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Guangzhou Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only Guangzhou hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Guangzhou. If you're going to Guangzhou save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Guangzhou online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Guangzhou, and rent a car in Guangzhou right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Guangzhou related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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How to Book a Hotel in Guangzhou

In order to book an accommodation in Guangzhou enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Guangzhou hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Guangzhou map to estimate the distance from the main Guangzhou attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Guangzhou hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Guangzhou is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Guangzhou is waiting for you!

Hotels of Guangzhou

A hotel in Guangzhou is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Guangzhou hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Guangzhou are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Guangzhou hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Guangzhou hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Guangzhou have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Guangzhou
An upscale full service hotel facility in Guangzhou that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Guangzhou hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Guangzhou
Full service Guangzhou hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Guangzhou
Boutique hotels of Guangzhou are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Guangzhou boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Guangzhou may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Guangzhou
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Guangzhou travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Guangzhou focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Guangzhou
Small to medium-sized Guangzhou hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Guangzhou traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Guangzhou hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Guangzhou
A bed and breakfast in Guangzhou is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Guangzhou bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Guangzhou B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Guangzhou
Guangzhou hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Guangzhou hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Guangzhou
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Guangzhou hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Guangzhou lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Guangzhou
Guangzhou timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Guangzhou often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Guangzhou on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Guangzhou
A Guangzhou motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Guangzhou for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Guangzhou motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

Why HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined is the leading hotel metasearch engine founded in 2005, with headquarters in Sydney, Australia. It is widely recognized as the world's best hotel price comparison site and has won many of the most prestigious tourism industry awards. The site operates in over 40 languages, handles 120 different currencies and aggregates more than 2 million deals from hundreds of travel sites and hotel chains. The number of users counts more than 300,000 people a year with over $1,000,000,000 in estimated total cost of hotel reservations.

The main purpose of HotelsCombined hotel price comparison service is to help the travelers in finding a perfect accommodation option in Guangzhou at the best price, eliminating the need to manually analyze hundreds of hotel booking sites and thousands of price offers. Through the partnership with the most popular hotel booking websites, online travel agencies and hotel chains, HotelsCombined allows its users to search for and compare the current rates on Guangzhou hotels in a single search. It also provides an aggregated summary of hotel reviews and ratings from external sites.

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Travelling and vacation in Guangzhou

Sub-provincial city
From top: Tianhe CBD, the Canton Tower & Chigang Pagoda, Haizhu Bridge, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Five Goat Statue & Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park, and Sacred Heart Cathedral.
From top: Tianhe CBD, the Canton Tower & Chigang Pagoda, Haizhu Bridge, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Five Goat Statue & Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park, and Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Nickname(s): City of Rams, Los Angeles of China.
Location of Guangzhou in Guangdong
Location of Guangzhou in Guangdong
Guangzhou city map plan, China
Guangzhou city map plan, China
Guangzhou is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates:  / 23.133; 113.267  / 23.133; 113.267
Country China
Province Guangdong
• Type Sub-provincial city
• CPC Ctte Secretary Ren Xuefeng
• Mayor Wen Guohui
• Sub-provincial city 7,434.4 km (2,870 sq mi)
• Urban 3,843.43 km (1,483.95 sq mi)
Elevation 21 m (68 ft)
Population (2016)
• Sub-provincial city 14,043,500
• Density 1,900/km (4,900/sq mi)
• Urban 11,547,491
• Metro (2013) 44,259,000
Demonym(s) Cantonese
Time zone China standard time (UTC+8)
Postal code 510000
Area code(s) + 86 (0)20
GDP 2016
- Total CNY 1.96 trillion
USD 284 billion
- Per capita CNY 139,644
USD 21,868
- Growth Increase 8.2%
Licence plate prefixes A
City Flower Bombax ceiba
City Bird Chinese hwamei
Languages Cantonese, Mandarin
Website english.gz.gov.cn
"Guangzhou" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese 广州
Traditional Chinese 廣州
Cantonese Yale Gwóngjàu or
About this sound Gwóngjāu
Hanyu Pinyin About this sound Guǎngzhōu
Postal Canton
Literal meaning Broad Prefecture
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin About this sound Guǎngzhōu
Bopomofo ㄍㄨㄤˇ ㄓㄡ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Goangjou
Wade–Giles Kuang³-chou¹
Yale Romanization Gwǎngjōu
IPA Mandarin pronunciation: [kwàŋ.ʈʂóu]
Romanization Kuaon-tseu
Romanization Kong³-ziu¹
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Gwóngjàu or
About this sound Gwóngjāu
IPA [kʷɔ̌ːŋ.tsɐ̂u̯] or
Jyutping Gwong2zau1
Southern Min
Hokkien POJ Kńg-chiu
Cantonese Yale Seuih
Hanyu Pinyin Suì
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Suì
Bopomofo ㄙㄨㄟˋ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Suey
Wade–Giles Sui⁴
Yale Romanization Swèi
IPA [swêi]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Seuih
IPA [sɵ̀y̯]
Jyutping Seoi6
Former names
Chinese 南武城
Cantonese Yale Nàahmmóuhsìhng
Hanyu Pinyin Nánwǔchéng
Literal meaning Southern Warlike City
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Nánwǔchéng
Bopomofo ㄋㄢˊ ㄨˇ ㄔㄥˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Nanwuucherng
Wade–Giles Nan²-wu³-ch‘êng²
Yale Romanization Nánwǔchéng
IPA [nǎn.ù.ʈʂʰə̌ŋ]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Nàahmmóuhsìhng
IPA [nȁːm.mo̬u̯.sȅŋ]
Jyutping Naam4mou5sing4
Chinese 番禺
Cantonese Yale Pùnyùh or Pūnyùh
Hanyu Pinyin Pānyú
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Pānyú
Bopomofo ㄆㄢ ㄩˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Panyu
Wade–Giles P‘an¹-yü²
Yale Romanization Pānyú
IPA [pʰán.y̌]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Pùnyùh or Pūnyùh
Jyutping Pun1jyu4
Provincial Capital
Traditional Chinese 廣府
Simplified Chinese 广府
Cantonese Yale Gwóngfú
Hanyu Pinyin Guǎngfǔ
Literal meaning Broad Prefecture
Provincial City
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Guǎngfǔ
Bopomofo ㄍㄨㄤˇ ㄈㄨˇ
ㄕㄥˇ ㄔㄥˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Goangfuu
Wade–Giles Kuang³-fu³
Yale Romanization Gwǎngfǔ
IPA [kwǎŋ.fù]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Gwóngfú
IPA [kʷɔ̌ːŋ.fǔː]
Jyutping Gwong2fu2
Traditional Chinese 興王
Simplified Chinese 兴王
Cantonese Yale Hìngwòhng or Hīngwòhng
Hanyu Pinyin Xìngwáng
Literal meaning Happy King
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Xìngwáng
Bopomofo ㄒㄧㄥˋ ㄨㄤˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Shinqwang
Wade–Giles Hsing⁴-wang²
Yale Romanization Syìngwáng
IPA [ɕîŋ.wǎŋ]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Hìngwòhng or Hīngwòhng
IPA [hêŋ.wɔ̏ːŋ] or [héŋ.wɔ̏ːŋ]
Jyutping Hing1wong4
Informal names
City of Rams
City of the Five Rams
Chinese 羊城
Cantonese Yale Yèuhngsìhng
Hanyu Pinyin Yángchéng
Literal meaning Goat/Sheep City
Five Goat/Sheep City
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Yángchéng
Bopomofo ㄧㄤˊ ㄔㄥˊ
ㄨˇ ㄧㄤˊ ㄔㄥˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Yangcherng
Wade–Giles Yang²-ch‘êng²
Yale Romanization Yángchéng
IPA [jǎŋ.ʈʂʰə̌ŋ]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Yèuhngsìhng
IPA [jœ̏ːŋ.sȅŋ]
Jyutping Joeng4sing4
City of the Immortals
Chinese 仙城
Cantonese Yale Sīnsìhng
Hanyu Pinyin Xiānchéng
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Xiānchéng
Bopomofo ㄒㄧㄢ ㄔㄥˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Shiancherng
Wade–Giles Hsien¹-ch‘êng²
Yale Romanization Syānchéng
IPA [ɕjɛ́n.ʈʂʰə̌ŋ]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Sīnsìhng
IPA [síːn.sȅŋ]
Jyutping Sin1sing4
City of Flowers
Chinese 花城
Cantonese Yale Fàsìhng or Fāsìhng
Hanyu Pinyin Huāchéng
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Huāchéng
Bopomofo ㄏㄨㄚ ㄔㄥˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Huacherng
Wade–Giles Hua¹-ch‘êng²
Yale Romanization Hwāchéng
IPA [xwá.ʈʂʰə̌ŋ]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Fàsìhng or Fāsìhng
IPA [fâː.sȅŋ] or [fáː.sȅŋ]
Jyutping Faa1sing4
Rice City
Chinese 穗城
Cantonese Yale Seuihsìhng
Hanyu Pinyin Suìchéng
Literal meaning Rice-ear City
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Suìchéng
Bopomofo ㄙㄨㄟˋ ㄔㄥˊ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh Sueycherng
Wade–Giles Sui⁴-ch‘êng²
Yale Romanization Swèichéng
IPA [swêi.ʈʂʰə̌ŋ]
Yue: Cantonese
Yale Romanization Seuihsìhng
IPA [sɵ̀y̯.sȅŋ]
Jyutping Seoi6sing4

