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Sub-provincial city
From top: Tianhe CBD, the Canton Tower & Chigang Pagoda, Haizhu Bridge, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Statue of Five Goats, 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, Statue of Five Goats, Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park, and Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Location of Guangzhou in Guangdong
Location of Guangzhou in Guangdong
Guangzhou is located in China
Location in China
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Country People's Republic of China
Province Guangdong
 • Type Sub-provincial city
 • CPC Ctte Secretary Ren Xuefeng
 • Mayor Chen Jianhua
 • Sub-provincial city 7,434.4 km2 (2,870 sq mi)
 • Urban 3,843.43 km2 (1,483.95 sq mi)
Elevation 21 m (68 ft)
Population (2014)[2]
 • Sub-provincial city 13,080,500
 • Density 1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
 • Urban[3] 11,264,800
 • Metro (2013)[4] 23,900,000
Demonym(s) Cantonese
Time zone China standard time (UTC+8)
Postal code 510000
Area code(s) + 86 (0)20
GDP[5] 2014
 - Total CN¥1,67 trillion
(US$271.84 billion)
 - Per capita CN¥111,333
 - Growth Increase 8.6%
Licence plate prefixes A
Flower Bombax ceiba
Bird Chinese hwamei
"Guangzhou" in Traditional (top) and Simplified Chinese (bottom)
Semal (Bombax ceiba) flowers in Kolkata W IMG 4132.jpg
Bombax ceiba, the official flower of Guangzhou
Simplified Chinese 广州
Traditional Chinese 廣州
Hanyu Pinyin Guǎngzhōu
About this sound [Listen] 
Postal Canton

Guangzhou (also known as Canton, and less commonly as Kwangchow)[6] is the capital and largest city of Guangdong province in South China.[7] Located on the Pearl River, about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou serves as an important national transportation hub and trading port.[8] One of the five National Central Cities,[9] it holds sub-provincial administrative status.[10]

Guangzhou is the third largest Chinese city and the largest city in South Central China. In 2014 the city's administrative area was estimated to have a population of 13,080,500.[2] Some estimates place the population of the entire Pearl River Delta Mega City built-up area as high as 44 million including Guangzhou's nine urban districts, and Shenzhen (10.36 million), Dongguan (8.22 million), Zhongshan (3.12 million), most parts of Foshan (7.20 million), Jiangmen (1.82 million), Zhuhai (0.89 million) and Huyang County of Huizhou (0.76 million) adjoining Dongguan and Shenzhen, with an area of about 17,573 square kilometres (6,785 sq mi). Guangzhou is part of one of the most populous metropolitan agglomerations on Earth. The total population of this agglomeration is over 54 million, including the population of adjacent city Hong Kong. Guangzhou is identified as a Beta+ world city.


Early history

Guangzhou's earliest recorded name is Panyu (Chinese: 蕃禺; Jyutping: Pun1 Jyu4), derived from two nearby mountains known as Pan and Yu in ancient times.[11] Its recorded history begins with China's conquest of the area during the Qin dynasty. Panyu expanded when it became capital of the Nanyue Kingdom in 206 BC; the territory of Nanyue included what is now northern Vietnam.

The Han dynasty annexed the Nanyue Kingdom in 111 BC during the empire's expansion southward, and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so today. In AD 226, Panyu became the seat of Guang Prefecture (廣州; Guangzhou / 廣府; Guangfu).

Although Guangzhou replaced Panyu as the name of the walled city, Panyu was still the name of the surrounding area until the end of Qing dynasty.[citation needed] Today, Panyu is a district of Guangzhou south of Haizhu District separated from the rest of the city by the Pearl River.

The Old Book of Tang described Guangzhou as important port in the south of China.[12] In that period, direct routes connected the Middle East and China. A Chinese prisoner, who was captured in the Battle of Talas and stayed in what is now Iraq for twelve years, returned to China by ship on a direct route from Iraq to Guangzhou.[13] Guangzhou was mentioned by various Muslim geographers in the ninth and tenth centuries, such as Al-Masudi and Ibn Khordadbeh.[14] Guangzhou was known as Khanfu خانفو by the Arabs. According to a local Guangzhou government report, the city was sacked by Muslims on October 30, 758.[15][16][17][18] The Arab historian Abu Zayd as-Sirafi mentioned Guangzhou several times in his book The Journey of as-Sirafi (Arabic: رحلة السيرافي), providing a description of daily life, food, business dealings, and the justice system of the city. As-Sirafi also reports that in 878 followers of the Chinese rebel leader Huang Chao besieged Guangzhou and massacred a large number of foreign merchants residing there. The foreign merchants were Arab Muslims, Persians, Jews and Christians.[19][20][21]

During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Guangzhou was the capital of the Southern Han state which existed from 917 to 971, and was one of the most stable of the southern states. The region enjoyed considerable cultural and economic success in this period.

