The Metro's Line 3 is an adventurous little underground route transporting passengers from north to south through the immense sprawl of Guangzhou. Recently extended all the way to the airport, Line 3 stops at popular Guangzhou sites like Changlong Resort, the Canton Tower, Baiyun Mountain and more.
Changlong Resort. Photo: popowq.com
1) Hanxi Changlong Station: Changlong Resort
Get off the metro at Hanxi Changlong Station (汉溪长隆站) to check out the Changlong resort (长隆度假区), which was China's first 5A designated scenic area. Be sure to start early to ensure that you have time to visit all of the park's exciting areas, such as Changlong Happy World (包括长隆欢乐世界), Xiangjiang Wild Animal World (香江野生动物世界), the Changlong National Grand Circus (长隆国家大马戏) and the Changlong Water Park (长隆水上乐园). Conserve your energy by taking the free shuttle from exit E of the metro station to the resort's south gate entrance. Once inside, spend your day playing at the water park and checking out the wild animals in the zoo. Bring the kids along for a full day of fun at Changlong!
2) Zhujiang New Town Station: Provincial Museum
One of the newest attractions on the Guangzhou tourist scene (finished in May 2010), the new Guangzhou Provincial Museum (省博物馆新馆) in Zhujiang New Town (珠江新城站) is free to the public and is located just off the metro. Take exit B1 directly to the huge museum and marvel at its beautiful architecture and interior design (lots of pillars). It's also one of the best of the Chinese museums, especially if you're interested in cultural relics!
3) Chigangta Station: Canton Tower 广州塔
From exit A of the Chigangta Station (赤岗塔站) it's a quick 700 m stroll to the Canton Tower (广州塔), one of Guangzhou's most famous landmarks. Completed in September 2009, the tallest structure in China (and fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world) stands at a staggering 600 m and is equipped with a 4D cinema, a play-hall area, a revolving restaurant, coffee shops and the outdoor "sky garden", complete with fancy teahouse. Take the high-speed elevator up to the top deck to see breathtaking 360 views of the city. For an added bit of excitement, ride the world's highest horizontal Ferris wheel or bungee jump from 500 m.
4) Meihuayuan Station: Baiyun Mountain
From Meihuayuan Station (梅花园站), take exit B and walk 350 m north, turn west at the traffic lights and then walk straight 1000 m until you come to the entrance gate to Baiyun Mountain Meihuayuan (白云山梅花园). In addition to climbing Baiyun Mountain, the park also offers seven other scenic areas: Mingzhu Lou (明珠楼), Luhu Lake (麓湖), Moxing Ridge (摩星岭), Santai Ridge (三台岭), Mingchun Valley (鸣春谷), Fei'e Ridge (飞鹅岭) and Heyi Ridge (荷依岭). Famous for scenery and cuisine (try the tofu!), Baiyun is a beautiful place to spend the day. Pro tip: be sure to pick up some honey from the local sellers on the way down the mountain. It's a bit expensive but is totally worth it!
5) Tianhe Bus Station: South China Botanical Garden
Last, but most certainly not least, exit the Tianhe Bus Station (天河客运站) and head over to the South China Botanical Garden (华南植物园). The garden can be reached by bus (take bus No. 28, 83, 534, 535, 564 from Tianhe Bus Station) or by foot, which takes about a 30 minutes. The cool, tree-filled garden oasis is a quiet, natural paradise far removed from the bustling lifestyle of the city center. It takes about 3-4 hours to see everything, so it's best to rent a bicycle to get around (or a battery-powered car if you're crunched for time). If you plan on going during the summer, be aware that the garden attracts especially aggressive mosquitoes, so it's best to wear long sleeves or bring along bug spray!
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