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Guangdong Travel Guide

Guangdong Overview

Guangdong is a province on the southern coast of People's Republic of China. It borders Hong Kong and Macao and is adjacent to Southeast Asian countries. Its land territory spans 178,000 square kilometers. The advantageous geographical location enables Guangdong to serve as a window, through which China communicates with the rest of the world. The provincial capital Guangzhou and economic hub Shenzhen are amongst the most populous and important cities in China.

Guangdong is China’s leading tourism-based province, staying ahead in the nation in the number of inbound tourists and total income of tourism. In addition to its geographical advantage, Guangdong’s charm also lies in the numerous tourist and cultural attractions with distinctive local characteristics.

Guangdong cuisine, one of the Eight Great Cuisines, emphasizes seafood, and unique, mixed flavorings. It is divided into three branches: Guangdong food is traditional Guangdong cuisine; Chaozhou food is similar to Fujian cuisine because Chaozhou neighbors Fujian Province; and Dongjiang food, which is represented by Huizhou food, emphasizes domestic animals and poultry. The dietetic culture of Guangdong has retained many eating habits and customs of the ancient people, such as eating snakes. In short, to the people of Guangdong, everything that walks, crawls, flies, or swims is edible.

Guangdong Facts

Provincial Capital: Guangzhou

Area: Covering a total land area of 180,000 square kilometers,.

Geography: Guangdong faces the South China Sea to the south and has a total of 4,300 km of coastline. Leizhou Peninsula is on the southwestern end of the province. The Pearl River Delta is the convergent point of three upstream rivers: The river delta is filled with hundreds of small islands. The province is geographically separated from the north by a few mountain ranges collectively called the Southern Mountain Range. The highest peak in the province is Shikengkong 1,902 meters above sea level.

The province is high in the north and low in the south. Mountains make up 31.7% of the total area, hilly areas 28.5%, terraced farmland 16.1% and plains 23.7%. It has 3.12 million hectares of farmland, 10.25 million hectares devoted to forestry and 570,000 hectares of underdeveloped grasslands.

Population: The province has a total population of 82 million making up of Han, Zhuang, Yao, Miao, Dong and Tujia ethnic groups.

Administrative Division: Guangdong Province has jurisdiction over 21 prefecture-level cities (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, Shaoguan, Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhanjiang, Maoming, Zhaoqing, Huizhou, Meizhou, Shanwei, Heyuan, Yangjiang, Qingyuan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Chaozhou, Jieyang and Yunfu), 23 county-level cities, 41 counties, 3 autonomous counties and 54 districts under city administration.

Climate: Guangdong Province features mid-subtropical climate, south subtropical climate and tropical climate from north to south. It enjoys sufficient sunlight, heat and water resources and annual duration of sunshine varies from less than 1,500 hours in the north to more than 2,300 hours in the south. Annual average temperature stays between 19 and 24 degree Celsius; average temperature in January varies from 8 to 16 degree while average temperature in July stays between 27 and 29 degree. Annual rainfall ranges from 1,400 to 2,000 mm, but almost 80% of yearly rainfall comes in a short period from April to September. Rainfall also varies sharply from year to year, rainfall in a rainy year could double the amount of a dry year. The province is frequently hit by flooding, drought and typhoons. Disastrous weather conditions such as freezing rain in the spring, cold dew wind, cold wave and frost are also commonly seen in the province.

Guangdong Climate & Weather

Guangdong has tropical and subtropical monsoon climate with long time summer and abundant rainfall. The Leizhou Peninsula is in the tropical zone. Since Guangdong province is located in the low latitude area and faces the South China Sea, it has tropical and subtropical climates.

The months between April and September are the rainy seasons, with an annual average rainfall of 1,500-2,000mm. The Pearl River Delta is where "there is no snow in three winters and flowers blossom all year around". The annual average temperature is about22.3℃; and the average temperature in January is between 16℃ and 19℃, while in July is about 28℃.

Tips for Guangdong Weather

Best season to visit Guangdong
The best time to travel in Guangdong is in spring and winter, especially March, December to February. It doesn’t rain frequently in spring in Guangdong. The average temperature is 23℃. Summer is extremely long and hot in Guangdong. The highest temperature can reach 33℃. Summer and autumn in Guangdong are both typhoon seasons. The average temperature in autumn is about 23℃. Winter is cool but not cold in Guangdong. The average temperature of the whole winter is about 17℃.

Clothes for travelling
The temperature of spring in Guangdong rises a lot, so it’s better to wear your thin coat or sweater. Summer and autumn are both typhoon and rainy seasons, so rain gear is needed if you are going to have your Guangdong Tours in these two seasons. Autumn is mild in Guangdong; you just need to put on your sweater and light outerwear. Though winter is not cold in Guangdong, you had better take your overcoat for the diverse weather.

Avoid Peak Holidays
It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07). Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.

Other Tips
If you are traveling to grassland or plateau in Guangdong, pay attention that the climate there changes a lot in morning and night. Please bring enough clothes, put on tourist shoes or soft shoes for horseback riding or mountaineering, wear your trousers, wear gloves, etc…

In case of emergency (earthquake, fire, hurricanes and other natural disasters), please don't be panic; stay calm and judge the situation. Pay attention to the local weather early warning report, also tourists should improve the sense of self-protection.

You need to understand the local climate and temperature before you enjoying your Guangdong Tours, so that you can carry the corresponding equipments (such as an umbrella, sun hat, sunglasses, etc…) and prepare the corresponding clothing and self-needed drugs.

Guangdong Tours & Tings to Do