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Looking at Guangzhou's history through landmark buildings

Updated: Oct 19, 2018 Print
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White Swan Hotel, the 1980s landmark

Address: 1 Shamian South Street, Liwan district, Guangzhou

White Swan Hotel was a joint investment between Henry Fok and the Guangdong government, located at the White Swan Pond of Shamian Island. Opened in 1983, it is the first five-star hotel in China built with any foreign investment.

Leading the way for China's reform and opening-up, the hotel was opened as a window for Chinese people to see the world and showed the new era of modern China to foreign visitors.

The hotel has received 150 heads of state and members of royal family from more than 40 countries in 30 years, including Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom; Richard Nixon, the former US president; and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore.


Guangdong International Hotel, the landmark of the late 1980s and early 1990s

Address: 339 Huanshi East Road, Guangzhou

Guangdong International Hotel was completed in 1991 and the 63-storey building once again raised the skyline of Guangzhou, becoming the highest on the Chinese mainland. Residents in Guangzhou call it "Sixty-three Floors".


CITIC Plaza, the 1990s landmark

Address: 233 Tianhe North Road, Guangzhou

The 391 meter, 80-storey CITIC Plaza is one of the landmark architectural edifices in Guangzhou. The building was completed in 1997 and it was the tallest in China during the 1990s.


Hejing International Financial Plaza, the early 21st century landmark

Address: 8 Huaxia Road, Tianhe district, Guangzhou

The 198-meter building was the tallest in the Pearl River New Town in Guangzhou city after it was finished in 2005. Since then, the new town has built many other skyscrapers.


Canton Tower and Zhujiang New Town, today's city landmarks 

Canton Tower, located at the intersection of Guangzhou New City Central Axis and the southern bank of the Pearl River, faces Haixinsha Island, the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 16th Asian Games.

The tower boasts a total height of 600 meters, with the body of the tower reaching 450 meters upon which stands a 150 meter long antenna. The tower has a total construction area of 120,000 square meters, and is currently the highest tower in China and the third highest in the world.

Canton Tower uses a core concrete tube at its axis. The outer steel structure consists of 24 steel pillars, 46 steel rings and a diagonal cross, which creates a hollowed-out effect and a unique open structure.

With its unique shape and design, the tower has become a magnificent site in the New City Central Axis, adding beauty and charm to the Pearl River.

Canton Tower, the new landmark building of Guangzhou, is more than a tourism and sightseeing tower, combining the functions of urban sightseeing, tower climbing and recreation, fashionable food and beverages, exhibitions, movies and TV entertainment, environmental protection and science promotion, culture and education, and shopping and leisure. The tower is also named one of the Top Eight New Sceneries of Guangzhou and is one of the privileged members of the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT).

The East Tower and West Tower in the CBD of Zhujiang New Town, along with the Canton Tower, form a triangular pattern across Guangzhou's landscape. They are the new landmarks of the city and witnesses of the economic development of Guangzhou.



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