Situated at the heart of China’s Pearl River Delta, Panyu is one of the oldest areas of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. It boasts some magnificent imperial gardens and an ancient quarry, together with the modern thrill-seekers paradise at China’s largest amusement park.
Lianhua Mountain, known as Lotus Mountain, towers to the east of the city, topped by a bronze Kwan-yin bodhisattva statue and riddled with red sandstone caves which remain from its years as an ancient quarry. It takes its name from a lotus-shaped rock at its peak and features an early 17th century pagoda which boasts impressive views of the city. The Dafushan Forest Park to the west of central Panyu is another natural site of note, with tranquil walking trails and a large lake to explore, while the Yuyin Garden is one of Guangdong’s most famous imperial gardens, laid out during the Qing Dynasty in 1864. An ornate bridge spans a lotus pond in the middle of the gardens, with the Shenliu Hall on one side and the Linchi Pavilion on the other. Wildlife enthusiasts should head to Xiangjiang Wildlife World where around 300 species are on display, including rare animals not seen elsewhere in China, while Chimelong Paradise will satisfy adrenaline junkies with its famous 10 Inversion Roller Coaster and kid-friendly themed zones.
Panyu is easily accessed by subway, with the Guangzhou Metro Lines traversing the district. Guangzhou South Station is also situated within its bounds, with high-speed rail connections across Guangdong.
Panyu was established by the Qin Dynasty armies of Zhao Tuo in 214 BC as the capital of Nanyue Kingdom. Archaeological remains indicate that it once functioned as an important trade hub, with items originating from across Southeast Asia, India and Africa uncovered here.