Guangzhou, traditionally romanised as Canton, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub today.

Guangzhou is currently the third most-populous city in mainland China, behind Beijing (second) and Shanghai (first); holds sub-provincial administrative status; and is one of China's five National Central Cities. In 2015 the city's administrative area was estimated to have a population of 13,501,100 and forms part of one of the most populous metropolitan agglomerations on Earth. Some estimates place the population of the built-up area of the Pearl River Delta Mega City as high as 44 million without the S.A.R.s of Hong Kong and Macau, and 54 million including both of them. Guangzhou is ranked as a Alpha- Global city. In recent years, there has been a rapidly increasing number of foreign residents and illegal immigrants from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as from Africa. This has led to it being dubbed the "Capital of the Third World". The migrant population from other provinces of China in Guangzhou was 40 percent of the city's total population in 2008.

Long the only Chinese port accessible to foreign traders, the city fell to the British during the First Opium War. No longer enjoying a monopoly after the war, it lost trade to other ports such as Hong Kong (which is close by) and Shanghai, but continued to serve as a major entrepôt. In modern commerce, Guangzhou is best known for its annual Canton Fair, the oldest and largest trade fair in China. For the three consecutive years 2013–2015, Forbes ranked Guangzhou as the best commercial city on the Chinese mainland.

Guangzhou: Names

A Qing-era portrait of the Grotto of the Five Immortals, the Taoist temple around the five stones which gave Guangzhou its nickname "The City of Rams".

Guǎngzhōu is the pinyin romanisation of the Chinese name 廣州, which was simplified in mainland China to 广州 in the 1950s. The name of the city is taken from the ancient Guang Province (Guang Zhou), after it had become the prefecture's seat of government, which is how some other Chinese cities, including Hangzhou, Suzhou and Fuzhou got their names. The character or 广-which also appears in the names of the provinces Guangdong and Guangxi, together called the Liangguang-means "broad" or "expansive" and refers to the intention to dispense imperial grace broadly in the region with the founding of county of Guangxin in Han Dynasty.

Before acquiring its current name, the town was known as Panyu, a name still borne by one of Guangzhou's districts. The origin of the name is still uncertain, with 11 various explanations being offered, including that it may have referred to two local mountains. The city has also sometimes been known as Guangzhou Fu or Guangfu after its status as the capital of a commandery. From this latter name, Guangzhou was known to medieval Persians such as Al-Masudi and Ibn Khordadbeh as Khanfu (خانفو). Under the Southern Han, the city was renamed Xingwang. Under the Qing, it was also known to its inhabitants as simply "The Provincial Capital".

The Chinese abbreviation for Guangzhou is , after its nickname "Rice City". The city has long borne the nickname City of Rams or City of the Five Rams from the five stones at the old Temple of the Five Immortals said to have been the sheep or goats ridden by the Taoist culture heroes credited with introducing rice cultivation to the area around the time of the city's foundation. The former name "City of the Immortals" came from the same story. The more recent City of Flowers is usually taken as a simple reference to the area's greenery.

The English name "Canton" derived from Portuguese Cantão or Cidade de Cantão, a muddling of dialectical pronunciations of "Guangdong" (e.g., Hakka Kóng-tûng). Although it originally and chiefly applied to the walled city, it was also used in English in reference to Guangdong generally. It was adopted as the Postal Map Romanization of Guangzhou and remained in common use until the gradual adoption of pinyin. As an adjective, it is still used in describing the people, language, cuisine and culture of Guangzhou and the surrounding Liangguang region. The 19th-century name "Kwang-chow foo" derived from Nanjing dialect of Mandarin and the town's status as a prefectural capital.

Guangzhou: History

Guangzhou: Prehistory

A settlement now known as Nanwucheng was present in the area by 1100 BC. Some traditional Chinese histories placed Nanwucheng's founding during the reign of Ji Yan, king of Zhou from 314–256 BC. It was said to have consisted of little more than a stockade of bamboo and mud.

The jade burial suit of Zhao Mo in Guangzhou's Nanyue King Museum

Guangzhou: Nanyue

Panyu was established on the east bank of the Pearl River in 214 BC to serve as a base for the Qin Empire's first failed invasion of the Baiyue lands in southern China. Legendary accounts claimed the soldiers at Panyu were so vigilant that they did not remove their armor for three years., p. 3 Upon the fall of the Qin, General Zhao Tuo established his own kingdom of Nanyue and made Panyu its capital in 204 BC. It remained independent through the Chu-Han Contention, although Zhao negotiated recognition of his independence in exchange for his nominal submission to the Han in 196 BC. Archaeological evidence shows that Panyu was an expansive commercial centre: in addition to items from central China, archaeologists have found remains originating from Southeast Asia, India, and even Africa. Upon Zhao Yingqi's death in 115 BC, his younger son Zhao Xing was named as his successor in violation of Chinese primogeniture. By 113 BC, his Chinese mother, the Empress Dowager Jiu () had prevailed upon him to submit Nanyue as a formal part of the Han Empire. The native prime minister Lü Jia (呂嘉) launched a coup, killing Han ambassadors along with the king, his mother, and their supporters. A successful ambush then annihilated a Han force which had been sent to arrest him. The enraged Emperor Wu launched a massive river- and sea-borne invasion: six armies under Lu Bode and Yang Pu took Panyu and annexed Nanyue by the end of 111 BC.

Guangzhou: Imperial China

Guangzhou (as ) on the 1136 Map of the Tracks of Yu
The Thirteen Factories c. 1805, displaying the flags of Denmark, Spain, the United States, Sweden, Britain, and the Netherlands
Guangzhou ("Canton") and the surrounding islands of Henan ("Hanan"), Pazhou ("Whampoa"), Changzhou ("Dane's Island"), and Xiaoguwei ("French Island") during the First Opium War's Second Battle of Canton. The large East Indiamen of the Canton trade used the anchorage sheltered by these four islands, but the village and island of Huangpu for which it was named make up no part of present-day Guangzhou's Huangpu District.

Incorporated into the Han Empire, Panyu became a provincial capital. In AD 226, it became the seat of Guang Prefecture, which gave it its modern name. The Old Book of Tang described Guangzhou as important port in southern China. Direct routes connected the Middle East and China, as shown in records of a Chinese prisoner returning home from Iraq twelve years after his capture at Talas. Relations were not always peaceful: Muslims sacked the city on 30 October 758 and were massacred by the Chinese rebel Huang Chao in 878, along with the city's Jews, Christians, and Parsis.

