Arriving at Guangzhou train station, I didn’t know what to expect of the city. It’s one of those modern metropolises often seen as a stop-over to other parts of the world. As one of China’s busiest airports, Guangzhou Baiyun is the home base and central layover for China Southern Airlines. It’s also growing into one of China’s most important centres for the high-tech industry with booming industrial sectors. A great place to shop for electronics.
The metro from the train station is as efficient as any other in China. Well laid out maps with an intuitive system. The ticket machines always available in English and prices around 1 dollar to get anywhere in the city.
Guangzhou doesn’t quite have the history to match some other major cities, its streets full of modern architecture and high-end retail. It looks and feels clean, modern and safe. The people smiling and milling about town in a jubilant fashion.
The city is busy, but it doesn’t feel busy in the same hectic way that other cities do. A relaxed nature seems to permeate the air.
Exploring at night is a great decision. The air is cooler, that southern humidity dropping off slightly with the absence of the sun.
The city begins to glow in the evening and continues on into the night. The lights of the towers coming to life in a myriad of colour and modern expression. The air itself glowing purple as the mist and fog catch the light.
The waterside is wonderful, it seems this is the time and place to exercise, the riverbank flowing with activity. Again, it’s busy with crowds but doesn’t feel like it. The noise and behaviour are calm and comfortable. The locals at peace in their home.
The Canton Tower stands high in the sky, its shifting rainbow of light dancing in the sky. It’s a marvel to look upon as it reflects on the river. The tower can be ascended, with a glass observation deck at 450m!
Across the bank, Huacheng Plaza is abuzz with life and laughter. The ‘place to be’ apparently, the square teeming with families and children playing on the colourful ground which lights up like a disco floor, the city’s tallest towers bordering both sides displaying their own light shows.
I spent hours wandering the streets, seeing everything on display. It really comes off as a very happy place, a big city with a welcoming environment.
Some other highlights of the city are definitely;
- Shamian Island
- Chen Clan Academy
- Baiyun Mountain Park
After taking the metro back across town to my hotel, I wandered down the streets lined with small food stalls, the smell captivating and irresistible. I couldn’t finish my walk empty handed, grabbing a portion of crispy looking gyozas. Completely delicious, every bite a reassurance of the decision I had made.
Guangzhou is a wonderful place to visit for food, its streets full of wonderful regional cuisine and international favourites.
Make sure to try these delights when visiting;
- Yum Cha
- Kao Ru Zhu
- Long Hu Dou
- Shuang Pi Nai
- Dim Sum
Thanks for reading!