The person considered the founding father of the Republic of China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, was born locally. Known in Mandarin as Sun Zhongshan, in the year after Sun's 1925 death the city was re-named after him. Zhongshan has numerous landmarks dedicated to his memory such as a museum and his former residence and statues around the city in his image.
Zhongshan also has multiple forest parks, some beautiful temples and three towns / villages with natural hot springs. Zhongshan has a vibrant riverside commercial entertainment and retail area.
Shiqi district is the commercial and cultural centre of Zhongshan and an obvious orientation point for many visitors. The Shiqi river flows Northward through Shiqi district before flowing Eastward through Zhongshan's Northern districts into the Hengmen waterway. The Hengmen waterway flows into the Western side of the Pearl River Estuary. Zhongshan ferry port is on the Hengmen near it's mouth into the Pearl River estuary.
The pedestrian retail street, Sunwen Road West in Shiqi district, runs perpendicular West to East from the adjacent Northflowing stretch of the river. The riverside Ferris Wheel is a relatively easily identifiable landmark to this area from the nearby surroundings in Zhongshan's relatively low skyline.
Historically much of the modern Zhongshan area was submerged beneath the surface of the Pearl River estuary with only dotted islands visible above sea level. Alluvial silt from the riverways from North to South built up slowly to become dry land.
At the time of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD) Zhongshan was within the extended Dongguan County and was an important area in producing sea salt. During the Northern Song Dynasty in 1082, a fortressed settlement in the area was established named Xiangshan, (Chinese: 香山; translation: 'Fragrant Mountain'), recognising the flora in the adjacent mountains. In 1152 Xiangshan was upgraded to a county.
Descendants of Song court officials including imperial family members settled in Xiangshan after the Southern Song Dynasty collapsed. In the time of the Qing dynasty, embankments were deployed as flood barriers in the alluvial lands allowing expansion of territory suitable for agricultural use.
Xiangshan was important in the First Opium War. Lin Zexu, a well known figure in Chinese history for his unbending opposition to the opium trade, arrived in Xiangshan in 1839. Lin insisted on the removal of Sir Charles Elliot and the other British traders. British forces responded with attack in 1840 and with superior weaponry defeated the Qing dynasty troops defending the area.
On November 12, 1866, Dr. Sun Yat-sen (also known as Sun Zhongshan), the great leader of China's republican revolution, was born at Cuiheng village - now part of Nanlang Town in Zhongshan. After Sun Zhongshan's death in 1925, his county of birth was re-named Zhongshan in his honour by the the commander-in-chief of the Republic of China's armed forces. Zhongshan is one of the few cities in China named after a person.
Further blood was spilled with the onset of World War II. Guerrilla units of both National and Communist forces attacked Japanese forces of occupation from 1942. Villages that hid the guerrillas are a short drive away through wooded lanes. Liberation arrived with the unconditional Japanese surrender on 15 August 1945 after the US Air Force dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki earlier that month.
Zhongshan was held by Nationalists for much of the Chinese Civil War. They were though defeated by the People's Liberation Army on 30 October 1949.
Zhongshan became a prefecture level city in 1988.
Zhongshan is located along the west bank of the Pearl River estuary, directly East of Shenzhen. Guangzhou is to the North East and Foshan lies North West. Immediately South of Zhongshan lies Zhuhai beyond which lies Macau. The northern segment of Zhongshan on which lies the majority of the urban area, sits on alluvial plains. The Southern section of Zhongshan extends into coastal hills. The highest summit of the Wugui Hills is Zhongshan's point of highest altitude reaching 531 metres (1,742 ft) above sea level.
Zhongshan covers an area of 1,800 sq km with a 2012 population of 3 million. The city is located in a subtropical warm, humid zone with an annual average temperature of around 22 °C (72 °F) with 175 centimetres (69 in) of annual rain. Guangdong encounters typhoons and thunderstorms in the wetter season between April and September.
The most commonly spoken language in Zhongshan is Cantonese.
