Introduction to Scenic Spots in and around Guangzhou

Guangzhou or Canton, the capital of Guangdong Province, is the third biggest city in China after Beijing and Shanghai with a population of more than 14 million. Founded in 214 BC, the city has been a springboard for trading, cultural exchanges, many revolutions and reforms, making it an unavoidable stopover to understand what shapes the modern China. Guangzhou is especially prosperous in commerce, tourism, dining, finance and real estate. For travelers, the city shows much attraction through its famous sights such as the Canton Tower, the Five Ram Statue in Yuexiu Park, Pearl River and White Cloud Mountain.


Iconic Attractions

Canton Tower

As the landmark of Guangzhou, the Canton Tower (Guangzhou Tower) lies in Haizhu District, at the south bank of the Pearl River, facing Haixinsha Island to the north. With a height of 1,968 feet (600 meters), it is the highest TV tower in China and the third highest in the world. The tower has been a must-see scenic spot in Guangzhou. Besides, it is also an important place for large scale meetings, such as the 2017 Fortune Global Forum.

The tower is also noted for its unique design. Mark Hemel, the designer, was inspired by the bones of the female hip joint, and then he created a slim waist in the middle of the tower just as a fair lady twists her waist while looking behind. At the thinnest part, the diameter is about 32 yards (30 meters).

From the top, visitors have a birds-eye view of the whole city. Inside the tower are wonderful entertainment items, romantic restaurants with delicious food and several fine lookout platforms for shooting photos, some of them holding many top world records.

The tower has become a new city landmark and one of the Eight New Sights of Guangzhou. No matter visitors have a Pearl River cruise or just wander along its bank, they can see the majestic tower. Especially at night, the tower seems like a resplendent dress, ablaze with colorful lights.


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Pearl River

The Pearl River is the largest river in southern China and the third largest in China, measuring 2. 129 kilometers (about 1243 miles) in length and covering an area of 453,690 square kilometers. Its name is said to derive from a huge boulder in the river bed. This rock, with the name of 'Sea Pearl', is so round and smooth that it looks like a large, shining pearl.

The Pearl River was selected as one of the Eight Sights of Guangzhou. There are ten bridges over the Pearl River, connecting the south and north banks of the Pearl River and Fangcun District. There are lots of star-grade hotels and commercial buildings looks like scrappers stand on both banks of the river. When the night falls, both banks are lit brightly and joined occasionally by the bright moon hanging in the sky.

When visiting in Guangzhou, it is suggested visitors take a night cruise travel from the west to the east elegantly on the Pearl River. Many visitors are impressed by the splendid night view of the river. There are many photo opportunities such as the Canton Tower, standing among all other skyscrapers. Just do not miss this gem in Guangzhou.


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Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is built in order to commemorate the contributions of Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan), the great predecessor of Chinese revolution for democracy. Guangzhou Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is the biggest hall among all the halls in memory of him all over the world, with an area of 6. 6 hectares (16 acres).

Located at the southern foot of Yuexiu Mountain, it is one of the landmark buildings in Guangzhou with its majestic appearance and the infused rich Chinese national color. Paying a visit, you can enjoy not only the exhibitions about Sun Yat-sen but also the beauty of the building and the kapok – the city flower of Guangzhou.

Besides, it is also an important place for large scale meeting and performance. For example, the 2017 Fortune Global Forum was held in Guangzhou, and the guests gathered to attend the gala reception at the Sun Yat-sen memorial hall.


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Natural Landscapes

Baiyun Mountain

Baiyun Mountain (White Cloud Mountain) is one of the most famous mountains in the south of Guangdong province. Its beautiful name derives from the view of peaks shrouded by white clouds in late spring or when the sky clears after rain. The fierce differentiation of rocks, and the different ways in which erosion has affected them, form a crisscross network of gullies.

The White Cloud Mountain is a deposit of cultures and times. Dating back to New Stone Age, the mountain was a site for primitives lived in Huangpo Cave. From the past to present, many poet and writers have visited White Cloud Mountain and impressed by the beautiful natural view. They eulogize the mountain by poems and paintings then left numbers great works to us.

The total area of White Cloud Mountain is about 28 square kilometers (10 square miles), consisting of 30 peaks. Moxing Ridge (Star-Scraping Ridge), known as 'the first peak under the southern sky', is about 382 meters (417 yards) high. You can stand on the summit and look over the whole city and the beautiful Pearl River, the most famous river in Guangzhou.

Yuntai Garden, a bright pearl in the crown of White Cloud Mountain, is located in Santailing Park. Yuntai Garden is an enormous garden filled with all kinds of blooms and trees, which make Guangzhou, City of Flowers, worthy of the name.


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Seven Star Crags

The Seven Star Crags are located across from the center of Zhaoqing City, Guangdong, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Guangzhou. Visitors can get to Zhaoqing within one hour by the urban rail from Guangzhou.

