According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 12.7 million, making it the third largest city in China after Shanghai and Beijing. It is a part of the Pearl River Delta, which also includes Shenzhen, Dongguan, Hong Kong, Macau, Foshan, Jiangmen, Huizhou, Zhongshan and Zhuhai.
In the era of tea clippers, Guangzhou was known in the West as "Canton". The food and the language of the area are still known as "Cantonese" and it is perfectly acceptable to use either the western or Chinese terms interchangeably. The Cantonese are proud and hard working people known throughout China and the world over for their famous cuisine and talent for business. One thing you will notice in Guangzhou's city centre is that there isn't much of the horn-honking cacophony that is present in other Chinese cities. Cantonese drivers seem to follow the rules of the road a bit more than in other cities where it is generally more chaotic.
The city is famous for foreign trade and business doings, and holds China's largest trade fair, the Canton Fair. However, in between the seemingly endless skyscrapers, shopping malls and building sites there is a lot of culture and history. While Guangzhou is not usually high on the list of Asian tourist destinations, it is amazing how much the city actually has to offer.
At first sight, Guangzhou appears less as a city that is developing than one that is about to explode. Every corner seems to be packed with high-rise buildings, overpasses, and people running marathons. It can be overwhelming, and the initial instinct of many visitors is to leave as soon as possible. However, those that overcome this urge and stay around will discover a gentler and more personable side to the city.
As a major entry point for overseas culture for many centuries, foreigners are not the anomaly here that they are in other Chinese cities. Consequently, travellers are afforded more personal space and freedom. In addition, tucked away in the back streets, the old Guangzhou of traditional neighbourhoods still moves at an age-old pace, with families and friends often sitting outdoors enjoying tea and banter.
Guangzhou also has the largest urban park in China, an island of refurbished colonial buildings and some world class galleries and exhibition spaces. In addition, possibly due to the distance from the country's political centres, the citizens of Guangzhou have developed a laid-back and play-hard approach to life.
Today, Guangzhou is recognized as one of China's most prosperous, liberal, and cosmopolitan cities. However, despite being an international trading hub, there is still a lack of English signs. Outside of the business districts and tourist areas, very few locals converse well in English. It is highly recommended to bring a phrasebook. Navigating Guangzhou without a phrasebook or understanding of the language will prove to be a difficult task.
Guangzhou is often negatively referred to as the Los Angeles of China, thanks to its sprawl of highways, shopping malls, smog, traffic jams, diverse population and its comparatively high crime-rate. Despite claims of Guangzhou being a dangerous city, it is not dangerous at all, in comparison to any large western city.
After the restructuring in 2014, there are 11 districts in Guangzhou. Among them, Liwan, Yuexiu, Tianhe and Haizhu are the city's core.
- Liwan (荔湾 Lìwān) — The part on the north of the pearl river is the old Guangzhou. Tourist highlights include the colonial Shamian Island, Xiguan Old Houses, Xiangxiajiu shopping districts and Chen's Clan Academy.
- Yuexiu (越秀 Yuèxiù) — This is the political and cultural centre and includes the old Dongshan (东山, Dōngshān) area. Highlights include Yuexiu Park, Beijing Lu Shopping District, and Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.
- Tianhe (天河 Tiānhé) — This is the new city center and business district. It is thriving with many new developments, including skyscrapers, stadium, grand shopping malls. It is also home to the oldest urban village Shipai as well as most expat communities. The district serves as a transportation hub for the international airport and train to Hong Kong. Highlights include Guangdong Museum, Central Library, Opera House and Shipai village.
- Haizhu (海珠 Hǎizhū) — Located south of the Pearl River, the district is becoming more business focused, particularly in real estate and trading. Locals refer to this part of Guangzhou as Henan, meaning south of the river. Highlights include the Canton Tower, the Canton Fair Pazhou Exhibition Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, and the Pearl River Promenade.
- Baiyun (白云 Báiyún) — This district has a big rural touch, but is slowly being taken over by new developments. Highlights include the Baiyun Mountain.
- Huangpu (黄埔 Huángpǔ) — Not well known among foreign tourists, this district is to the east of the city center. Highlights include the former Huangpu Military Academy. Luogang (萝岗) District, which was cancelled in 2014, also became a part of Huangpu District.
