Guangzhou's torrential growth has poured the city beyond its former borders, creating "islands" out of old villages that once lay far outside the city limits. Huangpu Village (or Huang Pu Cun) is one of the most unchanged in Guangzhou. Huangpu is also an old port—it was the only one open during the Qing Dynasty—and the grandeur of that period remains in the form of fancy, brick houses. There are also a large number of ancestral temples from the 17th and 18th century. A fellow explorer counted at least 6 family names—a lot more than you'll find in most villages.
Fishermen still live here and take their fishing boats out on the river. If you have your line and tackle, you can fish here, free of charge. In general, residents haven't developed much of a tourist trade, so the village has a mellow, quiet feel.
I love wandering up and down the alleyways in these older villages; you'll find tons of small shops where you can sample local traditional foods—some of the famous ones, here, are chicken and milky dessert. (You'll also find other enterprises that have started to fade from mainstream China. Keep your eyes open for other shops selling shark skin.)
The number 1 Tourist Line (double decker bus) can bring you from the Pazhou Exhibition Center, and the Peasant Movement Institute stop (Line 1) is a short walk away.