Amid the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms that followed the collapse of the Tang Dynasty, the Later Liang governor Liu Yan used his base at Panyu to establish a "Great Yue" or "Southern Han" empire, which lasted from 917 to 971. The region enjoyed considerable cultural and economic success in this period. From the 10th to 12th century, there are records that the large foreign communities were not exclusively male, but included "Persian women". Guangzhou was visited by the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta during his 14th-century journey around the world; he detailed the process by which the Chinese constructed their large ships in the port's shipyards.

Shortly after the Hongwu Emperor's declaration of the Ming Dynasty, he reversed his earlier support of foreign trade and imposed the first of a series of sea bans (haijin). These banned private foreign trade upon penalty of death for the merchant and exile for his family and neighbors. The Yuan-era maritime intendancies of Guangzhou, Quanzhou, and Ningbo were closed in 1384 and legal trade became limited to the tribute delegations sent to or by official representatives of foreign governments. The policies exacerbated "Japanese" pirate (the nanbu) attacks in the area until their removal in 1567.

Following the Portuguese conquest of Malacca, Rafael Perestrello travelled to Guangzhou as a passenger on a native junk in 1516. His report induced Fernão Pires de Andrade to sail to the city with eight ships the next year, but De Andrade's exploration was understood as spying and his brother Simão and others began attempting to monopolize trade, enslaving Chinese women and children, engaging in piracy, and fortifying the island of Tamão. Rumors even circulated that Portuguese were eating the children. The Guangzhou administration was charged with driving them off: they bested the Portuguese at the Battle of Tunmen and in Xicao Bay; held a diplomatic mission hostage in a failed attempt to pressure the restoration of the sultan of Malacca, who had been accounted a Ming vassal; and, after placing them in cangues and keeping them for most of a year, ultimately executed 23 by lingchi. With the help of local pirates, the "Folangji" then carried out smuggling at Macao, Lampacau, and St John's Island (now Shangchuan), until Leonel de Sousa legalized their trade with bribes to Admiral Wang Bo (汪柏) and the 1554 Luso-Chinese Accord. The Portuguese undertook not to raise fortifications and to pay customs dues; three years later, after providing the Chinese with assistance suppressing their former pirate allies, the Portuguese were permitted to warehouse their goods at Macau instead of Guangzhou itself.

After the fall of Fuzhou in October 1646, the Longwu Emperor's brother Zhu Yuyue fled by sea to Guangzhou. On 11 December, he declared himself the Shaowu Emperor, borrowing his imperial regalia from local theatre troupes. He led a successful offense against his cousin Zhu Youlang but was deposed and executed on 20 January 1647 when the Ming turncoat Li Chengdong (李成東) sacked the city on behalf of the Qing.

The Qing became somewhat more open to foreign trade after gaining control of Taiwan in 1683. The Portuguese from Macau and Spaniards from Manila returned, as did private Muslim, Armenian, and English traders. From 1699 to 1714, the French and British East India Companies sent a ship or two each year; the Austrian Ostend General India Co. arrived in 1717, the Dutch East India Co. in 1729, the Danish Asiatic Co. in 1731, and the Swedish East India Co. the next year. These were joined by the occasional Prussian or Trieste Company vessel. The first independent American ship arrived in 1784 and the first colonial Australian one in 1788. By that time, Guangzhou was one of the world's great ports, organised under the Canton System. The main exports were tea and porcelain. As a meeting place of merchants from all over the world, Guangzhou became a major contributor to the rise of the modern global economy.

In the 19th century, most of the city's buildings were still only one or two storeys. The major structures were the Plain Minaret of the Huaisheng Mosque, the Flower Pagoda of the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, and the guard tower known as the 5-Storey Pagoda. The northern hills, since urbanized, were bare and covered with traditional graves. The brick city walls were about 6 miles (10 km) in circumference, 25 feet (8 m) high, and 20 feet (6 m) wide. Its eight main gates and two water gates all held guards during the day and were closed at night. The wall rose to incorporate a hill on its northern side and was surrounded on the other three by a moat which, along with the canals, functioned as the city's sewer, emptied daily by the river's tides. A partition wall with four gates divided the northern "old town" from the southern "new town" closer to the river; the suburb of Xiguan ("West Gate") stretched beyond and the boats of fishers, traders, and Tanka ("boat people") almost entirely concealed the riverbank for about 4 miles (6 km). It was common for homes to have a storefront facing the street and to treat their courtyards as a kind of warehouse. The city was part of a network of signal towers so effective that messages could be relayed to Beijing-about 1,200 miles (1,931 km) away-in less than 24 hours.

The Canton System was maintained until the outbreak of the First Opium War in 1839. Following a series of battles in the Pearl River Delta, the British captured Guangzhou itself on 18 March 1841. The Second Battle of Canton was fought two months later. Following the Qing Empire's 1842 treaty with Great Britain, Guangzhou lost its privileged trade status as more and more treaty ports were opened to more and more countries, usually including extraterritorial enclaves. Amid the decline of Qing prestige and the chaos of the Taiping Rebellion, the Punti and Hakka waged a series of clan wars from 1855 to 1867 in which 1 million people died.

The concession for the Canton–Hankow Railway was awarded to the American China Development Co. in 1898. It completed its branch line west to Foshan and Sanshui before being engulfed in a diplomatic crisis after a Belgian consortium bought a controlling interest and the Qing cancelled its concession. J.P. Morgan was awarded millions in damages and the line to Wuchang wasn't completed until 1936 and a unified Beijing–Guangzhou Railway waited until the completion of Wuhan's Yangtze River Bridge in 1957.

Guangzhou: Modern China

Guangzhou: Revolutions

The Mausoleum of the 72 Martyrs
Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek at the opening of the Whampoa Military Academy

During the late Qing Dynasty, Guangzhou was the site of failed revolts such as the Uprisings of 1895 and 1911 to overthrow the Qing; the 72 rebels whose bodies were found after the latter uprising are remembered and honoured as the city's 72 Martyrs in the Huanghuagang ("Yellow Flower Mound") Mausoleum.

All these failed revolutionary attempts would eventually lead to the Xinhai Revolution which successfully overthrew the Qing Dynasty to establish a new Han Chinese republic.

Guangzhou: Kuomintang rule

Flag of the then ruling Kuomintang

After the assassination of Song Jiaoren and Yuan Shikai's attempts to remove Nationalists from power, the leader of Guangdong Hu Hanmin joined the 1913 Second Revolution against him but was forced to flee to Japan with Sun Yat-sen after its failure. The city came under national spotlight again in 1917, when Prime Minister Duan Qirui's abrogation of the constitution triggered the Constitutional Protection Movement. Sun Yat-sen came to head the Guangzhou Military Government supported by the members of the dissolved parliament and the Southwestern warlords. The Guangzhou government fell apart as the warlords withdrew their support. Sun fled to Shanghai in November 1918 until the Guangdong warlord Chen Jiongming restored him in October 1920 during the Yuegui Wars. On 16 June 1922, Sun was ousted in a coup and fled on the warship Yongfeng after Chen sided with the Zhili Clique's Beijing government. In the following months Sun mounted a counterattack into Guangdong by rallying supporters from Yunnan and Guangxi, and in January established a government in the city for the third time.

From 1923 to 1926 Sun and the Kuomintang used the city as a base to prosecute a renewed revolution in China by conquering the warlords in the north. Although Sun was previously dependent on opportunistic warlords who hosted him in the city, with the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, the KMT developed its own military power that served its ambition. The Canton years saw the evolution of the KMT into a revolutionary movement with a strong military focus and ideological commitment, setting the tone of the KMT rule of China beyond 1927.

