Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a city in the south of the People’s Republic of China, capital of the province of Guangdong.

It has an international airport and communicates with Hong Kong (at a distance of 120 km) by trains, buses and a ferry service.

Easily accessible if you fly to Shenzhen or Hong Kong since it has trains every 15-20 minutes and it takes about 30-40 minutes from Shenzhen and about 1 hour from Hong Kong

What to see in this overcrowded city?

Although almost all cities in China look similar except for large cities, Guangzhou has its peculiarity. Likewise, I would not recommend staying more than 4 days unless you’re visiting the surroundings. A good area to choose hotel is the Kecun area, since it is central and moving around is not very expensive via taxi or didi

1. Canton Tower

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/YsLkzyGPgbLKUJ6K6

If you have chosen the Kecun area to spend your nights, Canton Tower is just few minutes walking distance away. Recommended to visit during night time since this tower is the emblem of the city

2. Nightlife at Party Pier Plaza

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/gvgRdF4Ro244foLm7

Both for nightlife and for enjoying its views or for a walk, this area is highly recommended. Great views of the city from the bars entrance area next to the taxi stops

3. Visit the Sacred Heart Cathedral

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/vvf9A15bwKtBzb7M9

Soaring 1888 Catholic cathedral, one of only a few in the world constructed completely of granite.

Open from 8.30-11.30 and 14.30-1700 on Tue-Fri. 8.30-17.00 on Sat-Sun. Monday closed

4. Visit the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/dKfo15h2yQFxHVPP6

A few minutes walking distance from the cathedral is this temple. Recommended to stop by!

Open Monday to Sunday from 8am to 5pm

Entry fees: 5RMB

5. Visit the Guangxiao Temple

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/7ifdUPGCkNyi5Bwq7

Ancient Buddhist temple complex known for its numerous iron towers, statues, gardens & bodhi tree

Also just a few minutes walking distance from the temple mentioned above is this temple. Perfect for families!

Entry fees: 5RMB

6. Stroll at Xiaozhou Ancient Village 霞洲村

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/cNevxeRTM9umwJwR9

This ancient town is located on the outskirts of the city about 40 minutes by car. Highly recommended to spend half a day and enjoy of its traditional alleys and complexes.

To locate this site once arrived to the area, simply enter the market area or follow the signs. It is also easy to find since the difference between modern and old streets is obvious

7. Explore the Huangpu Village 黄埔村

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/P7QMfHuMq5TuG7kX9

One of the most beautiful traditional villages of Guangzhou. Perfect to spend a day among its alleys. Full of markets, restaurants, temples, shops … and is not very popular yet!

The town is located on the outskirts but easily accessible by car. Taxis in Canton are not relatively expensive and will save us a lot of time that could be used to visit new sites

8. Stroll at TIT Creative Industry Zone

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/BMaCK8GJody53hCC8

Industrial zone transformed into business, coffee shops and art. Perfect place to walk, relax, have breakfast, night photography…

9. Walk by Zhujiang River Promenade

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/u9a2tGph6NrrrAmC6

Great promenade that goes along the river with views of the city. The end of this promenade leads to the party area

10. Hike up to Baiyunshan

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/ZxkbDgbzNth7suKa9

This mountain has several entrances and routes. The roads are usually through the road, so there is no difficulty at all. Within the area there are food stalls and restaurants. The views from the top are decent but unfortunately the pollution usually covers the views a bit.

Along the way there are several points of interest, such as temples and monuments

 

Yangshuo

Yangshuo, a county and resort town in southern China’s Guangxi region, is known for its dramatic karst mountain landscape and outdoor recreation. The town is set amid pinnacles like Bilian Feng (Green Lotus Peak), which has a hiking trail to the top. Tour boats offer cruises on the Li River past picturesque countryside from the town of Guilin to the north.

