Very few cities successfully walk the tightrope in keeping up with the times and evolving into a major 21st century cosmopolitan hub while preserving it's ancient history as well as Guangzhou. Alternatively referred as Canton, this metropolis is the third largest Chinese city and is densely populated as it is home to over 13 million inhabitants. Renowned for being one of Southern China's national transportation hub and trading port, this city has swift accessibility to Hong Kong and Macau. This dynamic settlement is known as the economic, scientific, educational, cultural and political center in Guangdong province.
When vacationing in Guangzhou, a must-see tourist haunt is the Canton Tower (also called Guangzhou Tower). Popular for being the third tallest tower and the fifth-tallest free-standing structure in the globe, the building is colourfully illuminated at nightfall and visitors can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city's skyline from the observation deck. No trip to this metropolitan center is complete without going on a splendid night cruise on the Pearl River which passes through all the major sight-seeing points such as Shamian Island, Ersha Island and the Canton Tower.
This architecturally-rich city has a plethora of landmarks that speaks of it's glorious heritage. Head over to the Xiguan Residence if one is keen on catching a glimpse of traditional Cantonese architecture. Possessing a unique old-world charm that is second to none, take a trip to the Shamian Island to marvel at the colonial architecture as the buildings and streets have a certain European influence. Visit the Chen Clan Academy to view the many ivory sculptures and artistic statues housed there. History enthusiasts can revisit past by stopping by at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall and marvel at the octagon-style building with the roofs glazed with blue tiles over carved wooden eaves and verandas coated with red-lacquer columns.
Several holy shrines are housed in Guangzhou. The gilded wooden laughing Buddha welcomes you at the entrance of the Guangxiao Temple, oldest Buddhist temple in the city. One of the top attraction that features in the must-see list of every tourist's itinerary is the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees that features a striking 56-metre tall pagoda that has colorful, carved roofs. The highlight of the Huaisheng Mosque is a smooth white minaret that stands tall at 36 meters. The Sacred Heart Cathedral exhibits stunning stained glass windows and looming high ceilings. This Gothic-style cathedral is one of the biggest in South Asia.
Known to be the biggest park in downtown Guangzhou, take a stroll around Yuexiu Park to admire the Stone Statue of the Five Rams which has become symbolic to the city. The park is also home to the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower, also called - Five-Story Tower is one of the popular landmarks that the metropolis is famous for. The Guangzhou Museum resides within the tower and showcases a wide variety of collections that speak of the city's history. Feeling adventurous and need a gateway? Head over to the White Cloud Mountain that offers breathtaking picturesque views of the spectacular landscape.
Guangzhou accommodates plenty of high-end shopping centers such as Grandview Mall. But tourists are recommended to try out the smaller outdoor markets housed by the city. Shangxiajiu and Beijing Lu are famous for being the biggest pedestrian shopping zones. Head over to Wende Road for those seeking attractive souvenirs. Stop by at the bustling and vibrant Qingping Market to derive the true essence of old Guangzhou. Characterized by it's narrow alleys, tourists have plenty of options to choose from for the stalls are brimming with food, Chinese herbs,seafood,birds,pets,plants, flowers and traditional medicinal goods.
A visit to Guangzhou is not complete without gorging into the Cantonese cuisine. A paradise for foodies, they sure can dig into local delicacies such as dim sum or white cut chicken being served at several restaurants housed in every street. Famous for it's culture of tea drinking, be sure to try the refreshing beverage known as Yum Cha (Tea). The night-life on this cosmopolitan hub is alive and lively with a plethora of bars and clubs for locals and tourists to hop into and groove until the crack of dawn.
Guangzhou is home to abundant stay options that satisfies the luxury-craving tourists with the best high-end hotels the city can boast of as well as to the penny pinchers who are seeking modest and cheap budget apartments that are not heavy on the pocket.
Guangzhou experiences a humid subtropical climate with humidity levels reaching an all-time high during the summer months. If you take weather into your consideration, October and November as well as April and May is the best time to holiday in this metropolis.