Guangzhou Destination Guide
Guangzhou is one of the fastest growing cities in Asia and an increasingly attractive destination for international visitors. Guangzhou tourism is developing as quickly as the city's skyline, with visitors enticed by the city's famous cuisine, cosmopolitan atmosphere and close proximity to other major Asian cities. From the lush Yuexiu Park to the soaring Canton Tower and the historic Huaisheng Mosque, surprises lurk around every corner. So book your flights to Guangzhou today to take a cruise down the Pearl River, enjoy authentic Cantonese cooking and soak in the surrounds of one of China's most vibrant cities.
Guangzhou's rapidly changing skyline welcomes new additions on a regular basis but perhaps its most famous building is the 600-metre Canton Tower. One of the tallest structures in the world, taking the lift to the tower's soaring observation deck is one of the most popular things to do in Guangzhou. The nearby Chigang Pagoda is one of the city's most famous and stands in spectacular contrast next to the ultra-modern Canton Tower. Another of the city's famous pagodas is the Zhenhai Tower or 'Five Stories Pagoda' built in 1380. The pagoda is located in Yuexiu Park, a large inner-city oasis which also houses a famous symbol of the city, the Stone Statue of the Five Rams.
Guangzhou is the home of Cantonese cuisine and the city is renowned as one of China's top food destinations. Guangzhou restaurants specialise in using fresh produce and famous dishes include roast suckling pig, a vast array of dim sum, sweet and sour pork and a variety of barbecue dishes. Xiguan's Shangxiajiu Street is lined with authentic Cantonese restaurants, including the famous Guangzhou Restaurant and Wenchang Chicken. Tea drinking is another of the city's most popular pastimes and no trip Guangzhou is complete without spending some time in a genuine tea house. For a rowdier night out head to either Binjiang Lu or Changdi Lu to explore some of the most popular clubs and bars in the city.
Where to Stay
A city renowned for its business fairs, Guangzhou hotels are often packed to capacity during the twice-yearly Guangzhou International Trade Fair. Nevertheless there are plenty of mid-range and business hotels to choose from, with the Guangzhou Hotel in the heart of the city one of the most convenient options. A cheaper alternative is the Vanburgh Hotel, which attracts many business travellers courtesy of its close proximity to the central business district. At the higher end of the scale, the Grand Hyatt Guangzhou is one of the city's most popular hotels, while the Westin Guangzhou is only a short walk to the Guangzhou East train station.
As a major export city, Guangzhou shopping is centred around the clothing and electronics industries. The city hosts several wholesale clothes markets, including the popular Bama Market opposite Guangzhou's main train station. If you're not in the market for clothes, Xiguan's aptly named Antique Street is a great place to shop for authentic souvenirs. The harder to find Jade Street is the place to buy ornaments made from the precious stone, with jewellery, figurines and paperweights all popular items to bring home. For a truly authentic experience head to the sprawling Qingping Market. Try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products on display – or the live animals.
Guangzhou like a Local
When the Guangzhou weather heats up, locals head out of the city to enjoy the cooler climes of nearby Baiyun Mountain. Called "the lung of the city" for its restorative greenery, the mountain is one of Guangzhou's most scenic spots. A cable car takes tourists from the bottom station at Yuntai Garden to the top at Peak Park, where visitors enjoy sweeping panoramic views over the surrounding area. On top of the mountain you can snack on a picnic or dine in the restaurant and enjoy the varied attractions which have sprung up in recent years to take advantage of the growing number of visitors.