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Home> Destinations> Asia> Guangzhou> Overview

Guangzhou Profile

Updated: 2014-08-19 / (wtcf.travel)





City Introduction

Guangzhou, Hui for short, also called Ram City or Flower City, is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is located in the central south of Guangdong Province, where the Dongjiang River, the Xijiang River and the Beijiang River join here. It is located on the north edge of Pearl River Delta, facing to the South China Sea It is an international city positioned by the State Council and one of the three national comprehensive gateway cities. Guangzhou, together with Beijing and Shanghai, is commonly known as “Bei Shang Guang”. Guangzhou is a famous historic and cultural city in China. Since the Qin Dynasty, Guangzhou has always been the administration centers of provinces under different dynasties. Over two thousand years, it has always been the political, military, economic, cultural and technological and educational center in South China. Guangzhou is also one of cradles and prosperous places of the Cantonese culture, a branch of culture of Lingnan.

Thanks to its good geographical location, Guangzhou boasts developed foreign trade. From Qin and Han Dynasties to Ming and Qing Dynasties, Guangzhou had always been an important port city for China’s foreign trade. As early as the Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty, China’s fleets had set out from Guangzhou to the countries of Southeast Asia and South Asia for commercial intercourse. Particularly by the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Guangzhou became a special open port, and for a long time, it was the only one port city for foreign trade in China.

“China Import and Export Commodities Fair” (i.e., Canton Fair) specially held in Spring and Autumn in Guangzhou has made Guangzhou establish economy and trade relation with over 200 countries and regions, and also attracts lots of travelling merchants and investors.





History and Culture

Guangzhou is a famous historic and cultural city. As early as the Zhou Dynasty in the ninth century B.C., the “Baiyue nationality” here had already communicated with the people of Chu State in the middle reaches of Changjiang River, and “Chu Ting” is the earliest name of Guangzhou. Guangzhou had been a prosperous capital in the Qin and Han Dynasties, and had become a port of departure of the Marine Silk Road since the Han and Tang Dynasties. It is also the earliest trading port in China. Guangzhou was also a birthplace of Chinese revolution in modern and contemporary times. The famous Anti-British Struggle of Sanyuanli People, Huanghuagang Uprising, and Guangzhou Uprising all occurred in Guangzhou. Sun Yat-sen set up the Huangpu Military Academy in Guangzhou and once established regime for three times in Guangzhou. The National Institute of Peasant Movement created by Mao Zedong here trained lots of revolution cadres. Zhang Tailei, Ye Ting, Ye Jianying and others led the spectacular Guangzhou Uprising here, and found Guangzhou Soviet Regime “Guangzhou Commune”. Lu Xun, Guo Moruo, Yu Dafu, et al. also came to Guangzhou to spread advanced culture.


Guangzhou has been a starting point of Marine Silk Road since the ancient time, which make it very active in foreign communication. Various cultural communications make Guangzhou gradually become an international tourist city.

Food culture

Cantonese cuisine, absorbing the advantages of Central Plain food and western-style food as well as the local cuisine advantages, forms a unique Lingnan diet culture that is different from other places, just like Guangzhou’s culture, integrating the ancient with the modern and the Chinese with the western.

City Positioning

Guangzhou boasts developed foreign trade and has always been an important port city for China’s foreign trade. Thanks to its good geographical location, the “China Import and Export Commodities Fair” (i.e., Canton Fair) specially held in Spring and Autumn in Guangzhou, has made Guangzhou establish economy and trade relation with over 200 countries and regions, and also attract lots of travelling merchants and investors.





Natural Environment

Guangzhou is located in a hilly land. Its elevation generally increases from southwest to northeast, with mountains forming the backbone, and the ocean comprising the front. Forests cluster in the northern hilly and mountain areas. Tiantang Peak (meaning Peak of Paradise in Chinese), located at the junction between Conghua City and Longmei County, which stands 1,210 m (3,970 ft) above sea level, is the highest mountain in Guangzhou; its northeast part is low mountains, on which, there is the Baiyun Mountain, which is locally referred to as "the lung of the city”; the middle part is hills and basins, and its southern part is inshore alluvial plain, a part of the Pearl River Delta.






Located in the sub-tropical coastal areas, with the Tropic of Cancer crossing its south central, Guangzhou has an oceanic subtropical monsoon climate, which is characterized by warm and rainy weather, abundant sunlight, long summer, and short frost season. The annual average temperature is 20-22 °C, which makes it one of the cities with the minimal average annual temperature difference in China. The hottest month in a year is July, with the average monthly temperature of up to 28.7℃. The coldest month is January, with the average monthly temperature of 9-16℃. The average relative humidity is 77%, and the urban annual precipitation is about 1,720mm. In the whole year, the months from April to June belong to rainy season, the months from July to September are hot with many typhoons, October, November, and March are moderate in temperature, and the months from December to February of the next year belong to cold winter. Guangzhou's rain and hot season are at the same time. It rains a lot, which is good for plants to grow and thus, it is evergreen in four seasons and a "Flower City” with colorful flowers.





