During a recent trip to Asia I had the benefit of a 16 hour layover in the city of Guangzhou, China. I say benefit because it allowed me a free day, in a new country to explore to my heart’s content before continuing my travels. One of the main stops on that exploration was to visit the largest building in China, and at one time the largest in the world, the Canton Towers. At 1,960 feet, this building is literally massive. Just sitting below the structure, complete in 2010, it is hard not to marvel at its size. Of course the real reason for a visit is a trip to the top though.
- Completed in 2010
- Largest in the world for less than a year
- 37 floors
- 9 elevators
- 1600 feet tall at the roof, 1960 feet at the tip
Getting to the top
Traveling to the tower is easy, it is right off the metro line 2 which runs directly from the airport. When you get off you simply turn around till you see it then walk in that direction.
There is a ticket booth that will sell you a ticket up the elevator and it is not cheap. I was actually surprised by how expensive it was. For my wife and I to get to the top and the deck it was around 50 dollars US. There are a few things you can do when you get to the top as well such as a ferris wheel type thing that goes horizontal instead of vertical and a ride that shoots you off the top. Both will cost you more money. We wanted to do the ferris wheel but it was closed when we were there.
After buying a ticket you get in line then ride the really fast elevator to the top. I have been up many tall buildings in my life but this one really was nuts. When you get out of the elevator it is hard to fathom how high you really are. You can walk around and see the 360 degree views of the city below you and even buy a drink if you need something to calm you down.
When you are ready you will want to take a walk out onto the craziest part, the skywalk.
The skywalk is a glass platform that you can walk out on for a picture. It is completely nuts as you can see all the way to the ground from here and my fear of heights started to flash. It is worth it for the picture alone as it will be something you will want to tell your friends about at some.
If you paid for the ticket that includes the roof then you can take the next elevator up 3 more floors to the roof of the building and make you way outside.
This is the Guinness Book of World Records tallest observation deck. This is where the ferris wheel is but is also a place you can just sit and hang out. The views are crazy, here are a few pictures.
You can spend as little or as much time as you would like in the Canton Towers, for me I was only there for about an hour. While expensive it is a great stop just to be able to get the amazing views. Be sure to see it as night as well.