I was recently able to visit Guangzhou for a few days, and as this was my first time in the city, I had a great time finding out what attractions to visit and which ones to avoid! In general, I really liked the city, and there are some fantastic areas to explore, which may not be too well known among some travellers. Here is my opinion of the top 10 attractions in Guangzhou:
10. Hualin Temple is a very popular Buddhist temple with some amazing scenery and architecture.
9. Chimelong Paradise is a cool theme park with some amazing thrill rides, such as the “10 inversion rollercoaster”. Great for a cheap day out!
8. Guangzhou Opera House may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the exterior of the building simply cannot be missed, and there are regular performances of music and dance inside.
7. Baiyun Mountain Range has about 30 peaks, some of which are usually shrouded in mysterious cloud. There are also some small Buddhist temples and picturesque lakes scattered around the hiking trails.
6. Six Banyan Temple is a Buddhist temple complex that contains a traditionally-designed flower pagoda, reminiscent of those in Xi’an.
5. Zhujiang New Town is the happening area of Guangzhou, where you can find many tourist malls and glass skyscrapers. In contrast to other areas of the city, it is so clean and sterile in Zhujiang.
4. Southern China Botanical Garden must surely be one of the finest gardens of its kind in Asia. The whole complex is huge and there is a vast display of flora in the tropical setting.
3. Chimelong Safari Park is a very large attraction where you can get up close and personal with animals and birds of all shapes and sizes. Unlike regular zoos, this safari park has sufficient space in its animal enclosures, and the animals do look happy enough.
2. Canton Tower is the icon of Guangzhou, and wherever you are you cannot miss it! At night, the tower is illuminated in many bright colours, but during the day you can also ascend the tower for a drink and an ice cream from the café, experience the observation deck, or even have a ride right at the very top on the Bubble Tram!
1. Shamian Island is a gazetted historical area that serves as a tranquil reminder of the colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. The island is the location of several hotels, a youth hostel, restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs.