Guangzhou's isolation from the rest of 'typical China' by mountainous topography and early exposure to the outside world has resulted in its unique way of lifestyle, liberal ideas, distinctive cuisine and tremendous wealth. It is no surprise that Guangzhou is a cradle of many reforms and revolutions that changed the fate of China forever. Today Guangzhou still unveils many republic-era sights that help travelers understand modern Chinese history. Founded in 214 BC, this capital of the richest province is always a mix of new and old. It not only boasts some of the oldest temples in China, a millenarian-old park, an imperial tomb of a southern kingdom and complete preservation of colonial villas and church on Shamian, but it also serves as a showcase of futuristic architectures and autopilot metro on Zhujiang New Town. Despite its vibrant sight-seeing resources, travelers usually come to Guangzhou to shop and eat. Guangzhou accommodates countless huge markets specializing in almost any made-in-china products, including Chinese tea, herbs, garments, watches, electronics and toys. You will be appalled to see the real prices of those China-made products and the profit your local shops earn by selling them. Food is the centerpiece of life and Guangzhou has the country's largest number of restaurants per capita, which is the birthplace of what you call 'Chinese food' (Cantonese food) in the west. Here you can grab the authentic taste of sweet & sour pork, wonton soup and dim-sum. Few travelers can leave the city hungry. As busy as it sounds, you can easily escape the crowd. Just head to surrounding villages, in which some of them date back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD). Bird watching in Nansha Wetland, a 200-hectare stopover for migrant birds from as far as Seriba, can easily make for a peaceful day.