Category Archives: Cities

Songshan Lake to get complex

Songshan Lake, the high-tech zone in Dongguan, is going upscale. Already the home of the Huawei R&D headquarters known as Ox Horn, which has a collection of European-style buildings and its own mini-railway, the district has been in need of a major commercial complex. It is getting one around the Songshan Lake North railway station, courtesy of China Resources Group, which makes its first foray into Dongguan with a large, mixed use project, Wan Xiang Hui. 

The project broke ground yesterday, Dongguan Daily reports. It is expected to be finished in three years, boasting offices, shops, hotels and apartments, covering an area of 44,100 sqm, with a total construction area of about 350,000 sqm. It consists of a podium with five floors above and one below ground, plus two towers at 240 meters and 130 meters high, respectively.

The station is a major future transport hub, with the Guangzhou-Huizhou Intercity Railway passing through, as well as Dongguan’s metro Lines 3 and 5, all of which are still under construction. 

Residents will likely especially appreciate the Wan Xiang Hui Square, which will feature a wide variety of modern dining and entertainment options. Songshan Lake is a beautiful area, but it does get a bit dull at night.

Exploring Guangzhou – 10 must-go places

The provincial capital of Guangzhou is a megalopolis that combines old and new in fascinating ways. No matter if you are a history buff, or simply looking for place to spend a leisurely weekend, there are many fun and interesting options available. Here is a list of our top 10 must-go places. Please note that this is a big city, so planning your trip to each of these spots requires attention to transport details. Klook.com is our favorite, and they have affordable chauffeured tour options. You can do day-trips, now that high-speed train links make it easier, but we wouldn’t suggest it: better to take your time with hotel bookings and stay at least one night – or more.

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Jiangmen: Mission to restore faded glory

The municipality of Jiangmen has a fascinating history, and to say it has “been through the wars” would be an understatement. Like most of the Greater Bay Area, it has had its ups and downs. Yet its history is unique as a once-proud node on the Maritime Silk Road, a home to many overseas Chinese who traded throughout Southeast Asia in the days before Hong Kong and Canton became the powerhouses they are today. Once one of the region’s richest areas, today the GBA’s westernmost city is, like the easternmost city of Huizhou, finding itself playing catch-up to the rest in economic development.

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Zhuhai, Shenzhen launch new promos

On the eve of their 39th anniversary (officially) as China’s first special economic zones, both Shenzhen and Zhuhai have launched concerted efforts to portray themselves as “international” cities. These are noble efforts, and the slick videos they have produced are well worth watching.

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Guangzhou tops China’s ‘people magnets’

For all the attention being heaped on Shenzhen lately, Guangzhou is deserving some of its own, too. It is, after all, China’s No. 1 city in two measures much-loved by mainland residents: population mobility and urban vitality.

This is according to Baidu Map, the service that probably knows more about how people move around than any other. Among 100 Chinese cities surveyed by Baidu Map, Guangzhou topped the list with an “attractiveness index” of 14.277, ahead of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. 

Guangzhou had 14.904 million permanent residents at the end of last year. The government plans to increase its population to around 20 million by 2035. 

The reasons why Guangzhou is appealing to outsiders can be summarized as follows:

  • The city has fantastic landscape as well as mild and humid climate. It even ranked among the top five livable cities of China last year.
  • It has been at the forefront of Reform and Opening, with a dynamic economic structure and good public facilities, such as hospitals and universities.
  • A highly diversified economy provides more opportunities for job seekers from various sectors.
  • Industrial upgrading in the GBA has increased Guangzhou’s attractiveness as the southern China base for multinational companies.
  • House prices in Guangzhou are relatively more affordable compared to other major cities.

The local government has also rolled out a series of measures to attract talent. 

Shenzhen to be China’s ‘international city’

Mainland media are flush with news, analysis and commentary today about the State Council’s latest big plan for Shenzhen. Released over the weekend, the 4,000-character document is being spoken of in reverential terms, with some calling it an outline of Shenzhen’s mission to “complete” the so-called “China Model” or “Beijing Consensus” of economic and social development. 

At first glance, the document does indeed carry some guidance that suggests Shenzhen has been chosen to lead the entire country in the next stage of its development. The reforms it has been tasked with are unique, and once implemented successfully, will be replicated across the rest of China. Chief of these is the exploration of “political change”. 

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Huizhou: Set for an upgrade

With forests, beaches and traditional villages, Huizhou has big potential in tourism. The city is also aiming to ride the tech-upgrade momentum created by the GBA masterplan. Here is a deeper dive into one of the Bay’s more spacious municipalities.

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