guangzhou (also known to many westerners as canton) is the capital of guangdong province and is one of the most important metropolis centres in china. it is located north of the pearl river delta and since 1957 has been home to the famous annual trade fair chinese export commodities fair (or canton fair). this event is considered the oldest and one of the biggest fairs in china, attracting around 150,000 business representatives from 200 countries around the world. you will immediately notice the many high-rises, vehicles and people.
there are areas in canton where visitors can still witness traditional lifestyle – old people sitting and chatting over tea and old style family-run stores selling special items such as dried food and herbal medicine. canton was an anglo-french concession after the opium wars and it has very european-influenced architecture and many areas in guangzhou remind visitors of paris or london with its tree-lined avenues and sculptures.