Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, is the third largest city in China and the largest in southern China. Nicknamed the City of Rams or Yangcheng, ancient names include Yuecheng, Panyu, and Nanhai. Guangzhou is a historical starting point of the Maritime Silk Road and known as the Southern Gateway to China.

Geographically, Guangzhou is situated in southern China along the Pearl River Delta. It borders Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, and Hong Kong by sea. The city administers 10 districts - Yuexiu, Liwan, Haizhu, Tianhe, Baiyun, Huangpu, Panyu, Huadu, Nansha and Luogang, along with 2 county-level cities - Conghua and Zengcheng.

Legend claims Guangzhou earned its nickname "City of Rams" when five immortal beings rode in on rams, each carrying stalks of grain. They gifted the grain to locals, blessing the land with eternal abundance. The immortals left behind five rams that turned to stone. Images of these Five Rams stand in Yuexiu Park today.

Experience Guangzhou's history along the Maritime Silk Road. Marvel at gleaming skyscrapers and delicious Cantonese cuisine. In Guangzhou, China's past and future combine in one vibrant metropolis.

Consumption level

Overall, Guangzhou is one of the more expensive cities in China for dining, lodging, and transportation. Fast food averages 10-20RMB. However, Guangzhou offers very cheap clothing prices due to its many wholesale markets.

To save on accommodations, stay in hostels or budget hotels outside the downtown, with rates from 80-150RMB per night. Use the metro system to get around for just 2-6RMB per ride. Enjoy affordable dim sum, wonton noodles, and other local eats at small restaurants and food stalls.

While higher-end hotels, restaurants and attractions can quickly add up, budget-focused travelers can experience Guangzhou’s mix of history, culture and modern city life. By choosing affordable lodging, maximizing public transit, and sampling inexpensive local cuisine, you can have an immersive experience in Guangzhou without spending a fortune. Focus your spending on one or two highlights per day.

Yingchun Flower Market

Chinese New Year Flower Market in Guangzhou

The Chinese New Year Flower Market in Guangzhou has its origins in the ancient flower and night flower markets of the city. During the festival, bamboo sheds are erected along streets to sell fresh flowers, fruits and decorations, known as "flower streets."

In the days before Spring Festival, major parks hold flower exhibitions while festive towers and arches adorn main roads. Farmers flock in to sell flowers and tangerines straight through until dawn on New Year's Day, in the distinctive all-night Guangzhou flower market.

Vibrant and fragrant flower streets transform Guangzhou into a floral wonderland, infused with the festive spirit. As families prepare their homes for a fresh start to the new year, flowers represent hope and renewal. The bustling late-night markets brim with tradition and lively charm.

Visitors can soak up classic Cantonese culture while enjoying the colorful sights, fragrances and warm hospitality of Guangzhou's iconic Chinese New Year Flower Market.

Location: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
Time: Prior to Lunar New Year

Boluoxian Temple Fair

Porua Temple Fair in Guangzhou, China

The Porua Temple Fair honoring the Sea God's birthday is one of Guangzhou's grandest folk festivals, with over 1,000 years of history. For days around the 11th to 13th of the 2nd lunar month, the Porua Temple area bursts with celebrations radiating out into surrounding waterways and streets.

The temple throbs with people as incense and firecrackers fill the air, rivaling Spring Festival in scale and excitement. An old saying goes "First visit Porua, second marry your wife!"

On the Sea God's birthday, statues of his five sons are paraded to Porua Temple from their own village shrines in an event called "Five Sons Paying Respects." With gongs booming, the lavish processions wind through cheering crowds, guarded by weapon-bearing escorts.

The extravagant fair transforms the Porua Temple into a jubilant world of pageantry and piety unique to Guangzhou tradition. Visitors are swept up in the festive atmosphere of performances, prayers, feasts and throngs of pilgrims at this thousand-year old religious and cultural carnival. 

Location: Porua Temple, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
Time: 11th - 13th day of the 2nd lunar month

Litchi Festival

Litchi Festival in Zengcheng, Guangzhou

Known as the "Hometown of Litchis," Zengcheng near Guangzhou holds an annual Litchi Festival each July. Visitors can taste and admire the bountiful litchi harvest while enjoying song and dance performances, sports competitions and more. There are also art exhibits, book fairs, product shows and business forums.

The lively festival celebrates Zengcheng's famous sweet litchis. Orchards burst with ripe red fruit dangling from lush green trees, a picturesque scene. Farmers harvest baskets overflowing with litchis to sell at markets and roadside stands.

