Guangzhou (Canton) in a Glance
Area: 7,475 square kilometers
Population: 6.56 million
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Guangzhou, a capital city, is the largest and most prosperous trading city in southern China. It is situated in the south of China, with the Baiyun Hill in the north and the Zhujiang (Pearl River) Delta Plain in front. The city is 125 kilometers northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River.
The personality of Guangzhou differs significantly from that of northern China. While one can stand in the middle of Tian'anmen Square in Beijing and feel the backbone of Chinese authority, one can easily stand on any street in Guangzhou and feel the lack of order inherent in the traffic and commotion!
The spoken language of Guangzhou - Cantonese - is incomprehensible to northern Chinese, who typically speak Mandarin. A word in Cantonese has nine tones instead of the four tones in the Mandarin dialect. (The area around Guangzhou was overcrowded even 200 years ago, and many peasants from the region emigrated to Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe; as a result, Cantonese is the most common dialect among early overseas Chinese.)