Guangdong Province: Wikis


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Coordinates: 23°20′N 113°30′E / 23.333°N 113.5°E / 23.333; 113.5

Guangdong Province
Chinese : 广东省
Guǎngdōng Shěng
Cantonese Jyutping: Gwong2 Dung1 Saang2
Abbreviations:   (pinyin: Yuè, Jyutping: Jyut6)
Guangdong is highlighted on this map
Origin of name 廣 guǎng - "Wide"
東 dōng- "East"
Lit. "The Eastern Expanse"
Administration type Province
(and largest city)
CPC Ctte Secretary Wang Yang
Governor Huang Huahua
Area 177,900 km2 (68,700 sq mi) (15th)
Population (2008)
 - Density
95,440,000 (1st)
467 /km2 (1,210 /sq mi) (7th)
GDP (2008)
 - per capita
CNY 3.57 trillion (1st)
CNY 37,588 (6th)
HDI (2006) 0.828 (high) (6th)
Ethnic composition Han - 99%
Zhuang - 0.7%
Yao - 0.2%
Prefecture-level 21 divisions
County-level 121 divisions
Township-level* 1642 divisions
ISO 3166-2 CN-44
Official website
(Simplified Chinese)
Source for population and GDP data:
《中国统计年鉴—2005》 China Statistical Yearbook 2005
ISBN 7503747382
Source for nationalities data:
《2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料》 Tabulation on nationalities of 2000 population census of China
ISBN 7105054255
*As at December 31, 2004
Template ■ Discussion ■ WikiProject China
Simplified Chinese 广东
Traditional Chinese 廣東
Cantonese Jyutping gwong2 dung1
Hanyu Pinyin Guǎngdōng

Guangdong is a province on the southern coast of People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province. It surpassed Henan and Sichuan to become the most populous province in China in January 2005, registering 79 million permanent residents and 31 million migrants who lived in the province for at least six months.[1][2] The provincial capital Guangzhou (Canton) and economic hub Shenzhen are among the most populous and important cities in China.

Guangdong is one of China's most prosperous provinces, Guangdong's GDP has been Ranking the first since 1989 among all provincial-level divisons. according to the provincial annual preliminary statistics[3], in 2009, Guangdong'sGDP reached CNY3,908,159 million, or US$572,121 million, making its economy roughly the same size as that of Turkey or Indonesia.[4] Guangdong contributes approximately 12% of national economic output. The province is home to the production facilities and offices of a wide-ranging set of multinational and Chinese corporations. Guangdong also hosts the largest Import and Export Fair in China called the Canton Fair which is hosted by the city of Guangzhou - Guangdong's capital city.



"Guang" itself means "expanse" or "vast", and has been associated with the region since the creation of Guang Prefecture in AD 226. "Guangdong" and neighboring Guangxi literally mean "expanse east" and "expanse west". Together, Guangdong and Guangxi are called the "Dual-Guangs" (兩廣 liăng guăng). During the Song dynasty, the two Guang's were formally separated as Guangnan Dong lu (廣南東路) and Guangnan Xi lu (廣南西路), which became abbreviated as Guangdong lu (廣東路) and Guangxi lu (廣西路). The modern abbreviation 粵/粤 (Yue) is related to the Hundred Yue (百越), a collective name for various peoples that lived in Guangdong and other areas in ancient times.

Prior to the introduction of Hanyu Pinyin, the province was known as Kwangtung Province. One should note that Canton, though etymologically derived from a Portuguese transliteration of "Guangdong", only refers to the provincial capital instead of the whole province, as documented by authoritative English dictionaries. The local people of the city of Canton and their language are still commonly referred to as Cantonese. Because of the prestige of Canton and its accent, Cantonese sensu lato can also be used for the phylogenetically related residents and Chinese dialects outside the provincial capital.


