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Pearl River, Guangzhou

The Pearl River is more than 2,000 kilometers long and is the third longest river in China. It is composed of four tributaries: the Xi River (originating from the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau), the Liuxi River (originating from Conghua City in Guangdong Province), the Bei River, and the Dong River (both originating from Jiangxi Province). These four rivers converge in Guangzhou, flow for about 70 kilometers, and then pour into the South Sea. The section flowing through Guangzhou City is called 'Pearl River' . The Pearl River was called 'The Pearl Sea' for its 2000 meters-wide channel. Later, the channel gradually shrunk, and now it is only 180 meters wide. The name Pearl River is said to derive from a huge boulder in the river bed. This rock, with the name of 'Sea Pearl', is so round and smooth that it looks like a large, shining pearl.

Nowadays, many bridges span the Pearl River. High buildings such as star-grade hotels and modern shopping malls stand along the banks of the river. Guangzhou is now a prosperous city, and the Pearl River, unlike other rivers displaying only natural beauty, boasts the type of scenery that only belongs to a modern urban area. When night falls, the Pearl River immediately starts to look more interesting. The bridges, decorated by colorful shining neon lights, seem like fantastic rainbows spanning the river. On both banks, the nightlife of the city awakens. It becomes gorgeous with a blaze of lights. The water in the river reflects the magnificent lights in shimmering patterns. Tourists on the evening cruise ships enjoy the beautiful evening at a leisurely pace. Visitors enjoy the gentle cool breeze and soak up the colorful night view.

During the day, local people usually stroll the 'Scenery Corridor' alongside the river, enjoying the beautiful water scenes. The corridor, about 23 kilometers long, is actually a bank built especially for sightseeing. In addition to the attractive water scenes along the Pearl River, people can also find historic and artistic buildings in Guangzhou including the Huangpu Military Academy (the first military academy in Chinese history), the Xinghai Concert Hall (which boasts an unusual elegant appearance), the Historic Site in Shamian (which includes hundreds of buildings in different architectural styles), and Tianzi Dock (which was used for greeting officials hundreds of years ago).

The Pearl River is like a ribbon that connects the historical sites and beautiful scenery along the river and shows people both the modern culture and the historical legacy of Guangzhou City.

Editted by Athena Lee

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