What to see in Yangshuo? Endless activities. These are the ones that I have been able to enjoy so far

Before starting it should be clarified that to get here there are two train stations and can be somewhat confusing:
-Guilin train station
Xingping train station (known as Yangshuo station)
If you arrive at Guilin, you would have to take a bus to Yangshuo and it would take approximately 2 hours.
If you arrive at Xingping, just take a taxi to Yangshuo as it is 30 minutes away. The advantage of getting to Xingping is that once you arrive, you can take advantage of it and go to Li River for a bamboo ride, climb to Laozhaishan peak for an incredible view of the area and visit the old town. If you carrying a lot of stuffs, a taxi to Yangshuo is approximately 80 yuan

1. Li River boat ride

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Li River is located in Xingping on the outskirts of Yangshuo.
The boat ride is one of the most popular tourist attractions. To get a ticket it is possible from the ticket window just at the entrance of the river or in an office located in the town near the selected area in the image below. Xingping also offers countless hikes along the river

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2. Hike up to Laozhaishan

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Also located in Xingping, Laozhaishan is located next to the entrance to the river. Just go through the market on the left side facing the river to get there (follow the toilet direction but once you find the crossing, turn left).

The top of the mountain offers stunning views of Xingping
The climb is slightly hard in several sections but its duration is about 35-40 minutes

3. Stroll at Yangshuo town

Visit Yangshuo town is another of the most recommended activities. For shopping, food or just to see its old town transformed into a tourist attraction

4. Nighlife at Yangshuo town

Being increasingly popular, the nightlife in Yangshuo calls the attention in some of its bars. Nothing else to say…

5. Hike up to the TV Tower

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This is not one of the most popular hikes but it is worth its 45 minute climb. This mountain is located just at the entrance of the town about 15 minutes away walking from the old town and offers stunning views of Yangshuo. To get here is a bit confusing since there are no updated maps of this area. The entrance is right in one of the alleys that I mark in the image below (as reference, you could see the TV Tower right in front of the alley up to the mountain peak). Then just follow the streets up. As soon as you enter the alley, turn left and keep going up all the streets, always going up.

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You will have to continue walking up through the streets until you see the entrance to the hike as shows the image below

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Highly recommended to climb during sunset

6. Hike up to the Moon Hill

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This mountain is located on the outskirts of Yangshuo, at the South. To get here you have to take a taxi / didi or rent a motorcycle/bicycle. Didi/Taxi here is quite affordable and let us save a lot of time. The address here in chinese is 月亮山景区 or if using Didi english version, just type Moon Hill
Once arrived, there are two routes: Moon Palace and Dresser
-Direction to Moon Palace reaches up to the hill
-Direction Dresser reaches to a kind of picnic area that personally has better views of the hill than from any other place around, being perfect for photographs

Moon Palace

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Dresser

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If you visit the Moon Palace area, don’t forget to help the locals by buying them a drink. They hike up here daily to make a living

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There are hundreds of activities to do here. Countless hikes, bike routes, towns to see, … but it takes a lot of time to do them all!

Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a major city in Guangdong Province, China; it forms part of the Pearl River Delta megalopolis, bordering Hong Kong to the south, Huizhou to the northeast, and Dongguan to the northwest.

So if your a planning a short trip to Shenzhen (no need more than a week unless planning to move around), I’d recommend you visit these particular places:

1. Walk in Shenzhen Bay Park 深圳湾公园

Shenzhen Bay Park 深圳湾公园 is the longest coastal park of Shenzhen (China). If you really love cycling or long walks this place will be perfect with great views of Hong Kong New Territories on the other side of the bay and Nanshan & Futian districts. Ideal for night!

To get there take metro Line 9 at Shenzhen Bay Park station (深圳湾公园站) exit C.

