Guangzhou, often known as Canton, is the capital of southern China’s Guangdong Province. A major port city and commercial gateway to southern China, it has an extensive history of foreign contact, reaching back to Arab traders of the Tang period who came to buy silk or to sell spices and incense, through British merchants of the 19th century.  Guangzhou was part of the “Maritime Silk Road” that linked southern China with Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, and the east coast of Africa. Today, multinationals participate in the famous biannual Trade Fairs.

In turn, Guangzhou and surrounding regions sent the bulk of overseas emigrants in the 19th century to found the Chinatowns of major cities around the world.

Along with nearby Special Economic Zones like Shenzhen, Guangzhou took advantage of the financial might and international experience of nearby Hong Kong, along with an inexpensive, migrant labor force from the countryside, to become a leading industrial and manufacturing center for southern China.

Food is the centerpiece of life and Guangzhou has the country’s largest number of restaurants per capita, which is the birthplace of ‘Chinese food’ (Cantonese food) in the west.

Guangzhou Map Street Detail HR

Sightseeing

  • Guangzhou Canton TowerCanton Tower (广州塔) is the tallest structure in China. In additions to the observation deck, the tower features various restaurants, a 4-D theater and other entertainment venues. Admission is RMB 150.
  • Dafo Temple, 21 Huixin Xijie, Huifu Donglu, Yuexiu. One of the five renowned Buddhist temples in Guangzhou. It was originally built by Liu Yan, King of the Southern Han Dynasty in the 8th century. Located for keen shoppers needing a break just off Beijing Lu. Free entry.
  • Xiguan Residence (西关大屋) See the traditional Cantonese architectures from the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic Era. These houses can be found in Haizhu South Road (海珠南路), Duobao Road (多宝路), Baohua Road (宝华路), Longjin West Road (龙津西路) and Shangxiajiu Road (上下九路). One of the most famous ones is located at 18 Baoyuan North Street (宝源北街18号). They were occupied by the upper class in the old days.
  • Chen Clan Academy (陈家祠). This is very well preserved architecture from the 19th century. It used to belong to a wealthy family by the name of Chen and now houses many articles including ivory sculptures and artistic statues. Admission RMB 10
  • Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (中山纪念堂) located on Dongfeng Middle Road, is dedicated to the founder of the Republic of China. It was constructed in 1931 and built on the original site of Sun Yat-sen’s presidential office on Yuexiu Hill. Open 8AM-6PM. Admission is free for the park and RMB 10 to go inside the hall.
  • Shamian Island (沙面岛) The buildings and streets of the former British and French concession have been beautifully renovated, creating an oasis of tranquility in an otherwise bustling and hectic metropolis. One of the old structures is Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, located at 14 Shamian Street. The architecture reflects the colonial era of 19th Century, and it has a unique atmosphere.
  • Yuexiu Park – It is the biggest sightseeing park of Guangzhou City, containing the statue of the Five Goats, the city’s symbol. The verve of Yuexiu Park as one of the new Eight Attractions of Guangzhou is completely presented by verdant trees, thriving bamboos, and blooming flowers.
  • Chen Family Ancestral Temple – It was built as a collective effort by members from the Chen Family who lived in 72 different counties in Guangdong Province, to honor and worship their ancestors. Now it has been transformed into Guangdong Folk Craftwork Museum.
  • Guangzhou Flower Pagoda at 6 Banyun TreesTemple of Six Banyan Trees – It is one of the four Buddhism temple complexes in Guangzhou. There are majestic towers, dense trees, plenty of antiques and valuable heritage from those famous people in the history.
  • Pearl River Cruise – The cruise section from the White Goose Pool to Guangzhou Bridge is the highlight of the Pearl River cruise. Scenery along this part is so fascinating, with jade-coloured water and coloured lights on shore.
  • White Clouds Mountain – The mountain range is full grandeur with majestic peaks and crisscrossed valleys. Travelers can appreciate the overall splendid landscape of Guangzhou and especially the beautiful jade-belt-liked Zhoujiang River at the top of the mountain.

Shopping

Most trades and goods categories are concentrated in a specific area or along one main street.

Qingping Market (清平市场) Qingping Road (清平路),(Metro 1 Huangsha Exit D) It is located North from Shamian Island. Cantonese are known to eat just about any animal, and the market is world famous for its wild animal trades, although it has been tamer since the SARS outbreak. It is still a great place to go for exotic goods. The modern front of the market has quite a few stalls selling dried herbs used in Chinese Medicine. The real charm here lies just behind the modern exterior. The modern exterior is built onto a series of old historical narrow alleyways with shops selling herbs.

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