North and East Guangzhou refers to five outlying districts of Guangzhou:
- Baiyun (白云 Baahk wàhn in Cantonese, Báiyún in Mandarin) — This district has a big rural touch, but is slowly being taken over by new developments. Highlights include the Baiyun Mountain.
- Huangpu (黄埔 Wòhng bou in Cantonese, Huángpǔ in Mandarin) — Not well known among foreign tourists, this district is to the east of the city center. Highlights include the former Huangpu Military Academy. Luogang (萝岗 Lòh gōng in Cantonese, Luógǎng in Mandarin) District became a part of Huangpu District in 2014.
- Huadu (花都 Fā dōu in Cantonese, Huādū in Mandarin) — This is a developing industrial area. Highlights include Huadu Square and the New Baiyun International Airport.
- Zengcheng (增城 Jāng sìhng in Cantonese, Zēngchéng in Mandarin) is famous for its lychee fruit, which are picked in June and July.
- Conghua (从化 Chùhng fa in Cantonese, Cónghuà in Mandarin) is known for its hot springs and Tianhe (Heavenly Lake) Recreation area.
A once densely forested area, Zengcheng was founded in the year 201AD, and is a well developed town with good transportation. Within China, Zengcheng is famous for its high quality and juicy lychees, which are sold under the brand-name of Gualu (挂绿 guàloù). It cannot be considered a tourist destination but if you find yourself there, head towards the river to see the locals going about their business much as they have done for centuries. There are a number of good restaurants and a few moderate bar/clubs, just 2 serious supermarkets and one multi storey shopping mall.
When to visit
The best time to visit Zengcheng is in June and July when the lychees are ripe and dripping with juice.
Places to visit
Lycheng - Is the central area of the city of Zengcheng.
Xintang - The economomic city of the Zengcheng area. A huge electrical industry is growing in Xintang because the Xintang city government is offering the best regulations to the factories. Because of the superiority, more and more companies have built new factories in Xintang.
Buses run from Guangzhou to Zengcheng from around 07:00 to 21:00. There are several routes (including the 637 and 638 - others are not numbered) departing from different places in Guangzhou. A good place to get a bus is from Tianhe bus station. You can catch a bus from a mini bus station at the front of the main one or cross the road and catch one of many routes. A one way ticket costs from 16 yuan from Tianhe, and the journey takes about 1 hour 45 minutes from the Liuhua bus station opposite the main railway station, or about 1 hour 20 minutes from Tianhe bus station.
Zengcheng has an efficient bus service. Most bus stops have a map showing the routes, but the routes on the city map are completely wrong (2007).
If you want to go to the villages you will have to take a local bus. But you need a local guide who can can take you there. We ended up in the back of a small truck, sitting on plastic chairs from our host's home. Pretty dangerous.
- 1 Former Site of Huangpu Military Academy (黄埔军校旧址 Huáng-pǔ-jūn-xiào-jiù-zhǐ, Huangpu is also spelled Whampoa), 170 Jun Xiao Road, Changzhou Island, Huangpu District (黄埔区长洲岛军校路170号) (Take a metro train to Yuzhu Station on Line 5. Exit the station via Exit D, then walk or take bus no. 431 to the Yuzhou Pier. Finally take a ferry to the Huangpu Military Academy Pier), ☏ . 09:00-18:00, no entry after 18:00, closed on Mondays. The original Military Academy was founded in 1924 by Sun Yat-sen, with support from the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Union. The mission of the Academy was to create an officer corps for the new Chinese Republic. Many famous Chinese war heroes were trained here. The original site was destroyed by the Japanese in 1938. Two exhibition halls on the Campus of the Academy cover the History of the Academy with English translations. Unfortunately the other exhibition halls, such as Heroes of the Academy, do not have English translations. The site is far from the city center. Free.
- 2 Baishuizhai (白水寨). A high waterfall. This is a pleasant spot to visit set in pleasant surroundings not far from the city. The waterfall is no giant but is claimed to be the highest in mainland China: it is best appreciated from a short distance away. If you enter the park, entrance about 70 yuan, the entire pathway to the mountain summit above the waterfall has been developed. In the lower reaches it is a plankway, some on swinging chains, often crossing the cascade. After that, it is what appear to be granite steps. The park claims there are 9999 steps. For the less strong there is a bus service for ¥20 yuan. If you are walking you should allow maybe 5 hours for the return trip from the entrance. There are unnumbered buses from Zengcheng to the park and the trip takes a little over an hour.
- 3 Yuanxuan Taoist Temple (圆玄道观), 38 Yingbin Avenue West, Huadu District (花都区迎宾大道西38号) (Free shuttles buses to the temple operate from the Tianmei Shangzhuang (田美上庄) bus stop just outside Exit C of the Huadu Square Metro Station on Line 9. The free shuttle buses depart at 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00. You can also catch bus no. 花22), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 08:00-18:00. It includes three Taoist buildings in one complex: Sanqing Hall, Taihe Hall and Yuanchen Hall. Sanqing Hall is the most architecturally important of the three structures, while Yuanxuan Taoist Temple has carvings of divine beings. The central hall is covered by yellow glazed tiles and decorated with the bright images of Yuqing, Shangqing and Taiqing, the three authoritative deities in Taoism. ¥20.