2. Explore Shenzhen Central Park 深圳中心公园

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Central Park 深圳中心公园 is located in the heart of the Commercial Business District (CBD) of Futian, Shenzhen (China). It is free entry and considered one of the most underrated parks of the city

To get there take the subway to Huaqiang North Station and Exit A on the orange line and then straight ahead for almost 400 meters

3. Walk & chill at OCT Loft

OCT Loft 华侨城创意园 offers a different side of Shenzhen with its green paths, areas and parks. In additional, OCT Loft is one of the main points of interest for art and photography lovers, yet for coffee lovers as this place offers plenty of cafeshops

To get there take metro Line 1 to Windows of the World 世界之窗 and then transfer to Line 2 to Qiaocheng North Station 侨城北 and take exit B. The easiest way is following the OCT Hospital indications, since is near to the area.

4. Visit the Phoenix Mountain 凤凰山公园

Phoenix Mountain (凤凰山公园)  is located in Bao’an district of Shenzhen (China). This place is a great option for a walk and see a small nature side of Shenzhen with its lake surrounded of mountains and trees. A walk to the top you’ll have views of Bao’an district and a temple with its little pagoda

To get there can take Didi, the bus M433 or metro to 塘尾 Tangwei and walk or grab taxi from here to the mountain

5. Explore Nantou Village 南头

Nantou Ancient Village 南头 is a historical monument in Shenzhen, China. It was the former administrative centre of Xin’an County. This place is perfect if you want to see the traditional side of China within a small neighborhood despite this places has been renewed and became commercial. Stroll through its narrow streets gives you the chance to see how the locals are living here.

To get there take metro to Taoyuan exit B and walk for 10-15 minutes or grab a taxi

6. Drop by Tulip Streets 荷兰花卉小镇

Tulip streets or Netherlands Flower Town 荷兰花卉小镇 is an European-styled town located at Nanshan district in Shenzhen (China) which has been re-opened on 2011.

This little town offers a strange combination of plants, flowers, pets & cafe shops near a park, which makes it a good place to visit if you want to spend few hours of chilling

To get there you can walk for about 10 minutes from Nantou Village or by bus. The bus station is Xinghai Mingcheng (星海名城站), many buses can take you there, such as 42, 201, 223, 324, b623, b688, b699, b702, b813, m364, m370, m375.

The nearest metro station is Daxin Station at Line 1, take exit B and walk for few minutes to the north.

Alternatively, can grab a taxi/didi. By typing in Didi app (English version) “flower”, you may see that the first option is this little town to select

Address: 3008, Yueliangwan Avenue, Nanshan, Shenzhen

地址: 南山区月亮湾大道3008号

7. Walk through Shenzhen Bay Park promenade 

Shenzhen Bay Park Bridge may be an alternative to Shenzhen Bay Park. Both places are connected through the same promenade but the starting point are located in different sides. Through this walk you can see a little port in Sea World, the bridge that connects to Hong Kong and Talent Park. The walk takes roughly more than an hour

To get there take metro to Sea World and walk towards the sea passing by Nanhai Rose Garden, keep walking to Shekou Fishing Harbor and keep coasting to Shenzhen Bay Park Bridge or Talent Park farther ahead. Then you can come back by metro in Wanxia or Haiyue Stations

8. Visit Dafen Painting Village 大芬

Dafen Painting Village 大芬 is a suburb of Buji in Shenzhen, China. The area is an artist village for the production of replicas of masterworks and outsourcing of original art creation. Great place for a stroll and enjoy the traditional art of China

To get there take metro to Dafen Station exit A1 and walk straight away until finding the neighborhood

9. Hike up to Nanshan Mountain

Nanshan mountain also known as Nanshan Park, is one of the most popular mountains in Shenzhen. Great place for an amazing cityscape of Shenzhen. From the top of the mountain you will see mostly all Shenzhen. Highly recommended to visit or stay at night. The “hike” is paved with stairs and lights so is basically a walk to the top and safe to visit or back at night

To get there take metro yo Sea World exit D and head towards the mountain and then follow the indications to Nanshan Park.

