Friday, November 5, 2010

Ready, Steady, Go.......go to Guangzhou!

Yes it's time for another major international event. Following on from the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, World Expo 2010 in Shanghai (just finished with a record 73 million visitors over 6 months), it's now the turn of Guangzhou, which is hosting the 16th Asian Games. They start on Nov 12th for 2 weeks, and so of course the city has had a thorough facelift. I have not been lucky enough to go but my good friend Danny is there and I am grateful to him for the photo selection below.

Guangzhou, or Canton to the diehard colonialists, (not to be confused with Guangdong, the name of the province) is China's third largest city with a population of over 10 million. It's history goes back over 2,000 years. Geographically, it's located on the Pearl River and so is an ideal location for an international port. It's just a hop, skip and jump from Hong Kong (especially when the new high-speed train is built). These factors, together with a common dialect and culture with Hong Kong, have helped it to grow rapidly in the past few decades. It's per capita GDP is already over 13,000 USD, so would rank in the top 50 countries in the world if it was a country rather than just a city.

There is such a mix of old and new, local streets and large squares, day and night......the photos below are in no particular order, see if you can spot the TV tower, the CBD, the Pearl River New Town and old temples. You can get some of the best and most varied food in China there. I'm looking forward to going there some time when the crowds attending the Games have gone ....anyone fancy going with me, or even better sponsoring me?

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