- Panyu (番禺 Pānyú) — This is the new area and it focuses on technology and economic development. Highlights include the Lianhua Mountain, various theme parks and the University Mega Center.
- Huadu (花都 Huādū) — This is a developing industrial area. Highlights include Huadu Square and the New Baiyun International Airport.
- Nansha (南沙 Nánshā) — This is an industrial area at the southern tip of the city. It is the new home to the high speed rail station.
- Zengcheng (增城 Zēngchéng) is famous for its lychee fruit, which are picked in June and July.
- Conghua (从化 Cónghuà) is known for its hot springs and Tianhe (Heavenly Lake) Recreation area.
The main tourist areas and metropolitan areas are in the northern part of the city and they include Liwan, Yuexiu, Tianhe and Haizhu.
Formerly known as Canton to the West, the city of Guangzhou has a history dating back roughly 2,200 years.
A legend tells of five celestial beings riding into the area that is now Guangzhou on five rams carrying sheaves of rice. The celestials bestowed blessings on the land and offered the sheaves to the people of the city as a symbol of prosperity and abundance. After the celestials left, the rams turned into stone, and Guangzhou quickly developed into an affluent and influential city. Due to this legend, Guangzhou has gained several popular nicknames: Yangcheng (羊城; City of Rams), Suicheng (穗城; Sheaves of Rice City) and Wuyangcheng (五羊城; City of Five Rams). In addition, due to the abundance of flowers along the city's main thoroughfares, Guangzhou is often referred to as Huacheng (花城; City of Flowers).
According to historical records, the city was built in 214BC and was known as Panyu (番禺). The name Guangzhou actually referred to the prefecture in which Panyu was located. As the city grew, the name Guangzhou was adopted for the city itself.
As a major sea port, in 786 the city was sacked by the Persians. In 1514 the Portuguese were the first Europeans that arrived in Canton. They obtained a monopoly on the trade in China until the Dutch arrived in the 17th century. In 1711 the British East India Company established a trading post here. In 1757, the government designated the city as the only port allowed business transactions with foreign nations. This continued until 1842 when the Treaty of Nanking was signed, when four other ports were added. Losing the exclusive privilege pushed Guangzhou to become more industrialized later.
Guangzhou was also part of the so-called Maritime Silk Road that linked southern China with India, South-East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. As a result of its links with the Middle East, a mosque was established in the city in 627, and a small Muslim community continues to live in Guangzhou to this day. Additionally, the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism was born in Guangzhou and taught the famous Platform Sutra in the city. As a result, Guangzhou has retained a strong connection with this school of Buddhism, and the monastery where the sixth patriarch studied is considered a local treasure. The first Protestant missionary in China, Robert Morrison, entered Guangzhou in 1807. This started the spread of Christianity in the country. In modern times, Guangzhou is also notable for being home to the largest African population in China.
When to visit
In terms of climate, the best time to visit Guangzhou is between October and November. Alternatively, April and May are also good months. Guangzhou has a sub-tropical climate with humidity levels at their highest in the summer. Temperatures can reach almost 40 degrees Celsius. Typhoon season is from June to September. Please note that the Canton Fair takes place annually during the Weeks from Mid-April to Early May and Mid-October to Early November, so finding accommodation at those times can be difficult and expensive. See the information section under Sleep.
- Main article: Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
Flying to Hong Kong is another option, although transportation times are significantly increased owing to having to cross the border. From the Hong Kong International Airport, you can take cross-boundary coach to Guangzhou and other cities in Guangdong. These coaches include China Travel Service, Trans-Island Chinalink and Eternal East, fares range from HK$220–250 one way.
Trains cover the 182 km (113 mi) from Hong Kong in about two hours, including a stop at Dongguan. Through trains to Guangzhou East Railway Station depart from Hong Kong at Hung Hom railway station in Kowloon and arrive in Guangzhou at the East station. Through train services are operated by Hong Kong MTR. The one-way journey price starts from HKD $190.
It is cheaper to take the Guangshen intercity train service (广深城际列车) from Shenzhen to Guangzhou East Railway Station. Some trips also stop at Guangzhou Railway Station. Shenzhen is right across the border from Hong Kong and thousands of people walk over the bridge between the two every day through Luohu (罗湖). Tickets can be bought at the Shenzen Rail Station in Luohu. The one-way journey price starts from ¥80.
