Past and present collide in Guangzhou – a buzzing metropolitan city with an ancient heritage. Here, cutting-edge architecture gives way to traditional temples set in tranquil parkland. And chic shopping streets are just a stone’s throw from timeless markets, brimming with sights, sounds and tastes from all over China. It’s a place of exhilarating contrasts, all waiting to be explored from your luxury, boutique hotel.
A gateway to the treasures of Southern China – vibrant culture, rich history and fabulous food.
Things to do
As a wealthy trading port, Guangzhou has been a cultural hub for thousands of years. You could learn about its origins as an ancient royal capital at the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King. Or stroll across the bridge to Shaiman Island, where British, Dutch and Portuguese merchants traded their wares, and built grand mansions. The city is also home to a vibrant arts scene, with the futuristic Guangzhou Opera House playing host to live music and traditional theatre.
Guangzhou is renowned as a hotspot for authentic Cantonese cuisine. Gourmet restaurants serve up contemporary takes on time-honoured specialities, such as roast suckling pig. But some of the best flavours can also be found on the go. The city’s street markets are the place to sample freshly made dim sum, including a regional favourite, shaomai – crisp and delicate steamed dumplings.
Just outside Guangzhou lies Baiyun Shan, or ‘White Cloud Mountain’. Take the cable car up to the ridge to see miles of lakes, forests and parkland stretch out for miles around. Then, as evening draws in, return to the city to watch Pearl River come to life. You could drop by one of the bars and restaurants lining the banks of this winding waterway, or take a cruise to see the river lit up by the bridges and skyscrapers.
Tea is an artform in Guangzhou. Visit a local teahouse to sip traditional varieties such as Gongfu Cha – served with ceremony in ornate cups as small as bird eggs.
Top Tip from SLH