Visitors sample fresh and juicy litchis, litchi desserts, and products from litchi wood. Performances showcase local culture with children dressed as litchi fairies. Zengcheng's Litchi Festival is a fragrant, fruity summer celebration of this beloved tropical fruit.

Location: Zengcheng, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
Time: July

Lotus Festival

Lotus Flower Festival in Panyu, Guangzhou

August is lotus blossom season in Guangzhou, drawing visitors to Panyu District to admire the flowers. There, one can enjoy lotus-themed cuisine and cultural performances amid the sweeping sea of pink blooms.

Panyu's lakes and ponds burst with magnificent lotuses rising from lush lily pads. Photographers flock to capture the scenic beauty. Locals pluck the photogenic flowers to decorate homes and restaurants. Vendors sell lotus root, seeds, tea and other products.

The festive atmosphere also features folk dances, music, and boat tours among the fragrant blossoms. The Panyu Lotus Flower Festival allows visitors to experience the beauty, cuisine and culture of Guangzhou inspired by the lotus.

Location: Panyu District, Guangzhou
Time: August

Guangzhou International Food Festival

Guangzhou International Food Festival

Guangzhou's famous culinary scene is showcased annually at the Guangzhou International Food Festival, held around September-October before the Canton Fair. Restaurants across the city nominate their signature dishes to compete in the festival.

Over a hundred items are judged across categories like famous dishes, snacks, desserts and innovative cuisine. Besides savoring Cantonese flavors, visitors enjoy entertainment shows, shopping deals and more at this dynamic festival fusing food with culture, business and tourism.

The lively event is hosted at the Guangzhou International Food Exhibition Center, where restaurants, companies and organizations exhibit in a vibrant culinary expo. Cooking demonstrations, tastings and discussions let people discover new flavors and trends.

For travelers eager to experience Guangzhou's diverse and authentic local flavors, the International Food Festival presents a delicious opportunity to feast on the city's exceptional culinary accomplishments. 

Location: Guangzhou International Food Exhibition Center
Time: September - October

Hometown of Cantonese cuisine, with a taste of Guangzhou

In Guangzhou, locals passionately partake in morning tea, afternoon tea, and late-night tea accompanied by dim sum. Rising at dawn, they meander to teahouses with newspaper in hand to start the day with tea. Next comes the best part - lazily circling must-try tidbits like oozing custard buns, plump shrimp dumplings, and hearty congee. This indulgent routine sparks Guangzhou's magic. Late-night snacks are another local habit. Outdoor diner stalls are where locals flock for budget feasts. A few cold beers, several steaming plates, and good company make for joyful meals. With plates piled high, the night carries on amidst laughter and satisfied burps. As a dim sum darling and culinary melting pot, Guangzhou offers nonstop flavor. Sip slowly and graze on steamed, fried, and braised specialties from morning's first sip to night's final bite. This food-loving city was made for unrestrained enjoyment.

The Pearl River Night Charming

As dusk falls over Guangzhou, the mesmerizing nightscape of the Pearl River comes alive. Shimmering waters flow by as colorful lights dance across towering buildings, bridges, and pagodas. It's as if strings of glowing pearls are embedded along the riverbanks, forming a dazzling rainbow ribbon through the heart of the city. A scenic boat tour unveils Guangzhou's most stunning after-dark vistas. Glide past the Goose Pond awash in moonlight, the misty Twin Bridges, romantic Pearl River Heart island, and more iconic landmarks now illuminated in all their splendor. The myriad lights reflecting off the river create a magical dreamscape. Lose yourself in the hypnotic ripples as you drift along, taking in one striking scene after another. As the skyline ignites and neon signs flicker to life, prepare to be enchanted by the Pearl River's beguiling nocturnal beauty.

Guangzhou "Little Man Waist"

Nicknamed "Little Slim Waist" by locals, Canton Tower captivates with its sleek hyperboloid structure dramatically lit at night. Ascend to its apex for stunning 360-degree views across Guangzhou's sprawling urban expanse. Thrill-seekers will love circling overhead in the tower's lofty rotating restaurant and open-air sky deck offering a bird's eye perspective. For a unique memento, make a stop at the highest-altitude post office in the world to mail postcards to friends and family from the stratospheric heights. By day, the tower's intricate lattice work glints under the sun. After dark, its flowing form emerges in a dazzling display of ever-changing colored lights. This iconic Guangzhou landmark epitomizes future-forward design while paying homage to the city's "Slim Waist" nickname. Views from the top are simply unforgettable.

