Zhuhai is a prefecture-level city on the southern coast of Guangdong province in China. Located in the Pearl River Delta, Zhuhai borders Jiangmen to the northwest,Zhongshan to the north, and Macau to the south. Zhuhai was one of the original Special Economic Zones established in the 1980s. Zhuhai is also one of China's premier tourist destinations, being called the Chinese Riviera. The city's population is made up of mostly Mandarin speaking migrants. Its northern part made of Xiangzhou district is now part of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen built-up area, the biggest built-up area in the world with more than 44,478,513 inhabitants at the 2010 census encompassing the whole Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhongshan, Macao cities, main part of Guangzhou, and small parts of Jiangmen and Huizhou cities. According to a report released in 2014 by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhuhai is the most livable city in China.
|POPULATION :||• Prefecture-level city 1,562,530|
• Urban 1,562,530
• Metro 44,478,513
|TIME ZONE :||China Standard Time (UTC+8)|
|LANGUAGE :||Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)|
|RELIGION :||Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%; note: officially atheist|
|AREA :||• Prefecture-level city 1,724.32 km2 (665.76 sq mi)|
• Water 690 km2 (270 sq mi)
• Urban 1,724.32 km2 (665.76 sq mi)
• Metro 17,572.9 km2 (6,784.9 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||36 m (118 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||22°16′37″N 113°34′04″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.80|
• Female: 48.20
|ETHNIC :||Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%|
|AREA CODE :||756|
|POSTAL CODE :||519000|
|DIALING CODE :||+86 756|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Zhuhai is the name of a city, and Special Economic Zone (SEZ), inGuangdong Province, China. The name means Pearl Sea; Zhuhai is where the Pearl River (珠江; Zhūjiāng) flows into the South China Sea (南海 Nánhǎi).
Located in the Pearl River Delta, Zhuhai bordersJiangmen to the northwest, Zhongshan to the north, and former Portuguese colony Macau to the south. By sea, former British colony Hong Kong and Chinese boomtown Shenzhen are just across the Pearl estuary to the east. The provincial capital Guangzhou is about 150 km to the north.
Zhuhai is known for its beautiful long coastline, waving palm trees, open spaces, low population density, and its many islands; Zhuhai's nicknames are the city for lovers and the city of a hundred islands. Zhuhai serves as the gateway to Macau, as a tourist destination for Chinese, and as a playground for hedonistic Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan visitors who come for Zhuhai's very colorful nightlife and available women at mainland prices.
Zhuhai city inland portions of the terrain from the northwest to Southeast tilt, and diverse topography, with plain (25.5%), hills (58.68%), which has low mountain, tidal flat. Flat terrain, the hills of Linhai, sea area is vast, the hundred islands crouch, have qifengyidan beautiful bay, and the beach. Inland from Lantau Peak, General Hill's two major mountain ranges and coastal hills, plains. Sanzao island is the largest island, an area of about 78 square kilometers. Mountain land, hills, plains, terraces, is arranged in a crisscross pattern water network division. Coastal alluvial plain from the Xijiang and Beijiang together into alluvial deposits.
The Pearl River Estuary coastal territory, the underwater beach coast to slow gradient. Coastline, island 690 km long coastline. Highest inland Lantau Peak,437 meters above sea level, sea island in100 meters above the sea level. The main mineral resources of the crystal, iron, tungsten, tin, manganese, potassium feldspar, quartz sand. Natural soil red soil, rocky soil, coastal sand, salt swamp soil. The main rivers are Modaomen, Venus doors, Nai bay door, gate, Hutiaomen, before Hill, Wan Chai River Macao waterway, Nanshui Lek, a total length of 135 km.
Zhuhai became a city in 1979, a year before it was named as one of the first Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The neighboring city of Shenzhen became the first Special Economic Zones of the Special Economy Zone in 1978. The implementation of this policy is logical as Zhuhai is located on the strategic position facing Macau, in the identical fashion by which Shenzhen faces Hong Kong. This enabled the Chinese Central Government to open another "window" in front of Macau. Even though the city is situated at the southern end of the Pearl River Delta area, Zhuhai acts as one of the central cities in the Pearl River Delta according to the new general urban plan approved by the State Council. The implementation of Special Economy Zone means that the city will grow as a powerful modern port city, science and education city, scenic and tourism city, and as a regional hub for transportation.
The outstanding geographic location, a wide range of supporting infrastructure and a deep-water port serve as a major attraction for foreign capital. Utilized foreign investment reached US$10.344 billion in 2008. Among the top 500 enterprises worldwide, 19 of them have investment projects in Zhuhai such as ExxonMobil, BP, Siemens, Carrefour and Matsushita. Hong Kong is the largest overseas investor in Zhuhai, accounting for 22% of total utilized foreign investment in 2002.
