China’s third longest river, the Pearl River, measures a staggering 2,129 meters in length. The Guangzhou section of the river in southeast China is where most of the city’s scenic spots are located. Many famous sights are clustered along the river and are the reasons for many people’s trips to Guangzhou.
The Pearl River receives its name from a huge rock island. When the thousand-meter long Pearl River cut through Guangzhou city, a large rock island in the center of the river was scoured over. Over time, this formation became smooth and bright like a pearl, hence the rock being named "Sea Pearl Rock" and the river "Pearl River."
An interesting legend offers an alternative explanation of the river’s name. It was said that an Arabian merchant stole the valueless pearl of his country and came to sell it in Guangzhou. Since the pearl was the treasure of his nation, the Arabian State ordered its people to Guangzhou to bring the treasure back. However, on their ship home, the magical pearl suddenly flew up and fell into the river. Later the pearl changed into a huge shining rock. Thus the river was later named Pearl River.
Throughout history, the river has had a long reputation of nourishing the civilization of south China. Today, standing on the banks of the river are many world-ranked star-graded hotels such as White Swan Hotel, Hotel Landmark Canton, Nanfang Mansion, Aiqun Hotel, Guangzhou Hotel, Gitic Riverside Hotel, and commercial buildings, all piercing the sky with their heights. In the evening, both banks are brightly lit joined occasionally by the bright moon hanging in the sky. Full of happy and excited passengers, pleasure and entertainment boats on the Pearl River cruise from the west to the east on its elegant surface, forming a graceful image for photographers as well as the naked eye.
In fact, evening cruises on the Pearl River are among the top must-do visitor highlights in Guangzhou. The beauty of river at night is unique but can be compared with that of Hong Kong's Victoria Peak. The waterway section from White Goose Pool to Guangzhou Bridge is the highlight of the cruises. Scenery along this part is so fascinating, with jade-colored water reflecting the rainbow of lights on shore.
During your cruise you can enjoy beautiful landscapes and views with such romantic names as "Night Moon over Goose Pool," "Misty Rain over the Twin Bridge," "Red Heart of the Pearl River," "Autumn Moon over the Pearl River," "Clear Waves on the Pearl River," and many more. To help you understand what you are seeing, there is a detailed introduction to the 30-odd historical and cultural sites given on-board by the vessels’ guides and presenters, thus enabling you to sample a brief taste of the colorful local culture.