Fresh vitality of the time-honored city

The brilliant Canton Tower

Baomo Garden

Chen Clan Academy

Discover Guangzhou: travel through time

Discover Guangzhou: the folk activity in Shawan, Guangzhou, on the third day of March of the lunar calendar

The Sculpture of the Five Rams Legend

Source: The Publicity Department of the CPC Guangzhou Municipal Committee

Diverse Guangzhou, a commercial city with about a thousand year history

Beijing Road Pedestrian Street

Beijing Road Pedestrian Street during holiday seasons

The site of the millennial ancient building on the Beijing Road Pedestrian Street

The new axis of Guangzhou downtown area

The sparkling night view of the Pearl River

The first financial street that integrates all the functions including capital loan, wealth management, payment settlement and information release

A dancing performance of a foreigner at the millennial Beijing Road Pedestrian Street

 

 

 

 

 

Source: The Publicity Department of the CPC Guangzhou Municipal Committee

From transportation to exchange, Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link carries new mission

Lee Chun-yin felt that his work became much easier compared with one year ago.

Working in the training industry, the 52-year-old man in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region needs to make three to five trips a month to the mainland. “Thanks to the express train, my travel time is shortened and the journey is more comfortable,” he said.

He was referring to the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL), the Hong Kong section of which opened on Sept. 23 last year, linking Hong Kong directly to dozens of destinations in the mainland.

Monday marks the one year anniversary of the Hong Kong session’s opening to public.

Before XRL was in operation, Lee had to take metro before changing to the bus. “When I arrived at the port, I had to carry my luggage back and forth,” he recalled. “With the high-speed train, however, I was saved from all the troubles. And it is very fast.”

A trip from Hong Kong to Xiamen in east China’s Fujian province only takes four and a half hours, while in the past it would cost him six or seven hours. The travel time to Beijing, which used to exceed 24 hours, is about nine hours now.

 

“People in Hong Kong have become used to and fond of the new way of travelling to the mainland,” said Cheris Lee, chief of operating-high speed rail and intercity of MTR corporation.

China is home to some 29,000 km of high-speed railways, accounting for more than two thirds of the world’s total.

“In Hong Kong, although high-speed trains only run a stretch of 26 kilometers, it is a milestone that we could be connected with the mainland,” said Cheris Lee. “People here do not have to transfer in Shenzhen or Guangzhou before reaching other cities.”

She told Xinhua that XRL sees about 45,000 passengers a day on the weekdays, while at the weekends the number stands at 62,000. On special occasions such as the Spring Festival it could carry as many as 100,000 passengers on the busiest day.

At the railway station on Monday, a man surnamed Cheng was using the machine to buy tickets to Xiamen. After he retired, the 65-year-old man liked travelling in the mainland.

“The airports are mostly located on the outskirts, and you need to get there two hours before boarding,” he said. “The XRL is more convenient, which takes you directly to the city center.”

 

A man surnamed Ge who lives in Shenzhen and comes to Hong Kong every Saturday for MBA studies, said “it is our consensus with the Hong Kong students that XRL benefit all of us, so that we could have more exchanges. Hopefully this could help Hong Kong and the mainland get to know each other better.”

Due to the continued violent protests in Hong Kong, the railway station is apparently less busy than before.

The passengers Xinhua interviewed shared the view that hopefully peace could be restored soon.

“With the XRL, I hope that people from both sides could visit each other more frequently, so as to eliminate misunderstanding,” said Lee Chun-yin’s companion.

Source: Xinhua

Hello China: The Greater Bay Area of China – Guangzhou

As one of the most open and dynamic regions in China, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area owns an important strategic position in the overall economic development of China. The unique cuisine, charming scenery, as well as the environment that encourages and embraces innovation attract many foreign friends over the years.

Australian girl Amy is on her way to China! Guangzhou was her first stop to explore the Greater Bay Area. With some advice from the locals, Amy decided to buy a unique traditional Chinese dress and incredibly it only took her 48 hours from ordering this tailor-made dress to wearing it on.

