Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is the capital of the Guangdong province. Guangzhou is also called Ram City and Rice-ear City. Legend has it that five celestial beings rode divine rams across the sea the reached the area of the present Guangzhou. They left rice ears of five colors and blessed the area not to have hunger forever.
As the starting point of the “Maritime Silk Road” in ancient times, Guangzhou was the only Chinese port for foreign trade during the Qing Dynasty. The integration of Western cultural elements with those of China gave Guangzhou a distinctive character. Shamian Island in Liwan District, a famous tourist destination, had already become an important foreign trade port in the Song Dynasty. There are more than 150 buildings of European style and many bars on the island today. Other places such as the Hualin Temple, a cathedral and the oldest mosque in China named Huaisheng fully display the generous and tolerant nature of Guangzhou.
Guangzhou gained its fame for well developed commerce. It also has its own rich historical legacies and beautiful natural resources. The more than 1,000 rare burial objects unearthed from the tomb of a king of Nanyue State testify to the glorious times of Guanghzou more than 2,100 years ago. The new “ Eight Sights of Ram City”are attractive to both Chinese and foreign tourists in their different ways. Baiyun Mountain, Yuxiu Mountain, Lianhua Mountain and the Pearl River in and around Guanghzou much enhance the charm of the city. People will marvel at the wisdom of their forefathers when they set their eyes on the Chen Family Ancestral Temple which is acclaimed as a treasure of folk arts and architecture of China. Guanghzou TV Tower, Flower City Square and new city axis emanate a sense of the modern time in this ancient city.
Guangzhou residents are fond of food and know how to eat. Guangzhou is known as a city of good food in China. There are also lots of Cantonese restaurants opened in foreign countries. Local people are very good at brewing soup, which is a daily must at their dinner table. The ingredients vary along the change of the seasons. Some soup may take half day or a whole day to be prepared. If you want to eat a typical local dinner in Guangzhou, never miss the soup.
Another highlight in Guangzhou is tea drinking. Guangzhou residents have a very old tradition of tea drinking. They drink it in the morning, at noon and in the evening. Some people go to the teahouse right after they get up to drink tea and eat breakfast, which is called morning tea of Cantonese style. This typical breakfast for Guangzhou residents is composed of a bowl of rice with spare ribs and two pieces of pastry. Afternoon tea or evening tea may be a gathering of family members or of business partners.