A project is underway to link the entire Pearl River Delta area with high speed (300+ km/h) railway network. The Zhuhai-Guangzhou, Guangzhou-Shenzhen lines opened in 2011, and the journey takes just 57 minutes and 35 minutes respectively. However, the stations are far from the city centers. A new long distance line from Guangzhou to Wuhan and Beijing is open. It travels through major cities such as Changsha and Shaoguan. It takes only less than over 3 hours for a journey to Wuhan, nearly 1,000 km away. One way ticket is from ¥490. The ride to Beijing takes approximately 7 hours. Guangzhou South Railway Station (广州南站) is the new home to the high-speed train services.
It is possible to book a train ticket from Guangzhou to Lhasa, Tibet. The 4,980 km journey takes 54 hours and 39 minutes and runs every other day from Guangzhou Station (广州站). A sleeper costs ¥923 and up. The last stretch is on the new Qinghai-Tibet railway; see also Overland to Tibet.
Bear in mind there are now three major train stations in Guangzhou. Countless travelers have gone to the wrong station and missed their scheduled trips, so be sure of your departing station, which is specified on the ticket.
- Guangzhou East Railway Station (广州东站, Dong-Zhan) services routes to Hong Kong and some mainland cities. Metro line 1 ends here.
- Guangzhou Railway Station (广州站, Guangzhou-Zhan) is one of the biggest in the country and services routes that go all the way to Harbin. Metro lines 2 and 5 have a connection stop here.
- Guangzhou South Railway Station (广州南站, Nan-Zhan) is the newest and serves the high-speed network. Metro line 2 ends here.
Guangzhou also has several other stations such as the North Station and West Station. There are also name variations for each of the stations. Be sure to use official names to avoid confusion.
Although some signs are available in English, staff may not understand English well enough, except at the Guangzhou-Kowloon counter. Bring a phrasebook or a Chinese friend if you're planning on traveling deeper into China.
Coach services are available to bring passengers from Hong Kong International Airport to several locations in Guangzhou. Among the destinations are recognizable landmarks like Jinan University (暨南大学) on Huangpu Avenue (黄埔大道), Garden Hotel (花园酒店) and China Hotel (中国大酒店) (see hotel section). The trip takes about 3+ hours and costs HKD $250. There are also cross border bus terminals throughout Hong Kong. One of the Stations is at Austin Road and Canton Road near Kowloon Park. A one way ticket costs about HKD $100.
Domestically, it is possible to hop on a bus from any corner of Guangdong province and get to Guangzhou. There are also many options from nearby provinces like Guangxi, Hubei and Fujian. Here are some of the main stations in the city:
- Provincial Station (省汽车客运站) (145-149 Huanshi West Road 环市西路145-149号) (Metro 2 & 5 Guangzhou Railway Station Exit F1, F2, H1, H2) The station serves mostly long distance lines outside the Guangdong Province.
- Liuhua Station (流花站) (Metro 2 & 5 Guangzhou Railway Station Exit D4) Across from Provincial Station, it mostly serves nearby cities in the province.
- Tianhe Station (天河客运站) (633 Yanling Road 燕岭路633号) (Metro 3) The station services Southern and central China, reaching as far as the Gansu Province. There are also many routes to cities in Guangdong.
- Haizhu Station (海珠客运站) (182 Nanzhou Road 南洲路182号) (Metro 2 Nanzhou Station Exit A) The station is located in the southern part of Haizhu, servicing major cities in the province and other Southern China provinces, including Hainan.
- Fangcun Station (芳村客运站) (51 Huadi Middle Avenue) (Metro 1 Kengkou Exit B) The station serves similar routes as the Haizhu Station.
- Yuexiu Nan Station (越秀南汽车站) (越秀南东园横2号) Other than desintations in the province and other provinces, it also has lines to Macau and Hong Kong.
- Guangzhou South (广州南汽车客运站) The station mainly services nearby cities. There is a bus to Lo Wu, a commonly used border crossing between Hong Kong and mainland China. The fare is ¥65 and it runs every hour.
