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Book a flight to Guangzhou with Qatar Airways and explore a metropolis that continues to celebrate its heritage amid an ultra-modern façade.
For centuries, Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton), was an important trade harbour that connected China with other countries along the Silk Road. Today, it continues to live up to its economic potential as one of China’s four financial hubs.
Partially isolated by mountains, Guangzhou is teeming with both manmade and natural attractions. It also has an eclectic mix of old and new cultural influences, from ancient temples to imperial tombs. The capital and largest city in the Guangdong Province, it was the cradle of revolutions and reforms that profoundly affected the face of modern China.
For a fascinating culture crawl, visit Guangzhou’s Xiguan Residence, home to traditional Chinese architecture, dating to the Qing dynasty. The more recent 19th-century Chen Clan Ancestral Hall boasts a rich collection of intricate ivory sculptures and silk embroideries. Also, don’t forget to visit Shamian Island, where boulevards from British and French colonial days have been renovated.
But the most iconic structure in Guangzhou is the Canton Tower, which, until 2013, was the country’s tallest building. Standing at 600 metres, the tower was opened in 2010 to commemorate the Asian Games. To get an unparalleled view of the city, head to the tower’s observation decks on the 107th and 108th floors. Alternatively, you can book a table at the Twist Mediterranean Buffet Revolving Restaurant on the 106th floor.
The many historic Buddhist temples are also worth a visit on your trip to Guangzhou for their architectural delights. The most famous is the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees or Liurong Si, a nine-floor pagoda built in the 6th century.
Some of China’s best museums can be found when you travel toGuangzhou, including the magnificent Mausoleum of the Nanyue King and the Guangdong Museum of Art. If you’re travelling with family, don’t miss Guangzhou Ocean World. Located inside Guangzhou Zoo, Ocean World features a colourful display of exotic sea creatures, as well as entertainment options.
Guangzhou is also full of spacious parks, including Yuexiu Park, which is the biggest in China. Several theme parks, such as Chimelong Water Park and Chimelong International Circus, have made the city a family-friendly destination.
Renowned for its distinctive taste, colour and presentation, Cantonese cuisine is very popular in Guangzhou. Start your culinary journey by sampling an assortment of dim sum, which is often served with sweet sauce. Seafood, roasted chicken and duck are also common in Cantonese menus.
Head for the Guangzhou Restaurant, a family-run establishment that serves dishes traditional to the region. If you want impressive ambiance to go with your mouth-watering meal, try the Pan Xi Restaurant, and dine amid stunning architecture and trickling streams.
When travelling to Guangzhou for shopping, you will find that the back alleys offer the most interesting goods. They are also the best way to see the historic parts of the city. Specific trades tend to be concentrated along particular streets, such as Flower Street, Jade Street and Toy Street.
There are also large shopping centres, such as Beijing Lu Pedestrian Street, the main shopping area, and China Plaza, which is popular with locals. For fashion and designer stores, head for Guangzhou Mall or Zhengjia Plaza.
Essential facts about Guangzhou
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip