China’s third largest city, Guangzhou, is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a dazzling blend of all the best of modern and ancient China. Foodies are in luck, as this is the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine. From the spectacular Canton Tower and its unrivalled views of the city, to the treasures of thousands of years of Chinese culture in the Guangzhou Museum and the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, you’ll have a wonderful time exploring this marvellous destination.
Pretty Petals: Guangzhou Lotus Flower Festival
If you’re visiting in the summer you won’t want to miss the spectacular Lotus Flower festival, when more than 280 varieties come into bloom on Lotus Hill. Standing in an ocean of more than 15,000 flowers is an experience that’s not to be missed, a sentiment shared by the 300,000 visitors who make the trip each year. Besides the lotuses, the more than 100-metre-high hill gives you stunning views of lakes, ponds, waterways and rice fields. It’s a beautiful image of China you won’t soon forget.
From the Exotic to the Taboo: The Qingping Market
China has 17 traditional medicine markets located throughout the country and Guangzhou’s Qingping Market is one of the most significant and fascinating. Everything about this place is impressive. In more than 1,200 booths covering some 11,000 square meters you can find everything from Chinese herbal medicines and fresh teas to fruit, vegetables and seafood. If you’re curious, you might even come upon more exotic and forbidden wares such as scorpions, monkeys, shark fins and tiger paws. If you have a taste for adventure, this is the place for you.
Magical Forest: South China Botanical Garden
The South China Botanical Garden is the oldest and largest tropical botanical garden in the country, containing around 5,000 species of plants. Among the spectacular sights you will encounter here is a “magic forest” made up of a lake and two gardens, one of which remains green year round, while the other has four distinct seasons. The garden conservatory is the largest in Asia, housing rainforest, desert, and alpine areas, along with a plethora of exotic plants. This is one of the best places to escape the bustle of the city.