Guangzhou is the capital and a sub-provincial city of Guangdong province in the southern part of ...
Guangzhou is the capital and a sub-provincial city of Guangdong province in the southern part of the people's republic of China. The city is also known by an alternative english name, Canton. It is a port on the pearl river, navigable to the south china sea, and is located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Hong Kong. As of the 2000 census, the city has a population of 6 million, and a metropolitan population of roughly 8.5 million (though some estimates are as high as 12.6 million) making it the most populous city in the province and the third most populous metropolitan area in mainland China.
Like Athens of Greece and Rome of Italy, Guangzhou also has a history of more than 2,800 years.
There are a lot of interesting legends concerning its past. One of the beautiful stories which gives the city its name Goat Town says that five gods riding on five goats brought the first grain to the city. So, it is also known as the city of five goats. Besides tales and stories, here and there stand monuments of the city's democratic and revolutionary past. The monument to the anti british struggle at San Yuan Li is in remembrance of the 1841 uprising against a British invading force. The Huang Hua Gang Park keeps alive the spirit of the 72 martyrs killed in an 1911 uprising against the Manchu dynasty. The national peasant movement institute is the former cadre-training school founded and run by Mao Zedong and Zhou En Lai in 1925-1926. The guangzhou memorial garden is in memory of those who lost their lives during the Communist Uprising in 1927.
Guangzhou is also one of the most important centers of foreign commerce in South China. The chinese export commodities fair has been held twice a year in the city since 1957. It is also a cultural center. There are several universities, the Zhongshan University, the South China University of Technology, the Ji-nan University and so on. There are also higher educational establishments. The city is renowned for its arts and crafts, namely the Guang Dong embroidery, ivory-carving and ceramics.
Guangzhou is a beautiful city with an ever-green scenery and flowers blooming all the year round. The city boasts many tourist attractions, among which highlights are White Cloud Hill Scenic Spot. Yuexiu Park, Guangzhou Zoo, Six Banyan Temple and Flowery Pagoda, Dr. Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall, etc. In the Suburbs, there are such scenic spot on Conghua Hot Springs, Xiqiao Hill Scenic spot, Seven Star Crags, and Foshan City. Lots of tourists to Guangzhou like to cover one or two of them for out-of-city pleasure.
"Eating in Guangzhou" has become a popular saying both at home and abroad. Guangzhou ranks first in the number of restaurants and tea-houses in the country. Cantonese cuisine is good in color, fragrance, taste and presentation. In addition, the delicate Cantonese pastry is also well-known for its wide range of varieties, delicious flavor and beautiful color. Cantonese cuisine is among the most famous four in the country.
According to historical records, Chuting was the earliest formation of present Guangzhou. It has been 2,800 years since the Chuting was first used when Chu State of the Zhou Dynasty (11th Century BC - 221BC) sent ministers there to make it submitted to Chu. The Qin Dynasty (221BC - 206BC) conquered Lingnan Region and established three shires. Nanhai Shire included most of Guangdong Province with Fanyu, with the present Guangzhou as the capital. The site of the small city is located around Jiucang Xiang of Cangbian Lu in the present Guangzhou. Zhaolun took over Nanhai Shire in the early Han dynasty, which absorbed the surrounding area. Then Nanyue Kingdom was established and expanded into the city.
The city walls of Guangzhou were restored a dozen of times in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). Middle, east and west cities were built in succession. The Ming Court (1368-1644) brought the three cities together and called them the Old City, and constructed a new one in the south, through the second expansion project in late Ming.
Guangzhou has always been the political, economic and culture center of South China for more than 2,000 years. In its early years, it was a distribution center of rare tropical products. In the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), Fanyu had developed commerce and advanced textile and porcelain industries and foreign exchange with overseas, using Guangzhou as a vital port. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Guangzhou has become a world famous trading harbor with countries in the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. To strengthen the foreign trade, China's earliest customs was set up in Guangzhou. It grew rapidly and became the largest commercial city and treaty port in China.
