Many countries have famous “Chinatown”, and there are also “Foreigner Streets” in Foshan. These places are "secret bases" of foreigners and exotic delicacies. Let’s take a look at the history of Foshan Foreigner Streets.
Foshan is an extroverted economy developed city since ancient times and there are many foreigners, so "Foreigner Street" came into being.
Foshan Foreigner Street in the Ming and Qing Dynasty
Caiyang Street is Foshan's Foreigner Street in the Qing Dynasty. 22 foreign business halls at that time were all set on this street. It can be speculated that the foreigners in these halls came to Foshan to do business.
"Buying" is divided into two cases: first, buy products manufactured in Foshan. Foshan has developed handicraft industry, and the more than 220 fields of the industry can provide three or four thousand kinds of goods. Second, buy the goods of mainland China that gathered in Foshan. In ancient times, Foshan was one of the "four great gatherings" known throughout the country, collecting businessmen and goods from all over the country. Naturally, Foshan was also an ideal place for foreigners to choose and buy Chinese mainland goods.
According to historical records, more than 80% of Guangdong's foreign merchant ships came to buy Foshan iron pots during the Qing Dynasty, and even 10,000 kilograms of iron pots were installed in one ship, which were sold to Southeast Asia or North America, making traces of Foshan iron pots everywhere. Caiyang Street located in the south of Foshan was the center of foundry and refining industry. The appearance of a "Foreign Street" there indicated a close relation to the foreign trade of iron products.
There are also two ways of "selling". First, sell raw materials for production. Foshan’s handicraft technology was well developed, but the raw materials was very scarce and needed to be imported from the outside, so a considerable part of them were from abroad. Second, use Foshan's business platform to sell foreign goods to mainland businessmen.
To sum up, Foshan's "Foreigner Street" in the Ming and Qing Dynasty was a place where foreign businessmen engaged in commercial transactions, as well as a place for them to store goods or even live in.
Contemporary Foshan "Foreigner Streets"
Contemporary "Foreigner Streets" in Foshan are not limited to "business". It is more often a place for life and entertainment. There are restaurants and bars opened by foreigners from more than a dozen countries, and there are a series of cultural and entertainment activities including "creative beer festivals", “Chinese and foreign cuisine contest”, “European Culture Exhibition” and etc.
Where are Foshan's Foreign Streets now? Let's go and feel the charm of them!
佛山创意产业园Foshan Creative Industry Park
Foshan Creative Industry Park emerged in Chancheng District in the 21st Century as a Foreigner Street. Chancheng District was the one with the largest number of foreigners in Foshan. In order to meet the needs of foreigners' life and entertainment, the government has built a new-century "Foreigner Street" in the park.
"Creativity and individuality" are the synonyms for Foshan Creative Industry Park, where there are regular creative bazaar and other interesting activities. However, you may not know that "food" is also a synonym for it. It is full of exotic delicacies.
乐从洋人街Lecong Foreigner Street
At the junction of Foshan Avenue and Lecong Avenue, there is a street not with few people, but you may occasionally encounter foreigners. There are also rows of restaurants along the road. From the decoration outside the store and their names, you can feel the distinctive exotic customs.
Now, the foreign restaurants on this street have become popular places for foreigners, and all kinds of exotic restaurants meet their different needs.
保利西街 Polly West Street
Polly West Street, prosperous fashion and romance are its synonym. Known as "small Manhattan", it is the most romantic street in Foshan with food from Italy, Israel, France, Brazil, Korea and even florist shops and creative studios, presenting an elegant atmosphere.
You can feel the tranquility behind its bustling romance! A cup of coffee may make a person flow in European time and space.
Ancient and modern Foreigner Streets in Foshan have a common feature - all of them appear in the vicinity of industrial clusters and all for the service of industrial clusters. There are many industrial clusters in Foshan. With the improvement of industrial internationalization, it is believed that there will be more "Foreigner Streets" and more foreigners will become "new Foshan people" because the "Foreigner Streets" give them the feeling of "home".