Useful Information

Optimum time, custom/ etiquette/ taboos

Guangzhou’s polite language has very unique local characteristics, which often make strangers puzzle when they come here. “Wu Gai” may be most frequently used in Canton dialect, means “Thank you”, and sometimes also means “Excuse me”, or “Please”. In Guangzhou, you should firstly say “We Gai” before you ask somebody for help or make way for you. “Da Rao Shai” is an expression when you visit somebody and ask him or her to help you or do something for you. It has two meanings, i.e., thanks and apology. “Qing Bi Xia Mian” means “please, for God’s sake”. “Ni Bi Mian” means “for God’s sake”.

Sanitation: Guangzhou is hot and moist. So it is easy to suffer from excessive internal heat. You can drink some local “herbal tea”. Safety: Guangzhou’s public security is generally sound but tourists should also be careful when going out. Particular in the densely populated place, you should take care of your possessions. Avoid choosing remote route when you go out.

Safety matters

Danger coefficient is not high in travelling in Guangzhou, but beware of pickpockets at the Guangzhou Railway Station and take care of you possessions. In addition, do not stay or wander alone in remote places at night, and you’d better go to a bar with a companion.





Visa Information

Foreigners have to apply for a Chinese visa before their visit to China.

Unless the exemption of visa provided in related treaties or provisions thereof, foreigners need to obtain a Chinese visa before entering China.

Prior to their visit to China, foreigners should check whether the visa is valid. If the visa expires or there is the insufficient number of entry, they should re-apply for a new visa.

(I) Validation of Visa (EnterBefore): It means the period of validity of the visa itself, from the date of issuance of the visa to the date of its holder allowed to enter China (subject to Beijing time). If the number of entry is still not used before the expiry date (including the day), the holder may enter the country. (II) "Entries": It means how many times the visa holder may be allowed to enter the Chinese borders during the valid period.

If entries run out or entries don’t run out but go beyond the valid period, then the visa still becomes invalid. Prior to their visit to China, they shall re-apply for a new visa. If the holder enters China with an invalid visa, he or she will be refused to enter the country. (III) Duration of Each Stay: It means the maximum number of days for which the holder is allowed to stay in China during each entry, which is the longest duration calculated from the date of entry, to allow the holder to stay in China.

Foreigners staying in China if exceeds the permitted period of stay without handling the visa extension formalities, will be fined or punished in a violation of "The Exit and Entry Administration Law for Foreigners of People's Republic of China" and "Implementing Rules on the Exit and Entry Administration Law for Foreigners of People's Republic of China" and other relevant laws and regulations. Therefore, in case the holder stays in China beyond the permitted period of stay in the visa, he or she must apply for an extension by going to a local public security organ at county level or above prior to the expiry date of the visa (for the specific requirements, please refer to the local public security organ website) (but is not necessarily approved). Chinese embassies and consulates abroad are responsible to handle no visa extension.





Currency Exchange

Use the currency of Renmingbi. In case of currency exchange, please check real-time daily RMB foreign exchange rates.











Tourism Service Number

Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province: 020 - 81078200 Tourist information center: 020 - 86666666 Emergency rescue telephone: 020-86666330

Airport consulting telephone: 020-36066999






Guidances for dressing

Spring (March - mid-May): temperature and humidity rise, and a thin coat or sweater is recommended.

Summer (May to mid-September): rainy, a rain gear is recommended, more typhoons in August and September.

Autumn (late September - mid-December): a sweater or a light coat is recommended.

Winter (mid-December to late February): cool, sometimes an overcoat is needed.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Date of Spring Festival Flower Fair: At the beginning of the lunar calendar every year

Spring Festival Flower Fair originates from the flower fair and the night flower fair of the ancient Guangzhou, also called Lunar New Year Flower Market. During the festival, the rows of flowers, fresh fruits and bamboo scaffold used for Lunar New Year will be set up in flower fair site for selling, which is commonly known as “Flower Street”. On the eve of Spring Festival, various parks will hold Spring Festival flower exhibitions; the theme streets of each districts are also decorated with decorated archways. Flower growers from everywhere flood in to sell various flowers and leave until wee hours of the first day of lunar year. This is Guangzhou’s unique Lunar New Year Flower Market.

Date of Boluodan Temple Fair: February 11-13 of the lunar calendar

Boluodan Temple Fair, i.e., the birthday of South Sea God, is one of the largest folk traditional temple fairs. It has a history of 1,000 years. During the temple fair, the areas miles away around the South Sea God Temple (Boluo Temple), both on land and water, are bustling, presenting a scene of festival. During that time, all streets are packed with people, the temple is full of boisterous crowd, with smoke swirling and fireworks roaring, which is even more alive than Spring Festivals. Therefore, local folklore has it that “the first pleasure is to travel to Boluo and the second is to take a wife”.

Date of Lotus Festival: August of each year

August is a time for Guangzhou’s lotus to bloom and thus many tourists will come to Panyu District to appreciate lotus. At the same time, they can taste Lotus food, and enjoy recreational activities.

Location: Panyu District, Guangzhou

Date of Guangzhou International Food Festival: September and October of each year

Guangzhou cuisine is famous both at home and abroad, and Guangzhou tourist departments always holds the Guangzhou International Food Festival before or after the Autumn Canton fair. At that time, Guangzhou’s hotels and restaurants will select their own famous dishes for the selection; during the festival, over one hundred of famous dishes, desserts, snacks or creative dishes will be selected. This food festival has integrated with recreation, commerce and trade, and tourism.

Location: Guangzhou International Catering Exhibition Center (Mingsheng Plaza, Beijing Road)


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