Guangzhou bears five different Chinese titles, and all of them mean “The City of Five Goats”. It is the third-largest city in China. It’s also considered to be not only the world trading and industrial center but also the cultural and historical center of China. According to the legends, a small village, located on the spot of the modern megalopolis, was on the verge of extinction from hunger. But rescue came from Heaven. Five gods came down on Earth on five goats (“Yangcheng” stands for the city of goats). Every animal held rice pieces in the mouths (“Jiangcheng” stands for “The City of Rice”). The citizens did not only satisfy their hunger but also scattered the fields and gathered an abundant harvest. Modern Guangzhou is an extraordinarily contemporary and fast-evolving city. Trading and industrial corporations attract business people from all over the world. Fascinating attractions and incredible atmosphere are a genuine magnet for tourists.
Districts of Guangzhou
According to the administrative division, Guangzhou consists of ten districts and two counties. Each of them is unique in its way. However, only the center and districts with something extraordinary attract travelers’ attention. In Guangzhou, you should check out:
- Yuexiu District is the center of the city. The cleanest and greenest neighborhood that fits tourists perfectly. It has a high concentration of famous attractions, restaurants with national and European cuisines, shopping malls. This district offers an excellent choice of hotels. However, the prices are higher than in the suburbs. Yuexiu doesn’t have any trouble with transport communication as Zhongshan Highway goes through it.
- Liwan is another famous district that was built on the former place of the Old Town. It’s a unique spot to get acquainted with the cultural life of Guangzhou. A diversity of historic attractions and a picturesque park are the main highlights of the neighborhood. Besides, you can find cheap hotels and hostels here or eat in a local restaurant and head shopping.
- Tianhe is the center of business life and commerce in Guangzhou. It’s the most contemporary district that attracts tourists not only with countless shops but also futuristic buildings. Tianhe is magnificent in the evening. However, there are still lots of things to do here during the day. The only disadvantage of this neighborhood is the high cost of accommodation options.
- Haizhu is a unique tourist district conveniently located on an island. A significant number of parks and cultural sights, various amusements, cafes and restaurants, hotels that can satisfy any taste, shopping malls, and boutiques - Haizhu is considered to be one of the most prestigious areas in Guangzhou.
- Panyu is one of the youngest districts in Guangzhou that has already managed to win the tourists’ love. A wide range of comfortable hotels at a fair price is its main peculiarity. The area is growing rapidly. It’s a pure delight to walk around it and explore its countless restaurants, malls, bars, and nightclubs.
Historical and cultural monuments stand side by side with contemporary shopping and business centers, skyscrapers, and futuristic constructions. That’s Guangzhou all over! You can also add natural landmarks and original entertainments to the list. There’s no time for boredom. Bright and extraordinary, atmospheric, and diverse - many-hours-long walking tours are already waiting for travelers. And that’s probably, the best way to see the most exciting places in Guangzhou.
A history of the city
Guangzhou was an open trading city until the south of the country was not conquered by the Tang Dynasty. After that, the An Lushan Rebellion happened. As a result, the town was entirely plundered and burnt to ashes. However, people managed to rebuilt Guangzhou. It was a new milestone in the city’s development and trading in particular. With every century, more and more merchants from other countries came here. Gradually, they immigrated to other regions of China. But in 1757, the Qianlong Emperor forbade trading with foreigners all over the country except Guangzhou. This decision was the beginning of the Golden Age for the city. Unfortunately, a quiescent period did not last for too long.
Since 1840, Guangzhou survived a series of wars and rebellions. They included the First Opium War (1840), Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), Peasant Rebellion led by Mao Zedong (1920), Japanese occupation(1938-1945). The People’s Republic of China was proclaimed in 1949. Gradually, Guangzhou started to regain its identity. The beginning of the XXI century is another milestone in the city’s development. It was marked by the active building of skyscrapers and contemporary trading centers.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
|from 54 $/night||from 82 $/night||Start - 1.74 $, 1km - 0.38 $||1.05 $/liter||23 $ for 2 person|
The best time to visit Guangzhou
It’s a particular delight to come to Guangzhou during the festival and holidays. They are usually very loud, exciting, and vibrant. The Miaohui or temple fairs (January), Flower Festival (the end of January), dragon boat racing competition (May) deserve the most attention. If you don’t have any intentions to participate in various business exhibitions, don’t come to Guangzhou in October and November. Prices for accommodation options usually get higher, and it’s more challenging to find a free room in a hotel.
