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|Shamian Island formerly known as Shameen Island.The island's name literally means "sandy surface" in Chinese.
The territory was divided into two concessions given to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing Dynasty government in the 19th century. The island is a gazetted historical area that serves as a tranquil reminder of the colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. The island is the location of several hotels, a youth hostel, restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs
The island covers an area of 0.3 km², 900m from east to west, and 300m from north to south. It is bordered in the south by the Pearl River, and it is separated from the mainland by a canal.
Trading companies from Britain, the United States, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Japan built stone mansions along the waterfront. The construction on the island was characterized by climate-adapted but Western-plan detached houses with hipped roofs and large verandahs.
The island was the scene of fighting during the "June 23 incident" in 1925 .
After 1949, the mansions of Shamian became government offices or apartment houses and the churches were turned into factories.