In 1924 the KMT made the momentous decision to ally with the Communist Party and the USSR. With Soviet help, KMT reorganized itself along the Leninist line and adopted a pro-labor and pro-peasant stance. The Kuomintang-CCP cooperation was confirmed in the First Congress of the KMT and the communists were instructed to join the KMT. The allied government set up the Peasant Movement Training Institute in the city, of which Mao Zedong was a director for one term. Sun and his military commander Chiang used Soviet funds and weapons to build an armed force staffed by communist commissars, training its cadres in the Whampoa Military Academy. In August, the fledgling army suppressed the Canton Merchants' Corps Uprising. The next year the anti-imperialist May Thirtieth Movement swept the country, and the KMT government called for strikes in Canton and Hong Kong. The tensions of the massive strikes and protests led to the Shakee Massacre.

After the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925 the mood was changing in the party toward the communists. In August the left-wing KMT leader Liao Zhongkai was assassinated and the right-wing leader Hu Hanmin, the suspected mastermind, was exiled to the Soviet Union, leaving the pro-communist Wang Jingwei in charge. Opposing communist encroachment, the right-wing Western Hills Group vowed to expel the communists from the KMT. The "Canton Coup" on 20 March 1926 saw Chiang solidify his control over the Nationalists and their army against Wang Jingwei, the party's left wing, its Communist allies, and its Soviet advisors. By May, he had ended civilian control of the military and begun his Northern Expedition against the warlords of the north. Its success led to the split of the KMT and the subsequent purge of the communists in the Shanghai Massacre. When Zhang Fakui took Guangzhou from the New Guangxi Clique as part of the infighting in 1927, the communists saw an opening and launched the Guangzhou Uprising, but the rebel army units and armed workers were defeated after heavy fighting in the city.

By 1929, Chen Jitang had established himself as the military ruler of Guangdong. In 1931 he threw his weight behind the anti-Chiang schism which established a separate Nationalist government in Guangzhou. The separatists included prominent KMT leaders like Wang Jingwei, Sun Fo and others from diverse factions. While the intraparty division was resolved next year, Chen kept his power until he was defeated by Chiang in 1936.

Guangzhou: Communist takeover

Communist troops entering Guangzhou on 14 October 1949

Amid the closing months of the Chinese Civil War, Guangzhou briefly served as the capital of the Republic of China after the fall of Nanjing to communism in April 1949. The People's Liberation Army entered the city on 14 October 1949. Amid a massive exodus to Hong Kong and Macau, the Nationalists blew up the Haizhu Bridge across the Pearl River in retreat. The Cultural Revolution had a large effect on the city with much of its temples, churches and other monuments destroyed during this chaotic period.

The People's Republic of China initiated building projects including new housing on the banks of the Pearl River to adjust the city's boat people to life on land. Since the 1980s, the city's close proximity to Hong Kong and Shenzhen and its ties to overseas Chinese have made it one of the first beneficiaries of China's opening up under Deng Xiaoping. Beneficial tax reforms in the 1990s have also helped the city's industrialisation and development.

The municipality was expanded in the year 2000, with Huadu and Panyu joining the city as urban districts and Conghua and Zengcheng as more rural counties. The former districts of Dongshan and Fangcun were abolished in 2005, merged into Yuexiu and Liwan respectively. The city acquired Nansha and Luogang. The former was carved out of Panyu, the latter from parts of Baiyun, Tianhe, Zengcheng, and an exclave within Huangpu. The National People's Congress approved a development plan for the Pearl River Delta in January 2009; on March 19 the same year, the Guangzhou and Foshan municipal governments agreed to establish a framework to merge the two cities. In 2014, Luogang merged into Huangpu and both Conghua and Zengcheng counties were upgraded to districts. Guangzhou was then the most populous consolidated district-governed city in China until Beijing overtook it the next year.

Guangzhou: Geography

Tiantang Peak, highest mountain in Guangzhou

The old town of Guangzhou was near Baiyun Mountain on the east bank of the Pearl River (Zhujiang) about 80 miles (129 km) from its junction with the South China Sea and about 300 miles (483 km) below its head of navigation. It commanded the rich alluvial plain of the Pearl River Delta, with its connection to the sea protected at the Humen Strait. The present city spans 7,434.4 square kilometres (2,870.4 sq mi) on both sides of the river from 112° 57′ to 114° 03′ E longitude and 22° 26′ to 23° 56′ N latitude in south-central Guangdong. The Pearl is the 3rd-largest river of China. Baiyun Mountain is now locally referred to as the city's "lung" (市肺).

The elevation of the prefecture generally increases from southwest to northeast, with mountains forming the backbone of the city and the ocean comprising the front. Tiantang Peak (天堂顶, "Heavenly Peak") is the highest point of elevation at 1,210 metres (3,970 ft) above sea level.

Guangzhou: Natural resources

There are 47 different types of minerals and also 820 ore fields in Guangzhou, including 18 large and medium-sized oil deposits. The major minerals are granite, cement limestone, ceramic clay, potassium, albite, salt mine, mirabilite, nepheline, syenite, fluorite, marble, mineral water, and geothermal mineral water. Since Guangzhou is located in the water-rich area of southern China, it has a wide water area with lots of rivers and water systems, accounting for 10% of the total land area. The rivers and streams improve the landscape and keep the ecological environment of the city stable.

Guangzhou: Climate

Despite being located just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Guangzhou has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) influenced by the East Asian monsoon. Summers are wet with high temperatures, high humidity, and a high heat index. Winters are mild and comparatively dry. Guangzhou has a lengthy monsoon season, spanning from April through September. Monthly averages range from 13.6 °C (56.5 °F) in January to 28.6 °C (83.5 °F) in July, while the annual mean is 22.6 °C (72.7 °F). Autumn, from October to December, is very moderate, cool and windy, and is the best travel time. The relative humidity is approximately 68 percent, whereas annual rainfall in the metropolitan area is over 1,700 mm (67 in). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 17 percent in March and April to 52 percent in November, the city receives 1,628 hours of bright sunshine annually, considerably less than nearby Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 0 °C (32 °F) to 39.1 °C (102.4 °F). The last recorded snowfall in the city was on 24 January 2016, 87 years after the second last recorded snowfall.

Climate data for Guangzhou (normals 1971–2000, extremes 1961–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.2
Average high °C (°F) 18.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.9
Average low °C (°F) 10.3
Record low °C (°F) 0.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 40.9
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 7.5 11.2 15.0 16.3 18.3 18.2 15.9 16.8 12.5 7.1 5.5 4.9 149.2
Average relative humidity (%) 72 78 82 84 84 84 82 82 78 72 66 66 77.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 118.5 71.6 62.4 65.1 104.0 140.2 202.0 173.5 170.2 181.8 172.7 166.0 1,628
Percent possible sunshine 35 22 17 17 26 35 49 43 46 51 52 50 36.9
Source: China Meteorological Administration, all-time extreme temperature

Guangzhou: Administrative divisions

Guangzhou is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over eleven districts:

Administrative divisions of Guangzhou
Division code Division Area in km Population 2010 Seat Postal code Subdivisions
Subdistricts Towns Residential communities Administrative villages
440100 Guangzhou 7,434.40 12,701,948 Yuexiu 510000 136 34 1533 1142
440103 Liwan 59.10 898,200 Shiweitang Subdistrict 510000 22 195
440104 Yuexiu 33.80 1,157,666 Beijing Subdistrict 510000 18 267
440105 Haizhu 90.40 1,558,663 Jianghai Subdistrict 510000 18 257
440106 Tianhe 96.33 1,432,426 Tianyuan Subdistrict 510000 21 205
440111 Baiyun 795.79 2,223,150 Jingtai Subdistrict 510000 18 4 253 118
440112 Huangpu 484.17 831,586 Luogang Subdistrict 510500 14 1 90 28
440113 Panyu 529.94 1,764,828 Shiqiao Subdistrict 511400 11 5 87 177
440114 Huadu 970.04 945,005 Huacheng Subdistrict 510800 4 6 50 188
440115 Nansha 783.86 259,900 Huangge Town 511400 3 6 28 128
440117 Conghua 1,974.50 593,415 Jiekou Subdistrict 510900 3 5 46 221
440118 Zengcheng 1,616.47 1,037,109 Licheng Subdistrict 511300 4 7 55 282

Guangzhou: Economy

Guangzhou skyline
The first Canton Fair (1957) at the Sino-Soviet Friendship Building
The former Canton Fair site at Yuexiu's Liuhua Complex
A display at the current Canton Fair site in Pazhou
Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

Guangzhou is the main manufacturing hub of the Pearl River Delta, one of mainland China's leading commercial and manufacturing regions. In 2013, the GDP reached ¥1542 billion (US$248 billion), per capita was ¥120,515 (US $19,459). Guangzhou is considered one of the most prosperous cities in China. But due to rapid industrialisation, it is also considered one of the most polluted cities.

