Huangpu (Whampoa) Military Academy


While in Guangzhou we visited the Huangpu Military Academy (黄埔军校 or Huángbù jūnxiào) on Chuangzhou Island. We were dropped off at the Huangpu docks where the academy gets its name. Then we paid a total of 2 RMB (around 19 pence) to get on board the boat to the island.

Unfortunately, we had gotten on the wrong boat and ended up on a different side of the island. This meant we had to take a walk across the island to get to the Huangpu Military Academy. The area reminded me of Lamma Island near Hong Kong, but with less foreigners.

After walking a while we ended up in a military area with several signs saying ‘NO PHOTO’. Although the Huangpu Academy itself is now a museum, the area still operates as a Naval base so there are several areas where you can’t take pictures.

The academy itself is located on the river and several naval boats are docked next to it. Several signs on the fence make it clear that you are not allowed to take pictures facing the river.

Inside the academy itself you can learn details of how the academy was formed by both the Communists and Nationalists. It also talks about the role the academy played in the wars China was involved in last century.

Several rooms inside the academy are set up as they would have been used during the time. They include several studies, dinner halls, dormitories, classrooms and offices.

There is also a room dedicated to Zhou Enlai, who taught politics here. This is the same man who protected the Yonghegong Lama Temple during the cultural revolution. Zhou Enlai was an important political figure during the Cultural Revolution who is still loved by the Chinese.

There are other things to see on the island. Guangzhou was where the British and the Spanish would smuggle Opium into China. A customs museum shows how the Chinese tried to stop this. Unfortunately it was late and the island was closing so we had to leave. 2 more coins took us back to the mainland.

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