The Canton Tower has two other names: the Guangzhou Tower and officially the Guangzhou TV Astronomical and Sightseeing Tower. Located in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province in South China, it is currently the tallest tower in China and the second tallest tower in the world, standing at a height of 604 m (1,982 ft).
It could even be considered the most colorful tower in the world (at night) if such a rating system existed. See the photo below of the amazing LED lighting
which fires up right before sunset each day.
The lighting is a visual spectacle and at times is a bit of a “light show”. The tower goes from one solid color then gradually changing into other
solid colors. Other times it will become a full rainbow of color, sometimes static and other times with colors twisting around the structure in
full motion. The tower stands beside the Pearl River and from across the river you can certainly take some interesting photos by catching both
the tower and the tower’s reflection in the same shot.
You will not find the Canton Tower on a list of tallest buildings in China because it’s classified specifically as a tower. The difference being that a tower has no residential or office space.Canton Tower is both a communications tower and a popular tourist attraction, which also boasts of the following records:
- Highest Revolving Restaurant
- Highest Outdoor Sightseeing Platform
- Highest Lateral Observation Wheel
- Longest Aerial Ladder (over 1000 footsteps)
There are many observation areas in the tower to catch different views of the city but the highest is the 488 Lookout. It’s an open-air observation deck on the 112th floor and shouldn’t be missed. Most tall structures of this sort will only have in-door observation decks so the 488 Lookout is unique.
The Canton Tower in China has a spiral staircase inside the tower for those who want to get a closer look at architecture and get some exercise. Try it out if you are in good physical shape. If you get tired, you can always catch an elevator to take you up the rest of the way.
This place really has it all including an amusement park style ride (called the Mega Drop), restaurants, cafes, and the Engineering Marvel Hall tour. This tour will teach you about the design of the tower and explains how it can withstand hurricanes, earthquakes, and lightning.
Guangzhou is known for extreme weather so the engineers had to take all of this into account. The tower has a series of lightning rods and a system for grounding the electricity to keep the structure safe. Experts have observed that the tower gets struck by lightning around 150 times a year! However, don’t worry because the management never opens the tower in stormy weather.
As you can see in the photos, the tower is tall, thin, and narrows in the middle. Local Chinese jokingly like to say the tower has a thin-waist and it has been nicknamed the “super-model”. Looks like we now have a new record for the Canton Tower to claim – the tallest super-model in the world! Some say the structure reminds them of a woman twisting at the waist to look behind her.
Best time to visit would be before sunset and avoid weekends and holidays to beat the crowds. We hope you get the chance to experience Canton Tower in person on your next visit to Guangzhou.
Ready to go? Start planning your visit by first checking out China’s tourist visa requirements here.
Be sure to also consider a visit to Guilin's Sun and Moon Pagodas.