From homegrown Cantonese food to impressive Buddhist temples and world-class shopping, Guangzhou is much more than a globally recognised centre of international trade and finance.

China’s third largest city, Guangzhou is a modern and prosperous city. Its Central Business District in Tianhe has a skyline of skyscrapers and cloud-covered Baiyun Mountain. Tianhe is home to the award-winning Guangzhou Opera House and, on the northern edge of the district, the sprawling South China Botanical Garden.

For impressive views across Guangzhou and the province, head for Tianhe’s CITIC Plaza or the CTF Finance Centre skyscrapers. Another good place for panoramas is the observation deck of Canton Tower, on Pearl River’s south bank.

Guangzhou also has a surprising amount of green space. Enjoy views and hiking on Baiyan Mountain or take a stroll through the lush Longdong or Huolushan Forest Parks, both easy to get to from most of Guangzhou’s hotels.

During your time in Guangzhou, hop on the efficient metro to the Shanxiajiu Pedestrian Street, a sprawling shopping district to pick up bargains galore. Or, for a culture fix, make your way to the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, home to the 2,000-year-old tomb of Zhao Mo, one of the best museums in China. For some of the region’s finest examples of Cantonese art, plan a visit to the Guangzhou Museum of Art.

If you’re in Guangzhou on family holiday, you’ll also find plenty to do. Plan to take a couple of days to head south of Pearl River to China's largest theme park, Chimelong Paradise. And while you’re there, head next door to the Chimelong Safari Park, to see the rare panda triplets as well as zebra, giraffe and over 100 white tigers. You can even go for an elephant ride if the mood takes you.

The birthplace of Cantonese cuisine, Guangzhou’s Liwan district is the best place in the world to enjoy fresh dim sum or try stewed snake or roast suckling pig in one of its many traditional restaurants.

Guangzhou is a buzzing metropolis and has been an important trade port for centuries, so you can mix shopping with culture, views with cuisine and urban with rural in a treat of a Chinese adventure.

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