Although a routing stop for most visitors on the way to Hong Kong (although the direct trains have largely denied this market of visitors to the city these days) Guangzhou is a very pleasant place to spend time, even if it’s short on traditional “sights”. The reason to come here, frankly, is to eat. There are more and better restaurants in Guangzhou than any place has a right to, and all of them are good. Seafood is the main attraction – this is a similar cuisine to what’s served in European “Chinese Restaurants”, and although you will find your favourite dishes, you probably won’t have tasted them as freshly-made and deliciously presented as in Guangzhou.
If the Brits eat in order to live, then the people in Guangzhou live in order to eat. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Qing Ping Market – a place that sets out to prove that anything that can gallop, walk, crawl or slither has gourmet potential that the West simply hasn’t recognised yet. You probably haven’t seen scorpions on sale as a food item in the supermarket on your high street just yet – are you ready to set a new trend? If you fancy seeing your animals alive and unsliced, you can also make a visit to Guangzhou Zoo – where you can find both Giant and Red Pandas on view. In a largely contemporary city, there are still plenty of more traditional Chinese sights to see, like the Six Banyan Temple – the banyan trees haven’t been there for centuries, but the magnificent Flower Pagoda (9 storeys high) is a must-see. So is the temple dedicated to the Chinese humanist Sun Yatsen. At “Window On The World” (in Shenzen) you can catch up with all the sightseeing you missed elsewhere – they have their own versions of everything from the Taj Mahal and Niagara Falls, to their very own Eiffel Tower. Pick your camera-angle carefully and maybe even your relations will be fooled..
After all that traipsing around, you’ll be ready for some lunch! And Guangzhou has every possible kind of seafood on offer.
You probably didn’t anticipate the chance to visit France, India and Canada while travelling on the Trans-Siberian railway – but include a trip to Guangzhou on your holiday of a lifetime from The Russia Experience and you’ll discover lots of unexpected delights!