Formerly known as "Canton", Guangzhou is one of the largest cities in southern China. A fairly late arrival in the Chinese world (it has only been part of China for about 2000 years), Cantonese food and language are the most common types of both Chinese things outside of China. I visited in 1992 on my first ever trip to China -- and the place struck me as much poorer than either Taiwan or Hongkong. When I returned in 1996, I was surprised by how much the city had changed. Most of the old neighborhoods I walked through had been plowed under for a new subway and the city had a modern skyline. It is now one of the richest places in China where the focus is on food and money!
-- Eric Trachtenberg
Guangzhou -- the Gateway to Southern China:
Skyline of Guangzhou, 1996. In 1992 almost none of the skyscrapers were there.
Statue of Sun Yat Sun (孫逸仙) in front of his Memorial Hall in Guangzhou. He is the favorite son of Guangzhou and founder of modern China. He is revered both in Taiwan and Mainland China.
The Pearl River taken at night, 1992. It runs right through the heart of the city past the old colonial concession on Shamian Island 沙面島which is a well-preserved area of late 19th century non-Chinese architecture in China. These special districts were governed as if they were not part of China -- something the Chinese loathed In Shanghai, Chinese were not even allowed in these "concessions".
Gate to the US Consulate on Shamian Island.
Pictures: Eric Trachtenberg