Searching for the Most Beautiful Sunrise in Guangzhou

For the most spectacular sunrise views in Guangzhou, head to the Bath of the Sun Pavilion at the Temple of the Southern Sea. Perched over the Pearl River, this serene lookout point offers front-row seats as the sun's first rays illuminate the city's skyline. Time your visit to coincide with the annual Temple Fair held here during the 11th to 13th days of the lunar calendar. The lively festivities honoring the sea goddess Mazu's birthday have taken place for centuries, making it Guangzhou's largest and most famous folk celebration. Watching the sunrise's golden hues spread across the river while the temple comes alive with revelry below makes for an unforgettable experience. As darkness gives way to dawn, you'll understand why locals flock to this scenic spot to usher in each new day with this stunning natural spectacle.

Sand Bay Floating Color

ShaWan PiaoSe is a colorful folk art parade with over 100 years of history in Guangzhou. This unique tradition earns acclaim as a one-of-a-kind cultural gem. During major festivals and temple fairs, the ancient ShaWan village comes alive with elaborate PiaoSe processions. Towering floats featuring vibrant costumes, dancing, and music weave through the streets. Each float serves as a mobile stage, with performers atop platforms measuring 153 x 77 x 64 cm. The choreographed vignettes are called "screens." No two are alike, showcasing everything from ancient legends to modern stories through creative tableaux. Cheers erupt as the kaleidoscopic extravaganza passes by. For visitors, this spectacular street theater offers an unparalleled glimpse into Guangzhou’s heritage. The dazzling sights and sounds of PiaoSe perfectly encapsulate the city’s vibrant culture.

The European Style on Shamian Island

Step into a European reverie on Shamian Island, home to over 150 Baroque and Neoclassical buildings. Stroll the picturesque pedestrian streets lined with stately historic structures dating back to Guangzhou's time as a trading port. Pavement cafes, restaurants, and teahouses beckon visitors to relax amid flowering trees and lush greenery. The island's romantic ambience draws those with a flair for refined living. Marvel at the striking contrasts between the exotic chinoiserie motifs adorning bright facades and the area's authentic heritage as an opulent colonial settlement. It's easy to forget you're in Guangzhou while wandering past the mansions, churches, and archways dotting this scenic isle. With its breezy seaside charm, Shamian Island offers an escape to old-world elegance just steps from the bustling city.

Old Pier Shadow

Once a bustling dock, Taikoo Wharf is now a lively commercial and recreational area where the old meets the new. Amid repurposed warehouses, the nostalgic atmosphere of its industrial past blends seamlessly with contemporary additions. Cafés, bars, restaurants, and boutiques fill spacious waterside bays lined with rustic details like weathered wooden beams and exposed brickwork. Towering masts and cargo hoists recall its history as a trading port. At night, strings of lights illuminate the riverside promenade. Locals and visitors alike are drawn to the harmonious fusion of heritage charm and modern flair. Wander historic alleyways before relaxing at an outdoor patio with refreshing drinks and waterfront views. Taikoo Wharf brings Guangzhou's past to life while offering ideal spaces to work, dine, shop, and play along the scenic Pearl River.

Guangzhou's "Literary and Artistic Style"

Once an abandoned factory, Redtory is now a trendsetting creative district similar to Beijing’s 798 Art Zone and Shanghai’s 1933 Old Millfun. Within its graffitied brick walls, vintage industrial flair fuses with cutting-edge culture. Wander through raw workshops-turned-galleries, indie boutiques, and hip cafés. Appreciate textured layers of old and new - exposed pipes beside sleek furnishings, crumbling walls adorned with edgy art. Come evening, lively bars pump out music as modern dance and theater productions grace its converted stages. With an artsy, underground vibe, Redtory draws Guangzhou's youthful creative crowd. Here, you can tap into the city's emerging art, fashion, and design scenes or just soak up the gritty, post-industrial ambience unique to this reimagined heritage site. Redtory brings Guangzhou's industrial past powerfully to life.

Exquisite Sculpture Art

Though compact in size, Chen Clan Academy stuns with intricately carved details and vibrant architecture. Stepping into its ornate central courtyard transports you back centuries with imposing vermilion pillars, intricate friezes, and upturned flying eaves. Marvel at the academy's stunning craftsmanship - each wooden column, door, and window frame boasts elaborate mythological creatures, landscapes, and auspicious symbols. Admire the dizzying, geometric designs of the rock garden's pagoda emerging through carved bamboo. Despite its relatively small scale, the academy's exquisite decorative touches will leave you awe-struck. As a rare surviving example of traditional Lingnan architecture, this national treasure offers glimpses into Guangdong's rich cultural heritage through its mesmerizing decorative arts. The sublime beauty of the academy's carvings is an unforgettable sight.