Seven Star Crags consists of seven limestone hillocks, namely, Langfeng Rock, Jade Screen Rock, Stone Chamber Rock, Heavenly Pillar Rock, Toad Rock, Immortal Palm Rock and Apo Rock. Standing in a lake 600 hectares in area, their layout resembles the constellation Big Dipper. The Xiannv Lake (Fairy Lake), Butterfly Valley and Qingyun Temple are the highlights of the scenic area. It provides the most beautiful lake, mountain and forest landscape of the city.

The crags and Star Lake covers an area of 8 km². The lake is partitioned into five separate sections divided with small strips of land and walkways. They form one of the most scenic locations in the province and are one of the main tourist draws of the city, the other being Dinghu Mountain. The crags are many times referred to as the little Guilin due to their striking visual similarity to Guilin's mountains.


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Danxia Mountain

Danxia Mountain, also called China Red Stone Park, is located in Shaoguan City, neighboring Hunan in the north and Guangzhou in the south. Danxia Mountain is described on the local signage as a "world famous UNESCO geopark of China".

The Danxia area is formed from a reddish sandstone which has been eroded over time into a series of outcrops surrounded by spectacular cliffs and many unusual rock formations known as Danxia landform. Since 1988, the Danxia Mountain in Shaoguan has been successively appointed as National Scenic Spot, National Natural Protection Zone for Geology and Geomorphology in China, Grade AAAA National Tourist Spot, and National Geological Park of China. In the 2010 UNESCO list of world heritage sites, Mount Danxia was recorded as a natural World Heritage Site as part of China's Danxia landform.

The scenic area contains more than 680 various stone peaks, stone fortresses, walls, pillars and stone bridges. The stones have been formed over the eons by nature, many of which take the shape of the human body, birds and even animals. The numerous stones and peaks are rhythmically interspersed among the scenic spot, making it a sculpture garden of red sandstone rocks. Set against the blue sky, white clouds, jade waters, green trees and the colorful algae, the mountain becomes a picturesque painting.


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Nansha Wetlands Park

Nansha Wetland is located at the southern tip of Guangzhou, only 3 kilometers from Canton tower, the “heart” of Guangzhou. It is the first and the biggest wetland park in Guangzhou with around 7000 square meters, and one of the best preserved habitats of mangroves, which are trees and shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats in the tropics and subtropics.

It is a great place to visit, with thousand of flowers, 142 species of birds, 344 species of plants and a multitude of fish. More than 100,000 migrant birds of 88 different species gather here during the winter, including rare and endangered species as Black-faced Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Pelican, Greater Coucal, Common Kestrel, etc.

For environmental considerations and in order to minimize disturbance to birds, park administrators limit the number of visitors to 100 per day. It is regulated that visitors can only travel around the park within 5 hours.


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Lianhua Mountain

The Lianhua Mountain (Lotus Mountain) is sitting in the Panyu District of Guangzhou, 20 kilometers away from the city center. It locates in th Lion bay with the Pearl River Estuary, making it the location nearest to the ocean in Guangzhou. Therefore, it is one of the Eight Sights of the Goat City, namely "Lianfeng Guanhai", literally meaning the "View Of The Sea From Lianhua Mountain".

Lianhua Mountain is a natural wonder successfully integrating the ancient straightforwardness and modern delicacy. National Travel Bureau judged Lotus Hill as a 4A scenic spot in 2002. It has a gorgeous landscape and surrounded by beautiful lakes. It is composed of four attractions: the Lotus Tower scenic spot, the Lotus City scenic spot, the Kwan Yin Fairy Land and the site of stone landscape.

In the mountain area, there is a well-preserved ancient quarry dating back over 2000 years. Consisting of 48 red-rock hills, Lianhua Mountain was once an important navigation landmark for ships. The red sand-stone here, with its high density and fine grains, is a kind of good building material. According to examinations by experts, of the 12 kinds of stones used for construction of the 2,100-year-old Nanyue King’s tomb under the Elephant Hill in Guangzhou city proper, 8 kinds came from the Lotus Mountain.


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Lingnan Architectures

Guangzhou Lingnan architecture is the city representative, with the charm of traditional culture. Its development has experienced several stages: the learning academy and ancestral temple were the cultural representatives of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Xiguang Big house and arcade was the cultural representative of at the end period of Qing Dynasty and early Min Dynasty , as well as the western-style architecture in the Republic of China, the combination of the Chinese and western architecture after liberation . The architecture style of Guangzhou can be described as colorful and glorious.

Chen Clan Academy

Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family is also called Chen Clan Academy or Chen's Lineage Hall which was a place in Guangzhou both for offering up sacrifices to ancestors and for study. It is one of Guangzhou's best tourist highlights.

