- the Southern Gate of China
- Guangzhou is
the capital of Guangdong (Canton) Province, one of the fastest
developing regions in the world. Located 165km to the northwest
of Hong Kong, Guangzhou serves as the economic center of South
China. Speaking a dialect completely different from Mandarin,
people in Guangzhou have the reputation of being business savvy.
Cantonese cuisine is delicious, thanks to the availability of
fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables. Noisy and crowded, Guangzhou
is not exactly a tourist spot.
- Guangzhou City Ratings
** The following
ratings are based on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.
- Area - 92
Population - 3.4 million
- When to
- Coldest Moths:
January and February, with temperature as low as 0C;
Hottest Months: July and August, with temperature as high as
38C and humid;
Annual Precipitation : 1680 millimeters
- By Metro (Subway)-
A 18 km-long metro line goes from the Guangzhou Steel Plant
to the East Railway Station with 16 stations;
By Taxi - Taxis are the most common means of transportation
for foreigners. All Guangzhou taxis have a meter. Expect traffic
In and Out
- By air - Guangzhou
is a little over 3 hours by air from Beijing. There are also
flights connecting Guangzhou with other major Asian cities;,
By Train - Guangzhou is a non-stop one-hour train ride from
Hong Kong; Guangzhou is a 24-hour train ride from Beijing;
By Bus - Guangzhou can be reached in 3 hours by bus from Hong
Guangzhou's nickname as
the 'Goat City' is based on a fairy tale. About 3000 years ago,
five fairies came to Guangzhou riding goats. The rice seeds are
said to have been drawn from the mouths of the goats. 1500 years
ago, Guangzhou was both a source of exotica and a place of exile.
During the Tang and Song Dynasty Guangzhou developed into a major
trading city in South China attracting overseas merchants. As early
as the seventh century, Arab traders made their way up the Pearl
River to Guangzhou and absorbed Chinese inventions and ideas, which
ultimately had a profound impact on the Western civilization.
Guangzhou also holds a significant place in Chinese history. The
Opium War and the Second Opium War both took place in Guangzhou.
In 1839 Chinese officials destroyed 20,000 chests of opium near
Guangzhou, provoking the breakout of the Opium War, which resulted
in the opening of Chinese ports to trade through the Treaty of Nanjing.
In 1923, the 'Father of Republic' Dr. Sun Yat-sen founded the Kuong
Ming Tang in Guangzhou. The prestigious Huangpu (Whampoa) Military
Academy was founded in the suburbs in 1924. The Japanese occupied
Guangzhou from 1938 to 1945.
In 1949 Guangzhou was taken over by the Communist Party. Like every
other Chinese city, Guangzhou experienced major disruption during
the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Thanks to the economic reform
of the last decade, Guangzhou has seen unprecedented prosperity.
For over 20 years, Guangzhou has been the host of the Annual Canton
Trade Fair (China Export Commodities Fair).
Since the establishment of the 'Special Economic Zone' in the early
1980s in Shenzhen, which lies between Guangzhou and Hong Kong, there
has been a tremendous increase in Hong Kong influence in Guangzhou
in terms of business, culture and fashion.
of the Seventy-two Martyrs at Yellow Flower Hill (Huanghuagang)
- The Mausoluem
is a memorial to the young revolutionaries who died in the Battle
of Canton, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's unsuccessful attempt to overthrow
the Qing Dynasty in 1911. The 26,000 sq meter park was built
with donations from Chinese patriots all over the world. The
architecture is a blend of eastern and western styles, with
a miniature Statue of Liberty, an Egyptian-style obelisk and
two Chinese guardian lions.
Island * *
- Shamian Island
is an 80-acre sandbar on the Pearl River. The land was given
to Europeans by the Chinese authorities in the 19th century
as their residential base, where Europeans were immune to Chinese
laws. At one time the island had large mansions, churches, a
yacht club and tennis courts. Today many old buildings have
been destroyed on the island. With its old charm almost gone,
Shamian is still an interesting place for a leisurely walk.
Museum and Royal Mausoleum * * * *
- Nanyue Museum
and Royal Mausoleum was the tomb of Nanyue King who ruled in
Guangzhou in 200 BC. The relics of over 1,000 burial objects
are on display. The most valuable piece is the oldest jade burial
suit found in China so far. Also found were human sacrifices,
concubines and servants buried alongside the king. English titles
and videos are available.
Museum * * *
- Housed in
a Ming Dynasty watchtower built in 1380, Guangzhou Museum is
located at the highest point of Guangzhou. In addition to a
grand view of the city, the Museum offers a fine collection
of historical relics.
