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Guangzhou is a city of many names. Split in half by the Pearl River, this capital of southeast China's Guangdong Province used to be known as Canton. It's called the "flower city," and "rice-ear city," as the local subtropical climate brings forth perpetual blooms, fruits, and three rice crops per year.
And Guangzhou has more tea-houses and restaurants than any other city in China. Hence the popular saying "eating in Guangzhou" (a Chinese variation on "having it made"), and yet another Guangzhou monicker -- "the food city."
Legend says five gods riding goats brought the first grain to Guangzhou, hence its "Goat City" nickname. It's no myth, however, that Guangzhou is south China's main seaport, with rail and hovercraft connections to nearby Hong Kong.
The semi-annual Guangzhou Trade Fair attracts 40,000 international buyers each spring and fall. The city's largest single industry is cotton spinning.
Guangzhou is also a cultural center for its 6.7 million residents. With several universities, the city features the National Peasant Movement Institute, founded by Mao Zedong and Zhou En Lai. Historical monuments include Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, commemorating the Nationalist revolutionary movement, seated here in 1913.