Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Wandering China Day 3: Guangzhou

Today I made my way to Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province – China’s factory. On a more apt scale, the world’s factory. Two generations ago, my grandfather hailed from this very province known historically as Canton and it was in a sense, good to be back, albeit for just a day. With a land area ten times the size of Singapore at 7,000+ km2, it boasts a population at about 12 million, just slightly 2.5 times more than home. This places it as the third most populous metropolitan area in all of China.

″Where most skyscrapers bear ′male′ features; being introvert, strong, straight, rectangular, and based on repetition, we wanted to create a ′female′ tower being complex, transparent, curvy and gracious.″ ″Our aim was to design a free-form tower with a rich and human-like identity that would represent Guangzhou as a dynamic and exciting city. We therefore wanted it to be non-symmetrical so that the building would look as if ′in movement′ and ′alive′. Photo – Canton Tower site

Touristy stuff such as the newly built 600m-tall Canton Tower and the shopping districts of Shangxiajiu were done in a jiffy. A traditional dim sum lunch over at the 77-year old Guangzhou restaurant was necessary to pay homage to the home of dim sum. Yes folks, Hong Kong merely refined the idea of dim sum. It started from Guangzhou.

Most significant from the trip to Guangzhou was a visit to the The Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King (西汉南越王博物馆), which gave an intriguing glimpse to the past. Thinking that southern Chinese (likewise my ancestors) were also of Han stock proved to be possibly inaccurate – southern Chinese had stronger relations to the Yue and this tomb harks back to the ‘rebellious’ Nanyue (arguably the ancestors of the Vietnamese) who refused to cede control of their territories to the Han and Qin dynasties, building an independent kingdom in modern day Guangdong province, my home city of Chaozhou included.

Nanyue was an ancient kingdom that consisted of modern southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan and northern Vietnam from 218 BC to 111 BC.

The visit to the tomb helped me understand the failings of the second Nanyue King, who failed to keep up the first king’s work and gradually allowed the kingdom to fall under the influence of China.

My personal story aside, what is significant here is that Southern China wasn’t always Chinese. I would definitely like to spend more time here if another opportunity to visit arises. A visit to the industrial areas would be great to ascertain the working conditions in the world’s factory.


Filed under: Back to China, Beijing Consensus, Bob's Opinion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,575 other followers

East/West headlines of Rising China

East/West headlines of Rising China

About Wandering China

Click to find out more about this project

Support //WC

Support Wandering China now - buy a Tee Shirt!

Be a champ - Support Wandering China - buy a Tee Shirt!

The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

Please click to access video

Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

Creative Commons License
Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wanderingchina.org. Thank you for visiting //
web stats

Flag Counter

free counters
Online Marketing
Add blog to our directory.
%d bloggers like this: