Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is China’s booming southern business and high-tech manufacturing capital. Its strategic position in the Pearl River Delta and proximity to Hong Kong and Macau made it one of the earliest contact points between China and the outside world. Today it still remains outward-looking, yet retains a rich legacy of heritage sites and one of the world’s greatest culinary traditions. It is also a treasury of 19th-century Western architecture that complements iconic new buildings like the avant garde Opera House designed by Zaha Hadid.
Shamian is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Guangzhou. It is a great historic site influenced by the 19th century western culture and a reminder of Guangzhou's colonial history. The large villas and shady tree-lined avenues that were constructed then have a faded charm and create a contrasting atmosphere to much of the city. While most of Guangzhou is battling along at breakneck pace, Shamian is merely ambling. Along the river, the park area is a great place for people-watching and tea drinking, or walk along the wide sidewalks and dine in the open-air under the old trees.
The Canton Tower is surely one of the world’s most recognisable new buildings. It is a major leisure destination incorporating food courts and fine dining restaurants, observation galleries, a challenging 180-metre Sky Walk, and a thrilling ride around the roof-top perimeter.
With its "double pebble" design, the Opera House is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular opera houses in the world. From the smoothed corners of its asymmetrical exterior to the undulating 1,800-seat main theater, the concept of fluidity goes from inside to out.
The Spring and Autumn Canton Trade Fairs showcase the full spectrum of China’s export-oriented manufacturing sector. The bi-annual events evolved from the city’s early role as the starting point of the Silk Road of the Sea. Venues have changed as demand has grown. The fairs now form the anchor events in the Pazhou China Import and Export Fair Complex, only 9.5 kilometers from the hotel. Covering 1.125,000 square metres, this is one of the world’s largest purpose-built exhibition spaces, hosting major trade shows throughout the year.