Guangzhou or «city of flowers»: attractions
Guangzhou is the fifth most populous city and the third most influential city in China. It is located in the south of the country, in the Pearl River Delta. The city is considered one of the most ancient on the planet: presumably it was founded 28 centuries ago. The history of Guangzhou is closely related to the sea trade. At the dawn of the Middle Ages from its port started the Great Silk Road.
City of goats, ears and flowers
Over the long history of existence, Guangzhou has repeatedly experienced a name change. For a long time on European maps, it was designated as Canton. The Chinese themselves are sometimes called Guangzhou the city of rice ears (Suicheng) or goats (Yangcheng). Both that and another is a symbol of prosperity, therefore for locals sounds quite harmoniously. Moreover, one of the local attractions is the statue of the Five Goats in the central square.
Guangzhou has another, more romantic name — “flower city”. Indeed, the local tropical climate is conducive to the breeding of bright heat-loving and moisture-loving flowers. Specifically, Guangdong Province is famous for wild and cultural orchids. On its territory grows several dozen varieties of «Queen of the Tropics.» You can see everything at once in the Guangzhou Orchid Garden. Locals come here to enjoy the scent of flowers and the coolness of artificial reservoirs, relax under the canopy of trees.
The flower beds in the garden are located on both sides of the tracks. They represent a natural grass cover, around the perimeter of which orchids are planted in pots. In the field of the most lush flowering benches are installed. Special attention of visitors is attracted by artfully made sheds of thousands of baskets with orchids. In addition to the “Queen of the Tropics”, Chinese wisteria grows here. On the territory there are tea houses where you can taste different varieties of Chinese drink. Here, tourists are offered to learn all the subtleties of the national tradition of tea drinking.
Council Favorable time to travel to Guangzhou — from spring to autumn. In winter, orchids do not bloom, and without them the journey partially loses its charm.
In the bamboo grove of the western part of the Orchid Garden is the tomb of Saad ibn Abu Wakkas — an Arab statesman and commander, associate and relative of the Prophet Muhammad, who went to China as a missionary. According to legend, it was he who founded the first mosque in the Celestial Empire. Now, both Sufi Muslims and ordinary tourists come to the grave of the sage.
Nature and amusement parks
Park Yuesyu refers to those places that you should definitely see in Guangzhou. It covers a huge area of 920 thousand square meters. There are seven hills and three artificial reservoirs in the park, there is a stadium with a capacity of 30 thousand people. There are many trees and flowers in the park, there are greenhouses. In addition to the statue of the Five Goats, the sights of Yuesyu Park are: the Ming epoch city wall, the monument to the revolutionary and the “father of the nation” Sun Yat-sen, the Zhenheylou tower. Here you can fully relax with children, going to the amusement zone. In spring and autumn, a large-scale exhibition of chrysanthemums is held in Yuesyu. In numerous shops you can buy a souvenir to commemorate your visit to China.
When traveling around Guangzhou with children, be sure to check out Dong Fang, one of the oldest amusement parks in the country. At 240 thousand square meters. m. settled all kinds of highways, slides, playgrounds. In 2006, another amusement park opened in Guangzhou — Chang Long Paradise. Little tourists visit this complex will be remembered, above all, the dizzying descents from the giant water slides and the USA.
In addition, in Guangzhou is Chang Long «Water World» — a popular water park, one of the five largest centers in Asia. Every day the complex is visited by more than 40 thousand tourists. They are waiting for artificial waterfalls and waves, an ice room, a river with a length of 5 km, slides reaching a height of 15 m. Another water park, “Big Hippo”, is located in the Nan Hu area.
Both at daytime and at night, an excursion motor ship runs along the Pearl River. It starts from the pier of Tianzi. Going on a trip on board, you can see the bridges Jiangwan Datsyao and Haiyin Datsyao, the island of Arshadao. The river offers a wonderful view of the Xin Xinghai Concert Hall and Zhundabeimen Square.
Once again, you can make sure that Guangzhou is worthy of the title of “blooming” by finding yourself in the eastern part of the New City — in the park of the Pearl Zhujiang River. Waterfalls and streams, lush greenery make this place beautiful. Depending on the type of growing plants, the park is conditionally divided into eight sectors. There is a lake and wooded area, themed corners dedicated to roses, magnolias, palm trees, sweet-scented osmanthus. Memorable views also open at the foot of Baiyunshan Mountain. About twenty years ago, Yuntai Garden, which is a man-made “river” of 200 species of flowers, was laid out here. The central place in the landscape composition is given to the sculptures of zodiac animals. The most visited places in Guangzhou are also Peace Park and Sculpture Park.
Where to go in Guangzhou?
How ancestors are honored in China becomes clear when you cross the threshold of the Cheng Academy. The castle in honor of the family was built at the end of the 19th century, dedicated to family traditions, culture and history of Guangdong. On the territory of the Academy there is a residential complex of 19 buildings. The halls hold a lot of works of art, the Museum of Folk Art is functioning.
The modern symbols of the city include the Opera House — a futuristic building that looks like a spaceship. The interior of the building is also impressive: a multi-tiered ceiling in the form of oncoming waves, a lighting system imitating a starry sky. The grand opening of the Opera House was held in 2010.
There are more attractions in Guangzhou that deserve your attention. It:
- Jenhai Tower or the Five-story Pagoda;
- White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun);
- the mausoleum of 72 martyrs;
- the mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen;
- Arshadao Island;
- Tianhe markets;
- Garden of Lakes in the area of Liwan;
- TV tower in Haizhu;
- Temple of the Five Spirits;
- temple filial piety.
Temples and Museums
A special place in the history of Chinese Buddhism is occupied by the Hualin Monastery. According to legend, it was built on the spot where in 520 an Indian preacher landed. Thanks to the monk, a new religious trend has spread in these parts — Chan Buddhism. In the middle of the 17th century, the followers of Bodhidharma built the hall of Mahavir here. Two hundred years later, the monastery complex was expanded. In the new hall they installed 500 clay figures of arhats and three statues of Buddha.
Another remarkable cult building of Guangzhou, built relatively recently (118 years ago), is the Temple of the Ancestors of Huandasyan. The shrine, badly damaged during the wars, was reconstructed at the end of the last century and is now a symbol of three religious areas: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
More than 13 centuries in Guangzhou stands the Huayshansy Mosque. Its minaret, nicknamed the Tower of Light (Guant), reaches a height of 36 m. For a long time it was the tallest building in the city and served as a beacon for sailing ships. Inside the mosque there is an ablution room, a prayer hall, a repository of sacred texts. The main catholic shrine in Guangzhou is the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The temple is a monumental granite building in the Gothic style. Built in 1888.
You can plunge into the world of science and technology within the walls of the Center for Space Wonders. In the tower of Zhenhailou Park, Yuexiu Park is the Museum of the City and Fine Arts. In the local collection there are 40 thousand exhibits on the history of the city. Another museum complex of the Park, Yuesyu, was erected at the site of the discovery of the remains of the grandson of Emperor Chew Woo-de, a famous commander and politician, founder of the kingdom of Namviet.
There are seven rooms in the Nanyue-Wan Museum of the Western Han. The main exhibits: a double coffin with the body of a high-ranking official, the remains of the other 15 people and funerary utensils numbering a thousand gold, silver, bronze and jasper. The list of places of interest in Guangzhou does not end there. A visit to museums in the province of Guangdong, resistance to the British invaders, Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen, Lebanon, Guangzhou Arts will be informative.