Don’t Miss These Hidden Gems of Guangzhou – Truly Experience the City’s Allures

Guangzhou in China has much to offer beyond the typical tourist attractions and here are some hidden gems in the city which you can uncover when you venture off the beaten path.

Guangzhou, 广东省中国
Guangzhou, 广东省中国 | Image by Max Zhang on Unsplash

Cultural Park

The Cultural Park, which can be easily reached from properties like Ascott ICC Guangzhou, offers an ideal respite from the bustling city and lies beside the Pearl River banks. It’s a great place to experience traditional Chinese gardens and features several courtyards with various relief sculptures and statues, some showcasing local legends. There’s also a venue here where one can witness Peking Opera and other cultural performances.

Shamian Island

A historic neighbourhood, Shamian Island is worth visiting too and is within easy reach for those based at a centrally located serviced residence. Guangzhou sightseeing on this island gives one a chance to explore a locale that was once the home of foreign consulates during the Song and the Qing Dynasties. As you stroll along tree-lined streets, you will come across European and Chinese architecture, colonial buildings, fountains, pavilions, statues, gardens, and cafes which add to the area’s old-world charm.

Hualin Temple

Another hidden attraction in Guangzhou is Hualin Temple which can be found near the lively Liwan Jade Market. Originally dating to the Southern Dynasties, this sacred Buddhist site has been rebuilt and renovated over the centuries. The main highlight here is a hall that features 500 golden-painted arhat statues with different poses and characteristics; also of note is the main hall with dragon motifs on its columns and three impressive statues of Buddha.

Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King

History buffs will love a visit to the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, built around a royal tomb which was discovered in 1983. Said to be over 2,000 years old, the site is one of the most well-preserved and complete Han dynasty tombs ever found, and the museum displays an array of treasures and burial artefacts; these include a jade burial garment, bronze serial bells, bronze mirrors, ceramic pillows, ancient seals and more.

A Stroll through the Ningbo Museum

Renowned for its iconic design, Ningbo Museum is a must-visit highlight for culture buffs holidaying in the area. Here’s what you can expect to see on a tour of the museum.

Siyuwj, South Gate of Ningbo Museum, CC BY-SA 3.0
Siyuwj, South Gate of Ningbo Museum, CC BY-SA 3.0

At a Glance

As a cultural instruction that’s documenting the history of Ningbo and the Yonzhou area spanning a whopping five thousand years, Ningbo Museum is a must-see attraction for all. Housed in an iconic structure designed by Wang Shu, the first Chinese recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the box-shaped museum is divided into 3 levels.

A Rich Collection

Having opened its doors to the public in 2008, Ningbo museum boasts a vast collection of artefacts and art pieces that number well over 8000 items. This not only includes items of historic and cultural value but also artistic prowess. Paintings, porcelain, carvings, sculptures, jades, silverware and bronzes are all part of the exhibits on show at the venue’s galleries.

The Galleries

There are entire galleries dedicated to local Chinese history and these exhibition areas feature ancient photographs, relics and models, exploring Chinese history and the various customs that have evolved over the centuries. Some of the most prized showpieces in this section include the writings of eastern Zhejiang scholars who are credited with Ningbo’s rapid expansion.

Ningbo’s Past

Another engaging section of the museum delves into the local culture of Ningbo and documents its rise to a commercial epicentre. The 4th level of the museum is where the bamboo relics are found. Donated by the family of Qin Kangxiang, a well known collector, these artefacts are simply exquisite, and those based at Ascott Huaishu Road Ningbo or any one of the other serviced apartments in Ningbo will perhaps find it the most memorable part of their tour.