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City of Guangzhou
Tianhe, Guangzhou
Nickname(s): The Flower City, Five Rams City
Location within China
Coordinates: 23°06′32″N 113°15′53″E
Country  People's Republic of China
Province Guangdong
Officiated 1918
 • Mayor Zhang Guangning
 • City 7,434.4 km2 (2,870.4 sq mi)
 • Urban 3,843.4 km2 (1,483.9 sq mi)
Elevation 11 m (37 ft)
Population (2006)
 • City 7,607,200
 • Density 1,023/km2 (2,650/sq mi)
 •  Urban 6,253,300
 •  Metro 9,754,600
 • Metro density 1,627/km2 (4,210/sq mi)
Time zone UTC ( UTC+8)
Simplified Chinese 广州
Traditional Chinese 廣州
Cantonese Jyutping Gwong² zau1
Hanyu Pinyin Guǎngzhōu
Postal Map Canton

Guangzhou ( simplified Chinese: 广; traditional Chinese: 廣州; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu; jyutping : Gwong²zau¹; Yale: Gwóngjàu) is the capital and a sub-provincial city of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the People's Republic of China. The city is also known by an older English name, Canton. It is a port on the Pearl River, navigable to the South China Sea, and is located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Hong Kong. As of the 2000 census, the city has a population of 6 million, and a metropolitan population of roughly 8.5 million (though some estimates are as high as 12.6 million) making it the most populous city in the province and the third most populous metropolitan area in mainland China. The official estimate of the metro's population at end 2006 by the Provincial Government was 9,754,600.


Guangzhou is located at 112°57'E to 114°3'E and 22°26'N to 23°56'N. The city is part of the Pearl River Delta.

Guangzhou has a humid subtropical climate influenced by the Asian monsoon. Summers are wet with high temperatures and a high humidity index. Winters are mild, dry and sunny.


Population (2006): Metro - 9,754,600, Urban - 6,253,300, and City - 7,607,200

Districts/Cities Population
Yuexiu 1,151,481
Liwan 705,262
Haizhu 890,512
Tianhe 645,453
Baiyun 767,688
Huangpu 193,641
Huadu 636,706
Panyu 947,607
Nansha 147,579
Luogang 167,360
Zengcheng City 810,554
Conghua City 543,377

Administrative divisions

Guangzhou is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over ten districts and two county-level cities.


Conghua City
Zengcheng City
Name Chinese characters (Hanzi) Hanyu Pinyin
Yuexiu 越秀区 / 越秀區 Yuèxiù Qū
Liwan 荔湾区 / 荔灣區 Lìwān Qū
Haizhu 海珠区 / 海珠區 Hǎizhū Qū
Tianhe 天河区 / 天河區 Tiānhé Qū
Baiyun 白云区 / 白雲區 Báiyún Qū
Huangpu 黄埔区 / 黃埔區 Huángpǔ Qū
Huadu 花都区 / 花都區 Huādu Qū
Panyu 番禺区 / 番禺區 Pānyú Qū
Nansha 南沙区 / 南沙區 Nánshā Qū
Luogang 萝岗区 / 蘿崗區 Luógǎng Qū
County-level cities
Zengcheng City 增城市 / 增城市 Zēngchéng Shì
Conghua City 从化市 / 從化市 Cónghuà Shì

As of April 28, 2005, the districts of Dongshan and Fangcun have been abolished and merged into Yuexiu and Liwan respectively; at the same time the district of Nansha is established out of parts of Panyu, and the district of Luogang is established out of parts of Baiyun, Tianhe, and Zengcheng also a part of Huangpu making an exclave next to Huangpu.

