Guangzhou Holidays, Hotels & Travel Guide
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Guangzhou Holidays Overview
The animated city of Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province is located in southern China.
This city which is home to more than 11 million people is located in the middle of Guangdong Province which is situated to the north of the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou is also linked to the South China Sea via the Zhujiang River which is popularly known as 'The Pearl River'. For this reason Guangzhou which lies adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau is also known as 'the South Gate of China'.
Guangzhou which is renowned for its annual trade fair has benefited greatly from the economic reforms that have been instituted in China since the early 1980’s. Guangzhou which was also known as Canton in the West is today a city of towering skyscrapers, wide express ways shopping malls and construction sites and the city is constantly being developed. Tourists don't often include Guangzhou in their itineraries unless they want to visit the Trade fair but this city which was the capital city for three Chinese dynasties: the Nan Yue (South Yue), the Nan Han (South Han) and the Nanming (South Ming) has much to offer in the form of various historic and cultural sites.
The history of Guangzhou can actually be traced back to nearly 2500 years and according to ancient legends the origin of the city can be traced to five celestial beings who rode into the area which is now Guangzhou on five rams carrying sheaves of rice. These celestial beings then bestowed blessings on the land as they offered the rice to the locals as a symbol of prosperity and abundance. After the celestial being departed from the city the rams were turned into stone and the city developed into an affluent and influential city. This legend has bestowed several nick names on Guangzhou mainly Yangcheng (City of Rams), Suicheng (Sheaves of Rice City) and Wuyangcheng (City of Five Rams).
Official records however state the city was established around 214BC when it was known as Panyu though the city soon came to be called Guangzhou after the prefecture that surrounded it .
The sea port of Guangzhou functioned as a trading post for the British East India Company in 1711. When the treaty of Nanjing was signed in 1842 the city was included in the list of five ports that were allowed to trade with foreigners. It is for this reason that Guangzhou has historically had an ‘openness’ around it which has made the city especially welcoming of foreigners.
Today, Guangzhou is widely regarded to be one of China's most prosperous, liberal, and cosmopolitan cities
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holidays - Top Events
Guangzhou celebrates all the various Chinese festivals like Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival.
However the city also celebrates several festivals which are uniquely its own like the Qintong Boat Festival which is held for two day in the month of April. During this festival the residents of Qintong organize boat races on the river and also host traditional dragon and lion dances as well as folk dances and performances.
The Qingming festival is another festival which is held in Guangzhou in April. This festival is also known as Chingming or the Tomb Sweeping Festival. During this festival departed family members are respected as graves are cleaned and offerings of flowers, wine and food are made.
During the month of May, Guangzhou hosts the Dragon Boat festival during which the residents of Guangzhou organize dragon boat races on the Pearl River wherein elaborately painted dragon boats are raced on the river. These dragon boats also carry drummers on them who rhythmically beat their drummers in an effort to motivate and spur the rowers.
However the city’s main event is its Trade Fair which is held in April and October annually. During the time of the trade fair hotel rates in Guangzhou reach astronomical levels as the city tries to cope with the influx of visitors who arrive in Guangzhou for this fair which showcases nearly 100,000 products which can be produced for export in China’s many factories. The Guangzhou Fair which is also known as the Canton Fair originated in the 1950’s and though the fair has undergone various changes through the ages though to continues to be Guangzhou’s main annual attraction.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like China Eastern, Air China, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Vietnam airlines connect the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne to Guangzhou. The flight time of these journeys ranges from 14 to20 hrs depending on the route that you choose and the stops that you have to make.
Australia has a diplomatic mission in Guangzhou in the form of the Australian Consulate General- Guangzhou