Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China

In this post I’ll share a few images from the Zhujiang New Town area, a CBD in the Tianhe District of the megacity of Guangzhou. Guangzhou is located in southern China, about one hour by high speed train from Hong Kong’s Kowloon West Station.

GFX100S 20mm ISO-1000 1/15sec f/4
GFX100S 34mm ISO-800 1/12sec f/4
Canton Tower; GFX100S 20mm ISO-800 1/10sec f/4

Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong province, with a population of 18 million people; it’s categorized as a Tier 1 city in China meaning it has great significance to the country’s economic power.

In modern times (1650-1850), Guangzhou’s importance started from it being the only Mainland China port accessible to foreign trade. It also benefited greatly from the “reform and opening up” policies of Deng Xiaoping, the same policies that transformed nearby Shenzhen.

GFX100S 20mm ISO-1600 1/15sec f/4
GFX100S 21.8mm ISO-800 1/12sec f/4

I’ve been to the city many times, so it was a bit surprising that I’ve never shared images from this amazing city. Sadly, many of the images I took in my early days in China have been lost, but I recently had the chance to visit the city again and took the Fujifilm GFX100S with me. 

It’s an eye opening sight during the day, but becomes truly magical at night. It’s hard to fathom that all of this was built in the past two decades!

I was in Guangzhou on a business trip so I only had one night to roam around. Therefore, I’m only able to share images from the Zhujiang New Town area, which is one of the key central business districts in the sprawling city.

Zaha Hadid’s opera house; GFX100S 35mm ISO-800 1/6sec f/4

With this district being so new, it’s filled with stunning architectural wonders. It includes the famous Guangzhou Opera House, designed by the groundbreaking Iraqi Zaha Hadid. We sadly lost her far too early.

Zaha Hadid’s opera house; GFX100S 20mm ISO-800 1/9sec f/4
Zaha Hadid’s opera house; GFX100S 31.2mm ISO-800 1/8sec f/4

In the sweltering summer heat, I walked the full 1.5km length back and forth from the Pearl River and Huangpu Road. It’s an eye opening sight during the day, but becomes truly magical at night. It’s hard to fathom that all of this was built in the past two decades!

Guangzhou has a lot more to offer, including a wonderful mix of old and new, but for this post, please enjoy some of the new, from a very small part of this huge city. Some of the images will have noise because I hand-held the camera.

Zaha Hadid’s opera house; GFX100S 20mm ISO-100 1.1sec f/4
Zaha Hadid’s opera house; GFX100S 25.2mm ISO-1600 1/15sec f/4
Zaha Hadid’s opera house; GFX100S 20mm ISO-1600 1/14sec f/4

I had the Peak Design tripod on me, but I knew that being one of the only foreigners in that area, I would attract a lot of attention. Since I was pressed for time and wouldn’t be able to reciprocate in conversations with the locals, I was trying to be as discrete as possible.

Please enjoy the images and let me know in the comments below if you’ve been to Guangzhou before.

GFX100S 23.1mm ISO-1250 1/18sec f/4
Canton Tower; GFX100S 32.6mm ISO-1600 1/20sec f/4
GFX100S 32mm ISO-800 1/7sec f/4
GFX100S 24.8mm ISO-800 1/20sec f/4
GFX100S 29.9mm ISO-800 1/20sec f/4
GFX100S 20mm ISO-800 1/13sec f/4
GFX100S 25.5mm ISO-800 1/5sec f/4
Kowloon High Speed Train Station; GFX100S 20mm ISO-250 1/15sec f/8
Kowloon High Speed Train Station; GFX100S 24.1mm ISO-200 1/58sec f/8
Kowloon High Speed Train Station; GFX100S 20mm ISO-200 1/20sec f/8

4 thoughts on “Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China”

  1. I’m assuming that you didn’t take your A7RV on this trip. How are finding your experience with it? Will you share your thoughts and experiences in an upcoming post?

    I bought an A7RV after I sold my GFX50Sii. The Sony isan incredibly versatile camera — I could go on and on listing its strengths — but I’m missing the Fuji experience, ecosystem and community. I discovered Alex Deni Veres’ website: https://www.veresdenialex.com/sony-film-simulations. He’s put a lot of work into developing Sony picture profiles that emulate various old film stocks. This gives Sony users a real feel for the Fuji film simulation experience (with a lot more customizability) but I’m finding that it’s just not the same as having a Fuji camera. I also have a few Mamiya 645 lenses that I haven’t used since I sold the GFX. I didn’t think I would miss them as much as I do. I’ll keep pondering my next steps . . .

    1. Hi Doug, I just posted the A7R5 review from the perspective of a Fujifilm user. As you noted, it’s an incredible, do-everything, versatile camera. I think if it were my only camera, I would certainly miss the Fujifilm ecosystem, however as an action camera, I’m thrilled with it.

      Having said all that, I’m currently testing the GFX100II and it’s quite a stunning beast of a camera. If you’re not photographing super fast moving subjects, its AF is nearly on par with the X-T5, especially its subject detection (lenses play a huge role in how well it can track a subject).

      As an only camera, I could live with the GFX100II, but I’d probably want an M11 or X100V for when a smaller camera is required. More to come as I spend more time with the GFX100II…

  2. Thanks for your post. It looks like you gave your GF 20-35 a real workout! I did the very same stroll in the summer heat along the pedestrian mall from the Pearl River to Huangpu Road five years ago with a Canon M6ii (no tripod). It’s one of my favourite places in Guangzhou. One of the things I really liked about the pedestrian mall was the availability of drinking fountains as well as the mix of visitors and residents just hanging out along the mall’s total length.

    As you demonstrated, the opera house is one of those buildings that just begs to be photographed from a number of crazy angles. Did you get any shots of the public library? It’s another architectural gem.

    Have you been to Shamian Island before? If not, I’d highly recommend it for your next trip.

    1. Hi Doug, apologies for the late reply; work has been crazy busy so I haven’t had time to log onto the website. The GF20-35 has become one of my favourite lenses. I love using it indoors or with architecture; it’s such a sharp and light lens.

      I’ve been to Guangzhou a few times, but I only had one night. The library that night had an event going on with lots of security around; I didn’t want to temp my fate by taking images of them. In regards to your comment about the pedestrian mall, I completely agree; it’s a real treasure for the city!

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