Guangzhou 广州 Travel Guide
Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton) is one of China’s commercial hubs and heavily influenced by nearby Hong Kong. The pace of development here is staggering as being the capital of Guangdong province also means being the capital of the workshop of the world. However, there are still signs of the old foreign concession of “Canton” on the newly restored Shamian Island as well as villas, gardens and unique temples hidden away down back streets. And if that isn’t enough there is food – the Cantonese are said to eat anything that moves so you won’t be going hungry here!
Best Months to Visit Guangzhou
Best Reason to Visit Guangzhou
Guangzhou is the capital of the province long known in the West as Canton and is known as Guangdong in China. It is a long prosperous region that borders right up to the Hong Kong SAR.
Despite the area being famous for its economic success and its manufacturing, it is in fact one of China’s most pleasant cities rarely visited on China tours. It is home to a quite unique Chinese culture with its own very distinctive cuisine as well as more liberal values than the rest of China. In fact the food is probably what most people in the West call Chinese food with Dim-Sum, Sweet and Sour etc all being part of Cantonese cuisine.
It has many famous landmarks, parks, museums and galleries and has plenty of mountains around it. It is also an exit point from Mainland China to Hong Kong and taking the Hydrofoil into Hong Kong harbour from here is probably the best way to approach the island state.
Top Attractions in Guangzhou
It’s hard to pick out one top attraction but there are plenty of things worth doing if you have some time here. It’s an area with plenty for kids to do if you are here with children such as the Chang Long International Circus and the Chimelong Xiangjiang Safari Park which has around 60 White Tigers. There is also the largest amusement park in China nearby and an excellent water park.
The Canton Tower is well worth it for the amazing views if you have time to queue and the bubble train that goes to the top is a must.
Alternatively you might want to stay on the ground and take a stroll around the old foreign Concession of Shamian Island. It is a beautiful small island that you can easily spend an afternoon in with stunning architecture that will make you forget you’re in China for a minute or two.
Other must see’s are the Chen family Temple and the Sun Yat Sen memorial.
Weather Averages for Guangzhou
Our Top Guangzhou Travel Tip
Take the hydrofoil from Guangzhou into Kowloon harbour as your way of entering Hong Kong, it’s one of the cheapest ways to enter this spectacularly located city and has to be the most spectacular.
Shop here. This is quite possibly the cheapest place in China to buy anything that has been made in China as, in all likelihood, it has been made not that far away!
Eat here! Cantonese food is renowned throughout the world and is the food most people think of when they say Chinese food. The Cantonese however eat everything so if you are bit squeamish about what you eat, you’d better check what it is before you eat it!
Hand Picked Guangzhou Hotels
Guangzhou is awash with all the big names in hotels from around the world and if your budget suffices they all fit exactly the type. So take your pick from the Four Seasons, Sofitel, Westin, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri la or Hilton.
If you are looking for something a little bit different then you will be wanting to stay on Shamian Island. The Guangdong Victory Hotel is one of the most popular being reasonably priced and in a fantastic spot. Only a stone’s throw away from the usual hustle and bustle of Guangzhou but set in a peaceful spot on the island with tree lined streets.
By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.