Shaoguan is an upbeat city set high in Guangdong Province, a picturesque region known for emerald mountains, lush pine forests and dramatic limestone rock formations. The city is home to several important historic sites, including an ancient Buddhist temple and Palaeolithic archaeological site.
Things to do in Shaoguan
Shaoguan is steeped in history, with the city's central Fengcai Pavilion tracing its roots to the Song dynasty. At nightfall, the pavilion is lit up with a colourful light show and surrounded by sizzling street-food stalls. Nearby, the ancient Dajian Monastery has been training monks since 660.
The majestic Nanhua Temple houses the mummified remains of Huineng, the sixth Zen Buddhist patriarch. You can stroll around the complex, visit the Hall of Heavenly Kings and admire enormous Chinese swamp cypresses, some over 500 years old. The Maba Man Ruins offers a glimpse at China's ancient past, with excavations revealing human remains dating back to the Mid Paleolithic Age.
Shaoguan is a gateway to Danxia Mountain, a UNESCO-listed site studded with red limestone rock towers and hidden temples. Hike to the top of Zhanglao Summit for a bird's-eye view of the surrounding mountains, rivers and lakes.
Brimming with emerald ferns and crystalline pools, Guangdong Great Canyon feels worlds away from the city. It's a great place to hike, swim and enjoy the scenery. Adventure seekers can head to Pingshi, a nearby town offering thrilling white-water rafting excursions along the Wu River.
Getting around Shaoguan
Shaoguan is best explored using taxis or local buses. The Shaoguan Train Station is within walking distance of the city centre and offers regular services to Guangzhou in around three hours. Alternatively, you can ride the ultra-fast bullet train to Guangzhou in under one hour.