Guangdong was far away from the centre of ancient Chinese civilization in the north China plain. It was populated by peoples collectively known as the Hundred Yue, who may have been Kradai and related to the Zhuang people in modern Guangxi.

Chinese administration in the region began with the Qin Dynasty. After establishing the first unified Chinese empire, the Qin expanded southwards and set up Nanhai Commandery at Panyu, near what is now part of Guangzhou. It used to be independent as Nanyue between the fall of Qin and the reign of Emperor Wu of Han. The Han Dynasty administered Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam as Jiaozhi Province. Under the Wu Kingdom of the Three Kingdoms period, Guangdong was made its own province, the Guang Province, in 226.

As time passed, the demographics of what is now Guangdong slowly shifted to (Han) Chinese-dominance, especially during several periods of massive migration from the north during periods of political turmoil and/or nomadic incursions from the fall of the Han Dynasty onwards. For example, internal strife in northern China following the rebellion of An Lushan resulted in a 75% increase in the population of Guangzhou prefecture between 740s-750s and 800s-810s.[5] As more migrants arrived, the local population was gradually assimilated to Han Chinese culture,[6] or displaced.

Together with Guangxi, Guangdong was made part of Lingnan Circuit (political division Circuit), or Mountain-South Circuit, in 627 during the Tang Dynasty. The Guangdong part of Lingnan Circuit was renamed Guangnan East Circuit guǎng nán dōng lù in 971 during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). "Guangnan East" is the source of "Guangdong".

As Mongols from the north engaged in their conquest of China in the 13th century, the Southern Song Dynasty retreated southwards, eventually ending up in today's Guangdong. The Battle of Yamen 1279 in Guangdong marked the end of the Southern Song Dynasty (960-1279).

During the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, Guangdong was a part of Jiangxi. Its present name, "Guangdong Province" was given in early Ming Dynasty.

Since the 16th century, Guangdong has had extensive trade links with the rest of the world. European merchants coming northwards via the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea, particularly the Portuguese and British, traded extensively through Guangzhou. Macau, on the southern coast of Guangdong, was the first European settlement in 1557.

In the 19th century, it was the opium trade through Guangzhou that triggered the Opium Wars, opening an era of foreign incursion and intervention in China. In addition to Macau, which was then a Portuguese colony, Hong Kong was ceded to the British, and Kwang-Chou-Wan to the French.

In the 19th century, Guangdong was also the major port of exit for labourers to Southeast Asia and the West, i.e. United States and Canada. As a result, many overseas Chinese communities have their origins in Guangdong. The Cantonese language therefore has proportionately more speakers among overseas Chinese people than mainland Chinese. In the US, there is a large number of Chinese who are descendants of immigrants from the otherwise unremarkable Guangdong region of Taishan (Toisan in Cantonese), who speak a distinctive dialect of Cantonese called Taishanese (or Toishanese).

During the 1850s, the first revolt of the Taiping Rebellion by the Hakka people took place in Guangdong. Because of direct contact with the West, Guangdong was the center of anti-Manchu and anti-imperialist activity. The generally acknowledged founder of modern China, Sun Yat-Sen, was from Guangdong.

During the early 1920s of the Republic of China, Guangdong was the staging area for Kuomintang (KMT) to prepare for the Northern Expedition, an effort to bring the various warlords of China back under the central government. Whampoa Military Academy was built near Guangzhou to train military commanders.

In recent years, the province has seen extremely rapid economic growth, aided in part by its close trading links with Hong Kong, which borders it. It is now the province with the highest gross domestic product in China.

In 1952, a small section of Guangdong's coastline was given to Guangxi, giving it access to the sea. This was reversed in 1955, and then restored in 1965. Hainan Island was originally part of Guangdong but it was separated as its own province in 1988.