The Canton Fair, formally the "China Import and Export Fair", is held every year in April and October by the Ministry of Trade. Inaugurated in the spring of 1957, the fair is a major event for the city. It is the trade fair with the longest history, highest level, largest scale in China. From the 104th session onwards, the fair moved to the new Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center (广州国际会展中心) in Pazhou, from the older complex in Liuhua. The GICEC is served by two stations on Metro Line 8. Since the 104th session, the Canton Fair has been arranged in three phases instead of two phases.

Guangzhou is one the largest hubs of China's illegal drug trade.

Guangzhou: Local products

  • Cantonese is one of China's most famous and popular regional cuisines, with a saying stating simply to "Eat in Guangzhou" (食在广州)
  • Cantonese sculpture includes work in jade, wood, and (now controversially) ivory.
  • Canton porcelain developed over the past three centuries as one of the major forms of exportware. It is now known within China for its highly colorful style.
  • Cantonese embroidery is one of China's four main styles of the art and is represented in Guangzhou, although its principal centre is at Chaozhou.
  • Zhujiang Beer, a pale lager, is one of China's most successful brands. It is made in Guangzhou from water piped directly to the brewery from a natural spring.

Guangzhou: Industry

Guangzhou Peugeot Automobile Company produced the Peugeot 504 and Peugeot 505 automobiles from 1989 to 1997.

  • Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Guangzhou Nansha Export Processing Zone

The Export Processing Zone was founded in 2005. Its total planned area is 1.36 km (0.53 sq mi). It is located in Nansha District and it belongs to the provincial capital, Guangzhou. The major industries encouraged in the zone include automobile assembly, biotechnology and heavy industry. It is situated 54 kilometres (34 miles) (70 minutes drive) south of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and close to Nansha Port. It also has the advantage of Guangzhou Metro line 4 which is being extended to Nansha Ferry Terminal.

  • Guangzhou Free Trade Zone

The zone was founded in 1992. It is located in the east of Huangpu District and near to Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone. It is also very close to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport. The major industries encouraged in the zone include international trade, logistics, processing and computer software.

Guangzhou: Science City

  • Guangzhou Science City

Guangzhou: Malls and pedestrian streets

  • 101 Dynamics
  • Beijing Road
  • China Plaza
  • Jiangnanxi
  • Liwan Plaza
  • Shangxiajiu
  • Teem Plaza
  • Victory Plaza
  • Wanguo Plaza
  • Zhengjia Square (Grandview Mall Aquarium)
  • Wanda square
  • Happy Valley (Guangzhou)
  • TaiKoo Hui
  • Parc Central
  • OneLinkWalk
  • Rock Square
  • Aeon Mall
  • GT Land Plaza

Guangzhou: Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1950 2,567,645 -
1960 3,683,104 +43.4%
1970 4,185,363 +13.6%
1980 5,018,638 +19.9%
1990 5,942,534 +18.4%
2000 9,943,000 +67.3%
2002 10,106,229 +1.6%
2005 9,496,800 −6.0%
2006 9,966,600 +4.9%
2007 10,530,100 +5.7%
2008 11,153,400 +5.9%
2009 11,869,700 +6.4%
2010 12,701,948 +7.0%
2011 12,751,400 +0.4%
2012 12,832,900 +0.6%
2013 12,926,800 +0.7%
2014 13,080,500 +1.2%
Population size may be affected by changes to administrative divisions.

The 2010 census found Guangzhou's population to be 12.78 million. As of 2014, it was estimated at 13,080,500, with 11,264,800 urban residents. Its population density is thus around 1,800 people per km². The built-up area of the Guangzhou proper connects directly to several other cities. The built-up area of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone covers around 17,573 square kilometres (6,785 sq mi) and has been estimated to house 22 million people, including Guangzhou's nine urban districts, Shenzhen (5.36m), Dongguan (3.22m), Zhongshan (3.12m), most of Foshan (2.2m), Jiangmen (1.82m), Zhuhai (890k), and Huizhou's Huiyang District (760k). The total population of this agglomeration is over 28 million after including the population of the adjacent Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The area's fast-growing economy and high demand for labour has produced a huge "floating population" of migrant workers. Up to 10 million migrants reside in the area least six months each year. In 2008, about 5 million of Guangzhou's permanent residents were hukouless migrants.

Guangzhou: Ethnicity

Most of Guangzhou's population is Han Chinese. Almost all of the local Cantonese people speak Cantonese as their first language, while most migrants speak forms of Mandarin. In 2010, each language was the native tongue of roughly half of the city's population, although minor but substantial numbers speak other varieties as well. As with elsewhere in the People's Republic of China, the household registration system (hukou) limits migrants' access to residences, educational institutions and other public benefits. In May 2014, legally employed migrants in Guangzhou were permitted to receive a hukou card allowing them to marry and obtain permission for their pregnancies in the city, rather than having to return to their official hometowns as previously.

Historically, the Cantonese people have made up a sizeable part of the 19th- and 20th-century Chinese diaspora and many overseas Chinese have ties to Guangzhou. This is particularly true in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Demographically, the only significant immigration into China has been by overseas Chinese, but Guangzhou sees many foreign tourists, workers, and residents from the usual locations such as the United States. Notably, it is also home to thousands of African immigrants, including people from Nigeria, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Guangzhou: Transportation

Map of the Guangzhou Metro
Gongyuanqian Station of the Guangzhou Metro
Tianhe Sports Centre Station (GBRT)
Baiyun International Airport in Huadu District
A CRH3 Train at Guangzhou South Railway Station

Guangzhou: Urban mass transit

When the first line of the Guangzhou Metro opened in 1997, Guangzhou was the fourth city in Mainland China to have an underground railway system, behind Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai. Currently the metro network is made up of ten lines, covering a total length of 306 km (190 mi). A long-term plan is to make the city's metro system expand to over 500 km (310 mi) by 2020 with 15 lines in operation.

The first section of the Haizhu Tram line opened on 31 December 2014.

The Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit (GBRT) system which was introduced in 2010 along Zhongshan Road. It has several connections to the metro and is the world's 2nd-largest Bus Rapid Transit system with 1,000,000 passenger trips daily. It handles 26,900 pphpd during the peak hour a capacity second only to the TransMilenio BRT system in Bogota. The system averages 1 bus every 10 seconds or 350 per hour in a single direction and contains the world's longest BRT stations-around 260 m (850 ft) including bridges.

Guangzhou: Motor transport

In the 19th century, city already boasted over 600 long, straight streets; these were mostly paved but still very narrow.

In 2009, it was reported that all 9,424 buses and 17,695 taxis in Guangzhou would be operating on LPG-fuel by 2010 to promote clean energy for transport and improve the environment ahead of the 2010 Asian Games which were held in the city. At present, Guangzhou is the city that uses the most LPG-fueled vehicles in the world, and at the end of 2006, 6,500 buses and 16,000 taxis were using LPG, taking up 85 percent of all buses and taxis.

