Pearl River


Basic Information of the Pearl River

Chinese Name: 珠江 Pronunciation: Zhūjiānɡ

Suggested Visiting Hours: 1-3 Hours

Popular Activities: Pearl River night cruise

Drainage Area in China: 442,100 square kilometers

Address: Southwest side of Jiangyuan Peninsula, Tianhe District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, China


Overview of the Pearl River

Pearl River, Pearl River
Pearl River

Originated from Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, the Pearl River flows through six provinces. It is 2,320 kilometers long, with a drainage area of about 453,690 square kilometers, of which 442,100 square kilometers in China and 11,590 square kilometers in Vietnam. Renowned for its length, the river has been the longest water system in Southern China and the third-longest river across China.

The Pearl River includes several tributaries including East River, West River, and North River. Going straight down the river, you can enjoy its magnificent scenery.

The cultural relics alongside the Pearl River are must-visit spots. The Guangzhou section of the river is considered the most famous. It shows its different sceneries in daytime and night. During the day, people can walk alongside the Pearl River Corridor, appreciate its attractive views against the blue sky. At night, people can take a sightseeing boat and enjoy its romantic atmosphere and cozy rhythm.

If you have enough time and enthusiasm, the Pearl River is a pretty place for you to experience Guangzhou’s charm as a first-tier city, tracking its time-honored history, and learning about its trendy culture.

The Pearl River night cruise is a must for you to enjoy. As one of the “Eight Views of Guangzhou”, the Pearl River night tour has been a great business card of Guangzhou. Visitors can have a deeper understanding of Guangzhou by taking the night cruise.


Best Visiting Time

The best time to visit the Pearl River is from September to December. During this period, Guangzhou will hold an international food festival, and all hotels and restaurants will prepare their delicacy to cater to visitors. There are more than one hundred kinds of famous food and snacks, and you can not only enjoy the riverside scenery at night, but also go to feel the food festival feast! That will be an excellent trip!


Pearl River Night Cruise

The opening hours for Pearl River night cruise ranges from 18:40 to 23:00, with prices from 60 yuan to 2,488 yuan depending on the boarding places, number of passengers and ships. You can arrange your night cruise according to different boarding times and boarding places, cruise numbers, and prices of ships. Make sure to inquire about the shipping company and book tickets ahead of time.


Ticket Price of Pearl River Night Cruise

Voy. No.  Time Ticket Fare
(for adults & children above 1.2 meters) 
Boarding Place
Guangzhou Fortune 18: 50-20: 20
90-168 yuan Tianzi Pier
(Tianzi Matou)
Guangfa Securities 19: 20-20: 30
88-118 yuan
Nanhaishen Guangzhou Daily 19: :30-20: 40
100-168 yuan 
Pearl River Mengzhixing 19:40-21:20
78-148 yuan
Jinjinghao 19: 30-20: 20
20: 50-21: 40
22: 10-23: 00
88-148 yuan Guangzhou Tower Fortune Pier
(Guangzhouta Caifu Matou)
Information Times 20: 00-21: 00
88-148 yuan
New Type Ship 19: 00-20: 00
19: 30-20: 30
20: 00-21: 00
20: 30-21: 30
21: 00-22: 00
21: 30-22: 30
22: 00-23: 00 
70-110 yuan Guangzhou Tower Zhongda Pier
(Guangzhouta Zhongda Matou)
Jinfanghao 19:00-20:00
78-138 yuan Dashatou Pier
(Dashatou Matou)
Pearl River Crystal 20: 30-21: 30 138-1680 yuan
Suigangzhixing 19: 40-20: 40
20: 50-21: 50
78-118 yuan
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China 19: 40-20: 40
21: 00-22: 00 
68-145 yuan
China Everbright Bank 20: 00-21: 00 88-168 yuan
Chinese Insurance 19: 00-20: 00
21: 00-22: 00
68-145 yuan
New Type Ship 19: 20-20: 20
20: 30-21: 30
20: 50-21: 50
21: 20-22: 20
21: 40-22: 40
70-110 yuan Haixinsha West Pier
(Haixinsha Xiqu Matou)
New Type Ship 19: 10-20: 30
19: 30-20: 50
20: 00-21: 20
20: 10-21: 30
20: 30-21: 50
21: 20-22: 40
21: 40-23: 00
70-110 yuan Xidi Pier
(Xidi Matou)
New Type Ship 19: 00-20: 00
19: 30-20: 30
19: 50-20: 50
20: 30-21: 30
21: 00-22: 00
21: 30-22: 30
22: 00-23: 00
70-110 yuan Huangsha Pier
(Huangsha Matou)


  • Ticket Free of Charge Policy

Free for children below 1.2 meters.


