The southern capital city of Guangzhou, China, located in the Guangdong Province, offers a rich economic, and political history dating back more than 2000 years. Guangzhou was one of the first Chinese ports to welcome European traders. This connection with a variety of cultures created a distinctive way of life in Guangzhou. As the third largest city in China, Guangzhou serves as a busy trade center. Revered for its cuisine and shopping as well as its sightseeing opportunities, Guangzhou provides visitors with a unique blend of old-world culture, futuristic architecture, and scenic views.


1. The City Formerly Known as Canton

Many Westerners are likely familiar with Guangzhou by its Westernized name, Canton. Historians believe that the translation originated from a Portuguese transliteration for the region of Guangdong where the city of Guangzhou is located. “Canton” was much easier for Europeans to pronounce. As Portugal established its trading monopoly in the province, Western maps, schedules, and books identified the area as Canton. In 1918, Chinese officials formally adopted the name “Guangzhou” for the city. Guangzhou possesses ten districts. Local historians consider Yuexiu and Liwan to be the cradle of the Cantonese culture.

guangzhou china city ansonmiao / Getty Images

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