Watching Rain and Appreciating Mulan in the Pavilion

Nestled midway up a hillside in Guangzhou's South China Botanical Garden, Magnolia Garden is awash in the blossoms that give it its name. Against the mountains' lush backdrop, the ancient pavilion's striking rooftop eaves evoke a sense of stepping back in time. After a rain shower, head to this scenic lookout. Gazing out across rows of delicate pink and white magnolia blooms from the seclusion of the pavilion is a quintessential springtime pleasure. The fresh floral scent mingles with earthy petrichor as misty veils of rain dissipate over the garden's ponds and waterfalls. Appreciate how the tranquil setting accentuates the magnolias' delicate beauty. For a picturesque perspective on these storied flowers that have inspired Chinese artists and poets for centuries, visit this hillside garden retreat when the magnolias are in full bloom.

History

Archaeological evidence confirms human activity in Lianyungang's ancient Mount Qushan and present-day Mount Jinping area as early as 10,000 years ago. In 1959 and 1978, the oldest Paleolithic sites in southeast China were discovered at Erjian and Daxian Village with clear stratigraphic layers. Mount Jinping has 19 Neolithic sites, with Erjian being one of China's earliest farming areas.

The 20-meter long, 10-meter wide "General Cliff Painting" discovered in 1979 was appraised by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage as "an extremely important cultural relic and rare major discovery, the earliest 'book' in China."

The Donghan era art treasure "Kongwang Mountain Grottoes Statues" are the earliest Buddhist grotto statues in China, 100-200 years earlier than the Dunhuang Grottoes, and protected at the national level.

The area is also steeped in history, with attractions related to Confucius' sea gazing, Emperor Qin's inspections, and famous poets and officials like Tao Yuanming, Li Bai, Su Dongpo, Shen Kuo, Li Qingzhao, Wu Cheng'en, Li Ruzhen, Wu Jingzi, Lin Zexu, Zhu Ziqing and more.

Best Travel Time

During the winter and spring seasons in Guangzhou, it is suitable for flower watching and sightseeing. In summer, you can engage in water entertainment activities, and autumn is the best shopping season. The best travel time is from October to December, with mild weather that is neither hot nor cold, making it suitable for traveling and visiting.

Dressing Guidelines

Guangzhou Clothing Tips

Spring (mid March to mid May): Temperatures and humidity rise, pack light jackets or sweaters.

Summer (mid May to mid September): Frequent rain, bring rain gear. Typhoons common in August-September. 

Fall (late September to early December): Light sweaters and jackets are comfortable.

Winter (mid December to late February): Cool weather, pack coats for occasional cold spells.

In Guangzhou's subtropical climate, lightweight clothing like sweaters, cardigans and jackets for air-conditioned spaces are handy year-round. Bring foldsble umbrellas and rain jackets, especially in summer. Dress in breathable layers that can be adjusted for Guangzhou's changing temperatures and rainfall. Proper attire will keep you comfortable exploring this bustling south Chinese city.

Medical treatment

Here is some information on medical facilities in Zhangjiajie, China for an English travel website:Medical Care in ZhangjiajieZhangjiajie has numerous hospitals to meet healthcare needs, with some of the larger facilities being Zhangjiajie People's Hospital, Zhangjiajie Second People's Hospital, Zhangjiajie Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, and Zhangjiajie Red Cross Hospital. For those visiting the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, nearby options are Lanma Hospital and Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Community Health Service Center.If staying near the central bus station or train station, convenient hospitals include Yongding District Rural Cooperative Medical Designated Hospital and Guanliping Hospital.With a good selection of hospitals and clinics, travelers in Zhangjiajie can readily access medical care if health issues occur. The proximity of quality healthcare ensures peace of mind while enjoying the iconic sandstone pillars, mountainous landscapes, and lush forests that make Zhangjiajie a top destination.

Safety considerations

When at crowded places like train stations, bus terminals, and metro stations, keep a close eye on your belongings to prevent theft. Areas with high tourist traffic like Tiananmen Square also attract scammers, so tourists should be wary of unlicensed guides demanding money upfront. Avoid handing over any cash to solicitations on the street. Use registered taxi companies like the red Beijing taxis whenever possible. Keep valuables secured and hidden, avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and be alert in public transportation hubs and tourist sites. When needing assistance, go to authorized help points like the Beijing Tourist Information booths rather than individuals roaming the streets. Beijing is a generally safe city if simple precautions are taken. Report any incidents or suspicious activities immediately to the nearest police officer. They can also provide directions and other help. Enjoy sightseeing, but remain aware of the surroundings.