Chris Lynch in Guangzhou

Guǎngzhōu, once better known internationally as Canton, has been China's busiest trading centre for centuries. Despite breakneck redevelopment up to and after the 2010 Asian Games, much of the metropolis still hums along at a pleasantly sedate pace, where narrow, leafy streets conceal temples and mosques, pockets of colonial-era heritage, traditional dim-sum eateries, distinctive qílóu shophouses and Lǐngnán architecture.