Guangdong faces the South China Sea to the south and has a total of 4,300 km of coastline. Leizhou Peninsula is on the southwestern end of the province. There are a few inactive volcanoes on Leizhou Peninsula. The Pearl River Delta is the convergent point of three upstream rivers: the East River, North River, and West River. The river delta is filled with hundreds of small islands. The province is geographically separated from the north by a few mountain ranges collectively called the Southern Mountain Range (南岭). The highest peak in the province is Shikengkong 1,902 meters above sea level.

Guangdong borders Fujian province to the northeast, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces to the north, Guangxi autonomous region to the west, and Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions to the south. Hainan province is offshore across from the Leizhou Peninsula.

Cities around the Pearl River Delta include Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Shunde, Taishan, Zhongshan and Zhuhai. Other cities in the province include Chaozhou, Chenghai, Kaiping, Nanhai, Shantou, Shaoguan, Xinhui, Zhanjiang, Zhaoqing, Yangjiang and Yunfu.

Guangdong has a humid subtropical climate (tropical in the far south), with short, mild, dry, winters and long, hot, wet summers. Average daily highs in Guangzhou in January and July are 18 °C (64 °F) and 33 °C (91 °F) respectively, although the humidity makes it feel much hotter in summer. Frost is rare on the coast but may happen a few days each winter well inland.


Shops in one of the streets of Guangzhou specialize on selling various electronic components, supplying the needs of local consumer electronics manufacturers. The shop in front is in the LED business.

This is a trend of official estimates of the gross domestic product of the Province of Guangdong with figures in millions of Chinese Yuan:

Year Gross domestic product
1980 24,521
1985 55,305
1990 140,184
1995 538,132
2000 966,223
2008 3,570,000
2009 3,908,159

After the communist takeover and until the start of the Deng Xiaoping reforms in 1978, Guangdong was an economic backwater, although a large underground, service-based economy has always existed. Economic development policies encouraged industrial development in the interior provinces which were weakly linked to Guangdong via transportation links. The government policy of economic autarchy made Guangdong's access to the ocean irrelevant.[citation needed]

Deng Xiaoping's open door policy radically changed the economy of the province as it was able to take advantage of its access to the ocean, proximity to Hong Kong, and historical links to overseas Chinese. In addition, until the 1990s when the Chinese taxation system was reformed, the province benefited from the relatively low rate of taxation placed on it by the central government due to its post-Liberation status of being economically backward.[citation needed]

Although Shanghai is often cited as evidence of China's success, Guangdong's economic boom exemplifies the reality of the vast labor-intensive manufacturing powerhouse China has become, and all the rewards and shortcomings that come with it. Guangdong's economic boom began with the early 1990s and has since spread to neighboring provinces, and also pulled their populations inward. The economy is based on manufacturing and export.[citation needed]

The province is now one of the richest in the nation, with the highest GDP among all the provinces, although wage growth has only recently begun to rise due to a large influx of migrant workers from neighboring provinces. Its nominal GDP for 2009 was 3.91 trillion yuan (US$570 billion).

In 2009, Guangdong's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 201 billion yuan, 1.93 trillion yuan, and 1.78 trillion yuan respectively.[7] Its per capita GDP reached 40,748 yuan (about US$5,965).[8] Guangdong contributes approximately 12% of the total national economic output.[9] Now, it has three of the six Special Economic Zones: Shenzhen, Shantou and Zhuhai. The affluence of Guangdong, however, remains very much concentrated near the Pearl River Delta.

In 2008 its foreign trade also grew 7.8% from the previous year and is also by far the largest of all of China. By numbers, Guangdong's foreign trade accounts for more than a quarter of China's US$2.56 trillion foreign trade or roughly US$683 billion.[10]