10. Day/Night Hike to TanglangShan 塘朗山 郊野公园

Tanglang Mountain 塘朗山 郊野公园 is located in Nanshan District, Shenzhen (China). With an elevation of 430m, Tanglang Mountain is the third highest peak in Shenzhen.

This mountain has two routes to reach the summit: road and paved stones trail. The climbing takes about 1-2 hours in relax rate or 45 minutes in good rate.

The hike is pretty easy and safe what makes it is perfect for a night hike by following the road. The night views from the top are pretty amazing

To get there take metro to Taoyuancun Line 7 and Exit D. Walk forward until seeing the mountain in the right side. Then walk towards the mountain and will be visible the Trail starting point

11. Watch the Lights Night Show at Lianhuashan Park 莲花山公园

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Lianhuashan Park 莲花山公园 is a hill and urban park in Shenzhen, China. It is located at the northern end of the Futian Central Business District and covers an area of 150 hectares. Atop the 106-metre hill is a large bronze statue of Deng Xiaoping and views of Futian Central Business District. This park is very popular for its night lights shows, so is highly recommended to come before night and find a spot at the top to have a look to the night show. It usually starts at 8pm and last about one hour

To get there take metro to Children’s Palace exit F2, cross the park until finding the stairs up to the top

12. Hike at Yangtaishan 羊台山

Located in Bao’an district of Shenzhen (China), Yangtaishan 羊台山 is a mountain of about 587 meters in height. It’s not as high as Wutong mountain but the summit will surprise you with its stunning views of Bao’an, Nanshan & Longgang districts.

To get there take the bus 769 or 635. If you take the bus 635, you may transfer bus at Shiyan Bus General Station and grab the bus 769 to Yangtai Mountain Station.

Otherwise, you may take Didi or taxi to get there. We grabbed a taxi from Shenzhen North Station to Shiyan entrance and costs 45RMB

13. Escape to Dapeng Old Town 

is a well-preserved town located at the east of Longgang District in Shenzhen (China). Through its narrow streets can get to the Fortress and at 5-10 minutes driving distance can get easily to Dongshan temple. By walking distance should be about 30-40 minutes though

To get there:

CAR

This is the way how I got there since is the easiest and recommended way. The journey takes about one hour departing from Louhu/Longgang district. Find a friend with car or rent it totally worth it.

BUS

This is the slowest and the last alternative. Usually takes about 2 hours or more

-From Yinghu Bus Station: Bus E11 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng

-From Futian Bus Station: Bus H92 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng

-From Longgang: Bus 833 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng

-From Longgang Bus Terminal: Bus 818 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng

 

Macau

Macau was formerly a colony of the Portuguese Empire, after Ming China leased the territory as a trading post in 1557. Macau is the gambling capital of the world. Its economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism, with the largest gambling revenue since 2006

Since Macau is the gambling capital of the world, the whole place is full of Casinos & Hotels which provide FREE shuttle buses to different destinations. So if you are not in the rush, this transportation system may make you save a lot of money

1. The Venetian

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One of the most popular hotels & casinos, people visit this place especially for The Grand Canal Shoppes

To go there, take The Venetian Shuttle Bus from the Ferry Terminal directly

2. Taipa Village

Taipa Village is a well-preserved non-gaming destination which offers a perfect alternative to the city’s casino resorts. Perfect for dining & souvenirs shopping.

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Through its streets you can easily find a lot of Portuguese restaurants with a really great food quality. Try there bacalhau à brás is a must!