Source: People’s Daily Online

Guangzhou-made opera wows audience in Italy

The original Chinese opera Marco Polo, created by the Guangzhou Opera House and based on the story of the famous Italian explorer, has been well-received by local audiences and media during its tour in Italy.

Marco Polo, first staged in May 2018 in Guangzhou, was shown at the Dal Verme Theater in Milan on Sep 22 and 24 and at the Carlo Felice Theater in Genoa from Sep 29 to Oct 1.

It is a three-act Chinese opera running 165 minutes, and its main cast consists of people from around the world with a variety of cultural backgrounds.

The opera recounts the epic adventures of Marco Polo, who traveled along the ancient Silk Road to China in the 13th century. It was meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Italy and China.

“Italian audiences are very familiar with both opera and the story of Marco Polo. The opera is a good way to showcase China’s cultural strength as it was created in Guangzhou and presented by artists from home and abroad,” said Wang Bingbing, a Chinese opera performer living in Italy.

Giuseppe Talamo, an Italian tenor who stars as Marco Polo in the opera, said he was happy to be able to perform the opera in his homeland.

“I hope more Italian artists can perform in China to improve cultural exchanges between the two countries, just like Marco Polo,” added Talamo.

Guangzhou continues efforts to be a ‘Food Capital of the World’

The “2019 Must-eat Food List” was published by professional gourmet institutes in Guangzhou on July 5 and nearly 60 Guangzhou restaurants made it on the “Must-Go Restaurant” list, with 29 Guangzhou cuisines selected on the “Must-Eat Food” list.

It marked another effort by the southern metropolis to promote its construction of being a “Food Capital of the World”.

A total of 1,463 restaurants and 655 dishes were on the lists. The Guangzhou dishes entering the “Must-eat Food List” include steamed rice noodle rolls, roast goose, shrimp dumplings, and Cantonese roast pork.

The Asian Beer Culture Festival is held during the Asian Cuisine Festival Guangzhou. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily]

The Asia Cuisine Festival Guangzhou was held from May 16 to 23. During the festival, seven countries, including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, carried out special activities showcasing their national characteristics. Japanese food-making shows, special exhibitions of Korean food and cartoons, as well as a Thai gourmet party were a highlight that attracted a large number of tourists who not only tasted exotic food, but also experienced the cultures of other Asia countries.

The Asia Cuisine Festival Guangzhou built a 10-kilometer “Asian Food Culture Corridor” on both sides of the Pearl River. In the future, Guangzhou will continue to strengthen the corridor’s operation. In addition to gourmet food, Guangzhou will actively build cultural platforms for the city, taking the Pearl River as a springboard and tapping into the cultural resources of the Pearl River Delta region to make the Pearl River a calling card like the Seine River in Paris and the Thames River in London.

The city of Guangzhou boasts a variety of tasty food and it strives to build itself into a “Food Capital of the World”. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily]

Source: eguangzhou.gov.cn

Michelin releases new guide dedicated to Guangzhou restaurants

The Michelin Guide Guangzhou 2019 was released on July 16, unveiling the southern Chinese metropolis’ first two-star restaurant that was praised for providing “excellent cuisine worth a detour”.

The restaurant, Jiang (江), was previously rated as a one-star Michelin restaurant in 2018 before receiving a two-star rating this year.

The Michelin Guide Guangzhou 2019 is released on July 16 in Guangzhou. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily]

Its acclaimed Cantonese cuisine strikes a balance between tradition and innovative food-making techniques, while incorporating eye-catching elements of Japan and the West. The specialties at the restaurant include roast chicken with flaxseed, Cantonese dim sum, and char siu (Cantonese roast pork).

In addition, 10 restaurants were rated as a one-star restaurant this year, two more than last year.

According to Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, the continuous development of Guangzhou’s culinary industry has impressed their reviewers since the release of the first edition of the Michelin Guide Guangzhou. They found more new and excellent restaurants as the number of restaurants included in this year’s guide increased from 63 to 79.

