Flow­ery Pagoda Area

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Tucked away within more mod­ern de­vel­op­ments, im­pres­sively built land­marks from cen­turies past re­main to be en­joyed. Among the most strik­ing – and read­ily ac­ces­si­ble – are the Flow­ery Pagoda and Guangx­iao Tem­ple. Only a short walk from each other, these his­toric sights fea­ture ex­ten­sive ar­eas of in­creas­ingly well-re­stored in­ter­war streetscapes be­tween the two tem­ple com­plexes. Many build­ings con­tain strik­ing geo­met­ric de­signs with Art-Deco in­flu­ences. Gu Guangx­iao Tem­ple – also kno known as the Tem­ple of Bright Fil­ial Piety, was orig­i­nally built in the 3rd cen­tury AD, and e ex­ten­sively re­built dur­ing t the Tang and Sung pe­ri­ods (7th to 12th cen­turies). T The present com­plex c con­tains his­toric links to th the de­vel­op­ment of Zen Bu Bud­dhism in China. Your ¥5 ($0.8 ($0.80) en­try ticket will get you a dis­count of equal value at the at­tached veg­e­tar­ian res­tau­rant, which serves a ba­sic meal of rice, soup and veg­e­tar­ian soong for about ¥15- ¥25 ($2.40-$4). A more var­ied meal can be had for about ¥50 ($8)

Also known as the Six Banyans Tem­ple, the Flow­ery Pagoda was one of the few lo­ca­tions in the city which, prior to treaty re­vi­sions in the 1840s, for­eign­ers could visit. The pagoda be­came world fa­mous some­what by ac­ci­dent, as it fea­tured on “Wil­low Pat­tern” plates, a renowned Can­ton ex­port for more than two cen­turies. En­try is ¥10 ($1.60).

A short walk away, an an­cient mosque dates back to the 8th cen­tury and il­lus­trates Can­ton’s early trad­ing con­nec­tions to the Arab world. Known as the “Light­house” mosque for its dis­tinc­tive minaret, the build­ing can be clearly seen from the street. Mod­ern Guangzhou is closely linked to the Mid­dle East through trade; Ara­bic script and Silk Road-in­flu­enced cui­sine abound, and ca­sual eater­ies serv­ing Mid­dle Eastern food are com­mon­place through­out Guangzhou.

One stop away by Metro, the Chen Clan Academy (the sta­tion bears its name) is a su­perb ex­am­ple of Ling­nan (“South of the Moun­tain Ranges”) ar­chi­tec­tural style. Set around ex­ten­sive court­yards, this mag­nif­i­cent com­plex was orig­i­nally built in the 1890s as a gath­er­ing place for peo­ple bear­ing the Chen sur­name.

Re­stored and open to the public, Chen Clan Academy show­cases var­i­ous forms of dis­tinc­tive Ling­nan dec­o­ra­tive art, such as or­nately carved brick and plas­ter work. An ex­cel­lent tea shop of­fers su­perb teapots and other items at com­pet­i­tive prices. Ad­mis­sion is ¥10 ($1.60).

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