Economic and Technological Development Zones

  • Da Yawan Economic and Technical Development Zone
  • Foshan National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (Chinese Version)
  • Futian Free Trade Zone
  • Guangzhou Development District
  • Guangzhou Export Processing Zone
  • Guangzhou Free Trade Zone
  • Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technical Development Zone
  • Guangzhou Nanhu Lake Tourist Holiday Resort (Chinese Version)
  • Guangzhou New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  • Huizhou Zhongkai National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (Chinese Version)
  • Shantou Free Trade Zone
  • Shatoujiao Free Trade Zone
  • Shenzhen Export Processing Zone
  • Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park
  • Yantian Port Free Trade Zone
  • Zhanjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone (Chinese Version)
  • Zhuhai National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  • Zhuhai Free Trade Zone
  • Zhongshan Torch High-tech Industrial Development Zone


Guangdong officially became the most populous province in January 2005.[1][2] Official statistics had traditionally placed Guangdong as the 4th most populous province of China with about 80 million people (also, Sichuan, traditionally the most populous province, was divided into Sichuan and Chongqing in 1997) but recently released information suggests that there are an additional 30 million migrants who reside in Guangdong for at least six months every year, making it the most populous province with a population of more than 110 million.[11] The massive influx of migrants from other provinces, dubbed the "floating population", is due to Guangdong's booming economy and high demand for labor.

Guangdong is also the ancestral home of large numbers of overseas Chinese. There are many teochew people in southeast asia.Most of the railroad laborers in Canada, Western United States and Panama in the 19th century came from Guangdong. Many people from the region also travelled to the US / California during the gold rush of 1849, and also to Australia during its gold rush a decade or so later. Emigration in recent years has slowed with economic prosperity, but this province is still a major source of immigrants to North America and elsewhere in the world.

The majority of the province's population is Han Chinese. Within the Han Chinese, the largest subgroup in Guangdong are the Cantonese people. Two other major groups are the Teochew people in Chaoshan and the Hakka people in Meizhou. There is a small Yao population in the north. Other smaller minority groups include She, Miao, Li, and Zhuang.


Guangdong is governed by a dual-party system like the rest of China. The premier is in charge of provincial affairs; however, the Party Secretary keeps things in check.

Relations with Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau, while historically parts of Guangdong before becoming colonies of the United Kingdom and Portugal respectively, are Special Administrative Regions, a first-order administrative division on the same level as Guangdong. Furthermore, the Basic Laws of both SARs explicitly forbid provincial governments from intervening in local politics. As a result, many issues with Hong Kong and Macao, such as border policy and water rights, have been settled by negotiations between the SARs' governments and the Guangdong provincial government.


Guangdong and the greater Guangzhou Province is served by several Guangdong Radio stations and Guangdong TV. There is an international station Radio Guangdong which broadcasts information about this region to the entire world through the World Radio Network.


The central region, which is also the political and economic center, is populated predominantly by Cantonese speakers, though the influx in the last three decades of millions of Putonghua-speaking immigrants has diminished Cantonese linguistic dominance somewhat. This region is associated with Cantonese cuisine (simplified Chinese: 粤菜; traditional Chinese: 粵菜). Cantonese opera (simplified Chinese: 粤剧; traditional Chinese: 粵劇) is a form of Chinese opera popular in Cantonese speaking areas. It is very famous. Related Yue dialects are spoken in most of the western half of the province.

The area comprising the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang in coastal east Guangdong, known as Chaoshan, forms its own cultural sphere. The Teochew people here, alongside with Hailufeng people in Shanwei, speak Teochew (simplified Chinese: 潮语, traditional Chinese: 潮語), which is a Min dialect closely related to Min-nan and their cuisine is Teochew cuisine(simplified Chinese: 潮州菜; traditional Chinese: 潮州菜). Teochew opera (simplified Chinese: 潮剧, traditional Chinese: 潮劇) is also very famous with a unique form.

The Hakka people live in large areas of Guangdong, including Huizhou, Meizhou, Shenzhen, Heyuan, Shaoguan and other areas. Much of the Eastern part of Guangdong is populated by the Hakka people except for the Chaozhou and Hailufeng area. Hakka culture include Hakka cuisine (客家菜), Han opera (simplified Chinese: 汉剧; traditional Chinese: 漢劇), Hakka Hanyue and sixian (traditional instrumental music) and Hakka folk songs (客家山歌).

Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese) is the language used in education and government and in areas where there are migrants from other provinces, above all in Shenzhen. Cantonese maintains a strong position in common usage and media, even in eastern areas of the province where the local dialects are non-Yue ones.


Colleges and universities




List of current professional sports clubs based in Guangdong:

Sport League Tier Club City Stadium
Football Chinese Super League 1st Shenzhen Ruby Shenzhen Shenzhen Stadium
Football China League One 2nd Guangzhou FC Guangzhou Yuexiushan Stadium
Football China League One 2nd Guangdong Sunray Cave Guangzhou Provincial Stadium
Football China Women's Super League 1st Guangdong Highsun Foshan Century Lotus Stadium
Futsal China Futsal League 1st Guangzhou Sports Act Guangzhou Sports Univ Stadium
Basketball Chinese Basketball Association 1st Guangdong Winnerway Dongguan Dongguan Stadium
Basketball Chinese Basketball Association 1st Dongguan New Century Dongguan Dalang Stadium
Basketball National Basketball League 2nd Guangzhou Free Man Guangzhou Mega Center Stadium
Basketball National Basketball League 2nd Guangzhou Six Rice Guangzhou Huangpu Stadium
Basketball National Basketball League 2nd Dongguan Park Lane Dongguan Dongguan Stadium
Basketball Women's Basketball Association 1st Guangdong Asia Aluminum Zhaoqing Zhaoqing Stadium
Volleyball Men's Volleyball League Div A 1st Guangdong Jianlong Taishan Taishan Stadium
Volleyball Women's Volleyball League Div A 1st Guangdong Evergrande Guangzhou Evergrande Stadium
Volleyball Women's Volleyball League Div B 2nd Guangdong Jianlong Taishan Taishan Stadium
Baseball China Baseball League 1st Guangdong Leopards Guangzhou Huangcun Stadium


Notable attractions include Danxia Mountain, Yuexiu Hill in Guangzhou, Star Lake and the Seven Star Crags, Dinghu Mountain, and the Zhongshan Sun Wen Memorial Park for Sun Yat-sen in Zhongshan.

Administrative divisions

Map # Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat Type
Guangdong prfc map.png
1 Qingyuan 清遠市 Qīngyuǎn Shì Qingcheng District Prefecture-level city
2 Shaoguan 韶關市 Sháoguān Shì Zhenjiang District Prefecture-level city
3 Heyuan 河源市 Héyuán Shì Yuancheng District Prefecture-level city
4 Meizhou 梅州市 Méizhōu Shì Meijiang District Prefecture-level city
5 Chaozhou 潮州市 Cháozhōu Shì Fengxi District Prefecture-level city
6 Zhaoqing 肇慶市 Zhàoqìng Shì Duanzhou District Prefecture-level city
7 Yunfu 雲浮市 Yúnfú Shì Yuncheng District Prefecture-level city
8 Foshan 佛山市 Fóshān Shì Chancheng District Prefecture-level city
9 Guangzhou 廣州市 Guǎngzhōu Shì Yuexiu District Sub-provincial city
10 Dongguan 東莞市 Dōngguǎn Shì Dongguan Prefecture-level city
11 Huizhou 惠州市 Hùizhōu Shì Huicheng District Prefecture-level city
12 Shanwei 汕尾市 Shànwěi Shì Chengqu District Prefecture-level city
13 Jieyang 揭陽市 Jiēyáng Shì Rongcheng District Prefecture-level city
14 Shantou 汕頭市 Shàntóu Shì Jinping District Prefecture-level city
15 Zhanjiang 湛江市 Zhànjiāng Shì Chikan District Prefecture-level city
16 Maoming 茂名市 Màomíng Shì Maonan District Prefecture-level city
17 Yangjiang 陽江市 Yángjiāng Shì Jiangcheng District Prefecture-level city
18 Jiangmen 江門市 Jiāngmén Shì Pengjiang District Prefecture-level city
19 Zhongshan 中山市 Zhōngshān Shì Zhongshan Prefecture-level city
20 Zhuhai 珠海市 Zhūhǎi Shì Xiangzhou District Prefecture-level city
21 Shenzhen 深圳市 Shēnzhèn Shì Futian District Sub-provincial city