The city of Zhuhai itself is composed of Gongbei, Jida and Xiangzhou. The other areas mentioned are districts within the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone.
North to South along the coast, the main districts are:
- Jinding (金鼎; Jīndǐng) – Zhuhai's northernmost district is a factory town whose main attraction is a very large and lively nighttime outdoor BBQ. Jinding definitely has a working class edge, and is worth visiting for the BBQ alone, but wandering around may give you a different perspective to the ones you have previously experienced elsewhere in Guangdong Province. Visit Jinding to experience the real China before heading back to your more affluent Guangdong stomping grounds. Jinding can be reached via bus 3 or 10, or via sightseeing bus 2.
- Tangjiawan (唐家湾; Tángjiāwān) – Tangjia is moderate sized town located between Jinding and Xiangzhou. Like Jinding, Tangjia's salt-of-the-earth qualities are more evident than its southern neighbors. Best known for the large Dragon Union Opera House which, as the name suggests, puts on live variety shows semi-regularly, its primary function is serving as a gigantic karaoke house that mixes karaoke with all-inclusive adult entertainment.
- Xiangzhou (香洲; Xiāngzhōu) – Government offices, big department stores (includingJusco), and some bars and restaurants are scattered throughout this district. This is the area where the locals mainly go shopping.
- On the inland side is New Xiangzhou (Xin Xiangzhou), an area that has undergone extensive development over the last few decades, especially midrange or upmarket residential buildings but with commercial and business buildings as well.
- Jida (吉大; Jídà) is along the coast between Xiangzhou and Gongbei. This district has a lot of offices, high-end hotels and shopping complexes. This is not a particularly useful district to mention for directions, except for the fact that a Jida location assures you that the location is fairly near to the water and that a taxi driver will likely take the road right along the coast until you get there.
- Gongbei (拱北; Gǒngběi) is the main tourist area with a wide variety of inexpensive hotels, clothing, electronics, souvenirs, food, drink, and colorful entertainment in relatively close proximity to the Macau border crossing. Lianhua Lu (Lotus Road; 莲花路;Liánhuālù; sometimes called Walking Street; 步行街; Bùxíngjiē) while interesting any time of day, is truly a must-see spectacle at night, with dozens of small outdoor-bar stalls which are always packed at night. Here you can see people drinking, playing dice with bar girls, and watching (or interacting with)working girls and passers-by on the crowded pedestrian-only street that is filled with shops and street-food vendors . There is also the more upscale Bar Street (酒吧街; Jiǔbājiē), a modern strip of nicer upscale bars with indoor and outdoor seating, some featuring live music (many blasting loud music inside). Most of these cater to Chinese businessmen and moneyed tourists. At the southern edge of Gongbei is a underground shopping center and the Macau border crossing
Going West from Gongbei are other districts:
- Wanzai (湾仔; Wānzǎi') has a ferry station to Macau and a Seafood Street where you get to select your own live seafood before they are prepared for your dining pleasure.
- Doumen (斗门; Dǒumén) is in the Southwest. It is a bit out of the way, in that most of Zhuhai spreads north along the coast. The Zhuhai airport is here. The very scenicJintai Buddhist Temple, built at the end of the Song Dynasty is over 1,000 years old and is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Get the full treatment at the Imperial (Yu Wenquan) Hot Springs Resort in Doumen, the first Japanese outdoor garden-style hot springs resort in China, with over 20 kinds of hot springs.
One of Zhuhai's nicknames is the city of a hundred islands (146 to be exact), and it has a number of islands that are accessible from ports by ferries. An often overlooked aspect is the fact that each of the islands has a unique character. Some have decent beaches, and some are eerily quiet fishing islands. Each trip is a noticeable escape from the hustle and bustle of living in Chinese cities. A trip to the islands is arguably comparable to leaving the country. High-quality seafood abounds. Information about where to go or what to do can be difficult to come by because most locals do not visit due to cost of transportation. As a result, most tourists do not get a chance to explore these beautiful places at all, and most of the information available on the internet regarding Zhuhai focuses on the urban areas. Nonetheless, the curious expat or adventurous traveler will be generously rewarded. From the Xiangzhou Northern Wharf (香洲北堤码头; Xiāngzhōu Běidīmǎtóu), you can get to theWanshan Islands (万山群岛; Wànshānqúndǎo):
- Dong'ao Island has diving facilities, clear waters, and a nice beach.
- Wailingding Island is also a nice getaway with clear waters and nice beaches.
- Hebao Island is less developed and visited, and is a good spot for those who like wilderness.
- Guishan Island has a sleepy fishing island town feel with exceptional seafood.
While not as distant and not part of the Wanshan Islands, Henquin Island, Qi'ao Island, and Gaolan Island can all be reached by bus via a bridge.
Remember to take plenty of cash with you on these island excursions because some islands do not have ATMs.
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