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Xiguan Heritage
Xiguan, which boasts a history of two thousand years, is endowed with rich cultural heritage. People passing by the Litchi Bay Creek (Lizhiwan Creek) would reminisce about "litchi trees with reds fruits lining the emerald creek". The ancient alleys and the reflection of the hills on the surface of the creek give people the feeling of backwards time travel.

Today's Litchi Bay is exuding renewed vitality and elegance on the back of its rich cultural heritage and local people's hard work. It's a symbol of the millennia-old Xiguan culture, having borne witness to Xiguan culture and history and the evolution of ecology and civilization.

The history of litchi planting in the Litchi Bay dates back to 196 BC. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, litchi fruits produced here were tributes to the emperor and gifts for foreign diplomats, hence the name "Litchi Bay" or "Litchi Shoals" for this fertile land.

The Litchi Bay flourished during the period of time from the Qing Dynasty to the outbreak of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. During that period, the Litchi Bay covered the areas that included the present-day Duobao Road, Guangzhou No. 2 People's Hospital, Litchi Bay Creek, and the eastern side of the West Suburban Swimming Pool. When summer arrived, cicadas chirrup and litchi frees came into full bloom, painting the creek in red. Visitors on the tour boats had litchi fruits to their heart's content for a small fee. Many tourists rode on pleasure boats and sampans drifting down the creek into the Pearl River, taking in the fascinating sparkling sights along the banks.

The Litchi Bay during at its heyday embodied the cream of Guangzhou's natural and cultural heritage and represented a significant chapter in the city's history of development. However, during the 1940s when the city was occupied by Japan soldiers, the Litchi Bay gradually declined. In 1958, the Litchi Bay was transformed into the Liwan Lake Park. In 1966, the Liwan District Government built tide protection gates at the mouth of the Litchi Bay; as a result, boats could no longer sail across the bay into the Pearl River. By the early 1990s, the banks of the creek had become densely populated and the amount of sewage discharged into the creek rapidly increased, reducing the millennium-old scenic spot into a stinky gutter. To tackle the stink, the government put covers on the creek, and over time, streets and alleys emerged on the covers. In 2009, in a bid to restore the watery-town scenery and sustain Lingnan cultural heritage, Liwan district officials undertook a number of projects designed to revive Xiguan culture. The projects included integrated enhancement, upgrading and renovation for the Liwan Lake Park, Xiguan Antique Town, Liwan Creek, Culture Tower, and Xiguan Grand House. As a result, a cultural and leisure zone with distinctive Lingnan cultural features emerged at the Litchi Bay. The largest one of these projects was the restoration of the Litchi Bay Creek.

Cultural heritage dating back to the Tang Dynasty is on full display in the area from the Liwan Lake and Litchi Bay to the arcade buildings and Xiguan Grand House on Enning Road. On Enning and Longjin Roads, history has skipped a more than 1,100-year segment to preserve the Xiguan Grand House with towering gatehouses, elaborate decoration and brick-and-pebble doorsteps in the Fengyuan Community, and to place shopping arcades from the Republic of China period on Enning and West Longjin Roads.

"Lingnan culture is concentrated in Liwan and Xiguan customs are the richest in Guangzhou". The Litchi Bay Cultural and Leisure Zone covers an area of approximately 580,000 square meters, bounded by Bantang Road and West Longjin Road on the east, Huangsha Avenue on the west, Zhongshan Ba Road on the north, and Duobao Road on the south.

The areas around the Litchi Bay are typical of Lingnan watery towns, enriched by the cream of culture that spans thousands of years. Places of historical interest around the Litchi Bay include the Litchi Bay Creek, Litchi Lake, Renwei Temple, Culture Tower, Liwan Museum, the former residence of Chiang Kuang Nai, the ornate boathouse, Haishan Club, the former residence of Chen Lianbo, Liang's Ancestral Hall, and Xiguan Grand House. The Litchi Bay is also the origin of Xiguan Grand House, Lady Xiguan, the "five treasures" of Xiguan, Xiguan gourmet's food, Canton Opera and variety show, and many other enduring Guangzhou cultural icons. Dubbed the "Xiguan Cultural Expo Garden", the Litchi Bay is the most culturally endowed place in Guangzhou, exuding elegance and classiness.

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