Road names

  • (Chinese: 中山一路; pinyin: ZhōngShānYīLù)
  • (Chinese: 中山二路; pinyin: ZhōngShānErLù)
  • (Chinese: 中山三路; pinyin: ZhōngShānSānLù)
  • (Chinese: 中山四路; pinyin: ZhōngShānSìLù)
  • (Chinese: 中山五路; pinyin: ZhōngShānWǔLù)
  • (Chinese: 中山六路; pinyin: ZhōngShānLìuLù)
  • (Chinese: 中山七路; pinyin: ZhōngShānQīLù)
  • (Chinese: 中山八路; pinyin: ZhōngShānBāLù)
  • (Chinese: 一德路; pinyin: YīDéLù)
  • ( simplified Chinese: 二沙岛; traditional Chinese: 二沙島; pinyin: èrShāDǎo)
  • (Chinese: 三元里; pinyin: SānYuánLǐ)
  • ( simplified Chinese: 四牌楼; traditional Chinese: 四牌樓; pinyin: SìPáiLóu)
  • ( simplified Chinese: 五凤村; traditional Chinese: 五鳳村; pinyin: WŭFèngCūn)
  • ( simplified Chinese: 六甫水脚; traditional Chinese: 六圃水腳; pinyin: LìuPǔShǔiJiǎo)
  • (Chinese: 七株榕; pinyin: QīZhūRóng)
  • ( simplified Chinese: 八旗二马路; traditional Chinese: 八旗二馬路; pinyin: BāQíÈrMǎLù)
  • (Chinese: 九如通津; pinyin: JǐuRúTōngJīn)
  • (Chinese: 十三行; pinyin: ShíSānHáng)


The first known city built at the site of Guangzhou was Panyu (蕃禺, later simplified to 番禺; Poon Yu in Cantonese) founded in 214 BC. The city has been continuously occupied since that time. Panyu was expanded when it became the capital of the Nanyue Kingdom (南越) in 206 BC.

Recent archaeological founding of her palace suggests that the city might have traded frequently with by foreigners by the sea routes. The foreign trade continued through every following dynasty and the city remains a major international trading port to this day.

The Han Dynasty annexed Nanyue in 111 BC, and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so until this day. In 226 AD, the city however became the seat of the Guang Prefecture (廣州; Guangzhou). Therefore, "Guangzhou" was the name of the prefecture, not of the city. However, people grew accustomed to calling the city Guangzhou, instead of Panyu.

Although the Chinese name of Guangzhou replaced Panyu as the name of the walled city, Panyu was still the name of the area surrounding the walled city until the end of Qing era.

Arab and Persian pirates sacked Guangzhou (known to them as Sin-Kalan) in AD 758, ² according to a local Guangzhou government report on October 30 758, which corresponded to the day of Guisi (癸巳) of the ninth lunar month in the first year of the Qianyuan era of Emperor Suzong of the Tang Dynasty.

During the Northern Song Dynasty, a celebrated poet called 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 6 Banyan Trees.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive to the city by sea, establishing a monopoly on the external trade out of its harbour by 1511. They were later expelled from their settlements in Guangzhou (in Portuguese Cantão), but instead granted use of Macau as a trade base with the city in 1557. They would keep a near monopoly of foreign trade in the region until the arrival of the Dutch in the early seventeenth century.

After China claimed control of Taiwan in 1683, the Qing government became open to encouraging foreign trade. Guangzhou quickly emerged as one of the most adaptable ports for negotiating commerce and before long, many foreign ships were going there to procure cargos. Portuguese in Macau, Spanish in Manila, and Armenians and Muslims from India were already actively trading in the port by the 1690s, when the French and English British East India Company's ships 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, which was a distinction it maintained until the outbreak of the Opium Wars in 1839 and the opening of other ports in China in 1842. The privilege during this period made Guangzhou one of the top 3 cities in the world.

Guangzhou's monopoly on English trade ended with the Treaty of Nanking, signed in 1842 to end the First Opium War between Britain and China. The treaty opened four new treaty ports, allowing British merchants to trade in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, and Shanghai in addition to Guangzhou.

1888 German map of Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangzhou

In 1918, the city's urban council was established and "Guangzhou" became the official name of the city. Panyu became a county's name to the southern side of Guangzhou. In both 1930 and 1953, Guangzhou was promoted to the status of a Municipality, but each time promotion was cancelled within the year.

Japanese troops occupied Guangzhou from October 12, 1938 to September 16, 1945, after violent bombings. In the city, the Imperial Japanese Army conducted bacteriological research unit 8604, a section of unit 731, where Japanese doctors experimented on human prisoners.