Guangzhou Port is an important port of the Maritime Silk Road and the city of Guangzhou is located in the Pearl River Delta. These factors have contributed to the city’s diverse and rich dining culture. The Michelin Guide Guangzhou 2019 reflects Guangzhou’s diversified food culture with a total of 18 cuisines included in it, such as Cantonese cuisine, Indian cuisine, and Singaporean cuisine.

Source: eguangzhou.gov.cn

Celebrating Cantonese fare

Jiang by Chef Fei at the Mandarin Oriental in Guangzhou may have just received two Michelin stars, but the restaurant is not in the business of resting on its laurels, Li Yingxue reports.

Last June, when the first edition of the Guangzhou Michelin Guide was released, eight restaurants were awarded one star each. However on July 16, when the second edition was released, 12 stars were given out but only one restaurant received two – Cantonese cuisine restaurant Jiang by Chef Fei.

The synopsis for the restaurant in the guide reads: “At the Mandarin Oriental’s upscale Chinese restaurant, the chef creates innovative dishes with Japanese and Western inflections based on traditional Cantonese cooking techniques.”

Huang Jinghui, also known as chef Fei, the chef de cuisine at Jiang by Chef Fei, says he had the feeling that he was going to gain two stars when all the one-star restaurants were announced, and his restaurant’s name was not called out.

“I was nervous, but not as nervous as last year,” says Huang, who couldn’t sleep well in the months leading up to last year’s announcement.

“To gain Michelin stars is a dream for most chefs, but my rule is to always serve the diners the best quality food with or without a star,” says Huang.

Before the Michelin guide focused on Guangzhou, business at Huang’s restaurant was already brisk, but the stars have helped to bring in more customers.

With two stars, the restaurant now has to be booked around 10 days in advance.

Huang thinks the stars are both a reason for pride and stress for his team as the diners following the Michelin guide expect a lot.

“The judges of the Michelin guide need time to explore the delicacies of Guangzhou, and I believe that in the future there will be three-starred restaurants in our city,” says Huang.

Guangzhou is where Huang started his culinary journey at the age of 16 when he left his hometown, a small town in Chaoshan region in Guangdong province.

At the age of 20, he became an executive chef leading a team of 20. During the early years he took the time to practice his culinary skills, from cutting to frying. He has filled six notebooks with notes on cooking and other knowledge he had gained.

“I would volunteer to cook the staff meal at the restaurant, so that I had more chances to perfect my skills,” says the 46-year-old, who remembers that for one staff meal, he had a large bunch of cucumbers to chop.

From cucumber to carrot, radish to ginger, Huang has perfected his skills of dicing, slicing and shredding.

“Unlike today, when chicken chefs dealt with specific parts back in the 1990s, they had to clean and deal with the whole bird by themselves,” says Huang.

In 2012, Huang started to make preparations for the launch of Jiang by Chef Fei, the first Cantonese cuisine restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental hotel to be named after its chef.

According to Huang, he trains his chefs in a military style with strict rules for each dish, from cooking to plating. He also examines each dish before they are served to diners, and he throws the food away if the dish is not cooked as he wants.

“I tell the chef what is wrong with the dish and ask them to make it again,” says Huang, who calls over all the chefs in the kitchen to listen to him correcting the problem so that no one repeats the mistake.

“All the chefs in my team respect me, but not out of fear,” says Huang.

After creating a new dish, Huang not only teaches his chefs how to cook it, but also tells all the servers how it is made and lets them try the dish so they can explain it better when serving it.

Huang is very strict about cleanness in his kitchen. The floor of his kitchen has to be kept clean and dry for the entire time no matter how busy the chefs are.

“I tell my chefs to clean the kitchen each day after cooking, because sanitation is the key to ensuring food safety,” says Huang.

Huang knows the temperaments of each of his chefs and handles them accordingly. Even when some of his chefs leave the team, Huang continues to guide them.

“I wanted to be an executive chef the moment I walked into the kitchen 30 years ago, and I hope my chefs can understand the importance to have a clear goal for the future,” says Huang.

Anthony Tyler, general manager of the Mandarin Oriental in Guangzhou, says Michelin’s recognition of the restaurant is a testament to the unique position it occupies in the city.