From the tenth to twelfth century, Persian women were to be found in Guangzhou. Multiple women originating from the Persian Gulf lived in Guangzhou's foreign quarter.[22][23][24] Some scholars did not differentiate between Persian and Arab, calling them both "Dashi" (Chinese: 大食; pinyin: Dàshí), and some say that the Chinese called all women coming from the Persian Gulf "Persian Women".[25]

The Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta visited Guangzhou in the 14th century in his journey around the world. He described the manufacturing process of large ships in the city.[26]

During the Northern Song dynasty, the celebrated poet Su Shi (Shisu) visited Guangzhou's Baozhuangyan Temple and wrote the inscription "Liu Rong" (Six Banyan Trees) because of the six banyan trees he saw there. It has since been called the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Guangzhou by sea in 1514, establishing a monopoly on the external trade out of its harbour by 1517.[27] They were later expelled from their settlements in Guangzhou (Cantão in Portuguese), but instead were granted use of Macau as a trade base with the city in 1557. They would keep a near monopoly on foreign trade in the region until the arrival of the Dutch in the early 17th century.

17th through 19th centuries

Map of Kanton, from Johan Nieuhof (1618-1672); Jean-Baptiste Le Carpentier (1606-c. 1670): L'ambassade de la Compagnie Orientale des Provinces Unies vers l'Empereur de la Chine, 1665
Painting of the Thirteen Factories, c. 1820, with flags of Denmark, Spain, the U.S., Sweden, Britain, and the Netherlands
Portrait of Eshing by Spoilum

It is believed that the romanisation "Canton" originated from the Portuguese: Cantão, which was transcribed from Guangdong (also pronounced Kanton in Japanese). Nevertheless, because at the time of the Portuguese arrival, the capital city had no specific appellation other than the provincial capital (Chinese: 省城; pinyin: shěng chéng; Jyutping: Shaang2 Sheng4) by its people, the province name was adopted for the walled city by the Europeans. The etymology of Canton, as well as the similar pronunciation with the province name Guangdong, might have partly contributed to the recent confusion of Canton and Guangdong by some English speakers.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1953[28] 1,598,900 —    
1964[28] 3,031,486 +89.6%
1982[28] 5,630,733 +85.7%
1990[29] 6,299,943 +11.9%
1995[29] 8,117,100 +28.8%
2000[29] 9,942,022 +22.5%
2002[29] 10,106,229 +1.7%
2005[30] 9,496,800 −6.0%
2006[30] 9,966,600 +4.9%
2007[30] 10,530,100 +5.7%
2008[30] 11,153,400 +5.9%
2009[30] 11,869,700 +6.4%
2010[30] 12,709,600 +7.1%
2011[30] 12,751,400 +0.3%
2012[31] 12,838,900 +0.7%
2013[3] 12,926,800 +0.7%
2014[2] 13,080,500 +1.2%
Population size may be affected by changes on administrative divisions.

In Guangzhou, the national monuments known as "The Muslim's Loyal Trio" are the tombs of Ming-loyalist Muslims who were martyred while fighting in battle against the Qing in Guangzhou.[32]

After China gained control of Taiwan in 1683, the Qing government became more open to foreign trade. Guangzhou quickly emerged as one of the most suitable ports for international trade and before long ships arrived from all over the world.

The Portuguese in Macau, the Spanish in Manila, Arabs from the Middle East and Muslims from India were already actively trading in the port by the 1690s, when the French and English began frequenting the port through the Canton System.

Other companies were soon to follow: the Ostend General India company in 1717; Dutch East India Company in 1729; the first Danish ship in 1731, which was followed by a Danish Asiatic Company ship in 1734; the Swedish East India Company in 1732; followed by an occasional Prussian and Trieste Company ship; the Americans in 1784; and the first ships from Australia in 1788.

