Guangdong, China’s most populous and richest province, lives up to its hype and status as one of the best places to visit in the massive country. Bordering Hong Kong, it’s full of attractions and things to do that could very well compete with the former.
Sitting on the North Shore of South China Sea, Guangdong, known as Canton in English, is a province in China with the largest economy of any state in the country. Guangdong is known for its industry and trade but it’s more than that. As you read along with the attractions listed on this page, you will be surprised by just about how much there is to be seen and experienced in the Guangdong Province.
One of the most unique cultures in the world coupled with eccentric beauty and a huge number of attractions makes Guangdong Province a perfect destination to visit in China. China is not normally known as a visitor’s paradise, but Guangdong is one of those provinces that have many underrated places ready to be appreciated by the right tourist.
Located in the capital city Guangzhou of Province, the Guangdong Museum is filled with the beautiful Cantonese and distinctive culture, Cantonese art, and history. It’s the forerunner museum in the province of Guangdong. Made into an ultramodern building, it was introduced alongside Canton Tower and Guangzhou Opera House on each side to mark its importance in the centerpiece of the city in the plans of Zhujiang New Town.
The museum’s architecture is derived from the Cantonese ivory puzzle ball. It’s made by carving ivory and stacking it. The main building and especially its front side are inspired by the puzzle ball, hence the ivory type composition. It’s a fascination on its own, the futuristic building.
The museum’s main space houses the exhibition consisting of historical artifacts as well as nature-inspired pieces. Then there is a vernacular exhibition area where you could find the permanent collections. Its inspiration is taken from Chinese lacquer boxes. Also, there are tons of fascinating inkstone displays along with woodcarvings. The museum contains some spellbinding treasures for the visitors to etch them in their memories.
Kaiping, a city in Guangdong Province, might just be the most interesting place you will ever see. It is surrounded by small villages on all sides. Located 140 km away from the capital, Kaiping is widely famous for its watchtower like buildings that would fascinate you forever once you set sight upon them. The crazy watchtower buildings are known as Diaolou. The Diaolou is a UNESCO World Heritage site and most of them are well preserved giving you vibes filled with history and modernism. Although only more than half of the total 3000 Diaolou are remaining, it still makes for a captivating experience. One that will make you remember this place no matter where you go. The Diaolou are mixed with eastern and western symbolism, art, and architecture.
The most visited place in the vicinity of Kaiping is Zili which is located 11 km west of Kaiping. It has the biggest collection of the historic watchtowers but only a handful are open for the general public. If you know someone of influence in China, chances are you could get a few others open for you as well. One of the most fascinating Diaolou is Mingshi Lou. It also houses a hexagonal pavilion on the roof and Ionic columns making it one of the most iconic buildings in all of Kaiping. These watchtowers have appeared in many Chinese movies. There are other intriguing watchtowers filled with symbolism and history that will make your jaws drop.
Dàfēn Oil Painting Village, Shenzhen
Situated in the city of Shenzhen, the Dafen Oil Painting Village is a small village blessed with narrow alleys and tight lanes giving it a very homely and close vibe. The whole place is simply enthralling but there are some certain things that make the village one of the best attractions in Guangdong Province of China. There are never-ending art studios and art stores that create oil paintings by hand at an unreal rate. From beautiful scenic oil paintings to your beloved portraits, from Van Gogh’s masterpieces to massive sized scenes of mountains and oceans, you could get any oil painting made here. The size and requirements will not be compromised.
The urban village people would entertain any requests for oil paintings, and you will find incredible detail in the results. Safe to say, for people who appreciate art and culture, this is one of the Canton places to visit in China.
Dafen Oil Painting Village in Shenzhen is often known as “The World’s Art Factory” because of its artistic geniuses and their capabilities. The Government is trying to make it into an internationally accessible village so international art festivals can take place here. It’s a really bright time to visit now. It oozes of the culture and the skill of these people. If you want a special gift for a special someone or just a souvenir to take home yourself, Dafen might be your lucky place.
Mausoleum Of The Nányuè King, Guangzhou
If you are looking for major history fits, the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King might just be the place. Housing the 2000-year-old tomb of the King Zhao Mo, the Mausoleum is a Major National Historical Site as of 1996. It is well known for one of the rarest collections of historical artifacts. It demonstrates the diversity of different cultures during the Han dynasty.
The Nanyue culture is featured in virtually everything you would find inside the 187,000 sq. ft. mausoleum. The tomb is actually situated 20 meters under the ground made up of 750 massive stones depicted with colors. Additionally, there are over a thousand pieces of artifacts including cultural relics and especially bronzeware and terra cotta.