The above division govern, in total, 49 districts, 30 county-level cities, 42 counties, and three autonomous counties. For county-level divisions, see the list of administrative divisions of Guangdong.

See also


Economic data

External links

Redirecting to Guangdong

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Guangdong article)

From Wikitravel

Asia : East Asia : China : South East : Guangdong

Guangdong (广东; Guǎngdōng) is a province in South East China on the border with Hong Kong.

In the era of tea clippers, both Guangdong and its capital Guangzhou were referred to in English as "Canton", or "Kwangtung". The food and language of the area are still known as "Cantonese".


Guangdong faces the South China Sea and surrounds Hong Kong and Macau. Long a provincial backwater, the province's economic fortunes changed dramatically when Deng Xiaoping initiated economic reforms in 1978. Home to three of the country's Special Economic Zones (marked "SEZ" below, see List of Chinese provinces and regions for an explanation) and to a burgeoning manufacturing industry, Guangdong is now the richest province in China. It is also one of the most populous Chinese provinces, with approximately 110 million people, more than all but ten countries.

The major cities in Guangdong have been magnets for migrant workers from poor inland provinces since the 1980s. In many cities this has led to problems with petty crime and homelessness. It also means that Mandarin is increasingly widely spoken and many taxi drivers or service staff are more conversant in Mandarin than Cantonese.

Many overseas Chinese, particularly those which emigrated before 1949, trace their roots to Guangdong, although many are from other coastal provinces such as Fujian or the area around Shanghai. The Chinese food most familiar to Westerners is basically Cantonese cooking, albeit sometimes adapted for the customers' tastes.

Guangdong has a subtropical climate. Annual rainfall averages 1500-2000 millimeters and temperature averages 19C - 26C. Summers are hot and wet and there may be typhoons. The best time to visit Guangdong is in the Spring or Autumn.

Regions of Guangdong
Regions of Guangdong
Eastern Guangdong
the coastal area east of the Pearl River Delta including the prefectures of Shanwei (1), Jieyang (2), Shantou (3) and Chaozhou (4)
Northern Guangdong
the inland part of Guangdong including the prefectures of Yunfu (5), Zhaoqing (6), Qingyuan (7), Shaoguan (8), Heyuan (9) and Meizhou (10)
Pearl River Delta
"the world's workshop", a major manufacturing area. Guangdong produces a third of China's total exports and most of those are from the Delta region. The area from Shenzhen to Guangzhou is essentially one massive factory city. The region includes the prefectures of Jiangmen (11), Foshan (12), Zhongshan (13), Zhuhai (14), Guangzhou (15), Dongguan (16), Shenzhen (17) and Huizhou (18)
Western Guangdong
the coastal area west of the Pearl River Delta including the prefectures of Zhanjiang (19), Maoming (20) and Yangjiang (21)
  • Guangzhou - the capital of the province, largest city, economic and cultural center
  • Dongguan - center for the garment trade, light manufacturing, and electronics, between Guangzhou and Shenzhen
  • Qingyuan - popular amongst local travelers for its white-water rafting and hot springs.
  • Shantou - on the coast North of Hong Kong, SEZ
  • Shaoguan - located in northern Guangdong
  • Shenzhen - boom town on border with Hong Kong, SEZ
  • Zhongshan - Hometown of the revolutionary father of modern China, Sun Yatsen, and now a major industrial city southwest of Guangzhou
  • Zhanjiang - in the West, near Hainan
  • Zhuhai - fast growing town on border with Macau, SEZ

Shenzhen. Zhuhai and Shantou are Special Economic Zones (SEZs) where various government programs encourage investment.


