10 Cool Ways to Get to Know Guangzhou
Here are our Top 10 attractions and activities in Guangzhou. Just ask the Four Seasons Concierge for tips on tickets and transportation.
1. SOAR TO THE TOP OF THE CANTON TOWER
Just across the Pearl River from Four Seasons, the Canton Tower is a 600-metre (1,968-foot) spire that has been nicknamed “the supermodel” for its narrow hourglass silhouette. Opened to celebrate the 2010 Asian Games, the world’s tallest TV tower gives a bird’s-eye view over the whole city. Four high-speed elevators lift visitors to the viewing platforms at a speed of 10 metres (33 feet) per second.
2. ENJOY THE SPECTACLE OF A PEARL RIVER NIGHT CRUISE
The third largest river in China, the Pearl River gets its name from a stone island resembling a giant pearl. Within the city, the river is lined on both sides with brand-new and historical buildings – showing off the city’s cultural diversity. Though day cruises are available, the two-hour night cruise is more magical thanks to all the colourful, twinkling lights. You’ll travel beneath ten bridges and view some of Guangzhou’s eight most famous scenes, including “Night Moon over the Goose Pool” and “Red Heart of the Pearl River”.
3. GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE AT BAIYUN MOUNTAIN
For some fresh air and greenery, visit Baiyun Mountain– famous as a sight-seeing destination for over 1,000 years. “Baiyun” means white cloud, referring to the many clouds that form around the mountaintops. This beautiful park-style setting boasts 30 peaks, streams, lakes and abundant historical relics. We suggest you set off in the early morning to explore the six sightseeing zones. Be sure to ride the cable cars for a thrilling aerial view, encompassing the whole city of Guangzhou.
4. STEP INTO COLONIAL HISTORY AT SHAMIAN ISLAND
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Guangzhou, Shamian Island is the European enclave where Guangzhou’s business success was established in the 1800s. Carefully refurbished buildings carry reminders of their colonial past as headquarters of the British and French trading companies known as “The Thirteen Factories”. This beautiful island is a charming place for a stroll, stopping for lunch in one of the cafés overlooking the Pearl River.
5. ENJOY A TASTE OF OLD GUANGZHOU AT LIZHIWAN BROOK
For a charming, idealised vision of Guangzhou in the 19th century, visit Lizhiwan Brook, a neighbourhood focused around a traditional waterway canal. Restored as part of the Asian Games projects, the area takes inspiration from the pedestrian appeal of the Seine River in Paris. The 668-metre (2,192-foot) waterway is lined with trees, shops, restaurants, old buildings and museums.
6. EXPERIENCE THE CREATIVE COLONY AT XIAOZHOU VILLAGE
On the southern outskirts of the city lies the centuries-old Cantonese community of Xiaozhou Village, an enclave of canals, ancient buildings, bridges and alleyways. In recent years, artists, writers, photographers and college students have been moving to the village – blending artistic creativity with the old local customs and creating an interesting new cultural community. With nicely decorated cafes and shops, it’s a romantic, slow-paced place to idle away a day. Watch for the three houses made of oyster shells!
7. MEET THE CHENS AT THEIR ANCESTRAL TEMPLE
Regarded as the ultimate example of classical Cantonese architecture, Chen’s Ancestral Temple is a must-see attraction. Completed in 1894, the complex was financed by members of the Chen family with the goal of creating a memorial temple for their ancestors and an academy for their children’s education. The compound includes nine halls, six courtyards and nineteen buildings – famous for their exquisite decorations, such as brick carvings of historic figures. Today the temple also serves as the Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts.
8. FEEL THE SERENITY OF THE SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL
Reflecting China’s Roman Catholic heritage, Sacred Heart Cathedral was completed in 1888. In gothic architectural style, it’s like a smaller version of Notre Dame in Paris. With its magnificent granite arches, tall towers and stained-glass windows, the “Stone Cathedral” provides an unexpected perspective of China’s culture.
9. LEARN SOMETHING NEW AT THE GUANGZHOU SCIENCE CENTER
Located in the Guangzhou University City area, the Guangdong Science Centre combines popular-science exhibits with an international conference centre. You can engage with interactive displays, using a variety of high-tech educational methods. Check out the unique movie experiences, including a 4D Cinema, Digital Ball-Screen Cinema, 3D Giant-Screen Cinema and Virtual Navigation Dynamic Cinema.
10. HAVE FUN AT THE CHIME-LONG PARADISE THEME PARK
Entertain your kids – or have fun with a group of friends – at one of China’s largest theme parks. Chime-Long Paradise is an internationally acclaimed amusement park, stretching over 60 hectares (148 acres) with over 70 attractions. Highlights include several roller coasters, a stunt show and a 4D movie theatre. An adjoining water park includes state-of-the-art water coasters, tube slides and a large wave pool. You might also enjoy the same company’s circus and safari parks.