Chen Clan Academy was built just before the end of the Qing era between 1890 and 1894. It became a museum in 1957, and the remaining artwork and traditional architecture and decorations were deemed to be so valuable, that in 1988 it was named a National Key Cultural Heritage Protection Unit by the State Council of China. Now it serves as Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts to show the most characteristic Guangdong architecture.

The Chen Ancestral is a traditional Chinese academic complex. It is kind of amazing for the intricate artwork that went into everything from the roof that has 11 ceramic ridge crests that look like dragons lying on the roof to the iron castings of the stone handrails. The iron castings are engraved with delicate designs and pictures. There are four different themes to the pictures called "Qilin and the Phoenix," "Dragons and Orbs", "The Three Goats", and "Goldfish in a Pond". A lot of highly skilled craftsmen must have put a lot of work into the artwork and decorations. The building probably cost a lot to build.


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Yuexiu Park

Yuexiu Park is the largest comprehensive park in Guangzhou, covering an area of 860,000 square meters. Dating back to Qin Dynasty, it was a main attraction for the local people. The building of Yuexiu Park was originally proposed by Sun Yat-sen in modern times. After the liberation of Guangzhou, the people's government turns it into a huge and modern park that is listed as the Eight Scenic Spot of Guangzhou. In the Yuexiu Park, Zhenhai Tower and Five Goat Stone Statue are the iconic attractions.

Zhenhai Tower, a.k.a Five-Story Tower, is considered as the landmark of Guangzhou. The tower was built 1380, which is the best preserved ancient architecture in Guangzhou. It is an amazing thing for visitors to reach the top of the tower so that enjoy the great view of the Pearl River and White Cloud Mountain.

Five Rams Stone Sculpture stands at Muke hillock of the park, which was built in 1959 and considered as the symbol of Guangzhou and Guangzhou has a name of Goat City. There is a Legend of Five Rams Stone Sculpture that long time ago there were five celestial beings, who wore robes of five colors. One day they rode rams through the air to Guangzhou, each carrying a stem of rice. They presented the people with the rice stems as a sign from heaven that the area would be free from famine forever.


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Shamian Island is an elliptic sandbar in the Liwan District of Guangzhou city, Guangdong province. The island's name literally means "sandy surface" in Chinese. Shamian Island has great historic significance. Dating back to Song Dynasty, it served as an important port for foreign trading. In Qing Dynasty, Shamian Island leased territory for British and French invaders. Therefore, most of the constructions in the island are western style. The famous French cathedral, HSBC and old British and French consulate were located in the island.

The island is filled with trees and flowers. Many new brides take their wedding dress photos there, adding loving and romantic atmosphere to the island. Surrounded by water, it is just like a giant ship mooring alongside the wharf. Get further and one will find that the island is carefully planned.

Shamian Island is a good place for a stroll. As it is just 900m long from east to west and 300m from south to north, one will not feel tired even after walking around the island twice. Due to traffic control on the island, problems such as traffic jams and exhaust gas pollution don't exist here. Now partly reserved for pedestrians, its broad boulevards are like long gardens topiaries. A line of bars and cafes on the southwest side with views over the Pearl River serves modern expats.


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Food and Entertainment

Chimelong Theme Park

Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort (Chimelong Theme Park) is located in Panyu District. It is a world class tourist kingdom which always brings happiness to the world. The holiday resort is mainly composed of Chimelong Paradise, the Xiangjiang Safari Park, the Water Park, the International Circus, the Crocopark, and the Golf Center. All are full of excitement and wonder waiting for your arrival.

For its quality and diversity, this resort and amusement park and zoo might be unique in Asia. Most tourists consider the safari park/zoo the best in Asia, and they rank the circus as among the best in the world and the best in Asia. It is Guangzhou's top tourist attraction. The scale and variety and quality of its many attractions makes it unique in China. It might be worth a special trip even from Hong Kong or Macau.


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Cantonese Cuisine

Cantonese cuisine is well-known in China and enjoys great popularity all over the country. As Guangzhou has a long history of food and drinks, as well as many gourmet festivals hold in Guangzhou, Guangzhou has earned the distinct name of "Eating in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou people pay much attention to the color, taste and presentation of cuisines. There are a few similarities between Western cuisines and Cantonese cuisines; making Cantonese cuisine diverse with time goes on. This kind of cuisine uses a wide range of ingredients from the sky, the earth, and the water. They also use seasonings sparingly. Compared with other Chinese cuisines, these local dishes use few thick spicy dressings in order to keep from masking the original taste of the food.

The top 5 dishes in Guangzhou include: White Cut Chicken, Dim Sum, Shao Wei (Cantonese Barbecue), Seafood and Cantonese Desserts. Foreigners say 'All delicious food is in Guangzhou'. The local people say, 'delicacies are at Xiguan of the city'. Xiguan preserves lots of famous traditional snacks. The most lively and popular place is definitely the Shangxia Jiu Lu.


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