Guangzhou is located in China's subtropical area with an all-year pleasant climate. Guangzhou's spring is humid and rainy; summer is a little hot with occasional typhoons. Temperature in autumn is very moderate, cool and windy.
Best Time to Visit Guangzhou
October to December
Temple of Six Banyan Trees, Bright Filial Piet Temple, Sun Yat - Sen Momerial Hall, Yuexiu Park, Pearl River Cruise, Chen Family Ancestral Temple, Western Han Nanyue King Tomb, White Clouds Mountain, Guangzhou Zoo
Guangzhou Attraction Details
Temple of Six Banyan Trees: The Temple of Six Banyan Trees has a long history in Guangzhou and is an ancient monastery famous at home and abroad. There are majestic towers, dense trees, plenty of antiques and valuable heritage from those famous people in the history. It is one of the four Buddhism temple complexes in Guangzhou and the other three are Guangxiao Temple, Hualin Temple, Haizhuang Temple. Therefore, it is an important unit for the preservation of antiques.
Temple of Six Banyan Trees was first built in the 3rd year of Datong (537 A.D.), the reign of Emperor Wu in the Southern Liang Dynasty. It was originally called Baozhuangyan Temple. It was changed successively into Chaoshou Temple, Songchu Temple in the Southern Han Dynasty. But the temple was damaged in a big fire. Later, the temple was rebuilt in the 2nd year of Duangong in the Northern Song Dynasty (989 A.D.) and was named as Jinghui Temple.
Bright Filial Piet Temple: There is the saying that "Bright Filial Piety Temple existed before the Goat City(Guangzhou) came into being". Bright Filial Piety Temple has a long history of more than 1700 years. It is a temple with the longest history and largest scale in Lingnan area.
It was originally built as the residence of Zhao Jiande, an offspring of Zhao Tuo, the Nanyue King in the Western Han Dynasty. In the period of the three Kingdoms, Yu Fan, a lord in the Wu State, when he was relegated to the Southern Sea, he gave lectures here and hence the Guangxiao Temple was called "Yu Yuan" at that time.
Sun Yat - Sen Momerial Hall: Guangzhou Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is really a magnificent building in the shape of octangle. It is not only one of the symbolic constructions in Guangzhou with its majestic appearance and the infused rich Chinese national color, but also an important place for large scale meeting and performance.
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is built in order to commemorate the contributions of Sun Zhongshan, the great predecessor of Chinese revolution for democracy. It is a memorial construction donated by the people in Guangzhou and the overseas Chinese and is listed as one of the first class cultural relics in Guangdong Province. Designed by the famous Chinese architect, Mr. Lu Yanzhi, the construction started in 1929 and finished in October of 1931.
Yuexiu Park: Yuexiu Park, named after Yuexiu Mountain, built in 1952, is the biggest comprehensive sight-seeing park.
Yuexiu Park consists of seven hummocks – the peak Yuejing Hummock, Guihua Hommock, Muke Hummock, and Liyu Hummock and so on, and three artificial lakes – Beixiu Lake, Nanxiu Lake, and Dongxiu Lake. So Yuexiu Park has been well-known for the beautiful hills and waters and plenty of antiques which you can enjoy at ease in the park. There are verdant grasses and trees, birds' singing, and fragrant flowers all through the year. The verve of Yuexiu Park as one of the new Eight Attractions of Guangzhou is completely presented by verdant trees, thriving bamboos, and blooming flowers.
Pearl River Cruise: The third longest river, the Pearl River, measures 2,129 meters in length. The Guangzhou section of the river is where Guangzhou's most scenic spots are located. Many famous sights are clustered along the river and are the reasons for many people taking a trip to Guangzhou.
The Pearl River got its name from a huge rock island. When the thousand-metre long Pearl River cut through Guangzhou City a large rock island in the centre of the river was scoured over. Over time this became smooth and bright like a pearl, hence the rock being named "Sea Pearl Rock" and the river "Pearl River". An interesting legend offers an alternative explanation of the rivers name.It was said that an arabian merchant stole the valueless pearl of his country and came to sell it in Guangzhou.