To go there you can walk from The Venetian. The journey takes about 20 minutes and there are indications along the way

3. Taipa Houses-Museum

At the East of Taipa Village is located these colonial houses. Along the path to the south is located Our Lady of Carmel church & the Wetland

4. Senado

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Senado Square is a paved town square in Sé and part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. Worth to have a look since it is on the way to the Ruins of St. Paul

To go there walk from Taipa Village to City of Dreams and take a shuttle bus to Grand Emperor Hotel & walk

5. Ruins of St. Paul

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The Ruins of St. Paul are the ruins of a 17th-century complex in Santo António. This place is a must too see but is often packed with thousand of tourists. However, worth to have a look

To go there walk from Senado to the Ruins. The journey takes about 10 minutes and there are a lot of shops along the way

6. Monte Fort

On the right side of the ruins is located the Fort. The top of the fort offers great views of the north of Macau

Xunliao Bay: Rock ‘n’ Beach

Located in Huizhou (China), Xunliao Bay 巽寮湾 is a tourist area in the eastern part of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong. Xunliao Bay is honored as a dazzling pearl among Guangdong coastal areas.

In order to visit this place, I joined to a hiking group arranged from Shenzhen. The bus dropped us near Xiashan Pu 下山埔 and we walked about 25 minutes to the first beach to start coasting. The total distance of the hike is about 12km and may take around 6 hours

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Continuing walking through the beach the hike begins with its first rocks. 70% of the coast are pure rocks, so better to bring sport shoes with a good grip, since some rocks along the way are a bit slippery. Sun block is also a must for this place, the sun is strong and just few shelters or shades will be found on the way

The other 30% of the way are beaches and trails. Perfect for a better landscape

Climbing up to some of these trails will offer a better views of the bay and the offshore seascape. The trail is well marked by hikers to don’t get lost despite is really hard to.

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We spotted few sections with slight difficulty. Slippery rocks and slopes help to get out of the flat land routine, since basically all the way is quite similar.

Along the way there are several beaches where to rest, sunbath, swim or collect shells for your relatives. Seems that this coast is famous for its beaches and shells, so it’s also a good moment to get some to back home

Finishing the hike, we reach to the last beach before getting into the boat towards the port. The sunset made this place worthy to hike. Romantic moment whether you are with your relative or for some photo shoot to conquer romantically a guy/girl 😉

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After a break and taking shots of the sunset, we ended near the port. We board to the boat before taking the bus towards Shenzhen

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Journey from the starting point to the ending point

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If you are looking for a different place to disconnect and away from mountains and city, maybe this place is not a bad choice after all.

DETAILS

  • Location: Xunliao Bay 巽寮湾 @ Huizhou, Guangdong
  • Time spent: 6-7 hours + 4 hours journeys
  • Season: End of October
  • Weather conditions: Sunny & windy, 22 degrees
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Score: 7.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yao Village: Into the Ancient

Yao Village 南岗村瑶寨 is located in Sanpai Village few kilometers away from Liannan County @ Qingyuan City in China.

Yao Village 南岗村瑶寨 is a historical village with 1.000 years old in good conditions, where its history, culture, art, architecture and views make it unique in China.

One of the most striking features of this village are its stilt-house architecture, its corridor lanes and bamboo water pipes all over the village.

The way how I get here was by bus services arranged by a hiking group. It’s not very easy to reach here unless you hire a tour or find some hiking groups with this getaway in mind

EXPLORING AROUND

Arrived to Yao Village 南岗村瑶寨 at night, we only had time for dinner and drinks. The food here was quite good and also open to vegetarians. At night, we could see some kind of karaoke and something like BBQ. A entire chicken was cooked on this BBQ/fire

The rooms/hostel here are not 5 stars, not even 1 star. Don’t expect lust in this kind of places if you are thinking to spend a night here. I guess that living for one night like locals is a good option.

In the morning, you can climb the stairs up towards the temple whether you want to enjoy the sunrise. There is a small hill where you can find a great views of the zone.

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The local breakfast was amazing, especially the fresh soya milk! They craft their own soya milk!

