Top things to do

Top Choice Arts Centre in Shēnzhèn


The sprawling OCT-LOFT complex, converted from fashionably austere communist-era factories, is one of the best places to see contemporary art in Shēnzhèn, and makes for a wonderful (if ever-more commercial) browse-a…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Guǎngzhōu

Mausoleum of the Nányuè King

This superb mausoleum from the 2000-year-old Nányuè kingdom is one of China’s best museums. It houses the tomb of Zhao Mo, second king of Nányuè, who was sent south by the emperor in 214 BC to quell unrest and estab…
Top Choice Historic Site in Guǎngzhōu

Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

An all-in-one ancestral shrine, Confucian school and ‘chamber of commerce’ for the Chen clan, this compound was built in 1894 by the residents of 72 villages in Guǎngdōng, where the Chen lineage is predominant. Ther…
Top Choice Historic Site in Guǎngzhōu

Shāmiàn Island

To the southwest of Guǎngzhōu is the dappled oasis of Shāmiàn Island. It was acquired as a foreign concession in 1859 after the two Opium Wars. Shamian Dajie, the main boulevard, is a gentle stretch of gardens dotte…
Top Choice Village in Kāipíng


Zìlì, 11km west of Kāipíng, has the largest collection of diāolóu historic watchtowers in the area, though only a few of the 15 are open to the public. The most stunning is Míngshí Lóu (铭石楼), which has a verandah wi…
Top Choice Dim Sum in Guǎngzhōu

Pànxī Restaurant

Set in a majestic garden and embracing another one within its walls, Pànxī is the most representative of Guǎngzhōu‘s garden-restaurants. Corridors and courtyards are brought together to give the effect of ‘every ste…
Top Choice Bridge in Cháozhōu

Guǎngjǐ Bridge

Originally a 12th-century pontoon bridge with 86 boats straddling the Hán River, Guǎngjǐ Bridge suffered repeated destruction over the centuries. The current version is a brilliant, faux-ancient passageway with 18 w…
Top Choice Chinese in Cháozhōu

Liánhuā Vegetarian

An excellent vegetarian restaurant opposite Kāiyuán Temple. The menu also features Cháozhōu specialties, including the delightful desserts on the last page.
Top Choice Cafe in Guǎngzhōu

Kuí Yuán

From its location inside the gorgeous Kuí Yuán building in the historic Dōngshān area, this cafe serves decent coffee and canapés during the day and morphs into a bar at night. Stylish, warm-toned seating areas occu…
Top Choice Vegetarian in Dǐnghú Shān

Qìngyún Vegetarian Restaurant

An excellent but pricey eatery in Dǐnghú Shān Reserve that serves the famous Dǐnghú Vegetarian Dish (鼎湖上素; Dǐnghú Shàngsù; ¥68), supposedly an invention by monks around here. It also does an exceptional sweet-and-so…