A tour of the southern Chinese city
Valerian Ho takes in spectacular views, local art and gou gourmet cooking in the buzzing Chinese city
1 JIANG BY CHEF FEI No journey should start on an empty stomach, so begin your tour of Guangdong’s provincial capital by heading to the Mandarin Oriental hotel for lunch in one of its outstanding restaurants.
For local flavour, Jiang by Chef Fei serves Cantonese cuisine directed by Chef Fei, voted Best Chef in China in 2015 by Lifestyle Magazine. The restaurant has a contemporary design with a palette of grey, brown and cream, while wooden floors, patterned carpets and exquisite Oriental artworks add sophistication.
Signature dishes on the current menu include Xisha Island crayfish with garlic sauce, wok-fried Boston lobster with Szechuan pepper, and whole Alaskan crab. 389 Tianhe Road, Tianhe district; tel +86 20 3808 8888; mandarinoriental.com/guangzhou 2 CANTON TOWER Take a ten-minute taxi ride to the 600-metre-tall Canton Tower – the third tallest in the world – for sprawling views of the city and Zhujiang (Pearl) River. There is an outdoor observation deck at 488 metres, or hop into one of the crystal cabins of the Bubble Tram for a 360-degree ride around the top of the tower.
If you overindulged at lunch then you can burn off the calories with the Sky Walk – the world’s longest spiral staircase – which stretches from levels 32 to 64 and offers striking architectural views. You can learn more about the building and how it resists hurricanes and earthquakes in the Science and Technology Marvel Tour Hall on
levels 109 and 110. Adrenaline junkies can try the heart-pumping Sky Drop, a “standing” free-fall experience. Tickets from RMB150 (£17); open 9.30am-10.30pm;
GUANGDONG MUSEUM OF ART Cross the river via Guangzhou Avenue – a tenminute walk will bring you to Er-Sha Island. Walk west along the island’s southern riverbank to the Guangdong Museum of Art. The museum’s collection encompasses everything from oil paintings and sculptures to ceramic work and calligraphy, by both local and international artists. Bring your passport as you will need to go through a security check. Open 9am-5pm (closed Mon); free entry. 38 Yanyu Road, Er-Sha Island; gdmoa.org
MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF GENERALISSIMO SUN YAT-SEN’S MANSION Jump in a taxi for a ten-minute zip back across the river to learn about the “Father of the Nation”, Sun Yat-sen. The Memorial Museum of Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen’s Mansion, built in 1917, was once Sun’s house and office. It was an important military facility owing to its close proximity to the river. In 1999, the city government completed a RMB15 million (£1.7 million) renovation of the building and it reopened as a museum in 2006.
There are two buildings – North and South – depicting the original set-up during Sun’s brief residence, as well as exhibitions about his life and the city’s history. Open 9am–5.30pm (closed Mon); free entry. 18 Dongsha Street, Fanzhi Road, Haizhu district; dyshf.com
BAR 5 If you have time remaining to squeeze in a drink, cross back over the river once more and head to Yanjiang Middle Road, where you will find LN Hotel Five. The property recently joined Small Luxury Hotels of the World and boasts a fabulous rooftop bar on the seventh floor called Bar 5.
Skilled bartenders practise molecular mixology as well as offering the classics, while guests recline on plush sofas, taking in panoramic views of the brightly-lit skyline and river. Try the signature Baijiu rice wine cocktail, although be careful not to have too many – the local spirit is known to contain up to 60 per cent alcohol. Open 5.30pm1.30am. 277 Yanjiang Road, Yuexiu district; tel +86 20 8931 0505;