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China > General information > Region and city guide > Guangzhou attractions (part 2): Parks, Zoo, Museums & Music

                                                         Guangzhou Sightseeing (part 2) 

Parks 

Guangzhou has a league of large parks which can make for the perfect retreat from the heat and smog of the city. If you just want to take a quick break from the stress of the street, then western Liwan and central Liuhua or Yuexiu parks are close at hand, while the Orchid Garden is more of a treat. For greater escapes and a bit of hiking, Baiyun Shan, north of the city, is the place to go. 

 

♥♥ Orchid Garden 

Jiefang Bei Lu (Mon-Fri 8 am-6 pm, Sat, Sun 8 am-7 pm; ¥8 or ¥20 with tea in the central pavilion; Guangzhou Huochezhezhan & Yuexiu Gongyuan subway) 

Nestled just off busy Jiefang Bei Lu, the Orchid Garden is a bastion of tranquility with a wonderful collection of orchids, lilies and palms dissected by meandering stone paths. Next door you can peek at the Islamic cemetery, which isn’t open to non-Muslims but holds the tomb of Abu Waqas who established the Huaisheng Mosque. 

 

Yuexiu Park 

Jiefang Bei Lu (daily 6 am-9 pm; ¥5; Yuexiu Gongyuan subway) 


The Five Rams Statue, Guangzhou

A little east of Liuhua Park, Yuexiu Park covers some 220 acres and has everything from pavilions and pagodas to statues and a museum.

Most of all, Yuexiu is a place to get away from the crowds, although domestic tourists flock to the Five Rams Statue in the south, which commemorates the city’s mythical foundation.

A little more worthwhile is the
Municipal Museum (daily 9 am-5 pm; ¥5), which traces Guangzhou’s history from the Stone Age and is housed in a surviving part of the Ming city walls in the center of the park. 

The Five Rams Statue 


Baiyun Shan Park 

9 miles north of city center (daily 8 am-6 pm; ¥5; buses #11 & #24)  

The White Cloud Mountains barely qualify for their title given their maximum height of only 1,250 feet, but their 12 square miles offer some respite from Guangzhou’s polluted and steamy streets and are close enough to visit comfortably in a day-trip.  

 

The bus drops you near Yuntai Gardens where there’s a cable car (¥25) to the Cheng Precipice (aka White Cloud Evening View), halfway up the hill from where there are great views if the weather is clear. Or you could hike up to the Cheng Precipice in a couple of hours.  

 

There are a range of other attractions here, including Mingchun Valley Aviary (daily 8 am-6 pm; ¥10) and the restored Nengren Temple (same hours; ¥5), which gives some idea of what the forested hills were like in the past when their slopes were scattered with monasteries and temples.  

 

From the Cheng Precipice it’s another hour or so up to the top at Moxing Ling (Star Touching Summit). It’s a hot hike in summer so make sure you drink enough water on your way up, although there are teahouses and reststops dotted along the trails, so there’s no need to carry much in the way of supplies. You can return by cable car or, if your legs are up to it, take the path back down.

 
 

Art 

Guangdong Museum of Art,
Yanyu Lu, Er Sha Island (
www.gdmoa.org ; Tues-Sun 9 am-5 pm; ¥15; bus #131 from Yanjiang Lu).
The GDMOA was established in 1997 and is housed in a modern building on upmarket ErshaIsland, near the Xinghai Concert Hall. The museum holds one of
China’s largest contemporary art collections and also has worthwhile temporary exhibits from China and overseas – check the website for schedules. 

♥♥ Guangzhou Art Museum,
Luhu Lu (daily
9 am-5 pm; ¥30; bus #10 from Renmin Square).
Out in the north of the city by LuhuLake, this museum was only opened in 2000 but is already a big success. The museum’s fusion of traditional and modern design is also reflected in its exhibits, which range from Cantonese calligraphy and painting to contemporary sculptures.
 

 

Music 

Cantonese Opera can be enjoyed at the Jiangnan Theater on Jiangnan Nan Lu. Other refined options include classical music at the modern Xinghai Concert Hall  on Ersha Island. It regularly hosts national and international orchestras. A trip here can be combined with a trip to the Museum of Art next door, or dinner at La Seine.


For Families
♥♥ Chime Long Night Zoo, out in Panyu (15 miles south of Guangzhou), is reputedly the first night zoo in the world. Chime Long offers the opportunity to see wildlife from around the globe on evening safaris! There are also rollercoasters, cafés and a luxurious hotel (www.chimelonghotel.com).

 

The parks make for another good family trip, particularly Baiyun Shan, as does a river trip. If you have an infant child you’ll find plenty of facilities, such as stroller rental and cafés (like Lucy’s) with babyfood on ShamianIsland. They have developed to serve the needs of overseas couples adopting Chinese babies.


Guangzhou travel guide homepage  

Getting to Guangzhou,  

Getting around Guangzhou  

Guangzhou attractions (part 1): Shamian Island, Temples and Churches

Guangzhou pictures
maps of Shenzhen and Guangzhou

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Guangzhou attractions: Parks, Zoo, Museums & Music, Guangzhou tourism, Guangzhou sightseeing