A buzzing metropolis that’s home to ancient temples and shimmering skyscrapers, Guangzhou is where old and new China collide. Capital of the Guangdong province, Guangzhou is a cultural and culinary crossroads, making it ripe for exploration. If you’re visiting this dazzling Chinese city, polish up your knowledge with these 10 things you need to know about Guangzhou.
1) It’s China’s third largest city
Behind Beijing and Shanghai, Guangzhou is China’s third largest city with a population of 14.5 million. It’s also one of China’s nine National Central Cities.
2) It was China’s capital…three times!
Guangzhou has been China’s capital, not once, not twice, but thrice. Formerly Canton, the city sporadically held the title of the Republic of China’s Capital between 1925-1927, again in 1931 and for a few months in 1949 during the closing months of the Chinese Civil War.
3) It has its own sky-piercing tower
Shanghai has The Pearl. Guangzhou has Canton Tower. Once the world’s tallest, Canton Tower stands at a dizzying 600m tall. Climb up to its observation deck for a bird’s-eye city view. Witness it at night in all its technicolour glory as it illuminates in a twist of rainbow colours.
4) It’s known as the City of Flowers
Thanks to a subtropical climate, Guangzhou is blessed with beautiful perennial blooms all year round. So many in fact, Guangzhou earned the nickname City of Flowers. Its gorgeous botanics are celebrated annually with the Spring Festival Flower Fair, when streets and alleyways are awash with colour.
5) It’s the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine
Chinese cuisine has many regional styles but perhaps the most internationally renowned and loved is Cantonese, which came about in Guangzhou. Being a trading port meant meats and ingredients were easily available. Think; beef and chicken stir fries, delectable dim sum and dishes seasoned with aromatic ginger, chilli and five spice.
6) It has more restaurants than any other Chinese city
Given its status as the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine, it’s no surprise Guangzhou has an abundance of restaurants to choose from. The Liwan and Tianhe Districts are great foodie areas to visit.
7) It’s home to one of the world’s oldest mosques
Huaisheng Mosque is China’s oldest and indeed one of the world’s earliest mosques. Originally built over 1,300 years ago, the pagoda-style building is characterised by its striking minaret tower.
8) It has a French-English quarter
The legacy of Guanghzou’s brief French and English occupation is the rather beautiful Shamian Island. This reclaimed sandbank is all elegant, tree-lined boulevards, European-style buildings and quaint boutiques.
9) It’s China’s most important port
Situated on the Pearl River, Guangzhou has a 2,200-year plus maritime heritage. As such, its vast port is China’s main transport and trading hub. It was even one of the main ports of call on the old Silk Road route.
10) It’s a shopper’s paradise
From luxury labels at TaiKoo Hui and CTF Finance Centre Mall to local souvenirs and handicrafts along Shangxiajiu Street, Guangzhou is a sensational shopping destination.
Discover Jumeirah Guangzhou set in in the heart of the city’s most executive and influential area.