Effective January 1, 2007, the municipal government banned motorcycles in Guangdong's urban areas. Motorcycles found violating the ban are confiscated. The Guangzhou traffic bureau claimed to have reported reduced traffic problems and accidents in the downtown area since the ban.

Guangzhou: Airports

Guangzhou's main airport is the Baiyun International Airport in Huadu District; it opened on August 5, 2004. This airport is the second busiest airport in terms of traffic movements in China. It replaced the old Baiyun International Airport, which was very close to the city centre but failed to meet the city's fast-growing air traffic demand. The old Baiyun International Airport was in operation for 72 years.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport now has three runways, with two more planned. The Terminal 2 is under construction and will open in 2018.

Guangzhou: Railways

Guangzhou is the terminus of the Beijing–Guangzhou, Guangzhou–Shenzhen, Guangzhou–Maoming and Guangzhou–Meizhou–Shantou conventional speed railways. In late 2009, the Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway started service, with multiple unit trains covering 980 km (608.94 mi) at a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph). In January 2011, the Guangzhou–Zhuhai Intercity Railway started service at an average speed of 200 km/h (124 mph). In December 2014, the Guiyang–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway and Nanning-Guangzhou Railway began service with trains running at top speeds of 250 km/h (155 mph) and 200 km/h (124 mph), respectively. The Guangdong Through Train departs from the Guangzhou East railway station and arrives at the Hung Hom KCR station in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The route is approximately 182 km (113 mi) in length and the ride takes less than two hours. Frequent coach services are also provided with coaches departing every day from different locations (mostly major hotels) around the city.

Guangzhou: Water transport

There are daily high-speed catamaran services between Nansha Ferry Terminal and Lianhua Shan Ferry Terminal in Guangzhou and the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal, as well as between Nansha Ferry Terminal and Macau Ferry Pier in Hong Kong.

Guangzhou: Culture

Guangzhou Opera House
Guangzhou's City God Temple
Guangzhou's Temple of the Five Immortals
The sacred pigs of the Ocean Banner Temple (Haichuan/Hoi Tong) in the 1830s
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Huaisheng Mosque and its "Plain Pagoda" minaret in 1860

Within China, the culture of the Cantonese people is a subset of the larger "Southern" or "Lingnan" cultural areas. Notable aspects of Guangzhou's cultural heritage include:

  • Cantonese language, the local and prestige variant of Yue Chinese
  • Cantonese cuisine, one of China's eight major culinary traditions
  • Cantonese opera, usually divided into martial and literary performances
  • Xiguan, the area west of the former walled city

The Guangzhou Opera House & Symphony Orchestra also perform classical Western music and Chinese compositions in their style. Cantonese music is a traditional style of Chinese instrumental music, while Cantopop is the local form of pop music and rock-and-roll which developed from neighbouring Hong Kong.

Guangzhou: Religions

Qing-era Guangzhou had around 124 religious pavilions, halls, and temples. Today, in addition to the Buddhist Association, Guangzhou also has a Taoist Association, a Jewish community, and a history with Christianity and Islam.

Guangzhou: Daoism

Daoism and Chinese folk religion are still represented at a few of the city's temples. Among the most important is the Temple of the Five Immortals, honoring the five immortals credited with introducing rice cultivation at the foundation of the city. The five rams they rode were supposed to have turned into stones upon their departure and gave the city several of its nicknames. Another place of worship is the City God Temple. Guangzhou, like most of southern China, is also notably observant concerning ancestral veneration during occasions like the Tomb Sweeping and Ghost Festivals.

Guangzhou: Buddhism

Buddhism is the most prominent religion in Guangzhou. The Zhizhi Temple was founded in AD 233 from the estate of a Wu official; it is said to comprise the residence of Zhao Jiande, the last of the Nanyue kings, and has been known as the Guangxiao Temple ("Temple of Bright Filial Piety") since the Ming. The missionary Bodhidharma is traditionally said to have visited Panyu during the Liu Song or Liang dynasties (5th or 6th century). Around AD 520, Emperor Wu of the Liang ordered the construction of the Baozhuangyan Temple and the Xilai Monastery to store the relics of Cambodian Buddhist saints which had been brought to the city and to house the monks beginning to assemble there. The Baozhuangyan is now known as the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, after a famous poem composed by Su Shi after a visit during the Northern Song. The Xilai Monastery was renamed the Hualin Temple ("Flowery Forest Temple") after its reconstruction during the Qing.

The temples were damaged by both the Republican campaign to "Promote Education with Temple Property" (廟產興學) and the Maoist Cultural Revolution but have been renovated since the opening up that began in the 1980s. The Ocean Banner Temple on Henan Island, once famous in the west as the only tourist spot in Guangzhou accessible to foreigners, has been reopened as the Hoi Tong Monastery.

Guangzhou: Christianity

Nestorian Christians first arrived in China via the overland Silk Road, but suffered during Emperor Wuzong's 845 persecution and were essentially extinct by the year 1000. The Qing-era ban on foreigners limited missionaries until it was abolished following the First Opium War, although the Protestant Robert Morrison was able to perform some work through his service with the British factory. The Catholic archdiocese is housed at Guangzhou's Sacred Heart Cathedral, known locally as the "Stone House". A Gothic Revival edifice which was built by hand from 1861 to 1888 under French direction, its original Latin and French stained-glass windows were destroyed during the wars and amid the Cultural Revolution; they have since been replaced by English ones. The Canton Christian College (1888) and Hackett Medical College for Women (1902) were both founded by missionaries and now form part of Guangzhou's Lingnan. Since the opening up of China in the 1980s, there has been renewed interest in Christianity, but Guangzhou maintains pressure on underground churches which avoid registration with government officials. The Catholic archbishop Dominic Tang was imprisoned without trial for 22 years, but his present successor is recognised by both the Vatican and China's Patriotic Church.

Guangzhou: Islam

Guangzhou has had a Muslim community since very early in the history of Islam; the native or nativised adherents of the faith are known as the Hui. Huaisheng Mosque is one of the oldest extant mosques in the world, variously said to have been founded by the city's existing Arab community around the time of Muhammad's revelation or by Muhammad's visiting uncle in 627. Muslims sacked the city in 758 and were massacred by the Chinese rebel Huang Chao in 878, along with the Jews, Christians, and Parsis. The Muslims who martyred themselves opposing the Manchu conquest of the city are still honored by a national monument at the tomb of "the Loyal Trio of Muslims". The modern city includes numerous halal restaurants. Muhammad's companion Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas was buried in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou: Sport

Guangdong Olympic Stadium
Tianhe Stadium is the home of Guangzhou Evergrande

The 18,000 seat Guangzhou International Sports Arena will be one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

From 12–27 November 2010, Guangzhou hosted the 16th Asian Games. The same year, it hosted the first Asian Para Games from December 12 to 19. Combined, these were the largest sporting events the city ever hosted.

Guangzhou also hosted the following major sporting events:

  • 1987 The 6th National Games of China
  • 1991 The 1st FIFA Women's World Cup
  • 2001 The 2001 National Games of China
  • 2007 The 8th National Traditional Games of Ethnic Minorities of the People's Republic of China
  • 2008 The 49th World Table Tennis Championships
  • 2009 The 11th Sudirman Cup: the world badminton mixed team championships

Current professional sports clubs based in Guangzhou include:

Sport League Tier Club Stadium
Football Chinese Super League 1st Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Tianhe Stadium
Football Chinese Super League 1st Guangzhou R&F Yuexiushan Stadium
Basketball Chinese Basketball Association 1st Guangzhou Long-Lions Tianhe Gymnasium
Volleyball Chinese Volleyball League 2nd Guangdong Evergrande Women's Volleyball Club Guangzhou Sport University Gymnasium
Baseball China Baseball League 1st Guangdong Leopards Tianhe Sports Center baseball field

Guangzhou Evergrande FC has risen in recent years to be a powerhouse in association football in the People's Republic of China, having won six consecutive national titles between 2011 and 2016. The team also won the AFC Champions League in 2013 and 2015. The club competed in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, where it lost 3–0 in the semi-final stage to the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League winners FC Bayern Munich.

