Guangzhou

Guangzhou

The amazing Canton Tower and the 7th tallest building in the world make a statement. Today, just like the last 2200 years, Guangzhou is a city built on global trade.

This historical terminus of the maritime Silk Road is the 7th biggest city in the world with a population of 14m. And the River Pearl Delta’s greater conurbation of 57m people is the Factory of the World. Wikipedia tells us, nearly 5% of the world’s goods were produced in here in 2001.

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We enjoyed walking around Shamian Island, the old British trading enclave. This was acquired by Britain after the Second Opium war in 1856 and it wasn’t until the Japanese surrendered in 1945 that China got it back. Most tourists seem to get excited about the Starbucks there
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Elsewhere the city resembled much of what we have seen elsewhere. Whole blocks of third-world housing and street markets, next to completely redeveloped blocks with upscale shopping malls and tall apartment buildings
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We’re not above doing childish things. Whilst most of the other boats in Yuexiu Park were skippered by tiny Chinese children, Hilary took the wheel of ours. No muscle power needed, we paid ¥10 extra to get an electric powered one and enjoyed trying to navigate around the children
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