Tourist attractions without tourists may be hard to come by in China but at Lan Pu (Orchid Garden), you're unlikely to share your time with more than a handful of other people. Located a short walk from the Yuexiu station, the garden specialises in (you guessed it) orchids, but is also home to a whole other variety of plant species.
Originally a botanical garden, Orchid Garden was rebuilt for its current purpose in 1957. These days it's home to far more types of orchids than you can imagine. That's 200 to be precise and they're all spread over 50,000 square metres of gardens. Some of the most rare varieties orchid lovers should know could be found in Orchid Park include Song Plum, Parrot, Gold Mouth and Spun Gold Horsetail.
Although Orchid's may have the naming rights to the gardens they're definitely not the only things worth taking a look at. Exotic plants and traditional Chinese architecture make up more of the garden's attractions and along its winding paths you'll find everything from pagodas and sculptures to bamboos and carp filled ponds.
Peak season is May to June when the garden is in full bloom and at that time of year the gardens really can't be missed but year round Orchid Garden is a great place for visitors to relax and take a break from Guangzhou's usually frenzied pace of life. The teahouse is an especially good spot where you can enjoy the views of the gardens along with the cup of traditional tea that's included in the ticket price.
Outside the western edge of the park is a great place to find a very different kind of Chinese experience at the neighbouring Muslim cemetery, supposedly the burial site of Abu Waqas, the man credited with bringing Islam to China. Though off limits to non-Muslims, outside the Orchid Garden gates you'll still be able to get a feel for the unique Muslim atmosphere of the place with people selling everything from hats and rugs to kebabs.