By the middle of the 18th century, Guangzhou had emerged as one of the world's great trading ports under the Thirteen Factories. As a meeting place of merchants from all over the world, the trade in Canton was one of the major contributors to the rise of the modern global economy.[33]

The Canton system of trade was maintained until the outbreak of the First Opium War in 1839 and the opening of other ports in China in 1842. The privilege during this period made Guangzhou one of the top three cities in the world.[34] During the war, the British captured Canton on March 18, 1841. The Second Battle of Canton was fought in May 1841.

Shop of Tingqua, the painter (1855)

From 1855 to 1867 there were a series of battles between the Punti and Hakka peoples known as the Punti-Hakka Clan Wars (土客械鬥).

The plague epidemic—part of the Third Pandemic—reached Guangzhou in 1894, causing the death of 60,000 people in a few weeks.[35] In 1918, the city's urban council was established by carving out eastern part of Nanhai County and northern part of Panyu County and Guangzhou became the official name of the city in Chinese in February 15, 1921.[36] Panyu became a county name to the southern side of Guangzhou and same with Nanhai on the western side.


Japanese troops occupied Guangzhou from October 21, 1938, to September 16, 1945, after bombing the city. The Imperial Japanese Army conducted bacteriological research in Guangzhou under Unit 8604, a section of Unit 731.

After the fall of the capital Nanjing in April 1949, the Nationalist government under the acting president Li Zongren relocated to Guangzhou.

Communist forces entered the city on October 14, 1949. The Nationalists blew up the Haizhu Bridge, an important passage across the Pearl River, in order to slow the Communist advance and allow the government to flee to Chongqing. The communist government soon renamed the city's English name to "Guangzhou". A massive exodus followed as many fled to nearby Hong Kong and Macau, and the provincial capital's international status dwindled.[citation needed] The urban renewal projects of the new communist government improved the lives of some residents.[citation needed] New housing on the shores of the Pearl River provided homes for the poor boat people. Reforms by Deng Xiaoping, who came to power in the late 1970s, led to rapid economic growth due to the city's close proximity to Hong Kong and access to the Pearl River.

As labour costs increased in Hong Kong and China liberalized its economy, manufacturers opened new plants in Guangdong, including Guangzhou. As the largest city in one of China's wealthiest provinces, Guangzhou attracts farmers from the countryside looking for factory work. Cantonese links to overseas Chinese and beneficial tax reforms in the 1990s contributed to the city's rapid growth.

In 2000, Huadu and Panyu were merged into Guangzhou as districts, and Conghua and Zengcheng became county-level cities of Guangzhou.


Tiantang Peak, highest mountain in Guangzhou

Located in the south-central portion of Guangdong, Guangzhou spans from 112° 57' to 114° 03' E longitude and 22° 26' to 23° 56' N latitude. The city is part of the Pearl River Delta and the city centre is situated next to the Baiyun Mountain, which is locally referred to as "the lung of the city" (市肺).[8][37] The total area under the city's administration is 7,434.4 square kilometres (2,870.4 sq mi).

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, meaning Peak of Paradise in Chinese), which stands 1,210 m (3,970 ft) above sea level, is the highest mountain in Guangzhou.


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),[8] the relative humidity is approximately 68 percent, whereas annual rainfall in the metropolitan area is over 1,700 mm (67 in).[8] 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 °F).[38] The last recorded snowfall in the city was in January 1893.[citation needed]

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,[39] all-time extreme temperature[38]

Administrative divisions

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

Administrative divisions of Guangzhou
Division code[40] English name Chinese Pinyin Area in km2[41] Population 2010[42] Seat Postal code Divisions[43]
Subdistricts Towns Residential communities Administrative villages
440100 Guangzhou City 广州市 Guǎngzhōu Shì 7434.40 12,701,948 Yuexiu District 510000 136 34 1533 1142
440103 Liwan District 荔湾区 Lìwān Qū 59.10 898,200 Jinhua Subdistrict 510000 22 195
440104 Yuexiu District 越秀区 Yuèxiù Qū 33.80 1,157,666 Beijing Subdistrict 510000 18 267
440105 Haizhu District 海珠区 Hǎizhū Qū 90.40 1,558,663 Jianghai Subdistrict 510000 18 257
440106 Tianhe District 天河区 Tiānhé Qū 96.33 1,432,426 Tianyuan Subdistrict 510000 21 205
440111 Baiyun District 白云区 Báiyún Qū 795.79 2,223,150 Jingtai Subdistrict 510000 18 4 253 118
440112 Huangpu District 黄埔区 Huángpǔ Qū 484.17 831,586 Luogang Subdistrict 510500 14 1 90 28
440113 Panyu District 番禺区 Pānyú Qū 529.94 1,764,828 Shiqiao Subdistrict 511400 11 5 87 177
440114 Huadu District 花都区 Huādū Qū 970.04 945,005 Huacheng Subdistrict 510800 4 6 50 188
440115 Nansha District 南沙区 Nánshā Qū 783.86 259,900 Huangge Town 511400 3 6 28 128
440117 Conghua District 从化区 Cónghuà Qū 1974.50 593,415 Jiekou Subdistrict 510900 3 5 46 221
440118 Zengcheng District 增城区 Zēngchéng Qū 1616.47 1,037,109 Licheng Subdistrict 511300 4 7 55 282

