Guangzhou, the City of Excitement! By Julie Locke
Guangzhou, Guangdong province
Guangzhou is a unique city and paradise for travelers. Its the third largest city in China, with a population of over 12 million people. Its the capital city of Guangdong Province, situated along the southern coastline of China.
Guangzhou is full of excitement, with its open markets, modern shopping centers, excellent transportation system and moderately priced apartment complexes. Its economically appealing for those that want to shop and experience the exquisite bargains in an interesting and affordable way.
The city also gets its genuine appeal from its location. Guangzhou is situated along the Pearl River and is a short distance away from Hong Kong and Macau. It has a vast transportation system, comprised of buses, taxis, trains and  new subway. The subway is modern, fast, inexpensive and easy to use. It travels throughout Guangzhou and even goes to Kowloon, Hong Kong!
Guangzhou is a thriving city, full of tourism, great dining, finance, affordable real estate and vigorous prosperity. Passport holders of 51 countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, etc., are granted a visa-free stay, up to 72 hours with an international transfer via Guangzhou Baryun Airport.
Some of Guangzhous major attractions include the scenic Yuexiu Park, the largest park in downtown Guangzhou, that has three artificial lakes and seven hills of Yuexiu Mountain. The main attractions include the stone sculpture of Five Rams, the emblem of the city, Zhenhai Tower, the five-story tower (a landmark), Square Cannon Site and the site of the Ming Dynasty City Wall. Yuexiu Park also offers an amusement park, swimming pool, gymnasium, art museums, restaurants and beautiful array of plants and flowers.
Located in Yuexiu Park is the history museum that contains cultural and historical relics of the city , with 2 major exhibition areas~the Sea Guard Tower of historical relics and the Art Gallery, comprised of unique craftworks. Admission is free 12 days a year: Jan. 16, Feb. 20, Mar. 13, Apr. 17, May 18, Jun. 9, Jul. 17, Aug. 14, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 18 (Subject to change).
Nearby Yuexiu Park , one can also enjoy mountain climbing at White Cloud Mountain for 5CNY and then experience beautiful landscape at Xinlai Garden for only 3CNY. Another breathtaking attraction is South China Botanical Garden. Yet, for 150CNY, one can also experience the Worlds Tallest TV Tower in downtown, Guangzhou and take in the  majestic, beautiful scenic view of Gauangzhou.
For sports enthusiasts eager to enjoy a 3 hour bus trip to Changan, near Guangzhou, there is plenty of golf and horseback riding at Changan Country Club. In addition, they have a gardening club and sailing club, too.
Many Guangzhou parks offer rollerblading, and free dancing activities at night. During the day, one can enjoy picnicking, flying kites or tasting the delicious spicy food from restaurant stalls.
In addition, Guangzhou offers plenty of outdoor markets that include trendy fashions, sportwear, business attire and casual clothes, at bargain prices. One can also find many toys, cosmetics, electronics and trinkets, too!
There are also many ways you can shop for food, which include supermarkets, open markets or for a short half-hour ride by taxi, one can even pick fruit or veggies, from nearby farms, for a nominal fee.
One can also enjoy Chinese lessons for a nominal fee, in the winter or spring at TPR American English School and visit their pretty outdoor lounge, as well as enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with friends. Theres even a reading room with free newspapers, magazines and books, along with a short childrens video, too. Also, take a stroll on Oxford street to see great local artisans.
To heighten the thrill of travel, take the subway from downtown Guangzhou to Zumiao and visit the Martial Arts Center. Its also known as the Ancestral Temple. In the morning, you can see the famous Lion Dance show and partake in many ancient artcrafts. Theres also a delightful turtle pond, as well as souvenir shops, that one can enjoy.
To add more excitement, take subway line 1 to Gong Yuan Qian and visit Beijing Road and taste a variety of spicy Asian food. Nearby, is a marketplace of exotic food. One can even try scorpions, donkey meat, spiders, snakes, silk worms, escargot and frog meat.
Finally, what I enjoy most is travelling to Huangsha to buy ancient antiques and also get a glimpse of Asian fashion models, by the fashion shops! Afterwards, enjoy a massage at Sunsy hair salon, or get a haircut and free head massage. To top the night off, visit a sauna for 40-50CNY or take a boat cruise along the Pearl River for 150CNY.
So, for eager trekkers, Guangzhou is the place to be! It’s much cheaper than Hong Kong, very friendly and exciting! The food is great and one can find all the latest restaurants, like the Outback Steakhouse, Italian Spaghetti House, Pizza Hut and excellent Chinese cuisine, all at affordable prices. So, visit Guangzhou for a fun-filled adventure in the orient! It’s spectacular!
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