Dens of Iniquity

The majority of dens were located in the Honam District south of the river, which in the early 1930s accounted for about 1/3 of all opium dens in the city. Why south of the river? In his study Opium in the City: A Spatial Study of Guangzhou’s Opium Houses, 1923-1936, historian Xavier Paulès argues it was due to the apathy of local officials. On the other hand, different interests, including the Nationalist Party, warlords, and local elites vied for control of the city, attitudes toward the suppression of opium swung wildly.