Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is the first Chinese city to come into contact with European maritime power in 1514.
Guangzhou is China’s principal international port, and today it is the country’s centre for business and commerce. It is no wonder then that this coastal city continues to attract investors, traders and businessmen from all over the world keen to do business with China.
Historically, Guangzhou has long been the hub of China’s economic reforms, beginning with its first contact with Portuguese traders in 1514 followed closely by the British, which later led to the Opium War that opened China to foreign trade.
Strategically located along the Pearl River which flows through the heart of the city, Guangzhou is one of China’s richest and most forward-looking cities, with a tradition of emigration for trade and settlement. Located in the southeastern province of Guangdong, Guangzhou is the capital of this wealthy coastal province, with a rich linguistical heritage and cuisine distinct from other parts of China.
The city’s top attractions include the colonial Shamian Island, with its century-old mansions, French and British enclaves and the beautiful Sacred Heart Church. Elsewhere, go on a day trip out to White Cloud Hills just 30 minutes north of the city for some fresh air, peace and quiet.
Guangzhou is also home to some of the finest Chinese cuisine, namely dim sum. Dim sum, which literally means “little hearts” or light snacks, can be eaten for very cheap at the hundreds of street stalls and restaurants in Guangzhou – definitely not to be missed.