The beautiful island city of Zhuhai in China is located on the Pearl River estuary. It is one of China’s Special Economic Zones and is linked to Hong Kong and Macau by a bridge that is an impressive feat of engineering. As well as record-breaking bridges, the city is also home to record-breaking theme parks, legendary statues and replicas of legendary gardens. Ready to find out more? Here are some of the most interesting facts about Zhuhai.
7 Interesting Facts about Zhuhai
1. Zhuhai is a coastal city in China
The city of Zhuhai, also called Chuhai is located on the west bank of Pearl River estuary on the central coast of southern Guangdong province. Zhuhai means “pearl sea”, due to its location at the mouth of the Pearl River where it meets the South China Sea.
2. Zhuhai is a Special Economic Zone
The Zhuhai area has been inhabited for 4,000 to 5, 000 years since the neolithic age. The former county of Zhuhai was established in 1953 and its status was upgraded to a city in 1979. Zhuhai, along with Shenzhen, Shantou, and Xiamen (Amoy) was one of the original four Special Economic Zones (SEZ) established in 1980. As of 2020, the population of Zhuhai is 2,439,585 with a population density of 1,415/km². It ranks at number 52 on the list of China’s most populous cities.
3. Zhuhai has hundreds of islands
Zhuhai’s nickname is the Hundred Island City. However, this name is quite misleading as there are in fact 217 islands, with 147 of them greater than 500 square metres. Causeways and bridges connect some of the near-shore, estuarial islands to the mainland. Other islands are located out in the South China Sea and are accessible by boat.
4. Zhuhai is home to the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge
Zhuhai is where you’ll find the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge tunnel (HZMB). The eye-catching engineering feat is at the heart of China’s Pearl River Delta. With a total of 55 kilometres (34 miles) of roads and three cable-stayed bridges and a 6.7-kilometre tunnel, this is the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world, as well as the longest open sea, fixed link in the world. Around 30km of its total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta. To allow ships through, the middle section of the bridge dips into an undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands. The bridge cost about $US 20 billion and opened in 2018. Using the bridge, you can travel between Zhuhai and Hong Kong in around 30-45 minutes.
5. In Zhuhai you’ll find a record-breaking theme park
Chimelong Ocean Kingdom theme park in Zhuhai is a record-holding aquarium. It has five Guinness Book of Records titles. It is the world’s largest oceanarium with a total of 48.75 million litres (10.72 million UK gal; 12.87 million US gal) of water. It also has the largest underwater viewing dome in the world, the largest aquarium tank in the world, the largest aquarium window in the world and the largest acrylic panel in the world. With 11,736,000 visitors in 2019, it is the fourth most visited theme park in the world.
6. The symbol of Zhuhai is a fisher maiden
The Fisher Maiden sculpture is the symbol of Zhuhai City. It is located at scenic Xianglu Bay. Renowned Chinese sculptor, Pan He created the statue in 1982. He carved it from granite and stands 8.7 meters high and weighs 10 tons. The statue is of a fisher girl holding a pearl above her head. The statue is based on local folklore of a fairy maiden who fell in love with the beauty of Xianglu Bay and a fisherman called Haipeng. The fairy maiden died proving her love for the fisherman. However, this story has a happy ending as the fisherman was able to bring her back to life.
7. There is a Summer Palace replica in Zhuhai
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Zhuhai is the New Summer Palace or New Yuanming Palace. This is located at foot of Shilin Mountain and is a replica of the original Summer Palace in Beijing. The Summer Palace in Beijing was an imperial garden constructed in 1709. However, in 1860, British and French troops robbed and burned down the gardens. In order to memorise its prosperity, officials built the New Summer Palace replica in Zhuhai.