Metro is the most convenient public transport in Guangzhou. The main advantages of this method are a high number of stations, convenient locations, and an opportunity to get to any spot in the city. A smart-card Yang Cheng Tong ( it is sold at almost every station) helps tourists to save their money on public transport. It’s worth mentioning that you can also move around the city by bus or taxi. At the same time, renting a car is not the best idea. Traffic in Guangzhou is too intense and complicated for tourists.
Just like in any other Chinese town, it’s hard to find a local citizen who speaks English on the streets of Guangzhou. This includes not only bypassers but taxi drivers, shop assistants, and even administrators in many hotels as well. Therefore, it’s vital to build a route in advance, pointing out all destination points on a city map and write down their titles in hieroglyphs. This piece of advice is especially crucial for the names of hotels. A taxi driver can simply not understand where to take you from the airport.
Smoking in public places is strictly forbidden in Guangzhou. Law-breakers will have to pay a severe fine. Besides, tourists should not take pictures of governmental establishments, bridges, strategic objects, and the interior of the temples. It’s hard to call it a taboo, rather a piece of advice. Don’t make fun of the local culinary traditions of local citizens. You won’t get a fine for this, but won’t help you make friends either.
What should a tourist do in Guangzhou?
Guangzhou is an exciting and diversified city, and it will easy to organize your pastime here. The primary task of every tourist is to compile a plan of attractions and activities, especially when your trip is limited in time. Here are the main points we highly recommend you to fulfill:
- Visit the Temple of the Five Immortals. It’s one of the most famous sights in the city. On its territory, you can not only explore the building itself but also see a stone with a foot-shapes cavity. According to the legends, this is a footstep of one of the Guangzhou spirit-founders. A giant bell is another significant tourist item. It doesn’t have a clapper, but locals believe that it will definitely ring in case of grave danger for the city.
- Walk down the ancient Beijing Road that is nowadays closed for cars and is only for pedestrians. It’s one of the most picturesque places in the city where you can not only rest in an extraordinary atmosphere but also treat yourself to some shopping and natural ice-cream.
- Climb the renowned Guangzhou TV Tower. One of the highest constructions in the world looks fantastic with its illumination. The visit to the tower is rather delightful as well. Besides, the tower offers plenty of attractions and amusements to its guests. The most popular variant is to admire the city from the observation deck. Moreover, here you can experience the “free fall”, take a ride in a cabin around the tower, or dine, enjoying a marvelous panoramic view.
- Go on a cruise across the Pearl River. This popular tourist attraction is available both day and night. Each of them has its charming peculiarities. During the daytime cruise, you can enjoy the views of Guangzhou from another angle and see the majority of the city’s sights. At night, the megalopolis will blind and captivate you with its bright lights.
- Relax in Yuexiu Park. Its territory occupies more than 860 square meters. The famous “The Five Rams” sculpture stands in Yuexiu Park. Besides, you can wander along shady alleys, enjoy the landscape design, take a boat ride on an artificial lake, visit the Guangzhou Museum, and even participate in an actual tea ceremony.
- Have an extreme and thrilling day at “Chimelong Paradise” Park. It’s hard to find a more frequented place in Guangzhou. This amusement park makes sure neither children nor parents get bored. The park was opened in 2006 and united over 100 of various attractions on its territory. A free fall on a roller-coaster with a maximum number of turns, different carousels, a racing track for motorcyclists - this is just a pocket of extreme that the visitors of “Chimelong Paradise” can experience in Guangzhou.
- Visit safari-park with wild animals. This is a unique place that combines a fantastic zoo and a wildlife protection scientific-research center. Over 20 thousand animal units, including the representatives of the declining species, live on its territory. You can watch the majority of animals in their natural habitat without any cages and cubicles. Besides, you can feed its residents (even tigers!), take a ride on a zip line, and also attend the territory of dinosaurs.
- Spend your last money on shopping. A visit to the central shopping mall in the Chinese town without arranging a shopping hunt sounds at least weird. In Guangzhou, boutiques and shopping centers can be found at almost every corner. Cheap Chinese goods, high-quality copies of worldwide known brands, and even real products from the leading world manufacturers - you can find absolutely everything here. If you want to save some money and purchase unique souvenirs, head to the tour around city markets.