Country: China
Currency: Renminbi (RMB)
Peak Season: June-August
Shoulder Season: March-May
Median Temperature: 21.00 C / 69.8 F
Main Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, metro, taxi, water bus
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $90.00/day
Tourist Passes: n/a
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Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, has earned its ranks as a booming mercantile city. It is presently inhabited by close to 15 million people. It is South China’s largest city, having undergone expansion in recent years. Since the late 17th century, Guangzhou has been nurturing diplomatic relations with Asian countries, securing a strong industrial boost in the centuries to come. The annual Guangzhou Canton Fair Trade Show is the world’s biggest trade congress, flocked to by many businessmen and budding entrepreneurs.

Guangzhou’s key industries include metalworks from small-scale to large-scale enterprises, electronics, textiles, refineries, and petroleum. The city welcomes many immigrant workers, most of whom come from neighboring Asian and Middle Eastern countries. And, being part of the Pearl River City Delta makes both Guangzhou and Shenzhen convenient for businesses in and out of the cities to conduct cross-country trades. The Port of Guangzhou – serving both tourists and seafaring merchants – is the largest port intersection of major waterways and railways in South China. It is also a convenient spot to travel to neighboring cities within the delta.

Known for its Cantonese cuisine, clean environment, mild climate, and year-long blossoming of flowers, mainland Guangzhou is an ideal tourist destination, Shamian Island and neighboring islands included. Underneath the curtain of industrialization lies vast cultural richness. It is one of the oldest cities in China, with over two millennia of in preserving a multitude of greeneries and temples.

Packing List

  • Decent clothing—not to flashy, but not too conservative; the intense heat and humidity can get unbearable at times, so bring your most comfortable clothes, sunscreen, a hat and an umbrella
  • Extra storage and expandable shopping bags if you plan to buy from the stores and boutiques; a credit card is useful, but we would recommend that you pay in dollars or in the local currency
  • Essential medication (anti-diarrhea), bottled water and toiletries; mosquito repellants and sleeved clothing will help you get better sleep if staying in a budget room, where mosquitoes are plentiful
  • A decent camera, zoom lenses, film/memory and batteries for the attractions; you may want to bring a couple of good batteries, since you end up buying substandard ones in the city
  • Portable electronics and good books to keep you preoccupied during the night; make sure to safeguard your belongings, or just bring your cheaper ones, since thievery is a major concern

Things to Do

  • Visiting Yuexiu Park, which converges both culture and nature with its beautifully executed walkways, artificial lakes (Dongxiu, Nanxiu, Beixiu), the Five-Ram Sculpture, and Zhenhai Tower
  • Enjoying White Cloud Mointain, named after clouds shrouding it after rainfall; its six parks include: Bright Pearl Building, Summit, Bird Spring Valley, Santailing, Luhu, Fei'eling and Yuntai
  • Entering the Guangzhou Zoo, which covers 42 hectares and houses popular oriental animals, the panda and golden monkey; it’s also home to Safari natives: lions, tigers, giraffes, rhinos and zebras
  • Recollecting at the Temple of the Chen Family; the carving-studded ancestral hall serves to honor the family ancestors, as well as to pray for good reaping of the next generations to come
  • Shopping for jade, herbs, and produce at the Qingping Market; some sections of the market include some animals being slaughtered, including dogs, which are considered a delicacy in parts of Asia

DON'T

  • Leave your room without securing doors and windows; also, don’t stay for too long at stations and marketplaces, as these are crime hotspots for pickpockets and motorcycle tandem snatchers
  • Contemplate or attempt to smuggle illegal drugs inside or outside the country; a Filipina accused of possessing narcotics has recently been executed alongside two others by the Chinese government
  • Stay in one location, since it takes more than a week to fully explore Guangzhou’s attractions; plan out mainland itineraries, and rule out attractions that take too much time, especially the islands
  • Push your sentiment against the Chinese government—it’s okay to applaud, but don’t attempt to push democratic beliefs; even the idyllic locals of Guangzhou retaliate to dissenting comments
  • Drink the tap water—even the locals are persistent with buying bottled instead of boiling; contamination is very likely due to the manufacturing bases the Guangdong Province is famous for