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Why Guangzhou is the Ultimate Stopover


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Written by: Will Jones

Going Gung-Ho in Guangzhou

Guangzhou is the third largest city in China, after Beijing and Shanghai, and makes for a great stopover destination when travelling with the airline China Southern, who are based there. While many travellers never leave the airport, those that do are in for a real treat, as the city and surrounding area have attractions that rival some of the best in the country.
Here we list the top seven things to do in Guangzhou.

1.     Stroll down Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

Barcelona has Las Ramblas, New York has Fifth Avenue, London has Oxford Street, and Guangzhou has Shangxiajiu. One of the most famous streets in China, this pedestrianised thoroughfare is almost a mile long, and has over 300 shops.

2.     Scale Baiyun Mountain

The stunningly scenic Baiyun Mountain and surrounding area make for a perfect escape from the noisy city. Also known as ‘white cloud mountain’, after the clouds that swirl around its base, Baiyun Mountain is peppered with points of historical significance, too.

3.     Visit the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family

Comprised of 19 buildings, six courtyards and a web of atmospheric corridors, this beautiful temple is over 100 years old and an exemplary example of traditional Chinese architecture. It also houses the Guangdong Folk Museum.

4.     Experience the Nanyue King’s Tomb Museum

This fascinating relic and classic piece of Han Dynasty architecture is the final resting place of the second king of Nanyue Zhao Mo and was only discovered in 1983. It features 750 enormous, mural-covered stones and a mesmerizing garment made from silk and jade.

5.     Take a night cruise on the Pearl River

Dissecting the city of Guangzhou, the Pearl River is the third longest in China, and offers an ideal vantage point to enjoy the city. The views are particularly magnificent at night, when the skyscrapers light up and a blaze of neon is reflected in the waters.

6.     Explore the Sacred Heart Cathedral

A clue to Guangzhou’s colonial past, this gorgeous Roman Catholic church is sometimes referred to as the Notre-Dame de Paris of the East. It’s located in the heart of the old town and was completed in 1888.

7.     Shamian Island

This sandbank island has a host of interesting buildings, many of which are reminiscent of European structures; some of the architectural styles here include gothic, baroque and neoclassical. A perfect place for a wander if you’re feeling a little homesick!

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