Communist forces entered the city on October 14, 1949. Their urban renewal projects improved the lives of some residents. 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 labor costs increased in Hong Kong, manufacturers opened new plants in the cities of 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 of the 1990s have aided 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.


Guangzhou is the economic centre of the Pearl River Delta and is the heart of one of mainland China's leading commercial and manufacturing regions. In 2007, the GDP reached ¥705 billion (US $92 billion), per capita was ¥71,219 (US $9,302), ranking 6th among the other 659 Chinese cities.

The Chinese Export Commodities Fair, also called "Canton Fair", is held each spring and autumn by Bo Liu. Inaugurated in the spring of 1957, the Fair is a major event for the city.


One of the new buses
The Guangzhou Metro station at Sun Yat-Sen University is among several stations that serve the city.

With the Guangzhou Metro, opened in 1999, Guangzhou is the fourth city in China to build an underground railway system. Currently there are four lines in operation with an ambitious plan to expand rapidly with three lines under construction and four lines that are being planned.

  • The First Line of Guangzhou Metro: From Guangzhou East Railway Station to Xilang Station
  • The Second Line of Guangzhou Metro: From Sanyuanli Station to Wanshengwei Station
  • The Third Line of Guangzhou Metro: From Guangzhou East Railway Station or Tianhe Coach Terminal to Panyu Square Station
  • The Fourth Line of Guangzhou Metro: From Wanshengwei Station to Huangge Station

Guangzhou's main airport is the New Baiyun International Airport in Huadu District, that opened on 5 August 2004 replacing the old Baiyun International Airport close to the city centre.

Guangzhou is connected to Hong Kong by train, bus and ferry services. Express trains depart to Hong Kong from the Guangzhou East railway station (Chinese: 廣州東站; pinyin: Gǔangzhōu Dōngzhàn) and arrive in Hong Kong at the Hung Hom KCR station. They cover the 182 km route in approximately two hours.

Daily ferry sailings include an overnight steamer, which takes eight hours, and high-speed catamarans and hydrofoils which take three hours to reach the China Ferry Terminal or Macau Ferry Pier in Hong Kong. The new Nansha Pier (新南沙客運港), located some distance from the city centre, is now open with 6 lines daily traveling between Hong Kong and Guangzhou and taking 75 minutes.

Since 1 January 2007, the city government has banned motorcycles from the urban area. Motorcycles found violating the ban will be confiscated. The Guangzhou traffic bureau has reported reduced traffic problems and accidents in the downtown area since the ban.

According to the newspaper China Daily of 6 July 2007, all buses and taxis in Guangzhou will be LPG-fueled by 2010 to promote clean energy for transportation and improve the environment .

The hub for water transportation along the Pearl River lies in the southern terminus of the Guangzhou-Wuhan RR. Highways completed in the 1990s connect it with other cities on the coast.

Tourist attractions

  • Chen Family Confucian Academy ( simplified Chinese: 陈氏书院; traditional Chinese: 陳氏書院; pinyin: ChénShìShūYùan)
  • Guangdong Museum of Folk Handcraft
  • Shamian Island ( simplified Chinese: 沙面岛; traditional Chinese: 沙面島; pinyin: Shāmàndăo; literally, "Sand Face Island")
  • Guangdong Provincial Museum ( simplified Chinese: 广东省博物馆; traditional Chinese: 廣東省博物館; pinyin: Guǎngdōngshěng Bówògǔan)
  • Museum of the Tomb of the King of Southern Yue in Western Han Dynasty
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
  • Temple of the Six Banyan Trees (Chinese: 六榕寺; pinyin: liùróngsì)
  • Shishi Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Huaisheng Mosque ( simplified Chinese: 怀圣寺; traditional Chinese: 懷聖寺; pinyin: huáishèngsì)
  • Bright Filial Piety Temple (Chinese: 光孝寺; pinyin: GuāngXiàosì)
  • Chime-Long Paradise ( simplified Chinese: 长隆欢乐世界; traditional Chinese: 長隆歡樂世界; pinyin: chánglónghuānlèshìjiè)
  • Chime-Long WaterPark ( simplified Chinese: 长隆水上乐园; traditional Chinese: 長隆水上樂園; pinyin: chánglóngShǔiShànglèYúan)
  • Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King南越王墓(Chinese: 南越王墓; pinyin: nányuėwángmù)
  • Guangzhou Peasant Movement Institute广州市农民运动讲习所( simplified Chinese: 广州市农民运动讲习所; traditional Chinese: 廣州農民運動講習所; pinyin: GuǎngZhōuNóngMíngJiǎngXíSuǒ)
Shishi Sacred Heart Cathedral

