Guangzhou, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in Southern China. Located on the Pearl river, its apparently the first city most travellers to China visit. It certainly was in my case as I visited while on a break from the hectic explorations of Hong Kong‘s bustling metropolis. This city is a key national transportation hub and trading port made obvious by the haze of smog that hovers over the city. It was originally known as Canton and is the home of Cantonese cuisine. So expect great food but a word of warning to the wise, for those in search authentic Cantonese food bring a fork! Most food spots serve food with chopsticks, which I can’t hold to save my life! So I ended up eating with those little ceramic Chinese spoons, which was a cause for a few comedic moments and laughter at my expense in the little restaurants around town. Lessons for my next visit of course, but I came back with lots of chopsticks so I can put in some practice at home.
This is not just a city for business owners from all over the world who come for trade, so don’t skip out on the city as it offers more for the travellers too! There are many interesting attractions to peek at. Guangzhou also has an impressive exhibit collection of Chinese calligraphy, paintings. It also boasts one of the best art museum in the whole of China, the Guangzhou City Art Musuem. If you were in London a few weeks ago you may have seen GuangZhou’s Xu Hongfei’s sculpture tour titled Chubby Charms. You may also have seen me instagram some pictures of the Chubby Charms here and here on Facebook. Luckily on this occassion, one of my sister’s friends was on hand to do a bit of translation when I needed it as English is not widely spoken by most in Guangzhou. As most prices in the markets are in US dollars you will get by with hand gestures to signal whether the price is too high.
Travelling to the city from Hong Kong is fairly easy as the train is about 2-3 hours long. Just remember that you will need a visa to visit this part of China, even if you travelled to Hong Kong without one. I had my visa processed while I was in Hong Kong which only took a couple of hours.