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The rest of the day we explored around the village. Its streets and views will really surprise you

Strolling further down, there are many view spots. Worth to spend hours in strolling around

Something that really shocked me was the dried food selling around the village. You can find anything out there…

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I would recommend you to head up to the top floor of any house in the village and check through the window whether you want to take great photos of the area

At the end of this tour, the villagers perform traditional singing and dancing for all guests

Yao Village 南岗村瑶寨 worth to visit at least once whether you are near the area, since to reach here will take you hours due to its remote location and lack of transportation.

DETAILS

  • Location: Yao Village 南岗村瑶寨 @ Liannan County, Qingyuan
  • Transportation: Bus service arrangement
  • Time spent: 1 day
  • Season: March
  • Weather conditions: Cloudy and foggy. Rains at the end of the day
  • Score: 9/10

PHOTO GALLERY

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Yingde: The Cradle of Flowers

ENGLISH & ESPAÑOL

Located in Qingyuan (China), Yingde (英德) has been one of the most beautiful places I had visited in China so far. It is a historical city in the north of Guangdong Province.

The way how I get here was arranged by a hiking group. I joined to a hiking group to explore this area. From Shenzhen, the guide arranged a bus service to take us at Yingde. The journey took about 4-5 hours with 30 minutes of break.

Once arrived to the destination, the route was from Chengxiacun (城下村) > slight hike/walk through Yingxifenglin corridor (英西峰林走廊景区), which has a great views (similar than Yanghsuo) > Bus pick up point to Yao village (南岗村瑶寨) with a stop in between the journey to admire one of the most stunning views which I will talk later on.

EXPLORING AROUND

Arrived finally to Chengxiacun (城下村), we started the walk across the Ying Xifeng Lin corridor (英西峰林走廊景区).

Our bus dropped us in this small village next to Ying Xifeng Lin corridor. From this village (城下村) there is a path which takes you through the mountains and is where the hike starts. The bridge in the photo above is a well-known starting point

Once crossed the stoned bridge, the hike is really pleasant and easy. Surrounded of great views, farms and small villages

After few hours of walking, there is a cave to pass through with seemingly a dry lagoon.

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Once finished the walk on this corridor after few hours, the bus pick us up to take us to Yao Village (南岗村瑶寨). On the way to this village, the bus dropped us in a tourist spot to take some photos and enjoy of its amazing views

I bet for those who already visited Guillin and Yangshuo will find in these views kind of similar.

The location for this spot is unknown for me. I guess it’s in some point between Chengxiacun (城下村) and Yao Village (南岗村瑶寨)

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I hope you have the chance to enjoy this trip. Yingde is famous tourist attraction, hence it won’t be hard to get here by finding some bus or tour services.

DETAILS

  • Location: Ying Xifeng Lin corridor 英西峰林走廊景区 @ Yingde 英德
  • Transportation: Bus services arrangement
  • Time spent: 5 hours
  • Season: March
  • Weather conditions: Sunny with slight clouds
  • Score: 8.5/10

PHOTO GALLERY

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Baolin Temple

Located in Taiping mountain in Shunde district of Foshan (China), Baolin Temple 宝林寺 is highly recommended place during your visit in Foshan. The entry is not for free, so you have to get tickets just in the right side of the entrance. The ticket price is about 30RMB for foreigners, and about 15RMB for locals.

Opening hours: 8:00 – 17:00

HOW TO GET THERE

The best way to get there is by using Didi or taxi to 宝林寺 (Baolin Rd, Shunde District) directly or can take the bus 311 which stops right in front of the temple. Although Didi or taxi is fairly cheap in Shunde, a bus is also a good choice

EXPLORING AROUND

Once inside there is a hall full of stairs that leads to the top of the temple. Just keep walking and enjoy

Photos taken along the way

The square located on the top next to the temple is unique with its decoration and views.

DETAILS:

  • Location: Baolin Temple 宝林寺 @ Shunde, Foshan
  • Transportation chosen: Didi
  • Time spent: 3 hours
  • Season: July
  • Weather conditions: Cloudy/Rainy
  • Score: 8.5/10

PHOTO GALLERY

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