Please note that English and Chinese names of bus stations vary from one sign to another—coach terminal, coach station, bus terminal, bus station, passenger terminal or passenger station. Be aware that the different names may be referring to the same station.
There are two major ports - Zhoutouzui Ferry Pier and Dashatou Pier, and many other smaller ones.
- Zhoutouzui Ferry Pier (洲头咀码头). There is a frequent ferry and hovercraft service from Hong Kong, Macau, and Haikou (Hainan Island).
- Dashatou Pier (大沙头码头). There are boats from other mainland cities, such as Xiamen, Shanghai, and Qingdao.
- New Nansha Port (南沙港客运), 2, Nansha, Xincheng trade Avenue South the second Road (南沙经济技术开发区海滨新城商贸大道南二路2号) (1.6 km south of Humen Bridge in Nansha, and Nansha is very far from the city center. There are various bus pickup points from the city center and Panyu, one of them (bus #3) starts from Jiaomen metro station), ☎ . Serves boats traveling from Guangzhou to Hong Kong (75 min, twice daily, ¥165), Macau (80 min, twice daily, ¥180).
Guangzhou has a fairly efficient and rapidly expanding public transportation system. If you intend to stay in Guangzhou for an extensive period of time, purchase a multi-purpose Lingnan Pass - Yang Cheng Tong (岭南通-羊城通) stored value card, similar to the Octopus Card in Hong Kong. The card can be used in selected metro areas in the Guangdong province. It can be used not only for public transportation (bus, subway, parking meters and some taxis), but also for public phones and designated shops, places of interests and certain vending machines. The card includes a ¥30 refundable deposit. You can purchase and recharge the cards in many places, such as some 7-Elevens, Metro customer service counters, and Tiantian Laundry. Returning your card at the end of the trip can be done at any Yang Cheng Tong service centers. The best locations include centers near metro station Gongyuanqian Exit J, Tiyu Xi Exit G, and East Rail Station exit HJ. It may be worth it to simply keep the card as a souvenir.
Guangzhou's Metro system opened in 1999 and has been expanding at a breakneck pace ever since. The network covers much of the city center and is growing rapidly outward. The fare ranges from ¥2 to ¥19. Most of the signs and announcements are in Chinese and English. The trains can become extremely crowded during morning and evening rush hours, especially on Line 3. Tickets can be bought from vending machines in the stations. ¥5 and ¥10 Bills or ¥1 coins are accepted. The charge for subways is by distance, unlike some places in the West, where a single fare can cover the cost of an entire trip. You can break up your big bills at the customer service counters. The ticket is a small plastic round token, which you tap over the blue reader at the gate to enter the platform, and at the exit where you insert the token into the slot like a vending machine. Most of these machines do not accept old or torn notes. If needed, tell the officer at the counter where you want to go and he or she will return your note with the requisite fare in coins and the rest in notes. It is easier to use Yang Cheng Tong (see details above). You also receive a 5%-40% discount when the card is used to ride the subway.
There are currently 9 lines in operation:
Line 1 is the most useful for tourists, running south-west to north-east from Xilang in Fangcun to Guangzhou East Railway Station in Tianhe. The line runs underneath Zhongshan Road in the city centre and is the most useful for accessing shopping areas and tourist sights.
Line 2 runs north-south from Jiahewanggang in Baiyun District to Guangzhou South Railway Station. This line is most useful for reaching Baiyun Mountain, Guangzhou Railway Station, Yuexiu Park and Haizhou Square. If you're staying in west or central Guangzhou, this line is also useful for reaching the airport by changing to Line 3 at Jiahewanggang.
Line 3 is a Y-shaped north-south line serving eastern Guangzhou. The 'main line' runs from Panyu Square to the Tianhe Coach Terminal Station, whilst the 'north line' splits off at Tiyu Xilu and heads towards Airport South, via Guangzhou East Station.
Line 4 serves Guangzhou's eastern outer suburbs and runs from Huangcun in Huangpu District down to Jinzhou in Nansha. This line is most useful for reaching the Olympic Sport Centre and the University Town.
Line 5 runs east-west from Jiaokou (Liwan District) to Wenchong (Huangpu District) and follows the inner ring road through the city. Useful for reaching Guangzhou Railway Station, the Garden Hotel and Zhujiang New Town.
