Guangzhou, China

By jo.sau (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, has an urban population of more than five million people and a total population of over 13,000,000. It is the third largest city in China. Throughout its history, Guangzhou has been a center for international trade. In ancient times, Arab, Persian, and Indian merchants often saw their first glimpse of Chinese culture at Guangzhou. It was usually from here where such merchants returned to their home countries with one of the most sought after trade goods in history - silk.

Guangzhou is the birthplace of Cantonese, one of two major languages spoken in China. Cantonese is very different from Mandarin (the other major language), and is the language most commonly spoken internationally.