(4 ) About Guangzhou
Millennium Business Capital(千年商都)
Tianhe District Guangzhou
Guangzhou is known to be the “Millennium Business Capital”( 千年商都 ) .I have been there for three times, that is in 1997, 2003 and 2008. The interval is exactly 20, 15 and 10 years. However, when I arrived in Guangzhou this time, I felt to be in the city for the first time. To be honest, it has been completely unrecognizable! With Guangzhou, which I saw more than a decade ago, it can be said that it has been reborn, and the big changes in the face have happened. The city’s high-rise buildings are lined up. Many areas that used to be paddy fields before have become a Central Business District (CBD)today.
Guangzhou at night
Pearl River Night View
On the first night after the arrival, we were invited by friends to dine at a big restaurant in Tianhe District(天河区), and then took a short walk in Tianhe District after the night. Its prosperity is no less than any other big cities. It is said that there are 22 large shopping centres and 12 five-star hotels. During my first visit 20 years ago there was only one five-star hotel. More than 1,000 food and beverage outlets, hence Guangzhou is also called "China's First Business Circle"(中华第一商圈).
Old Guangzhou: Photo taken in 1973
We know that today's Guangzhou is no longer a backward city. It has already jumped to the ranks of first-tier cities in China, ranking behind Beijing and Shanghai. 40 years of Reform and Opening Up (改革开放), Guangzhou leads China's economic growth and development. According to the statistics, the total economic output has nearly 500 times, and the per capita GDP is close to the level of developed countries.
Pearl River Cruise
- 40 years of Reform and Opening Up,Guangzhou leads
- China's economic growtand development.
Among the popular sayings: “Pearl River Water, Guangdong Grain, Lingnan Clothing, and Guangdong Household Appliances” (珠江水、广东粮、岭南衣、粤家电)are well-known. In the 1980s and 1990s, Guangzhou was the national textile industry centre, and many cheap and inexpensive garments were sold throughout the country.
(5) Canton Fair
Growing The world, Innovation And Win-Win(广交全球、创新共赢)
The 124 Session of China Import and Export Fair
The Guangzhou China Import and Export Fair, which is held in Guangzhou every spring and autumn, is called the Canton Fair(广交会). This year is called the 124th Canton Fair. The Canton Fair has been in existence since 1957 and has a history of 61 years. It is the comprehensive international trade event in China with the longest history, the highest level, the largest scale, the most complete variety of goods, the largest number of buyers, the most extensive distribution of countries, the best transaction results and the best reputation.
- The Canton Fair was held in three phases.The first phase of exhibitors was 8,735,
- the second phase was 7,561, and the third phase was 8,651.
In the past 61 years, the development has been amazing and the scale has become larger and larger. Guangzhou has thus become an international business centre city. According to the statistics, in 2017, Guangzhou’s import and export trade totalling at US$143.23 billion, and it jumped 66 times in 30 years. The structure of export commodities also Continuous optimization, from the original local products, low-end industrial products to medium and high-end textile, mechanical and electrical products.
- A Warm Welcome to All Guests From all Countries.A total of 636 companies
- from 34 countries and regions participated in the Canton Fair exhibition.
The 124th Canton Fair was opened one month before our arrival (October 15th,2018). The export exhibition set up 51 exhibition areas according to 16 categories of products, with a total of 59,647 booths and 24,947 exhibitors. Among them, 12,125 brand booths.,accounting for 20%; general booths 47,522, accounting for 80%.
- There were 189,812 buyers from 215 countries and regions attended
- the 124th Canton Fair, with a total export turnover of 208.494 billion Yuan.
The Canton Fair was held in three phases, with a total exhibition area of 1.185 million square meters, a total of 60,645 booths, and 25,583 exhibitors at home and abroad. The first phase of exhibitors was 8,735, the second phase was 7,561, and the third phase was 8,651.
- The 124th Canton Fair set up 51 exhibition areas according to
- 16 categories of products, with a total of 59,647 booths and 24,947 exhibitors.
The current Canton Fair continue to set up import exhibitions in the first and third phases, with a total exhibition area of 20,000 square meters, a total of 6 product areas, and a total of 998 booths. A total of 636 companies from 34 countries and regions participated in the exhibition, with 10 countries and regional pavilion.
- There are 381 companies from 17 countries along the “Belt and Road” participated
- in the import exhibition, the total number of booths was 615.
