Being a major port city in China does not stop Guangzhou from being leisurely awesome. If you have some business-free days, don’t forget to add these activities to your list!
HIT THE PUBLIC PARK
Of course, public parks are rarely on the to-do list, but not in Guangzhou. Under year-round lovely weather, visiting parks like shady Yuxie Park, the largest park in the metropolitan, could make your day worthwhile. It resembles a hill with symbolic Five Rams Sculpture, leading to Guangzhou being nicknamed as “City of Rams.” Why rams? – As per the legend, back to 2,000 years ago, there were five ram-riding immortals who arrived in the present-time Guangzhou to save people from hopeless famine by giving away plentiful grains.
The transcendents eventually left the city, with their rams being petrified. Later on, Guangzhou has been prosperous and abundant ever since. Not only will you learn about the very symbol of Guangzhou, you will notice the one-of-a-kind lifestyle: dancing in the park (most of the dancers are grannies, and they take it seriously!).
CRUISE WITH CITY LIGHTS
The best way to capture limelight moments in bustling Guangzhou? Get on a river cruise! As the city that never sleeps, the nightfall here is so dazzling, especially with the vision of iconic Canton Tower friskily painting its vibrant self.
As the cruise slowly roams, you can feel the gentle wind caressing you mildly while observing the stunning reflection of Guangzhou’s high-rises and multi-coloured projecting lights on swaying water. Spectacularity guaranteed!
SEE THE (METAPHORIC) LOTUS UNFURL
Originally built in 1664 during the Qing Dynasty, Lotus City was established as a barricade town. Standing so majestically is the 40-metre-high gilded statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. Another eye-catching height is the Lotus Pagoda. The reason for everything being “lotus” is that, according to a myth, an evil dragon once caused great damages to the lives nearby the Pearl River, until Guanyin, having seen people suffer, decided to visit and threw her lotus seat to tame the dragon and ceased the whole misfortune.
The lotus seat is believed to have emerged as the lotus-shaped stone inside the area. If you are visiting this place in spring, get ready to be stunned by the fully blooming Peach Blossom trees all over this place. You can also pay a visit to the Qing Dynasty Military Camp in a walking distance, as well as bizarrely picturesque ancient quarries.
WITNESS A VIEW FROM ABOVE
After viewing the quaint tower from afar, don’t forget to get to its top for Guangzhou’s bird’s-eye view – 360 degrees, 428 metres above the ground, on the 107th floor. Up above, the oriental innovativeness of the metropolis so well-organised shines through the faint smog, creating a greatly impressive vision.
It might as well be the best spot to watch the miraculous sun setting over Guangzhou’s skyline, while the city is busy becoming more gorgeous during the night time. If you don’t have a phobia for heights, never miss riding the lovely Bubble Tram.
APPRECIATE CHINESE ARTS IN A NUTSHELL
Aesthetic and totally photogenic is the ample Baomo Garden in Panyu district. The typical South China garden was first constructed in the era of the late Qing dynasty, as a tribute to the Song dynasty’s Bao Zheng for his utmost integrity and uprightness, before it was destroyed and was then reconstructed in 1955, taking up to eight years. The scenic garden is filled with true oriental touches with exquisite ponds throughout the site.
Breathtaking is the meticulous inverted relief on the porcelain “Qingming Festival by the Riverside”, along with beautiful brick, stone, wood carvings, Confucius bronze statue, artworks, and architectural refinement. The Baomo Hall and Zhiben Hall celebrate Bao Zheng’s noble virtues through arts. There are also many more to enjoyably explore in this marvellous Chinese garden.
NOTE: THAI Smile operates four flights weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from Phuket to Guangzhou, and from Guangzhou to Phuket. Please visit thaismileair.com for more information and booking.