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There are plenty of fun things to do in Guangzhou, from strolling along quiet tree-lined streets complete with European-style architecture to taking in views of the city from the roof of the world’s tallest TV tower. Here are five picks for the best things to do in Guangzhou:
1. Canton Tower. There are several indoor and outdoor viewing decks available at the Canton Tower, currently the tallest TV tower in the world, but the most thrilling – or perhaps most terrifying, depending on your point of view – spot to see Guangzhou in panoramic glory is from one of the passenger cars on the Bubble Tram, which takes riders 1,493 feet off the ground.
2. Shamian Island. An idyllic escape from the busy city center, this small island is highlighted by its beautiful tree-lined streets and more than 100 European-style buildings. This is a good place to browse boutique shops and pick up some souvenirs.
3. Guangxiao Temple. One of the oldest Buddhist temples in Guangzhou, the sprawling Guangxiao Temple is an atmospheric way to spend the morning. Make your way past the main hall, marked by a gilded and giggling Buddha, to the incense-filled courtyards, where leafy banyan trees shade several stone and iron pagodas. To avoid the crowds, head here first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon.
4. Qingping Market. Just across the river from Shamian Island is the Qingping Market, a colorful mishmash of indoor and outdoor shops selling traditional Chinese medicines and dried goods. From fungi to fish, there’s something for every ailment. Duck into one of the air-conditioned indoor markets if you need an escape from the summer heat.
5. Guangzhou Panyu Lianhua Mountain. Travel about 20 miles outside of the city to this beautifully landscaped park overlooking the Pearl River where you can tour gorgeous pagodas and enjoy the striking rock formations and surrounding greenery from one of a few good restaurants.