Zhaoqing is one of the most appealing destinations in Guangdong and the prosperous Pearl River Delta, to which it belongs. It is the administrative centre for the district bearing the same name and has a population of over three million.
Zhaoqing is a city with thousands of years of recorded history and has been designated as a national tourist destination in China, attracting of hordes of travellers from across the globe each year. Although the majority of the visitors are from Mainland China, increasingly the city is attracting tourists from Hong Kong, Macau and countries as far away as Europe and America. The tourists come to feast their eyes on the stunning scenery of The Seven Star Crags, Star (xinghu) Lake and Dinghu Mountain. Zhaoqing is known throughout China for its green hills and limestone crags.
The city centre is flanked by green mountain ranges and sandwiched between the magnificent Star Lake and West River, making it one of the most scenic cities in the province. It is also one of the friendliest with residents enjoying a relaxed and unhurried pace of life. There is a good selection of modern shops and an excellent range of restaurants, offering dishes from across China. Other amenities include a bowling alley, ice-rink and a host of other sporting facilities.
Zhaoqing University is situated in Zhaoqing City, a national tourist destination famous for its green hills and limestone crags. Zhaoqing is part of Guangdong Province’s Pearl River Delta, an early gateway into south China and an area with strong cultural traditions and educational foundations. Rich tourism resources, modern agriculture and trade and commerce make it a thriving region.
As a relatively small city, Zhaoqing is easy to navigate. Transport is inexpensive and the city enjoys fast, frequent and reliable road and rail links with Hong Kong. Regular buses and trains are available to the provincial capital of Guangzhou, 110km to the east, and other cities nearby. To the west of the city is Dinghu Mountain, one of Guangdong’s four famous peaks, is a short bus ride away and offers a retreat from city life. To the north is Seven Star Crags and Star Lake, said to share the beauty of Guilin and Hangzhou’s West Lake, reminiscent of the more famous formations at Guilin, are also a major tourist draw and easily accessible by foot or boat from the city centre. The university’s two campuses are close to both attractions, 20 minutes to Dinghu, 10 minutes to Seven Star Crags, 15 minutes to Star Lake.
Zhaoqing is one of the ancient cities in the history of China, first being named Gaoyao county in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), before being changed to Duanzhou, Sihui and Gaoyao. It was finally renamed Zhaoqing in the Qing dynasty (China’s last dynasty) although all the other names still exist as place names throughout the country. Duanzhou is the central area of Zhaoqing city centre, Sihui is a town to the north east of Zhaoqing (along the express way to Guangzhou) and Gaoyao is the small city that faces Zhaoqing across the Xijiang River.
Zhaoqing was one of the first places in inland China to be visited by a foreigner, the Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci settling there in the sixteenth century. For more information about Ricci, try the Ricci Institute section of the University of San Francisco website. http://www.usfca.edu/ricci/home/mricci.htm
Over the years Zhaoqing has been growing rapidly with new roads, new shopping malls and many new lakes around the city and still expanding. The east side is the new Zhaoqing with modern new buildings of apartments, shopping malls, hospital and a new express railway link to major cities like Hong Kong.