Overview of Foshan

Foshan China 2017-01-25

Located at the heart of the Pearl River Delta(PRD), one of the most economically vibrant areas in China, Foshan enjoys excellent geographic advantage. Foshan and Guangzhou put in place the “Guangzhou-Foshan Metropolitan Circle”, which is an important part of “Guangzhou-Foshan-Zhaoqing Economic Circle” and “Pearl River and Xijiang River Economic Belt”. Foshan leads the economic development of Guangdong Province.


Adjacent to Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, Foshan is within two-hour drive away from those two regions. With Guangzhou-Shenzhen High Speed Railway and Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Rapid Rail, the three cities(Foshan, Hong Kong and Macao ) have formed “1-hour Transportation Circle”.


At present, Foshan governs five districts, namely, Changchen District, Nanhai District, Shunde District, Gaoming District and Sanshui District. The city covers a total area of 3797.72 km2, and has a population of 7.3506 million including 3.8561 million with local household registration.


I. Foshan, a famous city of Lingnan culture with profound accumulation


Foshan, “Founded in Jin and Named in Tang”, was originally named Jihuaxiang. In the 2nd year of Zhenguan Period of Tang Dynasty (628 AD), three statues of Buddha were unearthed from Tapo Hill in the city, by which the place was then revered as a Buddhist land. A stone tablet inscribed with the name of Foshan was then erected. The city has been ever since renamed as Foshan for 1388 years till now, which is literally interpreted in Chinese as Hill of Buddha.


Tang and Song Dynasties were marked as the two most important periods for the significant business flourishing in Foshan. The city was crowned as a desirable place for handicraft industry, business and cultural activities. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, Foshan developed into one of the Four Well-known Towns in China together with Hankou in Hubei Province, Jingde in Jiangxi Province and Zhuxian in Henan Province, and one of the Four Commercial Centers in China together with Beijing, Hankou and Suzhou. The city boasted its strong presence in the sectors of textile, ceramics, foundry and medicine in South China, and became a famous distribution center for Guangdong products and North China products. At the end of Qing Dynasty, with the naissance of China's first filature factory and match factory in Foshan, Foshan became one of the birthplaces of modern national industry in China. 


Foshan, with a long history and rich culture, is one of the birthplaces of Lingnan Culture. Foshan has been famous for being Hometown of Ceramics, Hometown of Canton Opera, Hometown of Martial Arts, Hometown of Canton Silk, Hometown of Patent Medicine in Lingnan Region, Hometown of Folk Arts. Foshan has gestated many folk customs, including Qiuse (Parade celebrating autumn harvest and Xingdongji(Walking through the Tongji Bridge on the Lantern Day), etc.


Known as Hometown of Ceramics, Foshan has enjoyed the reputation of “Ceramics from Shiwan, the Best Under the Sun” ever since ancient times. Nanfeng Ancient Kiln, built in Zhengde period of Ming Dynasty, is the oldest wood-firing kiln existing in the world. The kiln has been used for more than 500 years without stopping production and is reputed as “Living Fossil of Ceramics”.


Foshan is also known as Hometown of Canton Opera and the birthplace of Canton Opera--merited as Red Bean in South China. Foshan is home to “Artists in the Red Boat”(referred to the Canton Opera artists) and Qionghua Hall (the earliest Canton Opera organization). In 2013, Nanhai District was honored with the title of "Hometome of Chinese Opera Arts".


Known as the Hometown of martial arts, Foshan is the place where southern martial arts originated, represented by Cai Lifo boxing style, Hong boxing style and Yong Chun boxing style. Famous Kongfu master Huang Feihong, Liang Zan, Ye Wen and Kung Fu film star Bruce Lee, of Foshan origin, learned the martial arts in Foshan. In 2004, Foshan was awarded the title of "City of Martial Arts".


Being the hometown of lion dance, Foshan is the birth-land of southern lion dance and the frist “National Famous City of Lion Dance and Dragon Boat”. Chancheng District is awarded the "Hometown of China Dragon and Lion Dance" and Xiqiao township of Nanhai District is the only “China Famous Township of Dragon and Lion Dance" nationwide.


Foshan has long been widely regarded as the basis for exquisite Cantonese cuisine and the cradle of Cantonese cuisine chefs. It was praised as the “City of Cantonese Gourmet” by China Cuisine Association. In 2014, Shunde joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as the City of Gastronomy.


Foshan is the "Hometown of Patent Medicine in Lingnan Region". With a history of over 400 years, Foshan boasted a full range of excellent traditional Chinese medicines, including those time-honored brands such as Huang Xianghua Medicine Oil, Feng Liaoxing Medicated Wine and Yuan Jilin Herbal Tea, etc.


 "Xingtongji"(Walking through the Tongji Bridge on the Lantern Day), initiated in the Late Ming Dynasty, has been well preserved till now and is becoming a modern charity fest. Every year hundreds of thousands of Foshan citizens participate in the event of "Xingtongji".


Foshan is Home to a Galaxy of Talented People. Ever since ancient times, Foshan has been home to a galaxy of talented people. Since Tang and Song Dynasty, nine of the national academic and martial arts champions were from Guangdong, and five of them were from Foshan. The city prides itself on many outstanding historical figures like Kang Youwei, pioneer of the Constitutional Reform in 1898, political activists like Zhang Menghuan, Dai Hongci, Tan Pingshan, He Xiangning, Luo Dengxian and Deng Pei, entrepreneurs like Chen Qiyuan and Jian Yujie, scientists like Zhan Tianyou, Zou Boqi, writers like Wu Yanren, famous Canton Opera artists like Xue Juexian, Ma Shizeng, martial artists like Liang Zan, Huang Feihong, Ye Wen and Bruce Lee, famous doctors like Li Guanghai, craftsmen like Huang bing, Chen Weiyan, Liu Chuan, and the first Chinese priest -- Liang Fa.