Guangzhou: the rebirth
The ancient city of Canton has evolved into a vibrant metropolis that aspires to regain the prestige it enjoyed before the revolution.
Guangzhou is the official Chinese name of what, before the communist takeover, was called Canton and still is, sometimes, with great affection. Canton was a French and English trading post. Guangzhou is an economic power, the third Chinese city after Beijing and Shanghai. It is an ambitious city, eager to reconnect with the splendour of its past, before the Cultural Revolution. On the banks of the Pearl River, it has kept few traces of its conquering dynasties but has not lost its soul. This is reflected especially in its food. Cantonese cuisine is one of eight major Chinese cuisines and is renowned for its subtlety and finesse. Sauces occupy an important place, and not just the famous sweet-and-sour sauce. Pork with five spices, both salty and sweet, is another of its specialties. You will find this same emphasis on balance in its parks, where a beneficent serenity reigns, conducive to Buddhist meditation, and in contrast with the bustle of its always-crowded boulevards especially during the famous Canton Fair. To unwind, climb into the white clouds and rustling pines at the top the gentle slopes of Yuexiu Hill and Baiyun Mountain.