Line 6 runs on the north coast of the Pearl River. It is useful to reach Beijing Lu, Cultural Park, Huanghuagang, Tuanyida Square, and Dongshanhu Park.
Line 8 runs east-west through Haizhu District from Fenghuang Xincun to Wanshengwei. Useful for reaching Sun Yat-sen University and Pazhou Exhibition Centre.
Guangfo Line is China's first intercity metro, connecting downtown Foshan with Xilang, where you can transfer to Line 1. Central Foshan can be reached in approximately 45–60 minutes from central Guangzhou. Transfers from GZ metro lines and Yangchengtong cards are accepted.
Zhujiang New Town APM is a driverless people-mover serving downtown Tianhe District and is the least-used line on the Metro (which is handy if you want to avoid the most crowded section of Line 3. The line has 9 stops running from Linhexi to Canton Tower and serves many tourist sights in the area including Guangzhou Opera House, Haixinsha Island (where the opening ceremony for the 2010 Asian Games was held) and the Canton Tower. Note that this line uses separate tickets (flat fare 2 yuan, 5% discount with the Yangchengtong card). Unlike other metro lines, you should insert your token at the entrance gate - the exit gates open automatically when approached.
There is also a comprehensive public bus service that covers Guangzhou from end to end. By far, it is the cheapest way to move around. Bus fares are ¥1 for the older buses and ¥2 for the air-conditioned ones, although the older buses have been mostly retired. Information at bus stops is mostly written in Chinese, although the current stop's name is also written in either pinyin or English (not always consistent with the recorded announcement in English) and stops close to subway stations are (usually) marked with the Guangzhou Metro logo, which is handy if you are lost. On-board announcements are made in Mandarin, Cantonese and sometimes English. Exact fare or a Yang Cheng Tong card is needed when boarding. If traveling on a quiet bus, it is advisable to signal to the driver that you wish to get off when approaching your stop by pressing the red buzzer next to the exit door or by saying "xia yi zhan you xia (pinyin:xià yī zhàn yǒu xià)," meaning "I'm getting off at the next stop" or simply "you xia (有下, pinyin:yǒu xià)." In Cantonese "you xia" is "yau lok(有落)."
Bus stops served by many routes are usually divided into multiple sections, each one with a different number. The stops are usually all on the same side of the road, one after another, but in some cases (such as Haizhu Square), the stops are found all over the place.
Buses are only handy for traveling within one district or for reaching suburban districts that are not served by the subway. Heavy traffic can lead to a slow, uncomfortable journey although they can be handy for a cheap but slow sightseeing tour. Trolley bus lines (Routes 101-109) are handy for exploring Liwan and Yuexiu districts.
Most bus routes run from around 6AM to 10 or 11PM, after which there are night buses with the prefix Ye (夜, night). The night route numbers are not related to the normal route numbers. The fare is usually ¥3. Virtually all night buses stop running around 1 or 2AM, and some start again around 5AM. In most cases, taking a taxi at night is a better idea.
Guangzhou has over 30 commuter express bus lines (高峰快线) run mostly during peak hours from major bus and subway interchanges to congested areas and outlying districts. Fares are from ¥1-4. There are also four special lines for University Town (大学城专线). You can find these in most major stations in the city that would take you to University Town. Fares are from ¥2-4. There are also 2 tourist bus lines (旅游专线) passing through many scenic spots in the city. Other special lines are: Lines to some commercial districts, shuttle buses for many different residential complexes such as Favourview Palace and Star River, and even complementary shuttle buses for some shopping center. The driver of a shuttle bus may ask for your receipts.
The Bus Rapid Transit system went into service in early 2010. It is essentially a long segregated bus lane (not an elevated busway like in Xiamen) running along the Tianhe Road and Zhongshan Avenue corridor towards the eastern suburbs. Some intersections are traversed by bridges and tunnels, which cuts journey times considerably, but other intersections have traffic lights and therefore traffic jams, and crowds can be as dense as in Metro stations but with fewer doors and a narrower standing area compared to Metro trains.
All buses that use the BRT start with a B prefix (B1, B22 etc.), though some without the "B" stop nearby. When reading a bus route (in Chinese) you can see the BRT logo above each BRT station name, like the GZ Metro logo above bus stops that are near Metro stations. The B1 stops at every BRT station, but other B routes use any number of BRT stations (sometimes just one) and use normal roads the rest of the time.
