China is a country with many traditions, religious practices and a country that has something to offer everyone. So is the vast city of Guangzhou, a major city in southeast China and the birthplace of Chinese culture.
Visiting Guangzhou for the First Time
Guangzhou is a modern city, with neon lights decorating the streets and almost every square meter filled with impressive buildings. According to the Chinese, the city is also known for its Cantonese cuisine and is very liberal, much like Shanghai.
Guangzhou: Highlights of the City
Guangzhou is not yet well known to Western tourists, but unlike big cities like Hong Kong, it is an exciting city with many authentic places to visit.
Shamian Island is a famous island among the Chinese. On the island, all buildings are built in the western style. Many newlyweds take their wedding photos at Western food chains such as Starbucks and Subway. In addition, there are various market stalls, street performers, and trendy restaurants on the island. Shami Island is easily accessible by bus or subway. Avoid public transportation during rush hour as it can be very crowded.
Canton Tower, one of the most famous buildings in Guangzhou, is also a must-see. Dutch architect Mark Hemmer designed the 610-meter tall tower (once the tallest in the world). It costs about $250 (€35) for a single visit, but it is well worth it. Tip: The best time to climb the tower is late afternoon. If you’re lucky, you’ll not only get to see a beautiful sunset, but you’ll also get to see the city light up in neon colors after dark. There’s also a vertical Ferris wheel and a 360-degree observation deck at the tower.
Guangdong Yuanshan Taoist Temple
The Taoist Yuanshan Temple Park is a suburban park with Buddhist statues and traditional-style temples. In addition to the various impressive temples, the 70-ton Giant Buddha in the center of the grounds is particularly impressive. The name of this 17-meter tall Buddha statue is Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism. It is sure to be one of the highlights of your visit.
Guangzhou has many squares and shopping streets. Beijing Road, located in the center of Guangzhou, is one of the most famous districts. Beijing Road is a shopping mecca for the Chinese. The sky is gray with smog, and the streets are jammed with thousands of people, but it is remarkable to imagine yourself as a Westerner or any other nationality among thousands of Chinese. How about a light meal of Cantonese food? Support the local restaurants and experience the authentic taste of dumplings and delicious char siu bao!
Yuexiu is a park located in a quiet part of the city. Designed to help Chinese people recover from the hectic life in the city center, this huge park has a huge fish pond, beautiful temples, lots of greenery, and various statues. Admission is free, and the park is easily accessible by subway. Picnic in the park? Of course! There are many food stalls and coffee shops around the park. It’s a great place to bring your own and relax.
Life in Guangzhou is generally very affordable. You’ll find many hostels, traditional hotels, and trendy hotels. The average price for a hostel in Guangzhou is 125 yuan (which converts to about 15 euros) per night, and 420 yuan (about 55 euros) for a hotel.
Have you ever been to Guangzhou? Which places there have you enjoyed the most during your trip? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!