Nihau, Guangzhou! Guide to the ancient city of South China
At first glance, Guangzhou does not make any special impression on the tourist. There are a lot of people here, which is normal for a Chinese city. And a lot of greenery, which is normal for the southern city. But before giving up on Guangdong's provincial capital, check out the historical guide or, at worst, a guidebook. Guangzhou is an ancient city. He is more than 2,000 years old, and it was from here that the Great Silk Road began. This region has managed to maintain an exceptional flavor despite the fact that it has long become a world center of trade and industry.
What to see in Guangzhou
An attentive tourist will find hundreds of artifacts and natural monuments in Guangzhou, all of which will be very different from each other. The city stands on a clean, full-flowing Pearl River, which, oddly enough, harmoniously blends in with the urban landscape. The shores of the waterway are connected by 10 bridges - with the onset of darkness, they are illuminated by neon lights. So it's better to have fun on cruise liners and walk along the promenade in the evening.
Even on the banks of the Pearl River there are many attractions, and one of them is the Canton TV Tower. Its height reaches 600 meters! The television tower is popular primarily due to the Ferris wheel, which is located at the top of the building. It offers a wonderful view of the city.
The famous Shamyan island, recognized as an object of cultural significance, drifts on the waters of the river. There is no Chinese architecture here - it is completely built up with colonial mansions. After the Second Opium War, Shamyan went to the French and English allies, and remained their possession for about 80 years. When the island returned to the rule of the Chinese government, nothing was changed on this territory.
Baiyun Mountains are 15 km from the center of Guangzhou. Business Chinese here managed to organize a tourist complex with Buddhist temples, observation platforms and a cable car. By the way, the Baiyun Mountains are indecently considered a climatic resort for a long time - they came here on vacation back in the 5th century BC.
Those who love architecture in Guangzhou also have something to see. The Temple of the Five Spirits is a monumental embodiment of the legend about the origin of the city. They say that God knows when there was a small village on these lands, whose inhabitants suffered from hunger. And then one day five spirits descended from heaven to earth. Each of them was riding a goat and holding a bunch of rice in his hands. Divine beings gave stalks to people and promised that now their area will become prosperous. And so it happened. In gratitude to the gods, the Cantonians erected a temple of the Five Spirits, and made a statue of five goats as a symbol of the city. You can admire the stone sculpture in the scenic Yusei Park. It’s ridiculous to say, but in Guangzhou they even publish a newspaper called The Goat City Evening.
The Temple of Six Banyan Trees is another religious attraction of the city. Tourists are attracted by its octagonal flower pagoda, by the way, the highest in Guangzhou. Inside the temple, you can see ancient wood carvings decorated with gold and red paint.
Shopaholics will appreciate the city’s main retail outlet - Beijing Pedestrian Street, which is at least 700 years old. Everything is sold here: from antiques to modern electronics. As for clothes, in local stores you can not find unless goods from world luxury brands. They should be hunted in large shopping centers.
If you want to learn more about the history of Guangzhou, be sure to check out King Nanyue's Mausoleum. The building itself was built not so long ago, while the exhibits are more than 2,000 years old. The tomb of Tsar Zhaomey, ruler of Nanyue, was found in 1983, and at the same time during excavations valuable objects of Chinese culture were discovered. Unique interior items, the oldest screens, a funeral costume made of jadeite - about 1,000 things Zhaomei ordered to be buried with him. Now these ancient treasures are on display.
Tourists with children should visit the complex of amusement parks Chimelong Paradise & Waterpark, which consists of an amusement park, water park, safari park and circus. Those who were there assure: Guangzhou Circus is no worse than Dusoleevsky. It is better to visit the complex on a weekday - there are fewer lines than on weekends.
What to eat in Guangzhou
Have you noticed that Cantonese cuisine is most often served in European Chinese restaurants? This is because it is insanely popular not only among the Chinese, but also outside the country. In Guangdong province, in addition to meat, it is customary to eat offal, as well as insects, snakes, snails and other God's creatures.
Cantonese culinary philosophy preaches a careful attitude to the natural taste of products, so in local restaurants they are steamed or quickly fried. In addition, spicy spices are not used here, the dishes are based on ginger, soy sauce, green onions, starch and oil. Keep in mind, Cantonese cuisine may seem fresh to you.
But this does not matter - in Guangzhou there are many European institutions. The most luxurious, of course, are located in five-star hotels. If you like traditional food, then there will be no problems with nutrition. Hundreds of round-the-clock eateries are scattered throughout the city, where you can eat from the heart for a penny. And for those who want to tickle their nerves, we advise you to go to the Snake Restaurant. It serves dishes with the participation of snakes, including poisonous ones.
Where to stay in Guangzhou
If you count well, more than 1,000 hotels will be found in Guangzhou - after all, it is a major economic and cultural center of China. It constantly attracts businessmen, managers, tourists and students. The city is full of both five-star hotels and budget hostels. But remember, eat in Guangzhou at the time when any exhibition is held - you will have to pay exorbitantly for housing.
How to get around Guangzhou
In Guangzhou, people usually take the subway and buses. The subway grid consists of 8 lines, and the fare depends on the distance. As for ground transportation, a bus network covers the entire city. On certain routes you can even reach the suburban Foshan District. Another popular form of transport among tourists is taxis. True, most drivers do not speak English.