The City of GuangZhou is a sub-tropical climate with high humidity. The best times to visit the Port of GuangZhou are April and May and October and November. From June to September is the typhoon season when travel to Canton is not recommended. If you plan to visit in April or October, you’ll need to secure accommodations early, as the famous Canton Trade Fairs take place each year in the last two weeks of those months. Visitors to the Port of GuangZhou will find a rich variety of sights and experiences.
Ancient religious centers abound in the Port of GuangZhou. One of the city’s most popular attractions, the Liurong Temple (or the Temple of Six Banyan Trees) contains a 17-story, eight-sided pagoda dating back to the 3rd Century. The temple proper was built in the 6th Century. The 627 AD Huaisheng Mosque is one of China’s oldest Muslim mosques. It is not open to the public, but it is worth a stroll to see the exterior. The Sunyuan Temple is the Port of GuangZhou’s oldest and biggest Taoist temple. The 7th Century Guangxiao Temple is popular with Zen Buddhist pilgrims.
The ancient Xiguan Residence is an excellent example of traditional Cantonese architecture occupied by the wealthy in old Canton. Shamian Island is home to the former concessions of France and Britain. The areas have been renovated and serve as a tranquil oasis in this busy city. For a time, this was the only place in China where Europeans could settle, and the architecture reflects that European presence. The Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, dedicated to the founder of the Republic of China, was built in 1931 on the site of the man’s presidential office.
The Port of GuangZhou’s City Art Museum contains over ten thousand pieces, including traditional Chinese paintings, Tibetan Buddhist art, and calligraphy. Nanyue Royal Tomb Museum features the tomb of an ancient South China King. The Guangdong Revolutions History Museum, where Sun Yat-Sen was sworn in 1921, tells the area’s story from the Opium Wars to the founding of the Republic. The Peasant Movement Institute, the site of a Communist training center founded by Mao Tse-tung, covers recent revolutionary history of China.
Yuexiu Park is China’s biggest urban park. It contains hills and lakes covered by lush green plants, and it includes the City Museum in the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower featuring relics as old as the 15th Century. Huadu Square, near the government buildings in Huadu District, contains an outdoor theater, a big beautiful fountain, an outdoor dance area, and many statues as well as a meadow, ornamental flower beds, and a subtropical forest.
Lianhua Shan, or Lotus Mountain, is bus ride or ferry ride from the Port of GuangZhou’s Tianzi Pier. It contains a two thousand year old quarry where red sandstone was mined, a 1612 pagoda, and a 1644 barracks. The Baiyun Shan, or White Cloud Mountain, offers lush rolling hills, great views of the Port of GuangZhou, and a favorite spot for local outdoor sports. Visitors will find many places to relax, and vendors offer refreshments along the trail to the mountain top.
Each year in May or June, the Dragon Boat Festival memorializes the death of Qu Yuan, a poet who drowned himself in the river in 278 BC to make a statement against the continual warring of the time.
Twice each year in April and October, the famous China Import and Export Commodities Fair (or Canton Fair) has been operating since 1957. For many years, this was the only way foreigners could make business contacts in China, and it is still a very important venue for doing business with China.
One popular tourist activity is taking an Evening Cruise on the Pearl River where passengers ride from the Bai’ertan (White Swan Rangoon) to GuangZhou Bridge, enjoying the Port of GuangZhou on both sides of the Pearl River while dining in style.