Chen Family Ancestral Temple: Chen Ancestral Temple is also called Chen Clan Academy. It is located at Zhongshan 7th Road and is an important unit for the preservation of antiques. It was built in the 12th year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1894) with the donations of members from the Chen family who lived in 72 different counties in the Guangdong province. It used to supply accommodation for members of the Chen family who came to Guangzhou for imperial examinations. Now it is Guangdong Folk Craftwork Museum.
Western Han Nanyue King Tomb: The overall layout of the museum is centered on the ancient tomb and is built along the mountain combining with the steep slope and the trend of the hill. The layout realizes the combination of the comprehensive exhibition building, the ancient tomb preservation area and the thematic exhibition building, and the emphasis of the dignity of the ancient tomb.
The tomb of the Nanyue king is the most attractive scene in the museum. It is the catacomb of Zhao Mei who was the grandson of Zhao Tuo, a general of the Qin Dynasty, who unified the Lingnan area. Zhao Mei was the second king of the Nanyue principality which set its capital in Panyu in the early Western Han Dynasty, and entitled himself Emperor Wen.
White Clouds Mountain: White Clouds Mountain is a famous mountain in South China. It is honored to be the first scenery of Goat City and the first mountain of Southern Yue since ancient times due to its magnificence and loftiness. It is made up of 30 peaks with the major peak of Mo Xing Ling whose altitude is 382 meters. The summit of the mountain will be wreathed by clouds whenever the sky clears after the rain or in the late spring time. The mountain is hence called Baiyun Mountain.
The mountain range is full grandeur with majestic peaks and crisscrossed valleys. There remained the ancient site of mountain Stream Pu which is said to be the residence of Zheng Anqi of the Qing Dynasty when he secluded himself there.
Guangzhou Zoo: The animals inside the zoo are exhibited in different areas according to their types, for example, the insects, reptiles and amphibians, birds, primates, felines, and herbivores. What's more, there are not only rare animals from China such as panda, golden monkey, South China tiger, elk, brow-antlered deer, and black-necked crane, but also those rare animals all over the world such as chimpanzee, giraffe, African elephant, hippopotamus, zebra, rhinoceros, and black swan.
Besides, the zoo has the largest overland ocean exhibition house and the largest butterfly ecology garden in China; and the delicate and special outdoor fancy fishes exhibition garden, Jinlin Garden, the only one in China; as well as the exciting and adventurous performance of wild animals training.
How to reach Guangzhou
Guangzhou New Baiyun International Airport (CAN) has been in operation since August 5, 2004. The new airport is located between Renhe Town of Baiyun District to the north and Xinhua Town of Huadu District to the east, 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) away from the old airport and 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) away from Haizhu Square, the center of Guangzhou City. Airport Expresses are available. Fares range from CNY10 to CNY30 by distance.
Flights from Guangzhou New Baiyun International Airport (CAN) connect Guangzhou with more than 70 domestic cities and over 20 international cities. Direct international flights are to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Melbourne, Bangkok, Osaka and Hong Kong.
Guangzhou Railway Station located on the Huanshi Xi Lu, northwest of Guangzhou, can be reached easily by public buses. Jing-Guang (Beijing-Guangzhou) Railway Line is the main transportation trunk line between south and north China linking Beijing and Shenyang, Beijing and Chengde, Beijing and Baotou, Shijiazhuang and Taiyuan, Shijiazhuang and Dezhou, Lianyungang and Lanzhou, Hunan and Yunnan, Hunan and Guilin. In addition, railway lines Guangzhou-Maoming and Guangzhou to Shantou connect Guangzhou east and west.
Expressways have been built linking various cities and in the downtown area of Guangzhou, viaducts, a tunnel under the river, and so on, have been constructed. A long-distance bus station provides buses from Guangzhou to neighboring areas and a direct bus from Guangzhou to Hong Kong.
Where to stay in Guangzhou
Asia International Hotel, Garden Hotel, Dongfang Hotel, Royal Hotel, Landmark International Hotel, Guangzhou Tianda Hotel, Lido Hotel, Shengtang Hotel