Local government actively supports "Research and Design" within its jurisdiction by establishing national level research centres and specialist industrial areas. E.g. In 1990 in Eastern Zhongshan, the Zhongshan National Torch High-Tech Industrial Development Zone (中山国家级火炬高技术产业开发区) was set up. In 2001 the Zhongshan Electronic Base of China (中国电子中山基地) was established for the electronic acoustics industry. "One Industry in One Town" has become a feature with specialist manufacturing including:
Since the 1980s the economy is increasingly marked by foreign investment. The local economy faces an increasing land shortage issue. 154 square miles (400 square kilometres) of available land in Nansha in Eastern Zhongshan is a focus for future enterprise.
Zhongshan Port is among China's top 10 largest container ports.
Primary agricultural products include rice, lychee, banana, and sugar cane. Xiaolan Town is known in southern China for its blooming chrysanthemum.
The fast economic development of Zhongshan benefits from the energetic introduction of the foreign investment and foreign trade. By the end of 2007, the whole city had approved over 4,000 foreign-invested enterprises, and now it has more than 1,176 enterprises that process raw materials on clients' demands, assemble parts for the clients and process according to the clients' samples, or engage in compensation trade, with an accumulative actually utilized foreign direct investment of USD 8.41 billion. It has totally 17 world Top 500 enterprises to have invested and established 30 foreign-invested enterprises. It has formed a various type, multiple level foreign trade export system by various foreign trade enterprises, foreign investment enterprises, processing and assembling enterprises, and etc., with the products being sold to more than one hundred countries and regions of the world. In recent two years, its total foreign trade volume has been increasing with an amplitude of over 20%. In 2007, the whole city reaped a total foreign trade export and import volume of USD 25.51 billion, including a total export value of USD 18.15 billion, with a 62% year-on-year increase.
If you are a newcomer to Zhongshan you may wish to arrive at Hong Kong International Airport.
Hong Kong allows travelers from many nations to enter visa-free, and Chinese entrance visas are easy to obtain at many locations. This will generally involve one or two nights' stay in Hong Kong.
The closest airport to Zhongshan City is the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN).
(Please note: You will have to have your Chinese visa organised before departure from your country of origin. This can be done at any consulate.)
Travelers have easy access to airport shuttle busses.
The schedule for buses between CAN and Zhongshan is as follows:(Price:CNY68/per, 150 minutes)
Departure location: A and B airport lounge of CAN
Departure times: Once an hour from 8:50 am to 7:50 pm at the A lounge; Once an hour from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm at the B lounges.
Departure location: Zhongshan Seasons View Executive Hotel, No.93, Dongyu Road, Eastern District. (Take bus 013,050,006,090,003 to get to the hotel)
Departure times: Once an hour from 6:00 am to 10:00 am as well as from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm Tip: We recommend leaving at least two and a half hours before your plane is scheduled to depart.
Zhongshan Port is on the Hengmen Waterway located to the Northeast of downtown Zhongshan. Chu Kong Passenger Transport (CKS) connects Zhongshan with Hong Kong with multiple daily scheduled high-speed ferry services to both Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal on Hong Kong Island and Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal in Kowloon. Zhongshan Port is 93km from Hong Kong. The trip by ferry takes about 1.5 hours. The trip from Zhongshan to the Hong Kong International Airport takes about an hour and ten minutes. A fleet of 5 ferries are used.
Hong Kong -> Zhongshan:
Buses 1, 25, 34, 36, 062 and 063 operate to Zhongshan Port. E.g. bus routes 1 and 25 travel between Zhongshan Port and Zhongshan Main Bus Station or hotels on Fuhua Avenue in Zhongshan.
Discounted ferry tickets through are available through Zhongshan Port's official Taobao online store (Chinese language only).
Zhongshan Public Transport Group Co., Ltd. operates many bus routes throughout the city. Stop announcements are voiced in Mandarin and Cantonese on all buses. On BRT system buses, announcements are also voiced in English. By purchasing a Zhongshan Tong card from authorized retailers, riders can receive a discount of 50% on all bus rides. Elderly citizens are allowed to ride for free.
The Zhongshan Main Bus Station connects to Hainan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, Hunan and Henan provinces. 15 bus routes connect to other parts of Guangdong Province as well.
The Zhongshan Main Bus Station is located on the corner of Fuhua Avenue and the 105 National Highway.
Buses to Guangzhou depart once every 25 minutes; buses to Shenzhen depart once every 20 minutes.
The ticket office is open from 06:00-21:00, and tickets are available four days before your departure date. The Zhongshan Station for these services is located on the corner of Fuhua Road and Zhongshan 1st Road.
The Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Rail started operations in January 2011. Its main line between Guangzhou South station and Zhuhai City is 117 km (73 mi) long with 17 stations and a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph). Around 40 trains run per day in each direction starting at 06.30. 7 stations are within the Zhongshan metropolitan area. Those 7 stations listed North to South are:
Zhongshan North station is located between the northern part of Shiqi and Port Town and is the most centrally located within the city of Zhongshan (note, Port Town is different from Zhongshan Port). Zhongshan North Station is surrounded with many local buses (including bus 004,013,015,016,019,021,030,032,038,39,205,K09) running to All Districts, as well as Fusha, Huangpu, Sanxiang, Tanzhou and Port Towns. Bus route 019 connects Zhongshan North Station and Fuhua Avenue, which is abound with famous hotels. Bus route 030 connects Zhongshan North Station and Jinghua Hotel. Numerous taxis are also available in front of Zhongshan North Station.
Zhongshan Station is located in the Zhongshan Torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone. Most Guangzhou - Zhuhai railway trains stop at Zhongshan North station but only a few trains stop at Zhongshan Station. Travelers are suggested not to get off at Zhongshan Station unless specifically going to the Zhongshan Torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, Zhongshan Port, towns located in northeast Zhongshan or the very east area of the East District. It is hard to get a taxi at Zhongshan Station ;hence, those seeking a taxi should get off the train at Zhongshan North Staion.
Nanlang is the station nearest the former residence of Dr.Sun Yat-sen (孙中山故居 Sunzhongshan Guju). Bus 12, 212, 087 outside the train station on the busy road which will take you to the residence. Transfer to motorcycles around the station is an option.
The journey takes about 35 minutes from Guangzhou to Zhongshan North and 45 minutes to Zhongshan Station. The full ticket price to Zhongshan North is CNY24 for the first class seat and CNY20 for the second class. CNY26 and CNY22 are the full price to Zhongshan Station.
See 'Get in' section for the 7 stations in Zhongshan on the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Rail line.
The often discussed Zhongshan metro rail system has a plan for the first 2 lines to be operational in December 2020.
You can travel around Zhongshan easily on the city buses. At present, over 100 bus lines operating in Zhongshan, most of which are self-service so have correct change of 2CNY when you board each bus.
The sights of Zhongshan are wide spread and no special tour lines and sightseeing buses are available. However, there are city buses running to some scenic spots.
For example, Bus No.1,002,10,005,050 passes Sun Yat-sen's Memorial Hall.
Bus route 019 connects Zhongshan North Station and Fuhua Avenue, which is abound with famous hotels. Bus route 030 connects Zhongshan North Station and Jinghua Hotel.
Bus 34 can help you get to the beautiful water town in Minzhong Town. There is no direct bus route travelling between Zhongshan City Center and the water town in Minzhong Town. You may take bus 9 or 208 to Zhongshan Port Bridge Station(中山港大桥 Zhongshangang Daqiao),and transfer to bus 34 there.
The highly praised green cascade of the Yangtze River can be visited by Bus No.006 and 030. Get off the bus at Changjiang Water Wonderland (which is the terminal stop for both bus routes).
The well-known Sanxiang Spring Spa can be accessed by bus 11 and 39, when another famous Quanyan Spring spa in Sanxiang Town can be accessed by bus K11.
Bus route K995 provides express service between the Zhongshan coach terminal and the Zhuhai Shangchong coach terminal for only ￥10.(￥5 for Zhongshan Pass smart card users). Passengers can change to an array of bus routes at Shangchong Terminal, including bus 31 to Gongbei (Customs at Macao Boarder).
Bus 12 Zhongshan-Zhuhai Bus can take you there straight from the city center. You need to change at the Zhuhai terminal to Zhuhai Bus 10.
Also, bus 12 and 212 will take you to the famous former residence of Sun Yat-sen and ZhongShan Movie-TV City located in Nanlang Town.
Bus 030 connects Zhongshan North Railway Station, where you can transfer from the Guangzhu Inter-City Railway, and the Zhongshan Expo Center in the Eastern District.
Some buses mentioned above are "conductor-less" bus routes, whereas some are with conductors who sell tickets. You can purchase a Zhongshan Pass Smart Card, which will give you a 50% discount every time when you pay and travel on the bus system. You can also use the card to sign up for the city bicycle system. Then you'll have an access to the Zhongshan Public Bicycle System.
