Guangzhou is a treasure city of the People's Republic of China. Formerly known as Canton, the city of approximately 12 million residents is the capital of the southeastern province of Guangdong and sits on the north bank of the Pearl River's White Goose Pool, just a short distance from Hong Kong, Macau and Kowloon.
The city is the third most populous in the People's Republic of China. Guangzhou celebrated its 2222nd birthday with gusto during the Olympic year of 2008. Founded in 214 BC or in the 33rd year of the Qin dynasty, the city's urban land mass ranks third in the country just behind Bejing and Shanghai.
Guangzhou is the historical and traditional center of the respected South China culture known as Lingnan. The city prides itself on its independent cultural history and presents a unique view to all tourists. For more than 2000 years Guangzhou has been an important trading port in China and emerged early on as the starting point of ancient China's Marine Silk Road. As such, the city became the country's earliest link between China and other world cultures. From the banks of the Pearl River, vessels could easily navigate to the South China Sea and beyond.
Tourist who want to see evidence of the western culture's influence on Guangzhou will want to visit Shameen Island, a sandbank island within the city limits. Many of the buildings feature similarities to western architecture and are unique to the People's Republic. The island has been designated a protected relic of the republic and is most often called the "Ninth Sight of Guangzhou." Shameen Island has served many purposes in China's long history. Foremost a port, it has also served as a focal defense point. During the Opium Wars, China was forced to lease the island to the British and French who left heavy reminders of their tenancy. The island was severed from the mainland during clearance of the Pearl River waterway between 1859 and 1862. Only a stone bridge connected the island to the north bank. This led to a sense of mystique that still persists today as the island bustles with cultural, sporting and entertainment activity and remains one of the city's biggest tourist attractions.
Each year, Guangzhou hosts the Canton Fair, one of the nation's largest fairs and which is celebrated twice a year. The fairs are open in October and November and again in the Spring. Tourists wishing to attend the fairs should book early hotel reservations. The 106th Canton Fair will be held in October-November 2009.
Guangzhou benefits from its southern location and offers comfortable weather year round. Autumn runs from October through December. The cool evenings and warm fall days make this an ideal time to visit Guangzhou.
The city's most popular sightseeing attractions are the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, the Shishi Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Huaisheng Mosque as well as the Guangdong Provincial Museum and the Chime-Long Water Park. For history and creativity, spectators are enthralled by the Guangzhou Peasant Museum and the Museum of the Tomb of the King of Southern Yue in Western Han Dynasty. The Cantonese traditions for sculpting and embroidery are very much in evidence in Guangzhou. Canton Ivory Carvings, Jade Sculptures, Wood Sculpture and Olive Sculpture prevail throughout the city marketplaces. Yue Embroidery is one of the Four Famous Chinese Embroideries and is still practiced and sold in the area. Guangzhou's most significant buildings are the Guangdong Olympic Stadium, the Guangzhou Opera House, the Pearl River Tower and the Guangzhou sightseeing Tower. All these buildings share a definite Cantonese influence and will be remembered long after the trip concludes. Cantonese cuisine is revered throughout the world. It seems the city spews out tasty scents at every turn. To awaken the senses and get in the Guangzhou spirit, go Cantonese and enjoy every morsel of food, culture and sociability. The city prides itself on its extraverted personality and is determined that each tourist enjoys their stay.
Wentrip provides information and travel resources in China. Whether you're looking for a Canton Fair hotel, Hong Kong hotel, Guangzhou hotel or are traveling to a different city or region Wentrip will help you find the right advice and accommodations fast. Visit online at http://www.WenTrip.com for more information.
Editor: canton fair