GuangzhouAlso known as Canton, Guangzhou is the third largest city in China. It has long been one of China's main commercial and trading centres and is one of the first cities that opened to the world. As one of the fastest growing cities in Asia, Guangzhou has also seen fast growth in tourism, attracting visitors with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, world-renowned Cantonese cuisine and its vibrant nightlife.
The CityBeing the capital and largest city of Guangdong Province in south-eastern China, Guangzhou is located on the Pearl River about 120 km north-northwest of Hong Kong and is one of China's most important international transportation hubs and trading ports. Guangzhou, was, in fact, one of the principal harbours of the Maritime Silk Road in the 330s (the world's oldest, and most historically significant overland trade route) and the city became a world famous trading harbour with countries in the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean during the Tang dynasties (618-907 AD). It grew rapidly and became the largest commercial city and treaty port in China. Guangzhou was mainly exporting silk, china and tea to foreign countries whereas spices were the main things imported from the Western Region to China. Therefore, the maritime Silk Road was also known as "the maritime China road "or "the maritime spices road". Guangzhou continues serving as a major port and transportation hub and is the third biggest Chinese city after Beijing and Shanghai today. The city has a lot to offer the tourists with its endless skyscrapers, history, temples and shopping malls and with the largest trade fair in China, the Canton Fair, Guangzhou attracts hundreds of thousands of business people every year. Besides known for offering historical sights, Guangzhou is also known as the "City of Flowers" with evergreen plants and flowers blooming all year round, resulting in beautiful gardens and greenery everywhere. The Guangzhou people are genuinely crazy about their flowers, and when hosting festivals, every park holds a flower show, and the streets are beautifully decorated with fresh flowers and kumquats. Guangzhou is a beautiful tourism city that truly deserves a visit, a city that offers exciting history, fascinating culture, and mouth-watering Cantonese cuisine in a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere.
Do & See
With a history of more than 2,200 years, Guangzhou is a famous cultural city with many interesting sights to explore. Everything from temples to museums, gardens and historical buildings are on offer, as well as sighs that are more modern such as the fun theme park called Chimelong or why not visit Canton Tower, the landmark of Guangzhou City, where you will get amazing panoramic views of the city. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle from the city centre, then Baiyun Mountain, also called "the lung of the city" for its restorative greenery, is another must-see sight. It doesn't come as a surprise that Guangzhou is one of China's top 10 most popular tourist areas, in fact, there is so much to do in Guangzhou that you cannot see it all in just one visit, so start planning and fill your list with must-see attractions.
Cantonese cooking is world-famous, yet the watered-down version we know in the West fails to do justice to the delicacy and vibrancy of the real thing. Because of its extraordinarily fortunate location on the Pearl River Delta, the wealth of food is enormous and the locals’ expectations are subsequently demanding. The Chinese say that the Cantonese eat anything that flies, except for aeroplanes, and anything with legs except for chairs. It is barely an exaggeration. However, while you may be inclined to stick to delicious dim sum and shy away from some of the fare on offer, there is still a freshness and vivacity to the cuisine that is difficult to rival. From roast suckling pig and stewed snake and the enormous variety of dim sum dishes, this is a food lover’s paradise. If you can get out of your comfort zone in Guangzhou, you could open your pallet to a host of flavours and dishes that would previously have been beyond your imagination. It really is one place where it pays to be brave. The restaurants offered below are just the merest selection. Remember that there are thousands of them in Guangzhou.
Given that Guangzhou historically was the centre of the East to West tea trade, herbal tea drinking cafés fill up long before lunchtime. As an escape from Guangzhou’s summer heat, they are perfect retreats as well as fascinating places to watch the degree of reverence applied to the tea-making process. Coffee freaks do not need to worry – Guangzhou has a plethora of coffee shops, and the vast majority offer free WiFi.
Bars & Nightlife
This ever-vibrant city has a myriad of pubs, clubs, and karaoke bars scattered around downtown, a town offering a well-developed bar and club scene with many hot spots for drinking and dancing. Bai-e-Tan bar Street (Metro 1 Fang Cun) is perhaps the most famous street where a mix of people from around the world gather to party the night away from 11:00 PM onwards. Other bar clusters include those around Binjiang Lu and Huanshi Lu where numbers of popular pubs and bars are to be found that offer different vibes and great music. The bank of Pearl River is also an excellent place to head for when wanting to have a relaxing time while enjoying a cocktail or two and where the bars and lounges offer a fantastic view over the river. On the other hand, why not take a dinner cruise and discover the landmarks of the city in the night-lights? There is for sure no shortage of nightlife options in Guangzhou, and you will undoubtedly find some favourite hangouts during your stay.
Guangzhou offers the full shopping experience, from spotless shopping malls that will spoil fashionistas with a range of national and international branded clothes to noisy and charming markets where you will almost find every kind of products you can think off. This city is truly a shopper’s paradise, where you can bargain inexpensive clothes, electronics, shoes, handbags, accessories and other products as well as great designer clothes at a higher price. There are plenty of shopping destinations to choose from, everything from streets lined with shops after shops to huge malls where stores are spread across several floors offering just about everything. Don't forget the wholesale markets where to find very low-cost products such as tea, souvenirs, craft and clothes. No wonder why Guangzhou has so much to offer when it comes to shopping, the city is the largest and most flourishing trade centre in south China. You will not leave this vibrant city empty-handed.