City of Rams
Guangzhou was formally known as Canton, which is the name Europeans called the area. It was a modification derived from the Portuguese adaptation of the Chinese regional name of the surrounding area. It is located in Southern China near the top of the Pearl River Delta, over 90 miles (145km) inland from the South China Sea. As its location is at the intersection of inland rivers and the sea, it has historically been one of China’s main commercial, manufacturing and trade centres.
The flights from Auckland to Guangzhou take over 11 hours and 30 minutes, depending on the airline and transit points chosen. Contact your local Global Travel Network Agent to find the best possible airfares and suggestions to design your ideal holiday.
At the top of one of the hills in Yuexiu Park, there is a sculpture fashioned from over 130 pieces of granite representing the five rams that gave Guangzhou its nickname “City of Rams.” There is also the Temple of Five Immortals, it is a Taoist Temple situated in the Yuexiu district. Its history stretches back hundreds of years to ancient China. Legend has it that five immortals rode colourful goats into Guangzhou bringing rice farming to the area. As their impact was significant and momentous, these immortals were worshiped and their goats were turned to stone and they continued to be worshiped as protectors of the yearly harvest.
As Guangzhou is one of China’s most ancient cities it has a varied architectural landscape. Shamian Island is a great place to experience this, back in the 19th Century the Qing government divided the territory into two concessions and gave it to France and the United Kingdom. The area is a reminder of the Colonial European period and it mirrors a small European township. This pedestrian only island was an essential trade port on the Pearl River, now it has hotels, restaurants, shops selling trinkets, ornaments and souvenirs. There is also modern construction which demonstrates how the city has evolved into the powerhouse it is today. Huacheng Square is home to the Zaha Hadid Architects designed Guangzhou Library, the modern Guangdong Museum and the towering International Finance Centre. Over the river is the stunning, twisting Canton Tower.
Guangzhou claims to be the birthplace of Cantonese cooking and there are plenty of fantastic dim sim locations, high end restaurants as well as snack stalls around the city. Some other popular dishes are Wonton Noodle (Yuntun Mian) consisting of cooked wonton, fish broth, dried shrimp, chicken, scallops and bamboo shoots. Seafood is plentiful due to the proximity to the sea with salt and pepper shrimp, salmon sashimi and minced garlic or curry crabs.