Recent administrative changes

In 2000 the county-level cities of Panyu and Huadu were upgraded into districts.

In 2005 the districts of Dongshan and Fangcun were abolished and merged into Yuexiu and Liwan respectively; at the same time the district of Nansha was established out of parts of Panyu, and the district of Luogang was established out of parts of Baiyun, Tianhe, and Zengcheng, plus a part of Huangpu, making an exclave next to Huangpu.

In 2014, Luogang merged into Huangpu and both Conghua and Zengcheng county-level cities were upgraded into districts. After this adjustment, Guangzhou surpassed Shenzhen as the most populated consolidated district-governed city in China, until Beijing overtook Guangzhou in 2015.

Merger with Foshan

In January 2009 the National People's Congress approved a development plan for the Pearl River Delta Region. On March 19, 2009 the Guangzhou Municipal Government and Foshan Municipal Government agreed to establish a framework to merge the two cities.[44]

Significant buildings

Panorama of Guangzhou
Panorama of Guangzhou at night


Guangzhou skyline

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).[45]

The China Import and Export Fair, also called the "Canton Fair", is held every year in April and October by the Ministry of Trading. Inaugurated in the spring of 1957, the fair is a major event for the city. From the 104th session onwards, the fair moved to the new Pazhou complex, from the older Liuhua complex. The Pazhou complex 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 hubs of the illegal drug trade in China.

Industrial zones

The Export Processing Zone was founded in 2005. Its total planned area is 1.36 km2 (0.53 sq mi).[46] 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 km (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.[47] The major industries encouraged in the zone include international trade, logistics, processing and computer software. Guangzhou is considered one of the most prosperous cities in China. But due to rapid industrialization, it is also considered one of the most polluted cities.

Science City

Malls and pedestrian streets


Tianhe Sports Center Station of Guangzhou BRT

Public transport

Guangzhou Metro

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 nine lines, covering a total length of 260 km (160 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.

As of July 2014 the lines of Guangzhou Metro include:

Buses, taxis and motorcycles

The Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit (or GBRT) system which was introduced in 2010, is the world's second largest Bus Rapid Transit system with 1,000,000 [48] passenger trips daily and 26,900 pphpd during the peak hour (second only to the TransMilenio BRT system in Bogota).[49] 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.

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.[50] At present[when?], 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.[citation needed]

Effective January 1, 2007, the municipal government has banned motorcycles in urban areas. Motorcycles found violating the ban will be confiscated.[51] The Guangzhou traffic bureau claimed to have reported reduced traffic problems and accidents in the downtown area since the ban.[52]

Air transport

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 and 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 two runways, with three more planned.[53]

Railway transport

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.

Intercity transport to Hong Kong

Guangzhou is well connected to Hong Kong by train, coach and ferry. 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.

River transport

Pearl River at night

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.

Local products

[citation needed]

  • Cantonese Food (Chinese: 粤菜)is one of the most famous cuisine in China, with a complementing saying "east and west, Cantonese food is the best (Chinese: 食在广州).
  • Canton Province Sculpture is legendary and includes Guangzhou Ivory Carvings, Jade Sculpture, Wood Sculpture and Olive Sculpture.
  • Cantonese Enamel includes Guangzhou Colorful Pottery. It has a history of over 300 years.
  • Cantonese Embroidery (Chinese: 粤绣; pinyin: yuè xiù) is one of the Four Famous Chinese Embroideries together with Su Embroidery, Xiang Embroidery and Shu Embroidery.
  • Canton Province Bacon is the general designation of cured meat in the Guangzhou and surrounding areas.
  • Zhujiang Beer (Pearl River Beer)


According to the official People's Daily newspaper, Cantonese is the first language for half of the 14 million residents of the provincial capital Guangzhou, while the other half speak mainly Mandarin.[54] Other languages such as Hakka are spoken in significant numbers as well. The migrant population from other provinces of China in Guangzhou was 40 percent of the city's total population in 2008. Most of them are rural migrants and they speak Mandarin and other local dialects from their hometowns. They have taken on many jobs that the locals are unwilling to do.[55]

Shangxiajiu in Liwan District

Guangzhou is also known to have a sizeable African population.