Once you visit this place, you will feel like you are in a Lara Croft movie as you descend your way into the actual tomb hidden deep beneath the ground. Also, all the artifacts and ancient items you will find on display in the Mausoleum were recovered from the cave of the tomb itself. One of the most famous attractions of this place is Zhao Mo’s burial suit; a timeless pair, or pajamas.
Well if you are tired from the insane history and culture of Guangdong Province and you just want a light-spirited hangout experience, the OCT-LOFT is the perfect place. The OCT-LOFT complex is an enclosed piece of area filled with factories from the communist era. The cobbled laneways and the modern eras renovation make OCT-LOFT Complex the places to visit. It’s relatively new compared to the other sights. IAlso, it came into existence only a couple of generations ago. But, as it is with Chinese people, the development was made at a lightning pace.
You can find contemporary art spaces, art galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, the best cafes, bookstores, music venues and all the entertainment you could think of in the OCT-LOFT Complex. Also, choosing to stay here is highly recommended. This is because of the breezy and light atmosphere that would make you feel right at home.
Shāmiàn Island, Guangzhou
If you come to Guangzhou and go back without visiting the beautiful island of Shamian, it’s a waste. Trust the statement. You must visit Shamian Island. Created in the concession-era, the gem of Shamian Island is a small town filled with European style buildings and European vibes as well as a little bit of the Chinese culture. The banyan trees accompany the buildings making it a charming scene all day. You could get used to it. It’s a location for many events and wedding photoshoots. Also, if you choose the right time, you could even find it relatively deserted; making it your personal heaven filled with Victorian floor tiles and beautiful wooden staircases.
The history is striking in the small island which is not an island really. It was made by the British in a way to detach it from the city of Guangzhou and was acquired by China later on in the 1850s. Additionally, Shamian Island used to house banks, firms, and consulates from all over the world. However, today those buildings have been made into heritage buildings transforming them into eateries.
West Lake, Chaozhou
A freshwater lake situated inside a park in Chaozhou, West Lake is loved by the locals for its scenic atmosphere and the relaxation it provides. West Lake is also loved by tourists for different reasons altogether. This includes multiple temples, pagodas, gardens and artificially created islands within the lake.
The Phoenix Building sits on a small hill known as Phoenix Mountain. With the building’s beauty, it makes the hill a particularly appealing sight to visit at the West Lake. Some of the attractions at the West Lake are Guozhang Garden, Su Causeway, Statue of Yue Fei, Lotuses in the summer, and the Galloping Tiger Spring. The Phoenix Building and other structures in the vicinity resemble those periodic buildings in the kung Fu movies of the 1970s. Additionally, West Lake os an inspiration to many artists. It appeals to poets, writers, and artists because of layers of the history and culture it holds.
Liánhuā Shān Park, Shenzhen
Lianhua Shan Park is located in Shenzhen housing several hills. One of the most attractive sights of the Park resides at the top. A very easy hike to the top of the hill which hardly takes 30 minutes provides you with one of the best views of Shenzhen’s skylines. Photographers take a special liking to this place in Futian District. Also, atop the hill stands the Deng Xiaoping Statue; a personality famous for transforming the economy to make it the place it is today. Although now the hobby is getting extinct, kite flying remains a popular activity to do in the park. It’s a peaceful place to spend a day in Canton China.
Guǎngjǐ Bridge, Chaozhou
A top choice for the tourists to learn about the history of the local people is the Guangji Bridge. This wonderful bridge lies in the Han River in Chaozhou. Also known as the floating bridge, it was originally created in the 12th century. Also, 86 boats had covered the way of the river but it was later destroyed. However, that’s not bad news because the current version of the Guangji bridge is a beautiful, genius passageway; created with the help of 18 wooden boats that are prepared and hooked up every morning.
On top of that, there are pagodas topped on 24 stone piers making it a fascinating phenomenon of the place.
It’s a must-visit place for anybody visiting the Guangdong Province. Also to pass through the bridge, you will need to buy a ticket. This then will only allow you to cross it one way. However, if you want to come back you must tell the staff before going onto the other side.
The province of Guangdong in China is oozing with immense and diverse culture, art, traditions, lifestyle, heritage, fascinating places to visit and explore, industry and trade. From western buildings and culture to eastern heritage and ancient history, Guangdong Province provides you with tons of things to do and savor. Guangdong Province provides you with everything of the sort and much more.