More than 7,000 people are participating in the opening ceremony, which features a 170-metre long fountain matrix, the longest in the world.
The entire opening ceremony will be held separately at the sea and land. For the first time the opening ceremony will be held outside a stadium. The main theme of 16th Asian Games opening ceremony is water.
"Four years ago, a stage was set in the desert of Doha. Four years later, a boat sets sail on the Pearl River. At the Guangzhou Games, eight giant sails will be set on the Pearl River. The boat parade will reach the venue, the island of Haixinsha," Chen Weiya, director of the opening ceremony, said.
Asian games will pay tribute to coastal southern Guangdong province's seafaring heritage. The stage for the opening ceremony is in a ship-like shape.
The lighting fountains and fireworks will make Haixinsha a big sailing boat. The lighting will bring Haixinsha and the Pearl River alive.