Significant components of the culture of Guangzhou include:



Besides Buddhism, Taoism is another prominent religion.


Buddhism is the most prominent religion.


Christianity is well-spread after the first opium war. Since then, a lot of churches were built and a lot of missionaries were sent to Guangzhou.

A female medical missionary Dr. Mary H. Fulton (1854–1927[56]) was sent by the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church in the United States with the idea of proselytizing has found the first medical college for women in China. Known as the Hackett Medical College for Women (夏葛女子醫學院),[57][58] this college was located in Guangzhou, China, and was enabled by a large donation from Mr. Edward A.K. Hackett (1851–1916) of Indiana, United States. The college was dedicated in 1902 and offered a four-year curriculum. By 1915, there were more than 60 students, mostly in residence. Most students became Christians, due to the proselytizing influence of Dr. Fulton. The college was officially recognized, with its diplomas marked with the official stamp of the Guangdong provincial government. The college was aimed at primarily spreading of Christianity and later for modern medicine and the elevation of Chinese women's social status. The David Gregg Hospital for Women and Children, also known as Yuji Hospital (柔濟醫院)[59][60] was affiliated with this college. The graduates of this college included Chau Lee-sun (周理信, 1890-1979) and Wong Yuen-hing (黃婉卿), both of whom graduated in the late 1910s [61][62] and then practiced medicine in the hospitals in Guangdong province. At the end of 1932, the medical center involving the Hackett Medical College for Women and the David Gregg Hospital for Women and Children was put under the control of the Chinese government. Furthermore, it affiliated with Guangzhou Hospital and Lingnan University to form the Sun Yat-Sen Medical College in 1936.


There are many sites significant to Islamic culture in Guangzhou including the Great Mosque of Guangzhou, Huaisheng Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the world. There are two versions of its origins. The first is that prior to 500, before the establishment of Islam, Arab seafarers had established trade relations with China, setting off from Basra at the tip of the Persian Gulf and from the town of Qays (Siraf) in the Persian Gulf. They sailed the Indian Ocean passing Sarandip (Sri Lanka) and navigated their way through the Straits of Malacca between the Sumatran and Malaysian peninsulas en route to the South China Sea. They established trading posts on the southeastern coastal ports of Quanzhou and Guangzhou. Some Arabs had already settled in China and probably embraced Islam when the first Muslim deputation arrived, as their families and friends back in Arabia had already embraced Islam during Muhammad's revelation (610–32). The other version is that the mosque was built by the uncle of Muhammad in 627. There are many restaurants influenced by Islamic culture such as Hezhou Halal Restaurant, Wuyang Humin Restaurant, and Maedah Restaurant. accordingly there's also a Muslim Hero Tomb In Guangzhou.[63]

Yet Buddhism has remained the most influential religion in the life of Guangzhou people.[64]


Guangzhou has a Jewish community, Guangzhou Buddhist Association, and Guangzhou Daoist Association.[65][66] There is official pressure against underground, non-registered churches in Guangzhou.[67]

Temple of Bright Filial Piety (Kwong Hau Temple


Eight Sights of Guangzhou

The Eight Sights of Guangzhou are the eight most famous tourist attractions listed by rulers in different ages. The following are those chosen through public appraisal and brought out in 2011.

Parks and gardens

  • Baiyun Mountain, literally "White Cloud Mountain"
  • Yuexiu Park (越秀公园)
  • People's Park
  • Luhu Park (麓湖公园)
  • Dongshanhu Park (东山湖公园)
  • Liuhuahu Park (流花湖公园)
  • Liwanhu Park (荔湾湖公园)
  • Yuntai Garden (云台花园)
  • Martyrs' Park (广州起义烈士陵园)
  • The Pearl River Park (珠江公园)
  • South China Botanical Garden

Tourist attractions

Front entrance to the Baiyun Mountain or Mount Baiyun

Guangzhou has a humid, hot sub-tropical climate. The annual average temperature is 21.8 °C (71 °F). Autumn, from October to December, is very moderate, cool and windy, and is the best travel time.[68] There are many tourist attractions around the city which include:

Western style architecture on Shameen Island 
Oi Kwan Hotel, tallest building in Guangzhou from 1937 to 1967 
Canton Provincial Capitol, now served as Guangdong Museum of Revolutionary History 
Canton Cement Factory, built in 1907, was housed by Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen from 1923 to 1925. 
Canton Custom House, built in 1916, was one of the oldest custom house in China. 
Towers in Guangzhou's CBD (left-center) with IFC/West Tower (right) and Guangzhou Opera House (front) under construction 
Pearl River at night 
Canton Tower,[69] June 2009 


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 (Putonghua). However, in recent years there has been an increase of Mandarin programmes in 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. On the other hand, the Beijing-based China National Radio broadcasts Mandarin programmes in the city. Radio Guangdong also produces a 30-minute weekly English programme, Guangdong Today, which is broadcast globally through the WRN Broadcast. 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 Yangcheng Evening News Group dominate the newspaper market of the province. 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, most notably that's PRD (formerly that's Guangzhou) which was started more than a decade ago and has since blossomed into one of China's leading expat magazines with issues in Beijing, Shanghai and formerly Suzhou, but also including the more recent 'In The Red' magazine, which has been in circulation for a couple of years as of 2013.


Higher educational institutes

Sun Yat-sen College of Medical Science, Sun Yat-sen University
The main gate of Sun Yat-sen University

Universities and colleges

Note: Institutes without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre, also known as Guangzhou University Town, is a large tertiary education complex located in the southeast suburbs of Guangzhou. This huge higher education centre occupies the entire 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.[70]

Higher education institutions with campuses in the Mega Centre:

  • 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


In 2010, Guangzhou hosted the 16th Asian Games from November 12 to 27 and the first Asian Para Games from December 12 to 19, which were the largest sporting events the city ever hosted.

Guangzhou also hosted the following major sporting events:

Current professional sports clubs based in Guangzhou include:

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

Guangzhou Evergrande F.C.

Guangzhou Evergrande F.C. has risen in recent years to be a powerhouse in association football in the People's Republic of China, having won five consecutive national titles in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. 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.[71]

Household registration policy

China's system of household registration, also known as a "hukou," restricts the ability of Chinese citizens to freely choose their place of residence and determines eligibility for education and other public benefits. In May 2014, the municipal agencies in Guangzhou responsible for population control, human resources, social security, and civil affairs issued a notice to local state-run employment agencies and family planning centers. The notice stated that those legally employed in Guangzhou should be issued an individual "hukou card" that allows them to marry and obtain permission to have children instead of requiring them to return to their official place of residence. These rules apply to workers in all occupations. Reports in the Chinese media said about 100,000 were affected by these changes.[72]

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Guangzhou currently maintains sister city agreements with 23 international cities.[73][74]

See also


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Further reading

  • Foster, Simon; Lin-Liu, Jen; Pham, Sherisse; Beth Reiber; Sharon Owyang; Lee Wing-sze; Christopher D. Winnan (February 12, 2010). Frommer's China. United States: 2000–2010 by Frommer's/Wiley Publishing, Inc. pp. 542–. ISBN 978-0-470-52658-3. Retrieved March 21, 2010. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Johnson, Graham E. (1999). Historical Dictionary of Guangzhou (Canton) and Guangdong. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-3516-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lee, Edward Bing-Shuey (1936). Modern Canton. Shanghai: The Mercury Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Ng, Yong Sang (1936). Canton, City of the Rams: A General Description and a Brief Historical Survey. Canton: M.S. Cheung. ASIN B0008D1HHO.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Ring, Trudy; Salkin, Robert M.; La Boda, Sharon, eds. (1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania. Volume 5 of International Dictionary of Historic Places (illustrated, annotated ed.). Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1884964044. Retrieved April 24, 2014.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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 April 5, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Vogel, Ezra F. (1969). Canton Under Communism: Programs and Politics in a Provincial Capital, 1949–1968. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-09475-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mrs. John Henry Gray (1880). Fourteen months in Canton. London : Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street and Charing Cross: Macmillan and co. p. 444. Retrieved March 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>London : Macmillan and Co., 1880. [The Right of Translation is reserved.] Original from Harvard University Digitized October 14, 2008
  • John Henry Gray (1875). Walks in the city of Canton. De Souza & Co. p. 695. Retrieved March 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Victoria, Hong Kong : De Souza & Co. 1875. Original from the New York Public Library Digitized April 2, 2008

External links

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
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