Local products

  • Canton Sculpture includes Canton Ivory Carvings, Jade Sculpture, Wood Sculpture and Olive Sculpture.
  • Canton Enamel is short for Guangzhou Colorful Pottery. It has a history of over 300 years.
  • Canton Embroidery, namely Yue Embroidery, is one of the Four Famous Chinese Embroideries together with Su Embroidery, Xiang Embroidery and Shu Embroidery.
  • Canton Bacon is the general designation of cured meat in the Guangzhou Area.


  • Baiyun Mountain ( simplified Chinese: 白云山; traditional Chinese: 白雲山; pinyin: Báiyúnshān; literally "White Cloud Mountain")
  • Lie Shi Ling Yuan ( simplified Chinese: 广州起义烈士陵园; traditional Chinese: 烈士陵園; pinyin: lièshìlíngyuán
  • Yue Xiu Park ( simplified Chinese: 越秀公园; traditional Chinese: 越秀公園; pinyin: yuèxiùgōngyuán

Significant buildings

  • Guangdong Olympic Stadium ( simplified Chinese: 广东奥林匹克体育场; traditional Chinese: 廣東奧林匹克體育場; pinyin: guǎngdōngàolínpǐkètǐyùchǎng
  • CITIC Plaza ( simplified Chinese: 中信广场; traditional Chinese: 中信廣場; pinyin: zhōngxìnguǎngchǎng
  • Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower ( simplified Chinese: 广州电视观光塔; traditional Chinese: 廣州電視觀光塔; pinyin: guǎngzhōudiànshìguānguāngtǎ
  • Guangzhou TV Tower ( simplified Chinese: 广州电视塔; traditional Chinese: 廣州電視塔; pinyin: guǎngzhōudiànshìtǎ
  • Pearl River Tower (Chinese: 珠江城; pinyin: zhūjiāngchéng
  • Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery Group ( simplified Chinese: 广州珠江啤酒集团; traditional Chinese: 廣州珠江啤酒集團; pinyin: guǎngzhōuzhūjiāngpíjiǔjítuán

Plans are also underway to build what will become the world's tallest free-standing 610 m tall Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower for the 2010 Asian Games.


  • The Garden Hotel ( simplified Chinese: 花园酒店; traditional Chinese: 花園酒店; pinyin: huāyuánjiǔdiàn)
  • China Hotel ( simplified Chinese: 中国大酒店; traditional Chinese: 中國大酒店; pinyin: zhōngguódàjiǔdiàn)
  • White Swan Hotel ( simplified Chinese: 白天鵝宾馆; traditional Chinese: 白天鵝賓館; pinyin: báitiānébïnguǎn)
  • DongFang Hotel ( simplified Chinese: 东方宾馆; traditional Chinese: 東方賓館; pinyin: DōngFāangBīngGuǎn)
  • Holiday Inn City Centre Guangzhou ( simplified Chinese: 广州文化假日酒店; traditional Chinese: 廣州文化假日酒店; pinyin: GuǎngZhōuWénHuàJiàRìJǐuDiàn)
  • Grand International Hotel ( simplified Chinese: 广州嘉逸国际酒店; traditional Chinese: 廣州嘉逸國際酒店; pinyin: GuǎngZhōuJiāYìGuóJìJǐuDiàn)
  • Ramada Pearl Hotel Guangzhou ( simplified Chinese: 广州凯旋华美达大酒店; traditional Chinese: 廣州凱旋華美達大酒店; pinyin: GuǎngZhōuKǎiXuánHuáMěiDáDàJǐuDiàn)
  • Guangzhou Westin hotel ( simplified Chinese: 广州天誉威斯汀酒店; traditional Chinese: 廣州天誉威斯汀酒店; pinyin: Guǎngzhōutiānyùwēishìdīngjiǔdiàn)
  • Guangzhou Chimelong Hotel ( simplified Chinese: 广州长隆酒店; traditional Chinese: 廣州長隆酒店; pinyin: GuǎngZhōuChángLóngJǐuDiàn)


