Almost all travelers and tourists coming to China mostly visit Peking, Shanghai and Xi’an. Of course, these three places are called the golden triangle and offer the most popular Chinese tourist attractions. However if you have time or just simply want to see natural beauty and avoid crowds then the Guangdong province is the right place to go.
About Guangdong province
First let me briefly introduce Guangdong province. It’s the southernmost Chinese province. It’s capital city Guangzhou ( mostly known as Canton) is the third largest city in China. Guangzhou doesn’t tempt tourists so much. It’s more financial an business center. But it’s also modern and vigorous place and same like in Shanghai you can find here mix of modern high rise buildings and old traditional houses and streets. Guangdong people speak their own language, Cantonese. Most of the year the weather is very hot, winters are short, wet and miserable. The best time to visit is early spring or autumn.
What to see
Guangdong province is not the top tourist destination in China but still has a lot to offer. Lets see some of the most beautiful places.
Well I know I said that Guangdong’s tourist attractions are not so crowded. This one is little bit exceptional. Danxia mountain is the top destination in Guangdong province. Lies in Shaoguan county. Well known place among Cantonese people. We visited this place in late October and the weather wasn’t the best but I recommend exactly this time of year to go there. It’s not so hot, temperature is usually around 20-25 degrees and there is a good chance to see some autumn colors. But be prepared to climb a lot of steep stairs which is actually typical for most Chinese national parks. But be sure that climbing up steps always pays off. The views are stunning! Anyway the biggest attractions of this national park are Female and Male rock. I guess look at the pictures tells you why 🙂
How to get there: Take high speed train from Guangzhou south station . It takes only 50 minutes to get to Shaoguan station. Second class ticket costs about 100 yuan. Once you leave the station there is a lot of taxi drivers ready to take you to Danxia mountain which is about 50 km from the Shaoguan city. Recommended time to visit is two days if you want to explore whole park ( which is worth to do it).
Entrance fee is 200 yuan (two days ticket)
Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm
Where to stay: There is a lot of hotels in Danxia town. I recommend Yuanse Inn. Very clean, unique style and helpful staff
Guangdong Grand canyon
Nanling national forest park
About 100 km west from Shaoguan city lies beautiful national park with stunning views. This park is divided into four sections. Unfortunately they are not connected to each other. The park itself is very big and there is a road leads toward each walking section. The best way how to visit this park is to have a driver to take you there, drop you at each walking section entrance and wait for you at the exit. If you want to make it in one day you should start early morning as the park closes at 6.pm and walk each section takes from 1 to 3 hours. We arrived to this park at midday so we didn’t have enough time to make all four walking paths. We made just two. One was along the stream which took about 1.5 easy walking. The second part was much more difficult. We climbed up to the 1600m high mountain. It was steep and it took 2.5 hours to climb up and get down. Tiring but beautiful. I really recommend to visit this park. It’s Hiking paradise.
How to get there: take a speed train from Guangzhou south station to Shaoguan. Then take a taxi. It will take about 1.5 hours to get there and costs will be around 300 yuan one way. You must bargain.
Entrance fee is 80 yuan
Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm
Where to stay: About 50 km toward Shaoguan city is a Ruyuan town where you can find accomodation. We stayed in Baiyuntian hotspring hotel.
- When traveling to these places try to avoid peak season and all national holidays. Big crowds can really spoil your experience.
- Don’t be surprise if you hear Chinese people shout. Chinese people like to hear echo of their voice so once they got to the top of some mountain they will start to shout. Unfortunately this usually works as a chain reaction – once one of them starts the others will join him.
- If you cannot speak Chinese make sure you have a good translate app in your mobile. Most of the Chinese people cannot speak English.
- Always check weather forecast. Some places might be closed due to bad weather conditions.
- Always book your hotel in advance during national holidays or in peak season.
- Shaoguan area is famous for hot spring resorts. A good way how to relax after long Hiking day.