The capital of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou is China’s third-largest urban area and one of China’s most multicultural cities. Set inland on the Pearl River, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of Hong Kong, the busy port was once known by early European traders as Canton.
Between the Pearl River and the office towers of Tianhe is the vibrant new district known as Pearl River New City, created as a destination rich in cultural institutions, fine shops and restaurants, and prestigious business addresses. In the heart of it, close to the riverside, rises the soaring International Finance Center (IFC Guangzhou), an instant icon in the skyline. The 103-storey IFC is not only Guangzhou’s tallest building, it is the tallest in all of South China, and one of the world’s 10 highest skyscrapers.
Occupying the topmost third of the tower is Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou, whose full-height windows overlook the Pearl River from the 69th to 100th floors. The area's new cultural institutions – the Guangzhou Opera House and Guangdong Museum – are a short stroll from the Hotel. Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau are easily accessible by air, high-speed train, coach, ferry service or private limousine.
GMT +8 hours
Local voltage is 220 to 240 volts. Adapters available; please request through the Concierge.
9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Monday to Friday
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Time and distance to city centre
10-minute drive/3 kilometres/1.9 miles
Time and distance to shopping
7-minute drive/2.5 kilometres/1.6 miles
Time and distance to financial district
7-minute drive/2.5 kilometres/1.6 miles
The people of Guangzhou celebrate ancient cultural traditions with festivals and events throughout the year. Below are brief descriptions of the major holidays and events in Guangzhou.
- New Year’s Day is celebrated in China, however the lunar new year is a far more important holiday often called Spring Festival.
- Zhonghe Festival, (Longtaitou) falls on the second day of the second month in the lunar calendar and celebrates the dragon as humanity’s distant ancestor as well as the bringer of spring rains.
- Flower Fairs. Guangzhou is known as China's "Flower City" due to the number of flowers that bloom throughout the year. Flower fairs take place each year, starting three days ahead of the Spring Festival. Aside from the beautiful flowers, visitors can take in folk performances and an assortment of local artistry.
- The Laba Festival is the traditional start of celebrations for the Lunar New Year. People crowd to the temples, where the lamas chant sutras and give out steaming bowls of rice porridge, which are supposed to bring good luck.
- Spring Festival is the most important Chinese holiday and is marked by one of the grandest fireworks displays in the world. The dates vary each year, but it usually falls in late-January or early-February and lasts for 15 days.
- The Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the first lunar month, marks the end of China's new year celebrations. Traditional dancers in colourful costumes take to the streets. At night, lantern-lit parades illuminate the city.
- Tomb Sweeping Festival, (Qingming) is a nationwide day for mourning the dead. The Chinese people use the occasion to pay their respects to their ancestors and to tidy tombs and grave sites by removing weeds and leaves. This festival is also celebrated as a day that welcomes the coming of spring, when all is new and fresh.
- The Polo Temple Fair takes place from March 11th to 13th and celebrates the birth of Polo, the sea god of southern China.
- International Labour Day, aka May Day, is celebrated as a public holiday in China.
- Dragon Boat Festival, (Duanwu) commemorates the death of ancient poet Qu Yuan. Locals eat zongzi (bamboo-wrapped rice dumplings) and watch the exciting and vibrant dragon boat races. Qu Yuan lived as a courtier in the Chou Dynasty until he was one day tossed into the sea at the hands of a corrupt and evil official. When the local fishermen heard of the poet's demise, they searched the waters to find him. Unsuccessful, they threw rice dumplings into the sea and slapped the water with their paddles to distract the fish from the poet's body.
- Lychee Festival. Visitors to the festival can taste, view and admire the delicious fruit. The festival takes place in Zengcheng, which has long been known as the town of lychees.
- Lotus Festival. Each year, visitors to the Lotus Festival in Panyu district come to admire lotuses in full bloom, taste delicacies made out of lotus and enjoy folk entertainment.
- Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Signaling family reunion to the Chinese people, it is also one of the most important traditional festivals in China. Admiring the full moon and eating delicious moon cakes top the to-do list for this occasion.
- Guangzhou International Gourmet Festival. Thousands of food connoisseurs flock to the city during the festival to sample local delicacies as well as new innovations.
- National Day. Brave the crowds on October 1st as National Day celebrations happen around the country. Marking the day the Communist Party came into power, the events include floral sculptures, concert series and large-scale fireworks displays in major parks.
- Christmas is not a major holiday in China, but you'll find Guangzhou's saavier restaurants and bars catering to expats and diplomats, as well as winter tourists, with Christmas promotions.
Chinese Public Holidays 2015
|New Year's Day||January 1|
|Spring Festival||February 18–24|
|Lantern Festival||March 5|
|Tomb Sweeping Day||April 4–6|
|Labour Day||May 1–3|
|Dragon Boat Festival||June 20–22|
|National Day||October 1–7|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||September 26–28|