Site of Southern Yue State
Site of Southern Yue State is part of the Tentative list of China in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
The archaeological sites of the Southern Yue State (203 B.C.-111B.C.), situated in Guangzhou, exhibit an concourse of the culture of the central China and multiple regional cultures and values and exert far-reaching impact on the formation and development of the Lingnan culture. They also provide special evidences for the existing and vanished culture of the Yue nationality.
Map of Site of Southern Yue StateLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
On my last day in China I did a morning tour of my host city: Guangzhou. I started in Shamian Island and then made my way to the city center where I followed the tourist trail to visit the sites of the Southern Yue State. I failed to find the watergate but visited the palace museum and the tomb.
I found the ruins of the palace and the tomb a bit underwhelming. I know they are 2000 years old, but so are Roman ruins and these tend to be more impressive. The tomb has few decoarations and is very small. Even Svesthari looks great in comparison, let alone a site like Aigai. The musuem in Aigai is also superior in its presentation of the tombs, how it combines the visit of the site with the treasures found and the mood it sets.
I do see, though, that it seems weird not to have a Southern Yue state site considering the size and history of the region. My recommendation to the Chinese would be to go the European way and create a serial nominations including more archeological sites to tell more of the Southern Yue's history.
All components are within walking distance in the city center of Guangzhou. I couldn't see/find the watergate. At the noted location is a shopping center. My assumption is that the gate is inside the shopping center, but I couldn't check this out as the shopping center was closed.
While You Are There
We have a hotspot dedicated to Guangzhou and surroundings. All but the South China Karst are easy day trips from Guangzhou. To enter Macao and return to China you will need a multiple entry visa, though. For South China Karst, your best option is to take the bullet train to Yangshuo. However, these tickets sell out way in advance, so reserve early.
In Guangzhou itself, I recommend visiting the colonial town on Shamian Island. It's not as spectacular as Hanoi, but provides some context to history. As added benefit I went in the morning and plenty of Chinese practicing Tai Chi or playing Badminton or doing soemthing with a sword.
Finally, i really loved the small back alleys I wandered through while I visited the city center. It's definitively worth getting lost, at least for a bit.
2008 Added to Tentative List
The site has 4 locations