Culture + Style

Where to Unravel the Ancient, East-Meets-West History of Guangzhou

Once you’ve zipped up the Canton Tower and wandered the Pearl River, take off to vistas new, green and surprising. Guangzhou displays its magical (and ancient) East-meets-West history in cultural gems that reveal a true love for land and sea.

Huadu Luochang Village

Guangzhou’s unique cultural mix is exemplified with a visit to this watchtower and neighboring village dwellings.

Not only does the century-old compound feature a mix of Eastern and Western architectural styles, you are just as likely to find modern coffee shops mingling with traditional ceramics, while cuisine in the restaurants here varies from Thai to Italian to Chinese. The village is a charming tranquil spot offering some relaxing distance from the city’s fast pace.

Address: Luochang Village, Huashan Town, Huadu District

Timian Town

Brilliantly colored fields of rapeseed dazzle in winter and spring. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you are lucky enough to visit Timian in spring or winter, expect to see acres and acres of bright yellow rapeseed flowers painting the vista.

The area is also known for its rich Hakka heritage, which manifests in the old village buildings and, more importantly, the local food. Stay awhile and sample some of the farmers’ dishes—vegetables and poultry sourced from the surrounding land are guaranteed to be wholesome and fresh.

#2 Greenway

The Pearl River Greenway is a remarkable place for a kayak ride. (Photo: Getty Images)

A tributary of the Pearl River, Liuxi’s lush riverbank ‘#2 Greenway’ offers multiple outdoors activities. Head here if you like boating or fishing—both kayaks and lines are available close to the banks.

If time allows, rent a bike and take on any section of the Greenway along the waterfront, which totals almost 300 miles, or just meander along at a slower pace on a tandem bicycle.

Address: Shi Wai Tao Yuen Station, #2 Greenway, Liaocai South Road

Address: Timian Town, Huadu District