Should i learn mandarin or cantonese?

I know this has been asked many times, but i would still like to make sure whichever i learn first (i plan to learn both) is applicable. I read that mandarin is more of a "set in stone" language, where as cantonese is harder and has a lot of difficult rules, such as more tonals, but more incorrect use of tonals, this dosent bother me, im fairly good at learning languages and dont see myself having to much of a problem.

My biggest 3 fascinations with china are the monks, culture, and history. My dream would be to go live in a buddhist monestary for a short while. =)

As for where i would go is tricky, i would be switching between small villages and big cities, tho is i had to predict, i would guess i would be spending most of my time in smaller villages.

I do have friends from china who have been teaching me phrases in chinese, but i dont know which they are lol! They didnt know what Mandarin and Cantonese even where, because in china they say Pu tong hua (Mandarin) Guang dong hua (Cantonese). I just learned that today so i havent asked them which theyve been teaching me yet…..

As for other learning tools im sure i can find infor on both though i know mandarin has alot more on it.

Anyway based on my situation which would be best to learn first? Or have a better grasp on?

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