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12 Jun 2024

Destination Guangzhou

This October, China Southern Airlines returns to Christchurch for an expanded season of direct service between Christchurch Airport and the international hub of Guangzhou.

Long haul direct flights provide an excellent opportunity to explore somewhere new, and for the curious traveller, Guangzhou certainly has a lot to offer. Read on to discover some popular highlights to be found within this super-sized, super old, super amazing city.

Welcome to Guangzhou

Guangzhou is the capital of China’s Guangdong province. A megacity of over 14 million inhabitants, Guangzhou is filled with everything a traveler might dream of — culture and history, entertainment and activities, shopping centres and beautiful sights. If you’ve never been to China before, Guangzhou will have you picking your jaw up off the pavement at every corner!

A quick journey through time

Guangzhou was once called Canton. Locals know it by its abbreviation ‘Sui’, and it’s also referred to as ‘Yangcheng’ (the city of rams) and ‘Huacheng’ (the city of flowers).

Guangzhou’s history traces back over 2,200 years. It was once a major terminus of the famous Silk Road, along which people carried high value goods and transformative ideas between ancient civilisations.

Today Guangzhou continues its long history of foreign trade, providing a bustling commercial hub that connects southern China to countries and markets across the globe.

As a visitor to Guangzhou you’ll bear witness to its multiple identities: a national logistics and transportation hub, one of the first coastal cities of China’s open economy, one of the ten most popular tourist destinations in China and a hub city for the Belt and Road Initiative.

Top tourist destinations

Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort

One of China’s most popular theme parks, this outstanding tourist ‘mega resort’ truly has it all. Stay at one of the three hotels on site and fill your days with excitement and wonder amidst its multiple attractions. With an amusement park, safari park, water park, international circus, crocodile park and golf center all vying for your attention, you could easily spend your entire holiday right here!

Canton Tower

At 454 metres high, Canton Tower is the tallest tower in China. Nicknamed ‘Slim Waist’, this landmark building contains a mix of functional areas and entertainment attractions. Brave the world’s tallest and longest aerial pathway, enjoy a meal at the world’s highest revolving restaurant, take a spin on the world’s highest Ferris wheel, or fire up your adrenalin with the world’s highest vertical ‘speed drop’ amusement ride.

Yuexiu Park

For a more contemplative experience, head to Yuexiu Park, the central park in Guangzhou. Take in beautiful views and natural scenery, and explore the many pavilions, terraces, open halls, sculptures and monuments. See the famous Five Rams sculpture, visit the five storied pagoda Zhenhai Tower, climb the Sun Yat-sen Monument and spot the trees growing out of the ancient Ming Dynasty city wall.

Shopping in the Tianhe Business District

Taikoo Hui

Taikoo Hui, located in the heart of the Tianhe district of Guanghzhou, is a premium 138,000 sqm shopping mall housing more than 190 renowned brands. Discover flagship stores and concept shops from the world’s most famous brands, browse local and international fashion labels, and stock up on luxurious homewares and lifestyle products.


Teemall is conveniently located in the heart of the Tianhe CBD, next to the Tianhe Sports Center and Guangzhou East Railway Station. On Teemall’s seven spacious levels you’ll find a huge range of distinctive Chinese and international brand stores, cinemas, attractions and eateries. Soak up Teemall’s dynamic atmosphere and fashionable vibe as you hunt for treasures to bring home.

K11 Art Mall

Step into the K11 Art Mall to discover a revolutionary museum retail concept that combines art and commerce. Located in the tallest building in Guangzhou, the K11 features an 800 sqm art space, as well as international brands, offices and accommodation. With a mission to blend art, humanity and nature, this unique concept mall will wow you with its glass canopy, sky stage, urban farm, sky dining area, and much more.

Grandview Mall

Not to be missed on the shopping circuit is the Grandview Mall. Positioned as an ‘experiential shopping mall’, it’s the largest modern shopping centre in China and one of the top ten shopping malls in the world. Explore a plethora of boutique stores and famous brands, check out its many entertainment attractions and watch a world of fashionistas wandering by.

Guangzhou Museum of Art

For a deep dive into Guangzhou’s rich history, head to the Museum of Art. The only art institution in China that is both a first-class museum and a national art centre, the Museum of Art features a wealth of stunning exhibits. With an overarching theme of “Hero Flowers Blooming in the Water”, the museum shines a spotlight on the region’s famous Lingnan style and local colors. Immerse yourself in its extensive collection of Chinese art, ranging from ancient treasures to contemporary works.

Consider these highlights the tip of the iceberg – there’s so, so much to see and do in Guangzhou. Accessible from late October via one direct flight, it’s the perfect opportunity to hop onboard and visit a destination that feels a whole world away.

China’s largest carrier, China Southern Airlines, will be offering direct flights between Christchurch and Guangzhou starting from the end of October. This is a 52% increase in capacity on the past summer and paves the way for increased tourism between China and New Zealand, as well as growing the education, food safety and high value cargo services between the airline and airport.