If boarding a BRT bus at a normal (non BRT) bus stop, the normal fare of ¥2 applies, however you can transfer to other BRT routes for free, provided you transfer at a BRT stop. If boarding at a BRT stop, insert ¥2 (coins only) into the entry turnstile to enter the platform area; no payment is required when boarding the bus, and you can board at the rear.
As with normal bus routes, there is almost no English at BRT stations, and only the current station name is in pinyin. Overall it isn't much use to tourists who can't read Chinese.
This is the most popular way for foreigners to get around, and it is very affordable. The starting charge is ¥10 for the first 2.3 kilometers, or about 1.4 miles. After that is ¥2.6 for each kilometer. No fuel surcharge is added. A 50% surcharge is automatically added when the trip reaches 35 kilometers. A few of them also accepts Yang Cheng Tong as payment, but it is not preferred by the drivers. The taxi hotline is 96900. This comes in handy if you forget your valuables in a taxi. Save your receipt because it contains the taxi's identification number.
Most taxi drivers do not speak English or any other foreign languages, so be sure to have the name and address of your destination written in Chinese to show your taxi driver. Many are from the poorer northern provinces and do not even speak Cantonese. If your destination is not well known, have a nearby landmark included in the address, e.g. "across from the Garden Hotel."
Whilst the majority of taxis are the regular VWs and Hyundais found in almost all Chinese cities, there are an increasing number of 'London taxis' on the streets of Guangzhou (which comes as no surprise as the latest generation of London black cabs are built by Geely Motors in China). They are wheelchair accessible and can carry up to 6 passengers. Many people recommend using the yellow taxis as that company only employs local Guangzhou drivers who know the city well - other taxi companies usually hire migrant workers from other provinces who may not know where they are going.
Beware of taxi driver as sometimes, in addition to going around the block one too many times, they will also try to pass counterfeit bills. Pay close attention as to what they pay when passing toll booths. Good drivers will show you the toll receipts. Only add the toll amount to what is displayed in the meter. A trip between the airport to the East Railway Station will cost around ¥120-130.
Most people find taxi drivers in Guangzhou to be honest. However, during the Canton Fair near the Pazhou Complex, it is common to see drivers violate rules, such as refusal of service and pre-negotiating a price rather than using the meter. It is also difficult to find an available taxi elsewhere in the city.
Most taxi shift changes take place between 3-5PM. During this time, it is hard to find a taxi as many drivers stop working by displaying the "out of service (暂停服务)" sign before the end of the shift, unless you are going in their direction. Taxi can be also hard to come by during commuter peak hours of 7:30-9AM and 5-7PM. Finding a taxi during the evening or at night is usually not a problem.
When paying with ¥100 notes, ensure that the money does not leave your sight until accepted. Some taxi drivers will turn around, do something, turn back and hand you back fake notes instead, especially if you are foreigner on the way to the airport. In this situation there is almost nothing you can do.
While driving in Guangzhou is an option, drivers unfamiliar with the driving conditions in China's large and densely populated cities should be aware that the experience can be extremely daunting and potentially dangerous. However, it is common in Guangzhou to rent a car that comes with a driver.
Car rental companies in Guangzhou:
- Avis (安飞士汽车租凭), 9 Huali Road, +86 20 3829-6279, 8:30AM–5:30PM.
- Hertz (赫兹国际汽车出租), 89 Linhe West Road, first floor of Jingxing Hotel. +86 20 8755-1608.
See also Driving in China.
Although a convenient way to navigate the city's back alleys and lanes, motorcycles are banned in the city center, and riding a motorcycle into these prohibited areas can lead to fines and possible confiscation of the bike. In addition to the central motorcycle ban, electric bicycles are banned from the city roads.
Due to the improvement of public transportation and increasing affordability of private cars, bicycles are in sharp decline in Guangzhou. In recent years, the government has been promoting this low-carbon mode of transportation. Over 100 rental outlets are now available along many BRT lines and subway stations. The rental fee is by the hour and up to ¥30 a day. One popular bike route is along the Pearl River on the Haizhu District side. Other dedicated bike lanes are slowly appearing in the city center, including Tianhe District. Yangchengtong Card is accepted in many public rental outlets.