In addition, according to the statistics, 189,812 buyers from 215 countries and regions attended the 124th Canton Fair, with a total export turnover of 208.494 billion Yuan. Among them, there are 381 companies from 17 countries along the “Belt and Road”( 一带一路). Participated in the import exhibition, the total number of booths was 615, accounting for 60% and 62% respectively, covering all six product areas in the import exhibition area. Seven countries including South Korea, Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Pakistan and India participated in the national pavilion.
The Canton Fair has been in existence since 1957 and has a history of 61 years.
(6) Guangzhou skyscrapers
Want to compete with Tiangong(欲与天公试比高)
A bird's eye view of Guangzhou
- It is reported that there are more than 7,000 high-rise buildings in Guangzhou
- over 18 floors, and more than 400 skyscrapers above 90 meters.
We all know that the number of skyscrapers in a city is enough to represent the economic strength and prosperity of this city. As the first-tier city in China, the third largest city in the country, and the largest commercial city in the South, Guangzhou has constructed many high-rise buildings spring up like mushrooms on the banks of Pearl River(珠江)
The familiar night tour of the Pearl River Cruise is to bring the skyscrapers on both sides of the Pearl River into the scenic area, with colourful lights at night to create a variety of changes. I believe every visitor to Guangzhou must have experienced it personally, especially its luxurious lighting, brilliance and sparkling, is really intoxicating.
- Guangzhou night view, bright lights, colourful, radiant
Guangzhou Circle Building
I have visited Guangzhou three times in the 20 years. I have participated in the Pearl Rivr Night Cruise(珠江夜游 )twice. Due to the high property price of the Central Business District (CBD), I came to know that the majority of the investment was from the commercial giants and multinational companies at home and abroad.It is reported that there are more than 7,000 high-rise buildings in Guangzhou over 18 floors, and more than 400 skyscrapers above 90 meters. This alone will not be inferior to other world metropolises.
The lights on both sides of the Pearl River are like a city that never sleeps in Guangzhou.
- Pearl River Cruise is to bring the skyscrapers on both sides of the Pearl River i
- nto the scenic area, with colorful lights at night to create a variety of changes.
In 2018, the list of skyscrapers in 100 cities around the world, based on the height of 150 meters (492 feet), Guangzhou has squeezed into the top 10 cities with the most skyscrapers, ranking ninth, a total of 105. The actual rankings are : Hong Kong (353 buildings), New York (267 buildings), Dubai (187 buildings), Shanghai (157 buildings), Tokyo (147 buildings), Shenzhen (138 buildings), Chicago (121 buildings), Chongqing (118 buildings), Guangzhou (105 buildings), Singapore (85 buildings). It is worth noting that the rising China accounted for half of the top ten rankings.
- It is said that there are 22 large shopping centres and 12 five-star hotels. More than 1,000 food and
- beverage outlets, hence Guangzhou is also called "China's First Business Circle"(
- Guangzhou is the first-tier city in China, the third largest city in the country,
- and the largest commercial city in the South China.
In addition, in the Pearl River New City commercial district, there are another 68 skyscrapers under construction, of which 50 are for 150 meters and 18 for 200 meters. In short, the prosperous Guangzhou gives me the image of Mao Zedong Poetry(毛泽东诗 ), "Want to compete with Tiangong"(欲与天公争比高)
As more and more high-rise buildings, more and more people can enjoy the pleasure of fun asTang Dynasty(唐朝) Li Bai's Poetry (李白诗): " Its tower is one 100 feet high, you could reach out and pluck a star”(危楼高百尺，手可摘星辰)
(7)Top ten skyscrapers
Its tower is one 100 feet high,
You could reach out and pluck a star.
We all spoke in hushed voices,
Lest we disturb the folks up above.
--- Tang Dynasty Poet Li Bai
An Aerial View of Guangzhou
The skyscraper index here is also ranked third after Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The following is the list of the top 10 skyscrapers in Guangzhou (The number of rankings is constantly refreshed):
1. Canton Tower(广州塔): Height: 600 meters (the tower body is 454 meters high, the antenna mast is 146 meters high). The 37-storey building is also known as the Guangzhou Tower(广州塔). Its nickname is “small waist”(小蛮腰). It is located in Guangzhou. Haizhu District (海珠区)(Yizhou Island艺州岛) near the Chigang Tower(赤岗塔), 12 meters away from the Pearl River, facing the Pearl River New City, Huacheng Square(花城广场), Haixinsha Island (海心沙岛)across the river.