- 4 Former Residence of Hong Xiuquan (洪秀全故居 Hóngxiùquán gùjū), Guanlubu, Dabu Village, Xinhua Subdistrict, Huadu District (花都区新华街道大布村官禄布 Guǎngzhōushì huādūqū xīnhuá jiēdào dàbùcūn guānlùbù) (Take a metro train to Huadu Autocity Station on Line 9, then catch bus no. 21 and get off at the final stop), ☏ , . 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays. The former home of the quasi-Christian leader of the Taiping Rebellion that resulted in the death of about 20 million people during the late Qing dynasty. Shortly after failing the imperial examinations on multiple occasions, Hong Xiuquan became delusional and claimed to have received visions in his dreams that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ destined to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and establish the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in Nanjing as its capital. Free.
- 5 Memorial Museum of the 1911 Revolution (辛亥革命纪念馆), 563 Jinzhou North Road, Changzhou Island, Huangpu District (黄埔区长洲岛金洲北路563号) (Take a train to Higher Education Mega Center South at the intersection of Lines 2 and 7, then walk north to Nei Huan East Road (内环东路) and take bus no. 383 to the Changzhou Subdistrict Office (长轴街办). Bus no. 430 links the museum with the Huangpu Military Academy Site), ☏ . 09:00-18:30, no entry after 17:45, closed on Mondays. A museum about the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which led to the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and the birth of China's first republic. Free.
- Gualuyuan Park. Famous for its grand momma of lychee trees, it is also a center for shopping, eating, and recreation.
- 6 Yuntai Garden (云台花园 Yún-tái-huā-yuán) (Tour Bus No. 1, 3). Situated at the foot of Baiyun (White Cloud) Mountain and is famous for its wide variety of rare flowers and trees. There are also seasonal exhibits (additional admission). ¥10.
- 7 Huadu Square (花都广场 huā-dū-guǎng-chǎng) (Metro 9: Huadu Square). A park-cum-recreation square located in the north part the city and near the government office buildings of Huadu District (花都区). The square incorporates, among other attractions, an outdoor theater, large fountain, outdoor dance area and statues. There is a large grass area that is similar to a Western style meadow and a subtropical forest and ornamental flower beds.
- 8 Baiyun Mountain (White Cloud Mountain) (白云山 Bái-yún-shān). Open 24 hours. Is a great place to relax and enjoy a day among lush, rolling hills. It also offers great views over the city. The road to the top in most of the daytime is restricted to park trams and pedestrians. To get to the top lookout point, you can use the main roads or trails. There are many places to rest and refreshments are available along the way. It is a great place to see people enjoying nature and playing games, such as shuttlecock, badminton, football and even bungee jumping. There are many bus routes to and from different parts of the city, as well as taxis usually available near the park gate. Park entrance ¥5; Cable car round trip ¥40; tram from ¥20; other attractions ¥5-¥10; packages available from ¥25.
Visit the villages. They are old and historic. The Chans come from Sa Chuen, Sun Gaai and Hargee. The Wongs from Gua Leng, Bak Sui and Yiel Tien.The Lees from Go Yi.
Zengcheng produces high quality and the best tasting rice, which is called ZengCheng Si-Miao rice.
The lychees were really good. Apparently there are a few varieties, each having its own season. The best is supposed to come from Gua Leng village. A word of warning, don't eat too many - you'll lose your voice.
- Best-Way African Restaurant, No. 003 1/F Jindu Bldg, 99 Guangyuan West Rd (opposite Canaan Market), ☏ . This Nigerian restaurant serves cuisine cooked Igbo style (try the semo and egusi soup). It is a bit out of the way (down some narrow stairs and under a concrete overpass), but the ambiance is cozy inside with Nigerian music playing.
For a truly unique and exhilarating, Zengcheng experience, head to the Windflower after 11PM where you will be looked after by the locals as if you were royalty. The music is loud and fast and the waitresses louder and faster. Play your cards right and you won't even need to pay for a beer. Amazing
- [dead link] Zengcheng Hotel (In the city center near the Guangzhou-Shantou highway and Guangzhou Huizhou highway). The hotel has over 300 rooms and offers conference and meeting facities.
- Zhongqiao Hotel (中桥宾馆), 99-103 Chigang Road, Haizhu District (赤岗路103号), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The hotel is close to Pazhou Trade Center where Canton Fair is held. Check their website for other locations in the chain.
- Oriental Resort (广州鸣泉居), 1068 Baiyun South Avenue (白云大道南1068号) (On Baiyun Mountain), ☏ . Quiet and away from the city. ¥480.
- Guangzhou Hotel (广州宾馆), 2 Guangzhou Qiyi Road, Haizhu Square (海珠广场起义路2号) (Metro 2 Haizhu Square Exit B3), ☏ . ¥328.
- Dragon Lake Princess Hotel (九龙湖公主酒店), 3 Shanqian Avenue, Huadong Town, Huadu District (花都区花东镇山前大道3号九龙湖社区), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Designed and built in the style of a European town, the hotel is located in the Dragon Lake Resort. River Main in the village, It offers accommodation, dining, meeting, amusement, sports and leisure facilities. The hotel has bus route from and to Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The facility is beautiful and relaxing, but it is 35 minutes away from the city center. ¥750.
- Pullman Baiyun Airport Guangzhou (广州铂尔曼白云机场大酒店), In the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport complex. ¥750.
- Baihua Hill Village - near a reservoir and Baihua hill. As the village is situated at a higher altitude than the city, it is always cooler and the atmosphere is peaceful and relaxing. The area also has an abundance of flowers. There is a frequent bus service between the village and Zengcheng city center.