White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun Shan), located just north of Guangzhou City, gets its name from the wreath of wispy clouds that circle the mountaintop after a heavy rain. While Guangzhou’s ubiquitous smog makes seeing the white clouds a rare treat, a visit to the mountain makes for a pleasant escape from the busy city.
The mountain lies within a 17-square mile (44-square kilometer) area with six parks and about 30 peaks. A hike to the highest point takes around an hour, but for a more relaxing trip to the top you can take a cable car that runs throughout the day, shuttling visitors to and from the peak.
Highlights of the mountain resort area include the Yuntai Garden, a collection of trees and blossoms worthy of Guangzhou’s title as the City of Flowers, and Jinye Pond, a lake with crystal-clear blue waters that reflect the surrounding scenery on its glassy surface.