Guangzhou: Destinations

Guangzhou: Eight Views

The Eight Views of Ram City are Guangzhou's eight most famous tourist attractions. They have varied over time since the Song dynasty, with some being named or demoted by emperors. The following modern list was chosen through public appraisal in 2011:

  • "Towers Shining through the New Town"
  • "The Pearl River Flowing and Shining": The Pearl River from Bai'etan to Pazhou
  • "Cloudy Mountain Green and Tidy": Baiyun Mountain Scenic Area
  • "Yuexiu's Grandeur": Yuexiu Hill and Park
  • "The Ancient Academy's Lingering Fame": The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall and its folk art museum
  • "Liwan's Wonderful Scenery": Liwan Lake
  • "Science City, Splendid as Brocade"
  • "Wetlands Singing at Night": Nansha Wetlands Park

Guangzhou: Parks and gardens

Bombax ceiba, Guangzhou's official flower
  • Baiyun Mountain
  • Nansha Wetland Park
  • People's Park
  • South China Botanical Garden
  • Yuexiu Park
  • Dongshanhu Park (东山湖公园)
  • Liuhuahu Park (流花湖公园)
  • Liwanhu Park (荔湾湖公园)
  • Luhu Park (麓湖公园)
  • Martyrs' Park (广州起义烈士陵园)
  • Pearl River Park (珠江公园)
  • Yuntai Garden (云台花园)

Guangzhou: Tourist attractions

Guangzhou attracts more than 100 million visitors each year. There are many tourist attractions, including:

  • Canton Tower
  • Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, housing Guangzhou's folk art museum
  • Chime-Long Paradise
  • Chime-Long Waterpark (长隆水上乐园)
  • Guangdong Provincial Museum
  • Guangzhou Zoo
  • Huaisheng Mosque, site of the Plain Pagoda
  • Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
  • Peasant Movement Training Institute, an important Maoist site
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral or Stone House
  • Temple of Bright Filial Piety (Guangxiao)
  • Temple of the Six Banyan Trees (Liurong), site of the Flowery Pagoda
  • Shamian or Shameen Island, the old trading compound
  • Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, site of Guangzhou's former presidential palace
  • Xiguan, the western suburbs of the old city
Modern Guangzhou by day
Modern Guangzhou at night

Guangzhou: Major buildings

  • CITIC Plaza
  • Canton Tower
  • Guangzhou Circle Mansion
  • Guangdong Olympic Stadium
  • Guangzhou Opera House
  • Guangzhou TV Tower
  • Pearl River Tower
  • The Twin Towers:
    • International Finance Centre (West)
    • The CTF Guangzhou (East)

Guangzhou: Media

Guangzhou has two local radio stations: the provincial Radio Guangdong and the municipal Radio Guangzhou. Together they broadcast in more than a dozen channels. The primary language of both stations is Cantonese. Traditionally only one channel of Radio Guangdong is dedicated to Mandarin Chinese. However, in recent years there has been an increase in Mandarin programmes on most Cantonese channels. Radio stations from cities around Guangzhou mainly broadcast in Cantonese and can be received in different parts of the city, depending on the radio stations' locations and transmission power. The Beijing-based China National Radio also broadcasts Mandarin programmes in the city. Radio Guangdong has a 30-minute weekly English programme, Guangdong Today, which is broadcast globally through the World Radio Network. Daily English news programmes are also broadcast by Radio Guangdong.

Guangzhou has some of the best Chinese-language newspapers and magazines in mainland China, most of which are published by three major newspaper groups in the city, the Guangzhou Daily Press Group, Nanfang Press Corporation, and the Yangcheng Evening News Group. The two leading newspapers of the city are Guangzhou Daily and Southern Metropolis Daily. The former, with a circulation of 1.8 million, has been China's most successful newspaper for 14 years in terms of advertising revenue, while Southern Metropolis Daily is considered one of the most liberal newspapers in mainland China. In addition to Guangzhou's Chinese-language publications, there are a few English magazines and newspapers. The most successful is That's Guangzhou, which started more than a decade ago and has since blossomed into That's PRD, producing expatriate magazines in Beijing and Shanghai as well. It also produces In the Red.

Guangzhou: Education

Main gate, Sun Yat-sen University
The College of Medical Science at Sun Yat-sen University
Guangzhou Library

The Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre, also known as Guangzhou University Town (广州大学城), is a large tertiary education complex located in the southeast suburbs of Guangzhou. It occupies the entirety of Xiaoguwei Island in Panyu District, covering an area of about 18 square kilometres (7 sq mi). It houses new campuses from ten higher education institutions. The whole Higher Education Mega Centre can eventually accommodate up to 200,000 students, 20,000 teachers, and 50,000 staff. The institutions include:

  • Guangdong Pharmaceutical University
  • Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
  • Guangdong University of Technology
  • Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
  • Guangzhou University
  • Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine
  • South China Normal University
  • South China University of Technology
  • Sun Yat-sen University
  • Xinghai Conservatory of Music

Guangzhou's other fully accredited and degree-granting universities and colleges include:

  • Guangdong Institute of Science and Technology
  • Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University
  • Guangdong University of Finance & Economics
  • Guangdong University of Finance
  • Guangzhou College of South China University of Technology
  • Guangzhou Medical University
  • Guangzhou Sports University
  • Jinan University
  • South China Agricultural University
  • Southern Medical University
  • Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering

The two main comprehensive libraries are Guangzhou Library and Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province. Guangzhou Library is a public library in Guangzhou. The library has moved to a new building in Zhujiang New Town, which fully opened on 23 June 2013. Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province has the largest collection of ancient books in Southern China.

Guangzhou: International relations

Guangzhou: Twin towns and sister cities

Guangzhou currently maintains sister city agreements with 23 foreign cities.

  • Japan Fukuoka, Japan (since 1979)
  • United States Los Angeles, United States (since 1981)
  • Philippines Manila, Philippines (since 1982)
  • Canada Vancouver, Canada (since 1985)
  • Australia Sydney, Australia (since 1986)
  • Italy Bari, Italy (since 1986)
  • France Lyon, France (since 1988)
  • Germany Frankfurt, Germany (since 1988)
  • New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand (since 1989)
  • South Korea Gwangju, South Korea (since 1996)
  • Sweden Linköping, Sweden (since 1997)
  • South Africa Durban, South Africa (since 2000)
  • United Kingdom Bristol, United Kingdom (since 2001)
  • Russia Yekaterinburg, Russia (since 2002)
  • Peru Arequipa, Peru (since 2004)
  • Indonesia Surabaya, Indonesia (since 2005)
  • Lithuania Vilnius, Lithuania (since 2006)
  • United Kingdom Birmingham, United Kingdom (since 2006)
  • Sri Lanka Hambantota, Sri Lanka (since 2007)
  • Brazil Recife, Brazil (since 2007)
  • Finland Tampere, Finland (since 2008)
  • Thailand Bangkok, Thailand (since 2009)
  • Malaysia Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (since 2011)
  • Malaysia Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (since 2012)
  • Morocco Rabat, Morocco (since 2013)
  • India Ahmedabad, India (since 2014)
  • Poland Łódź, Poland (since 2014)
  • Mexico Ecatepec, Mexico (since 2016)