- Dr. Sun
Yat-sen Memorial Hall *
- Dr. Sun Yat-sen,
the father of the Republic, was born in a city near Guangzhou.
The Memorial Hall is a theatre built in 1931 and remodeled in
1975. Its architectural style is unique with popular Chinese
styles and modern techniques.
- Chen Family
Ancestral Temple * * *
- Chen (Chan
in Catanese) is the most popular last name in Guangdong Province.
The ancestral temple was built in the 1890s with funds collected
from members of the Chen clan from 72 counties. The temple served
as a holy setting for ancestor worship and Confucian studies.
It is a splendid example of the lavishly decorated southern
Folk Arts and Crafts Museum * * *
- Chen Family
Ancestral Temple now also serves as Guangdong Folk Arts and
Crafts Museum. Elaborate carving is the most striking feature
of the Museum. It is a good place to shop for linens.
Local culture/Unique Tour
* * *
- Located 28
km (17 miles) southwest of Guangzhou, Foshan is well known for
its ceramic production. Foshan, meaning 'Hill of Buddha' in
Chinese, got this name from the Buddhist statues excavated here.
Being one of the four Ancient Towns of China, Foshan is over
1,300 years old. The Ancestral Temple, now the Foshan Municipal
Museum, contains sculptures, ancient relics and has elaborate
carvings and decoration. Shiwan Artistic Ceramic Factory is
one of the most famous ceramic factories in China. Visits can
be arranged to the factory.
Trade Fair (China Export Commodities Fair) * * *
- China Export
Commodities Fair is held in Guangzhou annually from April 15-30
and October 15-30. Established in 1957 to provide business exchange
opportunities between China and foreign countries, the fair
is attended every year by some 30,000 businessmen from all over
the world. Hotel booking can be hellish during this time.
- Pearl River
- Dinner boat
tours are available on the Pearl River.
- South China
Botanical Garden * * * *
- Covering an
area of 300 hectares (750 acres), the South China Botanical
Garden is the finest of its kind in China. A visit to the garden
is a relaxing escape from the hectic city.
- Dim Sum -
is the most popular food in Guangzhou. It means 'Snacks' in
Cantonese. Dim Sum is usually eaten as breakfast or brunch.
It contains all kinds of little dishes ranging from seafood
to animal intestines, made in countless different ways. Cantonese
people like to drink tea and have dim sum while talking over
business at Dim Sum. As a means of socialization Dim Sum could
last hours. Dim Sum restaurants can be found all over Guangzhou.
- Star East
Night Restaurant - If you are a Jacky Chan fan, you might want
to visit his Star East Night Restaurant. Serving both Asian
and western food, the restaurant is the Chinese version of Planet
Panxi Restaurant - This historic place is the only garden restaurants
left with good food and location. A great variety of Dim Sum.
Guangzhou Restaurant - With five branches, Guangzhou Restaurant
is one of the best Cantonese restaurant chains in town. Dim
Sum and new dishes.
for Unique Local Products
- Qing Ping
Free Market - Antiques, fakes and reproductions can be found
- Lotus Bar
- Located in the Garden Hotel, Lotus Bar has a colorfully lighted
Cave - Tex-Mex food, live music; located at the basement of
- Temple of
the Six Banyan Trees (Liu Rong Si) * * * *
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees was founded in the fifth century.
It was named by the famous poet Su Dong Po from the Song Dynasty,
who was impressed by the six luxuriant Banyan trees found at
the temple. Its nine-story pagoda, the Hua Pagoda, stands 57
meters high. It can be climbed for a nice view and a good exercise.
The temple is the home of a Song Dynasty bronze statue and several
Qing Dynasty brass Buddhas. The chanting by the monks can be
heard on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
Guangxiao Temple * *
Founded in 297 A.D., Guangxiao Temple is the largest temple
in south China. Guangxiao Temple is of great historical significance
for people interested in Zen Buddhism.
of the Sacred Heart (Shishi) *
The cathedral was constructed in 1863-88. It is today open to
worshippers after serving as a warehouse during the Cultural
Built in 627 A.D. by Arab traders, the Huaisheng Mosque is considered
to be the oldest mosque in China.
- The orchid
garden is located at the foot of Yuexiu Hill.
- Xi Yuan
- Xiyuan if
famous for miniature trees and landscapes.
Zoo and Ocean Park * *
- Located in
the northeastern suburbs, the zoo houses 200 species including
- Nansha Golf
Club - An hour away in Panyu; best golf nearby
Nanhu Golf Course - closer to city