Thanks to China Southern Airlines (see my report HERE!), I was able to fly directly from a cold, and wet London to a rather fresh (and thankfully less humid), Guangzhou, in under 13 hours. Rewind the clock a few months back, and that journey would not have been as comfortable because normally people had to fly first to Hong Kong and then take a coach to get to Guangzhou (not to mention the tireless amount of walking with your luggage through the Hong Kong/Mainland China border at Shenzhen).
The good thing about China Southern Airlines flying from London to Guangzhou is that it will give many people travelling to Australia or other parts of South-East Asia an opportunity to explore the capital city of Guangdong Province. It goes without saying that despite the close proximity of Guangzhou to Hong Kong, the average person in London has probably never heard of this city which boasts over 4,000 years of rich history and culture (except if you are Chinese, of course).
Yet the fact is that the majority of Chinese people in London have their origins in this city. This is true for those who are second or third generation Chinese people with businesses in the China Town's of London and Manchester, as they are of Cantonese origin from either Hong Kong or Guangzhou.
Guangzhou can be the perfect stop-over destination. For those with 36 hours to spare in this city, I strongly recommend you take a hike up Mount Baiyun (Baiyun Shan) to get breath taking views across the city, shopping at Beijing Lu (Guangzhou's equivalent to Oxford Street), eat your heart's content at one of the oldest and original Cantonese restaurant, Beiyuan (www.thetraveleditor.com), take a evening boat ride along the Pearl River, visit the Chime Long Theme park, and take a ride up the futuristic looking Canton Tower.
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