The Pearl River has been an important sea route to southern China for centuries. The port city of Canton (Guangzhou) is located at the mouth of the Pearl River. It first started getting involved with trade with the foreign 'barbarians' in the second century (the Romans) but more extensively with Europe in the early 16th century. Prior to the Japanese War the foreign powers (Britain, France, America and Germany) had special trading arrangements at Canton.
The 'junk' is a special kind of sailing boat that was extensively used on the South China Sea. [Guangzhou in Chinese meaning 'large region'].
This archive photograph was taken by a SACU member in the early 1980s.