The city’s tallest structure, the slender Canton Tower, has become the de facto landmark of modern Guangzhou – recognisable for its twisty shape that lights up in a rainbow of colours at night. The viewing platform, at 488m up, offers a breathtaking panorama across Guangzhou and the ultra-modern Zhujiang New Town neighbourhood.
If you want a snapshot of a very modern Guangzhou, visit Beijing Road – a buzzy, busy and booming pedestrian street packed with hawker stalls and what feels like the entire city population at all points of the day. A more refined shopping experience can be found in Tianhe, a fast-gentrifying business district that’s popular with Hong Kong weekenders (it’s handily near the main Guangzhou East train station). The Taikoo Huishopping centre is a far calmer retail experience, name-checking over 180 big brands.
The tradition of yum cha (literally ‘to take tea’) is taken very seriously in Guangzhou, and there are numerous restaurants claiming to have the best selection of traditional dim sum (the small dishes eaten at yum cha). Some claim the best spot in town is Liwan’s Dian Du De (587 Longjin Zhonglu) – also on the Eating Adventures tour – which serves (arguably) the best egg tarts you’ll find outside of Portugal.
Guangzhou, long the spiritual home of Cantonese food, is also one of China’s tastiest cities – a status that’s about to become official with the launch of a Michelin Guide to the city later this year. As you would expect from a cosmopolitan centre, Guangzhou has its fair share of premium restaurants, but there’s a pulsing local food scene, too. Explore it with Eating Adventures, which runs half-day foodie tours around Liwan, the city’s traditional quarter. The highlight is the Huangsha Seafood Market, one of the biggest fish markets in southern China, where restaurants in the market building will cook the seafood you’ve just bought downstairs.
Guangzhou wholesale market
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