nestled in pillowy, soft, and toasted buns, the toppings are excessive in a way that only American culture can conceive.

closeup-chili-dog.jpgOur go-to order is the American Chili dog. Image via That's

We understand if your group opts for a sitdown meal of more traditional Cantonese fare while in Foshan. 

And we won't dissuade you as Drunken Chicken (醉翁鸡), Boneless Minced Fish (刮鱼清) and Shunde Whitefish Sashimi (顺德捞起鱼生) are all excellent Foshan specialties. 

But save some room for the perfect pork missile at quarter to ten before Fatti's closes shop for the night.


[Cover image via Langham Hospitality Group]

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