Mandarin is widely spoken, almost universally by educated people, especially in areas like Shenzhen and Zhuhai which have been built through migration from all across China.

The historic language of the region is Cantonese which differs from Mandarin as much as French differs from Italian or Spanish. Cantonese people are extremely proud of their language (this applies in Hong Kong as well) and continue to use it widely despite efforts at Mandarinization. Cantonese itself is more closely related to the language of the great Tang Dynasty than the more modern (circa Yuan Dynasty) Mandarin. Cantonese people worldwide tend to refer to themselves as Tang Ren (People of the Tang) rather than Han, the standard appellation for ethnic Chinese. Note that there can be significant dialectal variations within Cantonese, and the Cantonese spoken in areas in the far Western reaches of Guangdong (eg. Taishan) are only marginally, or sometimes even not mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong or Guangzhou. Nevertheless, the Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese is considered to be the prestige dialect, and is generally understood throughout the Cantonese-speaking areas.

At the coastal areas near the border with Fujian, most notably Chaozhou and Shantou, a variant of Minnan known commonly as Teochew (the native pronunciation of Chaozhou) is spoken. Teochew is not mutually intelligible with Cantonese, but is to a small extent mutually intelligible with the Xiamen dialect of Minnan.

Certain parts of the province are also home to Hakka communities, and they speak the Hakka dialect, which is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, Cantonese or Teochew.

Get in

There are several large modern airports in the region: Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau have many international flights; Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou cater almost entirely for domestic Chinese flights.

The area is also well connected to the rest of China by road and rail.

There are also many ports, mainly container ports handling massive freight traffic (2.4 million tons in 2003), but with some passenger services. In particular, there are ferries (mostly fast hydrofoils) connecting [Hong Kong]] and Macau with the neighboring Guangdong cities Shenzhen and Zhuhai, and some even run upriver to Guangzhou. See the city articles for details.

Get around

As elsewhere in China, there is an extensive rail network; Guangzhou is one of the major hubs. Rail is the main means of inter-city travel for the Chinese themselves, and many visitors travel that way as well. The system now includes fast bullet trains on some routes; unless your budget is very tight, these are the best way to go — fast, clean and comfortable.

All the major cities have airports with good domestic connections; some have international connections as well. See the individual city articles for details.

There is also an extensive highway network, much of it very good. Busses go almost anywhere, somewhat cheaper than the trains. See the China article for more. Driving yourself is also possible, but often problematic; see Driving in China.


These are the Tourists' Hot Spot when they visit Guangdong

  • Baiyun Hill in Guangzhou
  • Xiangjiang Wildlife Park in Guangzhou
  • Overseas Chinese Town in Shenzhen
  • Guanlan Golf Course in Shenzhen
  • Yuanming New Park in Zhuhai
  • Dr. Sun Yat-sen's birthplace in Zhongshan
  • Star Lake in Zhaoqing
  • Mount Sijiao in Foshan
  • Mount Danxia in Shaoguan
  • Qingxin Hot Springs in Qingyuan
  • Hailing Island's Dajiao Bay in Yangjiang

By visiting these destinations, a visitor can gain an understanding of China's history and culture as well as experience the customs and cultural differences both between their own culture and China and between Guangdong and other regions of China.


Guangdong has a many restaurants, with Guangzhou in particular having a reputation as a diner's paradise. Other than sit-down restaurants, bustling night markets provide an eclectic mix of inexpensive finger foods, snacks, and delicacies. These markets are filled with shops and food carts integrating the eating and window-shopping experiences. Night markets are usually very crowded with both tourists and locals.

Stay safe

The major cities of Guangdong are heavily infested with pickpockets, and anyone who does not look Chinese is a prime target. For some info on defenses, see pickpockets.

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