It once replaced Canada's CN Tower and became the world's tallest tower. I was told in 2012 when I was in Canada, towering over the CN Tower on the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto(多仑多安大略湖), 553 meters high. Considered to be the world's tallest TV tower without brackets.
However, whether it is the Guangzhou Tower or the CN Tower, it has been surpassed by Tokyo's “Tokyo Skytree” since 2012, because its height is 634 meters, and on November 17, 2011, The Guinness World Records is certified as the "World's Tallest Tower" and the world's tallest self-supporting tower.
No.1 Canton Tower
2. CTF Finance Centre(周大福金融中心): Height: 530 meters, 111 storeys high. Also known as East Tower. It is located in the core area of Zhujiang New Town(珠江新城). The project includes the world's first K11 art shopping centre international super-grade office building, Guangzhou K 11O office building, top brand hotels and serviced apartments managed by international brands. The office building is located on the 7-66 floor of Chow Tai Fook Financial Center(周大福金融中心). It is the largest international-grade super-class office building in Guangzhou. It is currently the second tallest building in South China, but it is still the tallest building in Guangzhou. The third tallest skyscraper in China. Ranked seventh in the world rankings of skyscrapers.
No.2 CTF Finance Centre
3. Guangzhou International Finance Centre(广州国际金融中心): The total height of 439 meters, 103 floors, also known as Guangzhou West Tower. It is one of the seven landmarks of Zhujiang New City. It is located in the Central Business District of Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou (CBD). The central axis is adjacent to the Pearl River. It consists of a three-part office building, a podium and a main tower. The main tower has 103 floors and 4 underground floors. It can be said to be a combination of office, hotel and leisure business centre.
No.3 Guangzhou International Finance Centre
4. Citic Plaza(中信广场): It is 391 meters high and 80 storeys high. It is located in the core section of Tianhe District, Guangzhou. It consists of an 80-storey office building, two 38-storey annex buildings, a 4-storey shopping mall and two floors. The underground car park was once the tallest building in Guangzhou.
No.4 Citic Plaza
5. The Pinnacle(广晟国际大厦 ) 360 meters high and 59 storeys high. It is located at the junction of the west of Zhujiang Avenue and Jinsui Road(金穗路)in Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District. It is also a major office building in Guangzhou Central Business District (CBD). In the past, it was the third tallest building in Guangzhou after Guangzhou International Finance Centre and CITIC Plaza.
No.5 The Pinnacle
6. Pearl River Tower(珠江城大厦): Height: 310 meters, height: 71 floors. It is located at the junction of Zhujiang Avenue West and Jinsui Road in Tianhe District, Guangzhou. The Pearl River City Building is known for its environmental protection and global reputation.
The National Geography Channel once came here to film its environmental protection technology, and was praised by foreign media as “the world's most energy-saving and environmentally-friendly skyscraper”, using wind energy and solar energy to generate electricity by itself.
No.6 Pearl River Tower
7. Fortune Center(财富中心): It is 309 meters high and 68 storeys high. It has been renamed as “Yuexiu Financial Building”(越秀金融大厦). It is located in the Central Business District (CBD) Pearl River New City Central Line of Guangzhou, and is positioned as an international Grade A office. The office building, its construction, design and service management, all comply with strict international standards, highlighting the international business image and high-end positioning, attracting all kinds of high-quality tenants.
No.7 Fortune Center
8. Leatop Plaza(利通大厦): 303 meters in height and 64 storeys high. It is currently the third tallest building in the Pearl River New City. The building is the first in South China to receive the US Green Building LEED CS Gold Certification. The domestic green building Samsung certified super high-rise building is an office building.
No.8 Leatop Plaza
9. R & F Yingkai Square(富力盈凯广场): Height 296, 66 storeys. It is located in the Central Business District (CBD) of Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou. It is also a large-scale complex real estate project integrating office buildings and shops. Real estate is committed to creating high-end multi-functional comprehensive property.
No.9 R & F Yingkai Square
10. China International Center Tower B(中华国际中心): 269 meters in height and 62 storeys in height. It is located in a Grade A office building at the junction of Zhongshan Road (中山路)and Jiaochang West Road(较场西路). It is adjacent to the Guangzhou Uprising Martyrs Cemetery(广州起义烈士墓园). The project includes A , B double tower. Among them, 26 towers of A tower and 63 floors of tower B, used to be the third tallest building in Guangzhou.