Stories of The Tianzi Pier (Tianzi Matou)

Tianzi Pier, Pearl River
Tianzi Pier

In ancient times, people usually regarded the alphabetical order recorded in Thousand Character Classic (Qianziwen in Chinese) as the order of things. In Chinese people’s minds, “Tianzi” is the symbol of first, best and unique. And that is the reason for the name “Tianzi Matou” (hereinafter as “Tianzi Pier”). The Tianzi Pier is the most well-preserved and best-known pier in Guangzhou.

Served as the only ancient pier left, the Tianzi Pier is unique and irreplaceable for its historical value. During the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), the pier was open for the nobility and high officials, and civilian ships were not allowed to be anchored off. Since then, the Tianzi Pier was appointed as an official pier, and officials who arrived at and left from Guangzhou would moor here.

With the prosperity of foreign trade, foreign traders always got engaged in trade at Guangzhou and the Tianzi Pier has then become renowned. At that time, Guangzhou, a window to the outside world, harbored many ships and vessels coming from abroad.

Today, many piers have been no longer in use, but the Tianzi Pier has been standing along the Pearl River. Enjoying a time-honored history, the Tianzi Pier has witnessed the prosperity and vicissitude of Guangzhou.


Must-visit Attractions

 Dashatou Pier

Dashatou Pier, Pearl River
Dashatou Pier

Situated at the center of Guangzhou, the most navigable water area of the Guangzhou section of the Pearl River, and connected with Haiyin Bridge in the East and Jiangwan Bridge in the West, Dashatou Pier enjoys an excellent location. Dashatou Pier was a water transport hub, and it has developed as the largest pier in Guangzhou. It has 12 berths for ships and can accommodate 12 cruise ships at the same time.

Dashatou Pier is equipped with a business zone, viewing bank, and riverside ecological park. In the future, the Guangzhou government is committed to building the pier as a riverside leisure resort that integrates tourism, entertainment, shopping, and catering.

Guangzhou Tower

Guangzhou Tower, Pearl River
Guangzhou Tower

Guangzhou Tower (Caton Tower) is 125 meters away from the south bank of the Pearl River and faces the Haixinsha Island and Pearl River New Town. It integrates sightseeing, broadcast television transmission, culture, and entertainment, becoming a new landmark of Guangzhou City. Enjoying a height of 600 meters, the tower has replaced Canada’s National Tower and become the highest TV tower globally.

You can find many recreational facilities in Guangzhou Tower, such as Spider Walk, Bubble Car, and Mega Drop. Here, you can not only take your children to experience a magical walking high in the sky like a spider-man through the game of Spider Walk, but also take Bubble Car with your family to appreciate an all-around attractive night view of the Pearl River. Besides, the tower offers an excellent position to watch the beautiful night view of Guangzhou City. Five new interactive telescopes bring a real-time interactive watching experience to visitors.


Popular Ways to Explore the Pearl River

  • Walking

You can walk from Haizhu Bridge and go along Binjiang Road to enjoy the romantic night atmosphere of Guangzhou.

  • Tramway

You can take a tramway from Guangzhou Tower to Wanshengwei to appreciate the riverside views.

  • Ship

You can select a boarding pier, take a ship, and taste the food while enjoying the prosperity of Guangzhou CBD.

  • Water Bus

If you do not have enough budget, taking the water bus is a good choice for sightseeing.


Warm Tips

1. Visitors need to pay extra money for Pearl River night cruise. Different ships have different prices.

2. If there are tourists with children, please take care of the children. Do not play near the water and keep away from the deep water.

3. Please set aside enough time for the night cruise in case of a shipping delay.



If you want to enjoy a Pearl River Night Cruise, you can go to Tianzi Pier or Dashatou Pier.

 By Bus

Take bus 4, 57, 128, 131A, 131B, 208, and get off at Tianzi Matou Station (Tianzi Pier Station).

Take bus 36, 57, 61, 80, 89, 128, 184, 194, 208, 546, and get off at Dashatou Matou Station (Dashatou Pier Station).

 By Subway

Take Line 2 or Line 6, and get off at Haizhu Guangchang Station (Exit A). You can walk eastward along Yanjiang Zhonglu (Mid Yanjiang Road) to the Tianzi Pier.

 By Taxi

Chinese: 请带我去天字码头。English: Please take me to Tianzi Pier.

If you go to the Tianzi Pier from the center of Guangzhou (Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe), it takes about 20 minutes (about 40 yuan).

If you go to the Tianzi Pier from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, it takes about 60 minutes (about 120 yuan).

If you go to the Tianzi Pier from Guangzhou Railway Station, it takes about 20 minutes (about 40 yuan).

If you go to the Tianzi Pier from Guangzhou East station, it takes about 30 minutes (about 40 yuan).

If you go to the Tianzi Pier from Guangzhou North station, it takes about 1 hour (about 150 yuan).

If you go to the Tianzi Pier from Guangzhou South station, it takes about 30 minutes (about 80 yuan).

Colorful Night Scene of Pearl River, Pearl River
Colorful Night Scene of Pearl River


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