Guangzhou: See also

  • Canton System & Old China Trade
  • World's largest cities

Guangzhou: Notes

  1. Given in contemporary sources as the "Guisi Day" (癸巳) of the 9th lunar month of the first year of the Qianyuan Era under Emperor Suzong of the Tang.
  2. The term "Persian" may, however, have been loosely applied and referred indifferently to any similar-looking foreign women.
  3. "Buying and selling of children was scarcely unknown in Ming China, but the large new demands of the Portuguese may have stimulated kidnappings from good families..."
  4. "Some early Chinese historians go even so far as to give vivid details of the price paid for the children and how they were roasted."
  5. "On the day of St Nicholas [6 Dec.] in the year 1522 they put boards on them with the sentence that they should die and be exposed in pillories as robbers. The sentences said: 'Petty sea robbers sent by the great robber falsely; they come to spy out our country; let them die in pillories as robbers.' A report was sent to the king according to the information of the mandarins, and the king confirmed the sentence. On 23 Sept. 1523 these twenty-three persons were each one cut in pieces, to wit, heads, legs, arms, and their private members placed in their mouths, the trunk of the body being divided into two pieces round the belly. In the streets of Canton, outside the walls, in the suburbs, through the principal streets they were put to death, at distances of one crossbow shot from one another, that all might see them, both those of Canton and those of the environs, in order to give them to understand that they thought nothing of the Portuguese, so that the people might not talk of the Portuguese. Thus... they were all killed, and their heads and private members were carried on the backs of the Portuguese in front of the mandarins of Canton with the playing of musical instruments and rejoicing, were exhibited suspended in the streets, and were then thrown into the dunghills. And from henceforth it was resolved not to allow any more Portuguese into the country nor other strangers."
  6. The Shaowu Emperor's remains are buried in Yuexiu Park.
  7. In fact, the Danish Asiatic Company was formally chartered in April 1732 while this first ship, the Cron-Printz Christian, was on its return trip. Counting the Cron-Printz Christian, up to 1833, the DAC dispatched 130 ships to Guangzhou, losing five. The average voyage from Copenhagen took 216 days and the voyage back, 192.
  8. The statement is an excerpt from the longer proverb "Be born in Suzhou, play in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou, and die in Liuzhou" (生在苏州,玩在杭州,食在广州,死在柳州).
  9. The other seven are the cuisines of Anhui, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan and Zhejiang.

Guangzhou: References

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Guangzhou: Bibliography

  • An Anglochinese Calendar for the Year 1845, Corresponding to the Year of the Chinese Cycle Æra 4482 or the 42d Year of the 75th Cycle of Sixty, being the 25th Year of the Reign of Ta'ukwa'ng, Vol. II, Hong Kong: Office of the Chinese Repository .
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Douglass, Robert Kennaway (1878), "Canton (1.)", in Baynes, T.S., Encyclopædia Britannica, 5 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, pp. 37–9
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Douglass, Robert Kennaway (1911), "Canton (China)", in Chisholm, Hugh, Encyclopædia Britannica, 5 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 218–220
  • Kuo, Ping-chia, "Guangzhou", Encyclopædia Britannica, online ed., Encyclopædia Britannica, retrieved 15 July 2016 .
  • Ring, Trudy; Salkin, Robert M.; La Boda, Sharon, eds. (1996), International Dictionary of Historic Places, Vol. V: Asia and Oceania, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 1-884964-04-4 .
  • "Guangzhou", Time Out: Hong Kong, London: Time Out Guides, 2011, pp. 284–300, ISBN 978-1-84670-114-6 .
  • Bulletins and Other State Intelligence, Westminster: F. Watts, 1841 .
  • Beck, Sanderson (2007), Republican China in Turmoil 1912–1926
  • Bretschneider, E. (1871), On the Knowledge Possessed by the Ancient Chinese of the Arabs and Arabian Colonies: And Other Western Countries, Mentioned in Chinese Books
  • Butel, Paul (1997), Européens et Espaces Maritimes: vers 1690-vers 1790, Par Cours Universitaires (in French), Bordeaux: Bordeaux University Press
  • Cortesao, Armando, ed. (1944), Suma Oriental of Tome Pires, an Account of the East, from the Red Sea to China, Written in Malacca and India in 1512–1515, New Delhi: Asian Educational Services
  • Douglas, Robert Kennaway (2006), Europe and the Far East, Adamant Media, ISBN 0-543-93972-3
  • ISBN 0-520-05771-6
  • Dutra, Francis A.; Santos, João Camilo dos (1995), Francis A. Dutra; João Camilo dos Santos, eds., Proceedings of the International Colloquium on the Portuguese and the Pacific: University of California, Santa Barbara, October 1993, Santa Barbara: Jorge de Sena Center for Portuguese Studies, University of California, ISBN 0-942208-29-3 .
  • Gray, John Henry (1875), Walks in the City of Canton, Hong Kong: De Souza & Co.
  • Gunn, Geoffrey, History without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000–1800
  • Kjellberg, Sven T. (1975), Svenska Ostindiska Compagnierna 1731–1813: Kryddor, Te, Porslin, Siden [The Swedish East India Company 1731–1813: Spice, Tea, Porcelain, Silk (in Swedish) (2nd ed.), Malmö: Allhem, ISBN 91-7004-058-3
  • "Commercial Intercourse with China", Knight's Store of Knowledge for All Readers, London: Charles Knight & Co., 1841, pp. 130–152
  • Li Kangying (2010), The Ming Maritime Trade Policy in Transition, 1368 to 1567, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz
  • MacPherson, D. (1842), Two Years in China: Narrative of the Chinese Expedition, from Its Formation in April, 1840, Till April, 1842 : with an Appendix, Containing the Most Important of the General Orders & Despatches Published During the Above Period, London: Saunders & Otley
  • Von Glahn, Richard (1996), Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000–1700, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-20408-5
  • ISBN 0-520-04804-0
  • Wilbur, Clarence Martin (1983), The Nationalist Revolution in China, 1923–1928, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Wills, John E., Jr. (1998), "Relations with Maritime Europe, 1514–1662", in Denis Twitchett; John King Fairbank; Albert Feuerwerker, The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 8: The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Pt. 2, ISBN 0-521-24333-5
  • Wills, John E., Jr.; Cranmer-Byng, John; Witek, John W. (2010), Wills, Jr., John E., ed., China and Maritime Europe, 1500–1800: Trade, Settlement, Diplomacy, and Missions, ISBN 0-521-17945-9 .
  • Yü Ying-shih (1987), "Han Foreign Relations", The Cambridge History of China, Vol. I: The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C.–A.D. 220, ISBN 978-0-521-24327-8

Guangzhou: Further reading

  • Gray, Mrs. John Henry (1880), Fourteen Months in Canton, London: William Clowes & Sons for Macmillan & Co., p. 444
  • Foster, Simon; Lin-Liu, Jen; Pham, Sherisse; Beth Reiber; Sharon Owyang; Lee Wing-sze; Christopher D. Winnan (2010), Frommer's China, Frommer's, pp. 542 ff., ISBN 978-0-470-52658-3
  • Johnson, Graham E. (1999). Historical Dictionary of Guangzhou (Canton) and Guangdong. ISBN 978-0-8108-3516-0.
  • Lee, Edward Bing-Shuey (1936). Modern Canton. Shanghai: The Mercury Press.
  • Ng, Yong Sang (1936). Canton, City of the Rams: A General Description and a Brief Historical Survey. Canton: M.S. Cheung. ASIN B0008D1HHO.
  • Perdue, Peter C. (2009), "Canton Trade", Rise & Fall of the Canton Trade System, Visualizing Cultures, MIT
  • Shaw, Samuel; Josiah Quincy (1847). The journals of Major Samuel Shaw : the first American consul at Canton : with a life of the author. Boston: Wm. Crosby and H.P. Nichols. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  • ISBN 978-0-674-09475-8.
  • Guangzhou Statistical Yearbook 2016
  • Guangzhou International: Official website of government of Guangzhou municipality
  • Guangzhou, China Network
Preceded by
Capital of Nanyue
204–111 BC
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China
Republic of China
July 1, 1925 – February 21, 1927
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China
Republic of China
May 28, 1931 – December 22, 1931
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China
Republic of China
April 23, 1949 – October 14, 1949
Succeeded by
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