If you haven't planned your next travel destination yet, consider flying to the city of Guangzhou. Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is China's third largest city located in Guangdong province. Many tourist attractions are easily accessible via their metro subway. If you prefer to avoid the crowd, riding a taxi is fairly easy. Just make sure you show the Chinese name of your destination in paper to your non-English speaking drivers. I've indicated the Chinese name of the place and the address at the end of each suggestion for this very purpose.
1. Meet the giant pandas.
Credit: Lyra KuaGuangzhou is the home of Chimelong Xiangjiang Safari Park, known as the best safari park in China. Of course, a Chinese zoo is never complete without a panda. Here in the Chimelong, you will see the adorable giant pandas at close proximity. Aside from the pandas, you will also find a lot of other animals such as red pandas, koalas, and white tigers. To go to Chimelong, take the Line 3 train of the Metro subway and exit at the Hanxi Changlong Station.Credit: Lyra Kua
2. Visit the Canton Fair.
Credit: Wikimedia CommonsHeld yearly during the spring and autumn seasons, the fair houses several products from many different industries including food, household appliances, machinery, chemical products, hardware, shoes, and recreation products. Located at the Canton Fair Complex, you may arrive there via Metro Line 8 at the Xingangdong Station (Exit A) or Pazhou Station (Exit A, B, or C).Credit: Lyra Kua
3. Buy loose tea leaves.
Credit: A Girl With Tea| FlickrIf you're a tea lover, good news: You will find several tea shops that sell loose tea leaves. Jasmine, oolong, and puerh are quite common here. You may also ask the shopkeeper to give you a free taste of the drink first before you purchase your desired type of tea. You will witness the shopkeeper prepare the tea kung-fu style before your very eyes. If you want to see a big tea market selling several tea varieties, better visit the Fangcun Tea Market. To get there, take the Metro Line 1 to Fangcun Station. Get off at Exit C, then walk straight to the direction of the bridge. The Market is 10-minute walk away from the station.Credit: Lyra Kua
4. Eat like a local.
Credit: Lyra KuaIn Guangzhou, you don't have to pick a fine restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal. Walk along the streets and you will find several restaurants serving mouthwatering Canton dishes at very affordable prices. It will be better to travel in group as many of these restaurants are in banquet style - a dish is usually enough for 3-4 persons. If you don't speak Chinese, better find restaurants that offer menu with pictures so you can just point them to the server. Street foods are also delicious! Beef balls, takoyaki (octopus balls), grilled squids are just some of the highly recommended snacks.
5. Watch a night circus.
If nightlife is your thing, why not try watching something amazing at a circus? At Panyu district of Guangzhou, you will find the largest permanent circus - Chimelong International Circus - in the world  where skilled performers display stunts together with different animals. The performance starts at 7:30pm to 9:00pm. To get there, take Metro Line 3 and get off at Hanxi Changlong Station, then take the free shuttle bus to the circus.Credit: Lyra Kua
6. Shop at Beijing Road Shopping District.
Credit: Lyra KuaBeijing Road is a popular tourist attraction due to the long chains of stores in the area. Road remains from the Ming Dynasty are exhibited at some parts of the pavement. Stores offer both international and local brands with products such as clothing, shoes, office supplies, and snacks. The road is very spacious - enough to accommodate a huge crowd of shoppers. Beijing Road is accessible via Metro at Line 1 or 2 subway at Gongyuanqian station.Credit: Lyra Kua
7. Visit the large statue of Guanyin goddess.
Credit: Lyra KuaWithin the city, you can still find a peaceful haven where you can commune with nature. The Lotus Garden, or Lianhuashan, is such a place where you can enjoy the sights of beautiful lotus ponds and gardens. At the peak of the place, you will also find the world's largest statue of Gwanyin Buddha  and a few stores nearby selling religious figurines and Feng Shui charms. To go there, alight the Metro train from Shiqiao station of Line 3, exit C then take the exclusive bus with Shiqiao-Lotus Hill route (bus no. 92) at the bus terminal 10-minutes walk away.Credit: Lyra Kua
8. Go sightseeing at night.
If you prefer sightseeing near the busy downtown of Guangzhou, you can instead go cruising along the Pearl River where you can view the cityscape from the ferry's vantage point while enjoying a dinner. The Information Times ship offers dining and shows you can enjoy while cruising. The wharf is located at Tianxi, accessible via Metro subway at Haizhu Square Station at Line 2 and 6.Credit: Lyra Kua