Known in the west as Canton, Guangzhou
has always been the capital of Guangdong Province.
Together with Hong Kong in the Cantonese-speaking
area, people of Guangdong find Hong Kong's life
most acceptable. They have learned things quickly
from Hong Kong, especially after China opened
up the doors in late 1970s.
Guangdong people are famously aggressive
and noisy. Many visitors to this province however,
find this kind of enthusiasm refreshing and passionate
as opposed to threatening. As a matter of fact,
this attitude of the Cantonese people is believed
to have laid out the foundations for the revolutionary
belief that the city has harbored in the past.
The revolutionary sights are among the more interesting
aspects of Guangdong and the Communist Party Academy
is a fascinating insight into the foundations
of the PRC's political party.
There is also a colonial side to Guangzhou
that has a relaxed and laid back feeling to it.
Many of the buildings and churches on Shamian
Island are well maintained and rather pretty,
especially compared to the high rises and granite
buildings on the other side of the river.
Perhaps the best thing about
Guangzhou, however, is eating. The Chinese saying
"Born in Suzhou, eat in Guangzhou and die
in Liuzhou" gives a proper meaning that they
have some nice there in Guangzhou (Apparently
of you are born in Suzhou you have a beautiful
mother, and if you die in Liuzhou you get the
finest coffin!). Eating is certainly the main
pleasure for the local residents and there are
hundreds of good restaurants serving up authentic
Cantonese cuisine. The atmosphere in many of these
places is great and unlike the city itself-lively,
friendly and very noisy.