  • Cantonese (linguistics)
  • Cantonese cuisine
  • Cantonese opera
  • Guangdong music (genre)


Major educational institutions

International Schools

  • American International School of Guangzhou


  • Sun Yat-sen University (中山大学) (founded 1924)
  • South China University of Technology (华南理工大学)
  • South China Normal University (华南师范大学)
  • Jinan University (暨南大学) (founded 1906)


  • Guangdong University of Finance (Longdong)
  • Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (广东外语外贸大学)
  • South China Agricultural University (华南农业大学) (founded 1909)
  • Zhongkai Agrotechnical College (仲恺农业技术学院) (founded 1927)
  • Guangzhou Medical College (广州医学院)
  • Guangzhou University of TCM (广州中医药大学) (English-language site)
  • Guangdong College of Pharmacy (广东药学院)
  • Guangdong University of Technology (广东工业大学)
  • Guangzhou University (广州大学)
  • Guangdong Institute of Science and Technology (广东省科技干部学院)
  • Guangdong Business College (广东商学院)
  • Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (广州美术学院)
  • Xinghai Conservatory of Music (星海音乐学院)
  • GuangDong Polytechnic Normal University (广东技术师范学院)
  • Guangzhou Physical Education Institute (广州体育学院)

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega is home to 10 of the province's universities' campuses, many of whom also have campuses located elsewhere. They are listed as below:

  • Sun Yat-sen University (中山大学)
  • South China University of Technology(华南理工大学)
  • South China Normal University(华南师范大学)
  • Guangdong University of Technology(广东工业大学)
  • Guangdong University of Forign Studies(广东外语外贸大学)
  • Guangzhou University of TCM (广州中医药大学) (English-language site)
  • Guangdong College of Pharmacy (广东药学院)
  • Guangzhou University(广州大学)
  • Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (广州美术学院)
  • Xinghai Conservatory of Music(星海音乐学院)

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega can accommodate up to 200,000 students, 20,000 teachers and 50,000 staff. .

High School

  • Guangdong Experimental High School ( simplified Chinese: 广东实验中学; traditional Chinese: 廣東實驗中學; pinyin: GuăngDōngShíYànZhōngXúe)
  • The Affiliated High School of South China Normal University ( simplified Chinese: 华南师范大学附属中学; traditional Chinese: 華南師範大學附屬中學; pinyin: HuáNánShĩFànDàXúeFùShǔZhōngXúe)
  • Guangzhou No.47 High School ( simplified Chinese: 广州市第四十七中学; traditional Chinese: 廣州市第四十七中學; pinyin: GuăngZhōuDìSìShìQiZhōngXúe)
  • Guangzhou No.6 High School ( simplified Chinese: 广州市第六中学; traditional Chinese: 廣州市第六中學; pinyin: GuăngZhōuDìLìuZhōngXúe)
  • Guangdong Guangya Middle School ( simplified Chinese: 广东广雅中学; traditional Chinese: 廣東廣雅中學; pinyin: GuăngDōngGuăngYàZhōngXúe)
  • Guangzhou Zhi Xin Middle School ( simplified Chinese: 广州市执信中学; traditional Chinese: 廣州市執信中學; pinyin: GuăngZhōuZhíXìnZhōngXúe)
  • Guangzhou No.8 High School ( simplified Chinese: 广州市第八中学(培英中学); traditional Chinese: 廣州市第八中學; pinyin: GuăngZhōuDìBaZhōngXúe)
  • Guangzhou 109 Secondary School ( simplified Chinese: 广州市第一零九中学; traditional Chinese: 廣州市第一零九中學; pinyin: GuăngZhōuShìDìYīLíngJǐuZhōngXúe)

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

Sister locations

Pearl River at night
Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower, 2007

Canton is twinned with the following places:

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