Although my main purpose in coming to China was to study Chinese, it wasn’t the only thing I did there. I took the opportunity to travel around China as well. Both one of the first and last places I went to was Guangzhou.
The first time I went there was with a group of friends from Xiamen University. We took the over night train from Xiamen directly to Guangzhou, but later I found out that it’s faster if you first take a train to Shenzhen and from there switch to another train going to Guangzhou.
We stayed at the Lazy Gaga Hostel (http://www.gagahostel.com). It’s a comfortable hostel with a large common room and comfortable sleeping rooms. I’ve stayed there both times I went to Guangzhou. Some rooms don’t have windows though, so if you want a window, make sure you ask for one when you book your room.
The first day we visited several temples nearby the hostel and the Chen Clan Academy, which was my favourite one by far. That academy houses some very nice artwork, like a giant inkstone, and step-by-step examples how certain artwork is created.
We also visited some other places, like the protestant churches and the opera house. The next day I split up with my friends to hang out with another friend that came from Foshan. We went to the mausoleum of the Nanyue king. A museum built on the gravesite of a Han-dynasty king. It has exhibitions about the area, about what was found in the grave and of course, the grave itself.
The second time I went to Guangzhou was mostly to just visit my friend in Foshan, which are just a short subway ride away from each other. I spent a day there to visit Zumiao temple and Liangyuan park with her. Zumiao temple had several small museums and my favourite one was the one dedicated to Ip Man. The day I went there they also had a lion dance, which was very interesting to see.
At Liangyuan park we walked around the lake, looked at some of the old buildings and looked at the calligraphy exhibit.
After visiting Foshan I still had another day in Guangzhou. I met some people in the hostel and we went on a boat tour on the Pearl River. We saw many sites along the river, the most famous one being Canton Tower.