Canton was a city on the south-east coast of China which looked out over the China Sea. (TV: Survivors of the Flux) It was located at the mouth of the Pearl River. (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger) To the east of Canton, across the sea, was the island of Formosa, and to the south-east was the island of Luzon - one of the Philippine Islands. (TV: Survivors of the Flux)
In the 19th century, most of the buildings there were low and made of bricks, with wooden or tiled roofs. Other, more impressive buildings dotted the landscape, such as a Gothic-looking cathedral and a mosque and a pagoda.
In the 1860s, following the Opium Wars, the British, French and American armies all had a presence in the city. The British, in particular, had their main garrison on Xamian Island on the Pearl River, but used other buildings too, for example Zhenhailou, a pagoda located on the Baiyun road in the north of the city.
Guangzhou harbor featured tiny junks weaving between the huge boats of foreign traders, as well as dragon-boats at Eastertime. Officials from Beijing visited Guangzhou in the autumn after the Hundred-Day Spring. Liu Hui Ying grew up in Guangzhou and was a member of the Society for Self-Strengthening there.