Huang is also a consultant to several other Cantonese restaurants under the Mandarin Oriental group, and he wants to spread the cuisine to more places outside of China.

He crafts innovative dishes from simple but top-class seasonal ingredients.

Traditional wax gourd soup features ham and dried scallop, but Huang also adds steamed Alaskan crab meat to give the dish more freshness.

He also pays a lot of attention to the plating of his dishes, which he compares to what stylish clothes represent to people.

“The key to the cuisine is seasonality, both for ingredients and flavor. In winter the dishes are rich and in summer the seasoning is light.”

To celebrate the Michelin accolade, Huang has six special “mustorder” dishes for diners in Guangzhou, three of which are newly created, including the poached Australian abalone with black truffle sauce.

Huang poaches the imported abalone, which weigh a minimum of 700 grams each, in chicken broth with Chinese ham for 24 hours.

Another recommended dish is the poached lobster in spicy and sour soup, which has a seafood broth and is made with fresh tomatoes. Huang then adds a hit of fresh chili to the dish.

For dessert, there’s stewed imperial bird’s nest with pear and orange blossom wine. Here, the tender and smooth texture of the pear is a perfect match for the delicacy favored by Chinese nobility – imperial bird’s nest.

To attain three stars, Huang thinks besides the quality of food, all elements during the diners’ whole eating experience matter, from tableware to wine pairing.

As for his immediate ambitions, Huang says: “I hope diners from outside of Guangdong province or even from abroad, will come to enjoy the authentic Cantonese cuisine at my restaurant.”

Guangzhou Jade Carving

Guangzhou Jade Carving skills came into being in the mid and late period of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), with more than 1,000 years of history.

Jadeite is usually used for Guangzhou Jade Carving, and made into ornaments or furnishings. Jade balls, which are small balls put inside big ones with each of them able to move freely, are a featured product of Guangzhou Jade Carving.

Guangzhou Jade Carving products are characterized with elegance, exquisiteness and daintiness. They also record the integration of Chinese and western cultures in the past hundred years, and possess important values of history, culture, art, and economy.

Jade has been seen by the Chinese people a symbol of auspiciousness and luck, and could guard against evil and avoid disasters. Hence, Guangzhou Jade Carving products are of great popularity at home and abroad.

It was listed among the second batch of the national intangible cultural heritages under the approval of the State Council in June 2008.

An exquisite Guangzhou Jade Carving furnishing. [Photo/ichgz.com]
Guangzhou Jade Carving

An exquisite Guangzhou Jade Carving furnishing. [Photo/ichgz.com]

Source: China Daily

New Zealand entrepreneurs urged to seek opportunities in China’s Greater Bay Area

New Zealand entrepreneurs were encouraged here on Friday at the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area) promotion conference to devote to international economic and trade cooperation with the Greater Bay Area.

The bay area consists of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China’s Macao Special Administrative Region, as well as nine cities in south China’s Guangdong Province — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.

Guangdong is now working hard to build a world-class urban agglomeration and a world-class bay area with Hong Kong and Macao and to uplift the overall opening up platform, China’s Vice Consul-General in Auckland Xiao Yewen said, noting that the Greater Bay Area plan will promote the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao.

“The concept has a great economic potential in terms of trade, in terms of people to people visit and in terms of scientific changes. This area will become a global innovation and technology hub,” said Jian Yang, a member of New Zealand parliament.

Yang encouraged the entrepreneurs to seek new opportunities in the Greater Bay Area, saying, “there is a great opportunity for us to join this.”

Wang Jiazheng, president of Canton Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand which hosted the conference, said, “The traditional manufacturing industry has a solid foundation in Greater Bay Area, and it has gathered many mainland science and technology enterprises. The R&D and innovation capabilities have been continuously improved, and high-tech industrial clusters have been fully formed.”

The member companies of Canton Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand are expected to participate in the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) scheduled in November, according to Wang.

After the conference which was attended by over 200 entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurs visited a photo exhibition featuring Guangdong development achievements.

Source: Xinhua