Located in the southern Duandong providence, the Pearl River Delta has been transformed into one of the world’s largest urban areas. It is connected and set up as a system of canals and islands and is encircled by a city system and proper road. What was once primarily farmland and a rural area in general, there are now 9 cities that have rapidly grown and together made up China’s colossal Pearl River Delta hub. 

The area developed rapidly starting in 2008 after China announced an ambitious $300 billion plan to merge the 9 cities into a megacity. 

  1. Guangzhou

Guangzhou is the main center of the Pearl River Delta hub and the capital of Guangdong Province. It is a port-city on the Pearl River with a population of over 12 million people. It is also a cultural and political center of the Pearl River Delta. The main ethnic group of Guangzhou is Han Chinese, with the Cantonese language sub-branch. 

English speakers know Guangzhou as Canton

  • Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a Special Economic Zone in China and is a relatively new city. It is located close to Hong Kong, northwest of Hong Kong to be precise, and is known as the “Chinese answer to Hong Kong”. It is home to skyscrapers, mountains, and parks, and functions as an industrial center. It also has a busy port. 

Shenzhen is rapidly growing and has the greatest population density amongst the 9 cities of the Pearl River Delta hub, at 5,202.37 km2.It has a population of over 10 million people within an area of 1,991 km2.

  • Zhuhai

Zhuhai is a rapidly growing city located close to Macau. It was also the first of the Special Economic Zones in China. 

  • Foshan

Foshan has a population of over 7 million people, setting it as the third largest city in Guangdong. It is an old town that is relatively affluent and is now famous for its furniture industry. 

  • Huizhou 

Of the 9 cities in the Pearl River Delta hub, Huizhou is the most eastern city. It is a large riverside city that is also a historical city. It has been known as “A Famous Prefecture of Lingnan” and “The Gate of Easten Guangdong”. If you want to see natural beauties, such as mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests, as well as cultural attractions, Huizhou is a place to visit. 

  • Dongguan

Dongguan is a relatively new city that many people from other parts of China that have moved to. 

Fun Fact: Dongguan is home to the world’s largest shopping mall, South China Mall. 

  • Zhongshan

Zhongshan is a mid-size city located within the islands of the Pearl River Delta. It has a population of over 3 million people and the city itself is relatively new, set up as a standard urban area with beautiful parks, such as Zimalig Park and Wuguishan Mountain Park. 

Zhongshan is famous in China for making lamps. 

  • Jiangmen

Jiangmen is the second largest river port in the region. It is separated from the main cluster of the Pearl River Delta hub. 

  • Zhaoqing

Zhaoqing is known as a tourist hub and ‘college town’. Of the 9 cities, it is the most western city in the Pearl River Delta hub. 

The Pearl River Delta accounts for more than 10% of China’s GDP. As such, the successful growth of the area has been a greater development for China. Since the start of the development of the area, it has drawn greater opportunity for residents, more tourism and more competition. What started as a project planned for greater connectivity and opportunity has become that and so much more. It is a megalopolis and the world’s largest urban area.