When leaving, the only type of card you are allowed to refund is CNY20 Zhongshan Pass Smart Card . CNY25 special anniversary cards are NON-refundable. Therefore please make sure you purchase a CNY20 refundable card when buying one.
There are more than one thousand taxis in Zhongshan. The fare is about CNY7 for the first 2 kilometers and then CNY2.48 for every additional kilometer. The other rate is for trips further than 10 kilometers. The same start-rate is the same as the former, but each additional kilometer is CNY2.6.
During the night from 22:00 to 05:00, twenty percent of basic fare per kilometers is additionally charged if the distance is more than 2 kilometers.
There are also motor cycles available for the more adventurous on short hops and the fair for these is negotiable.
A great form of travel available is the electric rickshaw if you are heading out for dinner or just want to enjoy the night air on a short distance ride. The price is negotiable.
Changjiang Water World is a newly renovated amusement park located at the intersection of Changjiang and Jingguan Rd in the Shiqi district of Zhongshan city. The cost of admission is 90¥ for a day of water fun.
A significant part of the attractions for visitors are memorials to Sun Yat-Sen. As well as his former residence and museum in the village of Cuiheng, there are statues in his image at different locations in Zhongshan. Zhongshan has forest parks such as Zhongshan Tianxin Forest Park (中山田心森林公园) opened in 2015. The World Lamp King Museum is a separate attraction also opened in 2015. Xiaolan has history famed in Guangdong for its chrysanthemums. The town is widely decorated with vast amounts of such plantings in flower beds and pots, streets and lanes, on roofs and verandas.
Sunwen Lu (Road) West is a pedestrian street in Shiqi forming the retail epicentre for visitors. The West end of the street has 2 different adjacent imaged of Sun Yat-Sen. Sunwen Lu West is perpendicular to adjacent retail outlets lining the side of the Shiqi river and includes a Ferris Wheel easily visible from nearby. The area is highly commercialised and more oriented towards shopping and spending.
There is an antique furniture area in the Zhongshan Sanxiang Guhe area. The prices are high by national standards and expats should bargain fiercely (hire a local to assist) as Chinese business people are good bargainers. Most of the pieces look like real antiques, but are actually newly made replicas from tropical rain forest wood.
Guzhen town at the border of Jiangmen is lighting central. If you're feeling hungry or underdressed, too bad -- the central town core is light shop after light shop selling everything from bulbs to chandeliers to accessories. Hotels will have multiple light shops in the lobby and banks are rare because they can't compete against the rents offered by light shops.
Mama Mia Expensive Italian restaurant with wine, seafood and meat selection certified USDA Angus, Australian Tomahawk and Japanese Kobe. If you are not looking for such a splurge they have pizza and pasta. Family atmosphere, multilingual staff.
Beware: Chinese bars/disco are extreme loud and you can lose your hearing if you are frequent guest. Expat bars are one of few places that one can have nice beer and still speaking.
Yihe Grand Hotel Zhongshan No.5, Xingzhong Avenue, Shiqi District, Zhongshan(中山市石岐区兴中道5号)+86-755-88850655
Shangri-La 16 Qi Wan Road N Eastern Area, Zhongshan Guangdong Province, China T: (86 760) 8838 6888 F: (86 760) 8838 6666
Crowne Plaza Zhongshan Wing On City No.9 Xingnan Road, Southern District, 528455 Zhongshan 86-760-89916888
Two International schools exist:
International Education Center Guangdong Bowen International School (Kindergarten to High School)Bo'ai Qi Road,Zhongshan Guangdong, China 邮编P.C.:528476 (中国广东省中山市博爱七路广东博文学校国际部) +86-760-85333150
China Hong Kong English School (C.H.E.S.) Kindergarten-Primary Dong Ming Garden, Shiqi, Zhongshan (0760) 88702210 Middle School-High School Wuguishan Scenic Route, Zhongshan (0760) 23378780 
Zhongshan is a reasonably safe place to live with a low crime rate but occasionally trouble may occur especially, as everywhere, late at night around bars. Caution and common sense are advised at all times. Pickpockets, although not plentiful, are about and the foreign traveler is often a target.