Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province in the far south of China, is the third largest city in China after Shanghai and Beijing and therefore provides a large number of pleasant distractions for English teachers in their free time. Here we describe just a few different things to do and places to visit during the day. We leave the nightlife until another day. So, what is there to do?
"Eat!" is quite possibly the most common response to the question "What is there to do in Guangzhou?" And eat you may. Guangzhou has more restaurants per capita than any other Chinese city. It is the origin of many of the most well-known Chinese dishes abroad as well as the originator of dim sum. It would take a lifetime to exhaust all of the possible food adventures available.
Guangzhou is home to one of the tallest buildings in the world, Canton Tower. Until recently the tallest building in China, the tower has a variety of activities located throughout its height, but the top of the tower has 3 special attractions for thrill-seekers and lovers of heights: the spider walk, the bubble tram, and the sky drop. Check out this video for some really nice visuals of the attractions. If you prefer something less thrilling, the tower has a series of observation decks at various heights.
SHAMIAN ISLAND (沙面島)
Crossing the river channel to Shamian Island is like stepping out of China and into Europe. The island was the home base of foreign trade in Guangzhou in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the mansions the traders built can be found along the tree-lined, Paris-esque streets. It's an excellent place to escape the bustle of Guangzhou proper as strict traffic control on the island keeps the atmosphere more peaceful, and the cafes and bars lining the river cater to the ex-pat community.
BAIYUN MOUNTAIN (白雲山 White Cloud Mountain)
Just 10 miles north of downtown and easily accessible by public transportation, Baiyun Mountain is known for its forests, lakes, misty peaks, and diversions for tourists. Spend the day riding the cable car, walking the trails, visiting the botanical garden, and admiring pagodas, temples, and tea houses. It's quite a luxury to have such a spot of natural beauty smack in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world.