A useful guide to Guangzhou – what you need to know

In southern edge of China, lying alongside the Pearl River, slightly over a hundred kilometres from Hong Kong is a place that is an eclectic mix of china’s past, present and even future. This unique city features some of the country’s most ancient temples, a park that has lasted millennia, and an imperial tomb, alongside futuristic architecture and an auto-pilot metro. Within the Guangdou province of South China, lays China’s third biggest city, and the capital of the richest province of the country. The city of Guanghou is the rebellious visionary of all of China’s cities, and her people stand out from the rest of their fellow countrymen for their unique way of life and liberal ideas.

If you’re planning on making a visit to experience the wonders of Guangzhou, there are various accommodation option at your disposable, from luxury hotels to more budget friendly choices. To truly feel at home in Guangzhou, one should consider something along the lines of the Citadines LiZhiWan Guangzhou, of the many incarnations of the concept of serviced apartment Guangzhou is notable for. One of the true staples of the city, is its food, for Guangzhou is the birthplace for the legendary Chinese concept of Dim Sum, which involves eating bite-sized portions of food, in restaurants whose menus contain items exceeding hundred.

Guangzhou has no shortage of sites to see, and within her wealth of historic landmarks, one that is truly special is the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, which was built in 1931 as a tribute to the founder of the Republic of China, on the site of his Presidential office. The city’s Yuexiu Park is the largest urban park in all of China, and much like the city it is located in, has nuances of the ancient and the modern, with structures dating back to more than five thousand years, as well as up-to-date modern day miniatures of Guangzhou.

So if you intend on visiting a wondrous locale where past and future dwell in harmonious solitude, take a visit to China’s city of Guangzhou.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+

Altar of the Moon, a delightful garden

The enchanting Altar of the Moon, also known as Yuetan Park inherits a rich historical legacy. Initially called Xiyue Altar this was the location where the emperors of the Qing and Ming Dynasties proffered sacrifices to the deity of the moon and the deities of the stars. Many of the old buildings still stand today, and it was only in 1955 that it was converted into a park.

Most of the location’s highlights are located in the northern section of the park which contains numerous old buildings that house the venerated Altar of the Moon. This altar features a square raised platform with white glazing to represent the moon; there are six stairs on each of the sides. There are stone gates on the walls on each of the sides.

Outside the eastern gate you will see the Jufu Palace, which is the location where the emperor would change his clothes and take a rest. The three main halls of this palace all face south and are roofed with glazed green tiles. On the beams of the building are typical Chinese artworks and inside the edifice you will see a tablet marked by Emperor Qianlong himself.

To the southwest the visitor will encounter the Holy Kitchen ‘Shen Chu’, the Holy Storehouse ‘Shen Ku’ and the Zaisheng Pavilion where animals were slaughtered. The Holy Kitchen which faces south is where offerings were proffered, whilst the Holy Storehouse, facing east features the tablets dedicated to the Moon God.

Beyond the northern gate visitors will see a bell tower which contains a huge brass bell on the second floor. This massive bell perfectly resembles the original bell which was cast at the time of the Ming Dynasty.

On the other hand the southern section of the park is a scenic attraction of more recent construction which is called Inviting the Moon Garden (Yao Yue). In the garden’s centre a pleasant courtyard has been constructed, where there are cassia trees and an al fresco teahouse.

Visitors considering Greater China hotels will find an excellent choice in the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China. These fine hotels in China always satisfy the demands of its clientele.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.


Beihai Park – A Myth Brought to Life

Beijing’s Forbidden City is seen as the imposing complex of structures that was home to the royals of China for centuries. But hidden in the city, is the largest of the Chinese gardens behind the Imperial Palace. Creating harmony between water and earth, its oriental architecture is a testament of the craftsmanship of gardeners of the region.

As stories go, three magical mountains that held the key to immortality were sought by many emperors. These unattainable peaks were replicated by building three mounds surrounded by a pond in the gardens of the Qin and Han dynasties. Initiated during the Liao regime, the Taiye pool represented the seas around the mountains, depicted by the Qionghua, Circular City and Xishantai islands in the park. The 69 hectares of Beihai Park had been exclusive to the aristocracy until it was opened to the public in 1925.

The pavilions and studios that stand on these grounds reflect the grandeur of the Imperial Palace. Decorated with engravings and paintings of celestial bodies and mythical creatures, their roofs and columns are magnificent examples of Chinese art. The Five Dragon pavilion gives a wonderful view of the White Dagoba set against the greenery of Qionghua Islet, perfect for relaxing among the peaceful surroundings.

The beautiful Nine Dragon Wall, one of three such glazed brick creations in China, shows ornate dragons dancing on the clouds. Circular City Island holds the Chengguang hall with an exquisite white jade Buddha statue from Burma. The ornate interiors of the royal household can be seen inside the Jingxin studio, in its wooden carvings and painted screens. The lake that gives the backdrop for these creations burst into bloom with water lilies once a year, which is a favourite sight with visitors.

Beihai Park’s location in the middle of Beijing makes it an oasis from the bustling metropolis and the endless days of work. Many long stay visitors choose a serviced apartment in Beijing for accommodation. While more personal than a hotel, these Beijing serviced apartments have all the conveniences of one. Somerset ZhongGuanCun Beijing features facilities for business and leisure that will make your stay in China a truly memorable one.