No.10 China International Center Tower B
(7) My Experience Of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-Speed Rail
HK XRL"Vibrant Express"
After staying in Guangzhou for four days, we came to the highlight of this trip. On November 18th, we took the G.6525 high-speed-rail from Guangzhou South Railway Station to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.
Guangzhou South Railway Station
Entrance of Guangzhou South Railway Station
Before the advent of the high-speed rail, I used to take bullet train when I visited Japan in 1987, and then in Europe in 2012. The "Eurostar" bullet train from Amsterdam to London only took approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 25-minute sea tunnel.
- Guangzhou South Railway Station is one of the four largest
- railway passenger transportation hubs in China.
Guangzhou South Railway Station Concourse
However, the main purpose of this trip to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau is to explore as to whether the high-speed rail is faster, safer and more convenient than the bullet train.
Estimated 800,000 passengers per day at Guangzhou South Railway Station
Guangzhou South Railway Station
As we all know that China today is no longer a backward country. The rise of China has made great strides in various fields. In the past few decades, it has been more committed to improving railway transportation and vigorously developing high-speed rail. Up till now, all the old trains have been eliminated. Basically, the national railway traffic system has been replaced by high-speed railway.
Large crowd of passengers are waiting for HSR at the Station Concourse
Very Crowded HSR Station Concourse
The official opening of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway on September 23 indicated that the Hong Kong high-speed rail and the mainland's 25,000-kilometer national railway network and 44 stations have officially linked up. It has further improved the transportation network between Hong Kong and mainland China, and most significantly Hong Kong has entered the "New era of high-speed rail." At this point, Hong Kong, which implements "one country, two systems", has since been more dependent on the motherland and is inseparable.
- It is an interchange station and a terminus between Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong XRL,
- Guangzhou-Maoming Railway, Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway
- and Beijing-Guangzhou HSR
Large crowd of passengers at Guangzhou South Railway Station
The journey from Guangzhou South Railway Station to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station is very short. The distance of the whole journey is 26 kilometers and it only takes 47 minutes. We purchased the second- class seat, the fare was 187 Yuan for single journey. In fact, the second-class seating facilities are also very comfortable and perfect. For example: There are large luggage placements on the train, special rooms for wheelchair passengers, all seatings have Wifi coverage and USB sockets to cater for the needs of the "hands-on-machine" era.
HSR Ticket from Guangzhou to Hong Kong
HSR Station Concourse
The second-class combing chair is also very spacious, with silver and gray matching shades of orange, which makes the entire train carriage full of vigorous and vitality, and also echoes the name of the Hong Kong high-speed rail “Vibrant Express”.
2nd Class Seating Sofas
It is reported that the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway with a speed of 350km per hour will be shortened from 23 hours to 9 hours from Beijing to Hong Kong. From Shanghai to Hong Kong, it will be shortened from 18 hours to 7 hours. From Guangzhou to West Kowloon Station, the time will be only 47 minutes. The cheapest is a 14-minute drive from Shenzhen to Hong Kong. The fare is only RMB 75, which is both economical and affordable.
Hong Kong West Kowloon
Platform at Guangzhou South Railway Station
Soon after I got on the high-speed rail, I asked the waiter what the speed was. She answered more than 300 kilometers. Though I was sitting inside the carriage, I didn't have any quick feeling. It was almost the same as the bullet train and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. But it is a veritable arrival in Hong Kong on time.
Welcome gift to passengers on board of HSR
Old Guangzhou Railway Station
After We had completed the immigration formalities for “One Station and Two Inspections” (一地两检) ,it took another half an hour bus ride to reach the Heng Feng Hotel in Nathan Road ,Kowloon.
HK West Kowloon and Station Mainland Port Area
- The immigration procedures for the so-called
- "One Station and Two Inspections" are unique to Hong Kong.
The immigration procedures for the so-called "One Station and Two Inspections" are unique to Hong Kong. That is, passengers from Mainland China do not have to go through the exit formalities before boarding the train. When the train arrives at West Kowloon Station, they will go through the exit formalities first. Then, entering the Hong Kong Immigration Department on the same floor to go through immigration formalities. One out of and one entry is called "One Station and Two Inspections".
(8) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge(HZMB).
Pearl River Delta Circle Line
On the second day after arriving in Hong Kong, we went to experience the longest and largest cross-sea bridge in the world, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bridge. The bridge was unveiled and announced officially open to traffic by Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping on October 24, 2018.
