The best way I would describe Guangzhou, it’s a “Modern city with traditional shades”. I was impressed by its development, by its huge buildings, a great Subway system, and roaming data everywhere. However what most captured my attention were the traditional shades, old people performing Thaiqichuan or playing Mahjong in parks, old temples, and mostly the incredible variety of food.
There are several notorious spots to visit, like the Chimelong Paradise, Shamian, the beautiful Temple of Six Banyan trees and a long list of other attractions you will find easy to find due to their fame.
What I would like to share with you though, are some hidden gems not mentioned usually on the web, that I am sure you will find very interesting, as I did.
Qing Jie Ju (清介居)
It’s an old tea house situated in the Shawan Ancient Town (沙湾古镇 Shawan Gujie). Shawan was built during the Song Dynasty and has a history of over 800 years. It is a very well preserved example of Ancient buildings from the Lingnan culture (嶺南文化 Lingnan wengua). The best way to visit the town is to avoid the main road with all the shops and tourists and get lost in the little backyards streets.
This was how I got discover Qing Jie Ju, a little old tea house which offers delicious tea in the traditional way, homemade food and an amazing collection of old teapots from several countries to admire. Qing Jie Ju is run by Chenxi, an elegant Chinese lady. If you are lucky and can speak some Chinese Chenxi and her friend Hiangli, a Buddhist expert, will entertain you with stories on Chinese culture, food, and traditions.
During the weekend you’ll usually find there Jammy, she speaks good English and can help you with the transaction.
How to get there:
Take the subway line 3 to Shiqiao Station (市桥）
From here get the bus no. 67 towards Xicun Lukou (西村路口) and get off at Shawan Ancient Town South entrance stop (沙湾古镇 南门 Shawan Gujie Nanmen).
Full address of the tea house
Canton Tower (广州塔 Guangzhou Ta) with a secret
A little tip, if you wish to visit the famous Canton Tower (广州塔 Guangzhou Ta), the second tallest building in China. The tower is very
pretty and features a lights system which continuously changes colors. From the top of the tower, you’ll get a nice view of Guangzhou, but the admission is currently 150¥. If you wish to get a similar panoramic view for free, try the Guangzhou International Finance tower (廣州國際金融中心 Guangzhou Guoji Jinrong), which stands just in front of Canton Tower. You can go up to the 99th floor and get an impressive view of Guangzhou for free, there is also a bar and restaurant.
How to get there:
Subway line 5 stop
Unmissable Street food in Guangzhou
Visit Shang Xia Jiu street (上下九步行街) for dinner, it’s a pedestrian street full of little restaurants serving authentic Cantonese food, very famous within the young Guangzhou community. One of the many dishes you can find is the beef offal stew: they are like everywhere in Guangzhou. Be aware tough, that they are made out of animal intestines, so you are now warn and decide where to taste or not. For the Veggie friends, instead you will be happy to know that in the streets you can easily find delicious roasted Sweet potato: loved them.
And to wash down all this food, you can taste the local Sprite with lemon and sour plum: very refreshing and tasty!
How to get there:
10 minutes walking from Subway line no. 1 stop Changshou Road (长寿路 Changshou )exit E.
Zhijiang xincheng (珠江新城)
Furthermore, I can only suggest you to come over to this gorgeous Chinese city, and simply get around trying to embrace all the gorgeousness around you, the history, the culture, people’s talking, the smell of local food… feeling that I can’t simply write down for you, you must come and experience with your own hearth.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our next stop in Beautiful China
Luana Mirenda in cooperation with “A Wanderlust Love”