Pack-up your bags and head to Guangzhou. There is always something magical about this city which makes it among the favourite Chinese destinations for tourists. The city is also known by its English name, Canton, and it has a population of more than 9 million.
Located on the banks of the Pearl River Delta in South China, its location provides a scenic view of the ancient waterway and the port which it is famous for. A port city, Guangzhou, was first visited by Arab and Indian traders. The port flourished due to the trade of spices and silk. Later on in the 16th century, the Europeans namely the Portuguese were the first to come to the port to trade and this was followed by the British.
The Opium War brought a halt to all commercial activities. The city re-opened to foreign trade following the Treaty of Nanjing. After the Boxer revolution, French and British forces occupied Guangzhou during the 19th century.
The city and its region enjoy humid, moderate weather. Flowers bloom all year round and this helps create a picturesque scene of the city, making it the perfect getaway destination. One thing you should know about Guangzhou is that it is famous for its dishes and its cooks are reputed to be the best in China. Hence, take your time by indulging in good quality sumptuous food that would satisfy your taste buds here.
As to places of visit, there are a lot to choose from, as from its history, you know that it enjoyed a wide range of influences, from Asia to Europe, due to its status as a port.
Birth of Kuomintang
Guangzhou was the birthplace of the Kuomintang party, the Chinese national party led by Dr Sun Yat Sen. Hence, visiting Guangzhou would not be complete if you did not go to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. The hall was built to commemorate this Chinese nationalist leader and his contributions to democracy. A statue of Dr Sun Yat Sen greets visitors at the entrance of the hall.
Another interesting place to visit is the Chen family ancestral temple which was built in the 19th century from donations of the Chen clan from all over the world. It is also now the Guangdong Folk Craftwork Museum.
The Temple of Six Banyan Trees is another popular place. Built in the 6th Century, it is one the few Buddhist temple complexes in Guangzhou. There is a pagoda with Buddha relics built under it and thousands of Buddha statues.
Nearby, there is the White Clouds Mountain famous in South China. It is called that because the summit would be filled with clouds on a clear day and from atop the mountain you will get a scenic and beautiful view of the city.
If you are interested in history, why not try Guangdong Provincial Museum and the Museum of the Tomb of the King of Southern Yue. Both are also famous tourist attractions that attract thousands of visitors every month.
Due to its rich influences, you will find many places of worship like the Shishi Sacred Heart Cathedral, Huaisheng mosque and many other temples around town.
To get around town, you can opt for various types of guided tour offered. They have half-day or full day or two days tour which would take you to the interesting places that have been mentioned. Guided tours are the safest way round the huge modern city, as it would ensure your safety and minimise opportunities of you getting lost.
As China is opening up, more and more tourists have been making their way to this populous state not only for tourism but also for commercial purposes.
In One Minute China Holiday Slide