The Road Signs
Entrance of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
This "Century Project", with a total length of 55 kilometers, was designed and built by the Chinese themselves. It highlights China's strength in bridge construction and attracts worldwide attention. Today, China is not only a "High-Speed Rail Power" but also "Bridge Powers", the superb technology of the two projects, has won good praise and reputation worldwide. We went across the bridge by shuttle bus.
- The 55-kilometre-long bridge, situated in the Lingdingyang waters of the
- Pearl River Estuary is the world's longest across the sea bridge .
- Wen Tianxiang Poem: All men are mortal, but my loyalty
- will illuminate the annals of history forever.
According to the statistics, on the first Sunday after the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the traffic volume of the three places passing through the bridge exceeded 3,000 vehicles, and the passenger flow was close to 78,000. On weekends or holidays, the daily volume of passengers traveling between Hong Kong and Macao may climb to 30,000.
However, when we passed through the bridge on that day, we did not see such a grand occasion. Apart from shuttle buses and trucks, we rarely saw private cars. Perhaps it was not weekend or holiday time, the boom had subsided.
- The HZMB spans the Lingdingyang and Jiuzhou channels, connecting Hong Kong,
- Macau, and Zhuhai—three major cities on the Pearl River Delta.
- Lindingyang is the middle channel of the Pearl River estuary
- which runs from Humen to Jiuzhouyang.
The construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is under the framework of "One Country, Two Systems". It is the first large-scale cross-sea traffic project jointly constructed by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. One bridge flies over three places, it crosses the ocean, east to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, west to Zhuhai City of Guangdong Province and Macao Special Administrative Region.
- With the bridge in place, travelling time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong
- would cut down from about four hours to 30 minutes on the road.
Total cost of HZMB is 126.9 billion yuan (US$ 18.77 billion.
Speaking of Lingdingyang(伶仃洋), when I first joined the Pearl River Delta Tour in 1997, on the way back to Hong Kong, I took a catamaran at Jiuzhou Port (九洲港)in Zhuhai. It took 1 hour and 30 minutes to cross Lingdingyang. Now I can use the newly –built bridge. It shortens the time to 45 minutes only. After two trips to Lingdingyang, I will inevitably think of the famous poetry of the Song Dynasty(宋朝)patriotic poet: Wen TianXiang(文天祥 )
- The HZMB project is part of a Beijing-driven strategy to create an economic hub and
- promote the economic development of the whole area of the Pearl River Delta.
The HZMB looks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
How panic-stricken I was retreating before the Tartars!
Being a captive, I lamented over my solitary confinement.
Who can avert his death since time immemorial?
Let my heart remain true to shine in the annals.
* Note: Lindingyang is the middle channel of the Pearl River estuary which runs from Humen to Jiuzhouyang.
- Shuttle buses are available 24 hours a day and depart up to every 5 minutes with tickets
- available for purchase from vending machines or ticket counters.
The HZMB was designed to last for 120 years.
The construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has a preparatory period of about 6 years and a construction period of 9 years. It eventually lasted for 15 years for completion. It is regarded as the longest-travelled, most invested and most difficult cross-sea bridge in China's construction Project. The design life of the bridge is 120 years.
Arrival gate to Macao.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Border Inspection Building
Its special features are it is the China's first cross-sea passage integrating bridges, double artificial islands and tunnels. I am most interested in the 5,664-meter submarine highway immersed tunnel, which spans about 5 minutes. From the artificial island of the west of the bridge, it is transferred to the subsea tunnel. The bridge is completely erected on the ground except for this submarine tunnel.
The Undersea Tunnel of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
- The HZMB,is a 55-kilometre bridge–tunnel system consisting of a series of
- three cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel, and four artificial islands.
Another thing that makes me curious is that in terms of vehicle driving, Hong Kong and Macu left rudder, China's right rudder. How do drivers change lanes? According to the design of the project, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge adopts the right-hand traffic rules on the mainland. After the vehicles arrive at the Hong Kong or Macao port, the traffic on the left and right sides is completed. When arriving at the destination port, the relevant guidelines will guide the driver to adjust in the corresponding direction. Drivers from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau are experienced and operationally not a problem. Drivers are easy to get used to.
- The longest underwater tunnel in the world, 6.7 km long and 48 meters under water,
- in the Pearl River Estuary. The tunnel is part of a22.9 km long
- sea bridge that now connects the three cities
The Artificial Island of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
After a lunch at a restaurant in Nanwan Cuiyuan, Macau, our group returned to Hong Kong by shuttle bus.