Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is the capital of Guangdong Province and the third most popular metropolitan area for visitors in Mainland China. The city is the economic centre of the Pearl River Delta and it is one of the leading commercial and manufacturing regions in Mainland China. In addition, the China Import and Export Fair, which is also known as the Canton Fair, is held bi-annually in Guangzhou in April and October.
Guangzhou, situated as it is in close proximity to Hong Kong and Macau at the north edge of the Zhujiang River Delta, is considered as the gateway-not only to south China-but to China as a whole. Guangzhou enjoys a pleasant climate all year round, with a mean yearly temperature of around 22.8 centigrade. Influenced by the Asian monsoon, the rainy season is from April to June; and as it is usually oppressively hot from August to September, the best time to visit is usually between Octobers to December.
Canton was a prosperous trading city during the Qin and Han dynasties; and from the Han and Tang dynasties, the city became the starting point of the Marine Silk Road. During the Qing Dynasty, Canton was China’s sole functioning harbour and was the earliest foreign trading port in China.
Guangzhou’s lack of wintry, unseasonable weather makes it an ideal destination for travellers. The city’s popular attractions include the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Memorial Hall, the Tomb of the King of Nanyue and the Temple of Six Banyan Trees.