Tianhe District is one of the ten districts in Guangzhou, People's Republic of China. In Chinese, the name Tianhe means a river in the sky or simply "sky river". It is bordered by Yuexiu District on the west, Baiyun District on the north and Huangpu District on the east. Haizhu District is on its south, though they are separated by the Zhujiang River.
Tianhe became a district in the 1980s as the city expanded its size. Back then, it was east of another district called Dongshan (which was merged into Yuexiu in 2005) and it was more suburban like if not rural like. Even though a majority of colleges and universities in the city were located in the district, the rest of the district was mostly composed of rice fields.
The first big project built in the district during the 1980s was the Tianhe Sports Center when the city was selected to host the Sixth National Games in 1986. The complex includes a stadium of 65,000 seats, a gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool. Its construction had a lasting impact on the development of the district. Soon other projects followed and rice fields gave away to residential complexes called "xiaoqu" (meaning "little districts").
The construction of xiaoqu began in the mid and late eighties and most of them had residential buildings of no more than 10 stories. Each floor was kept to no more than four units due to the lack of elevators since they would increase the construction cost. Also, due to the sheer number of residential buildings — some xiaoqu had more than 20 residential buildings — a lot of land was needed and thus converted.
The building of Guangzhou East Railway Station in 1990 further contributed to the growth of the district. The old Guangzhou Railway Station is 10 km to the west and was the terminus for trains to and from Beijing and Hong Kong. To relieve the traffic, the East Railroad Station was built and is now the terminus for trains to and from Hong Kong and Shenzhen.