Zhenhai Tower stands proudly on Yuexiu Hill, built on top of the last remaining section of Guangzhou’s City Walls. At a height of 28 meters, it is also known as Five Storey Tower or Five Storey Pagoda (presumably because it has five storeys) and was first built in 1380 by the orders of nobleman Zhu Liangzu. Zhu apparently built the tower as an expression of his power and these days it seems about the only thing for which he is remembered. Since his day, Zhenhai Tower has been destroyed and rebuilt five times and was also occupied by French and British soldiers during the First Opium War. Just outside the tower are a collection of cannons from this period.
Zhenhai Tower is now home to the Guangzhou City Museum. This fascinating though relatively small museum traces the history of the old Canton from prehistoric times, through the dynasties and foreign settlement up to the present day. The ground floor has a 3D model of modern Guangzhou as well as maps of where the City Walls used to stand. The views from the top of the Zhenhai Tower ought to be fantastic, but unfortunately only one side of the balcony is open and the vista it presents is uninspiring.
Entrance: ¥10. Open: 9:00-17:00.
Directions: Once inside Yuexiu Park, follow the signs to Zhenhai Tower. You should be able to spot it atop Yuexiu Hill from a fair distance.