Must See Places and Sightseeing of Guangzhou

Published: 13th March 2009
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Guangzhou is rich in history and modern day activity. As the capital and a sub-provincial city of Guangdong, the city and surrounding areas are often simply called by their provincial name in English, Canton. Because of Guangzhou's large port on the Pearl River, navigable to the South China Sea, and 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Hong Kong, this is a bustling area.

The first known city built at the site of Guangzhou was Panyu, founded in 214 BC. Recent archaeological findings show a palace, which suggests that the city might have traded frequently with foreigners through sea routes. The foreign trade continued through every following dynasty and the city remained a major international trading port.

In 111 BC, the Han Dynasty annexed Nanyue, and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so until this day. In 226 AD, the city however became the seat of the Guang Prefecture; therefore, "Guangzhou" was the name of the prefecture, not of the city. However, people grew accustomed to calling the city Guangzhou, instead of Panyu, and so the name has remained.

Today, many business travelers to Guangzhou take time to walk around the city, shop, and enjoy the city's nightlife.

What are the top places to see while in Gangzhou? Here is our top seven based on Gangazhou's districts.

1. Li Wan District - This district is situated on the western part of Guangzhou and is the city's most developed district. It is also called and Guangzhou. Within Li Wan is Shang Xia Jiu Road Shopping, which boasts itself as a popular destination. This street is tightly packed with many old-style businesses, which include the Guangzhou Restaurant, Lian Xiang Mansion (Lotus Scent Mansion) and Ou Cheng Ji Gallery. Shoppers can shop to their hearts content, but the architecture is also worth a look at as well.

Li Wans other tourist attraction is Sha Mian Island, an islet in the Pearl River. Before China became independent in 1949, this island was rented out to Westerners. The heavily shaded island has a cluster of European-style buildings, including the United States' consulate.

The White Horse Shopping Plaza and the Mediterranean Marketplace near the railway station form Guangzhou's biggest wholesale clothing market, attracting many vendors from North China. The Qing Ping Market is South Chinas biggest market for agricultural products, which include vegetables, flowers, grain, meat, seafood, Chinese medicinal herbs and pets, as well as antiques. While in the Li Wan District you can take a night cruise on the Pearl River. They say you've never been to Guangzhou, if you did not experience a night cruise at the Pearl River.

2. Yue Xiu District - Located in central Guangzhou is the district's claim to fame, the Beijing Road. There is prestigious shopping along Beijing Road and near it. The two most famous shopping areas include Yang Zhong Women's Street, Gao Di Street, and The Fashion Street. Yue Xiu is also the political and cultural center of Guangzhou.

Under the Beijing Road stands ancient streets built 800 years ago. When the government excavated this part of the street they left it exposed so that visitors who are shopping can see the streets through glass.

3. Dong Shan District - Located on the eastern side of Guangzhou, the majority of this district developed after the Peoples Republic of China was founded in 1949. Qu Zhuang and Tao Jin Keng (means 'Gold-digging Cave') are notable business areas in Guangzhou. Most foreigners live here in Guangzhou. The Friendship Store, World Trade Plaza and other popular shopping venues are here, as are almost all of Guangzhous famous bars. The bars usually stock an English magazine called That's Guangzhou, which is free, and provides all you need to know about the local community and entertainment options in the big city.

4. Da Sha Tou District - This district may be known as the electrical components and appliances capital of Guanghzhou. If you are in the market for new or used electrical merchandise, this is the place to shop, shop, shop. One of favorite one stop shopping stores of the locals is Hai Yin Electrical Appliances City.

5. Hai Zhu District - the Hai Zhu (Sea Pearl) Distric lies on the south side of The Pearl River, a river that neatly divides Guangzhou in half. Initially, Hai Zhu was home to the city's largest factories. Now, however, residential apartment blocks have replaced most of the factories and this district feels more like a community.

Highlights of the Hai Zhu District include the Canton Fair Pazhou Exhibition Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, and the Pearl River Promenade.

6. Tian He District - This district has been the city of Guangzhou's center for the past 15 years. The Tian He District could easily be called Guangzhous Silicon Valley. Pacific Electronic Technology Square, New Concept Computer Town and Nan Fang Computer City all have their roots in this district and together they create South Chinas biggest computer market.

Grandview and Teem are the largest shopping malls in the city. Both malls are only 300 meters away from each other along Tianhe Rd. in the north and Tianhe Nan 1 St. in the south.

7. Bai Yun District - Bai Yun Mountain (White Cloud) claims to be the rooftop of Guangzhou. Atop the mountain, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city's buildings and skyscrapers. Besides the breathtaking scenery and many historic sites, a restaurant on the mountaintop prepares a local treat of bean curd made with mountain mineral water.Wentrip provides information and travel resources in China. Whether you're looking for a Canton Fair hotel, Beijing hotels or are traveling to a different city or region Wentrip will help you find the right advice and accommodations fast.

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