New bikes are available in major hypermarkets from ¥200 for a cheap single-speed to around ¥800 for a 21-speed mountain bike, although quality leaves a lot to be desired. Giant and Merida are the two most common international brands (both are from Taiwan) and whilst a little more expensive (expect to spend over ¥1000 for anything with more than 1 gear), they offer something a little faster and of better quality. Get a decent quality lock too - bike theft is rampant!
Folding bikes are permitted on the subway (but not on buses) and can be carried in the trunk of a taxi at the driver's discretion, but non-folders are not permitted on any form of public transport other than the cross-river ferries. Bicycles are not permitted to cross the river via the Zhujiang Tunnel or Zhujiang suspension bridge, but are permitted to go on the public ferries for ¥1 (see below).
The ferry is the cheapest way of crossing the Pearl River (Zhujiang). Ferries were very popular in the 1980s and early 90s, carrying tens of thousands of passengers across the river each day. Nowadays its popularity declines substantially, mainly due to the completion of several bridges on the Pearl River and the availability of other modes of public transportation. The river narrows when going through the city center (a little wider than the Thames in central London). It is usually faster and more convenient for people to use the bridges or public transport(metro, bus) to cross the river, rather than wait for the ferries. One ferry route that maintains its popularity plies between Huangsha Pier, situated by the seafood market next to Shamian Island, and the pier at Changdi Road on the Fangcun side. Ferries depart every 10 minutes from 6AM to 10PM. The fare is ¥0.5 for a foot passenger or ¥1 if you bring a bicycle. The fare can be paid in cash (no change given) or by using Yangchengtong Card. There are separate boarding gates for cyclists and pedestrians, and you pay at the boarding gate.
Due to the sheer size of the city, walking is not advisable if you are trying to reach destinations in different districts. However, walking is a great way of exploring individual districts, and treats such as markets, small antiquities shops and local restaurants can be found up almost every little alley. Walking along main roads can be a nightmare - construction work can result in some inconvenient pedestrian diversions. Open manhole covers or sidewalks blocked by huge piles of cement are common. Take caution when crossing roads, even when the light is green, as bicycles and cars routinely expect everyone to move out of their way and drive through blindly. Many major intersections must be crossed using complex underpasses and footbridges. Make sure you have a map with you. It is all too easy to get lost in the rabbit-warren of small streets and alleys, even if some street signs are also in English.
Locals in Guangzhou speak Cantonese as their native language, but due to the large number of migrants from other parts of China, many of whom do not speak Cantonese, Mandarin also serves as the lingua franca. As the Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese is far less influenced by foreign languages than that of Hong Kong, this is a good place to learn the language in its "purest" form. As Mandarin is the official language of mainland China and the medium of instruction in all schools, most younger locals will be bilingual in Cantonese and Mandarin. While Mandarin is sufficient for the average visitor, breaking into the social circles of locals would almost certainly require knowledge of Cantonese.
English is spoken by more people than in the rest of China (save for Beijing and Shanghai), but still not by the majority, so it is a good idea to carry your hotel's business card with you. To save yourself the hassle and agony when asking for directions, have names of your destinations clearly written down in Chinese by the hotel staff before venturing out. That said, many educated younger people will have a basic knowledge of English and staff at hotels as well as bars and restaurants widely visited by foreigners generally speak an acceptable level of English.
- 1 Chen Clan Academy (陈家祠 Chén-jiā-cí), Zhongshan 7th Road (中山七路) (Metro 1 Chan Clan Academy, exit D). This is very well preserved architecture from the 19th century. It used to belong to a wealthy family by the name of Chen and now houses many articles including ivory sculptures and artistic statues. ¥10.
- 2 Memorial of the Huangpu Military Academy (黄埔军校旧址 Huáng-pǔ-jūn-xiào-jiù-zhǐ, Huangpu is also spelled Whampoa), Changzhou Island (Metro 5, Yuzhu, exit D. take 431 bus to the Ferry to Changzhou Pier). The original Military Academy was founded in 1924 by Sun Yat-sen, with support from the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Union. The mission of the Academy was to create an officer corps for the new Chinese Republic. Many famous Chinese war heroes were trained here. The original site was destroyed by the Japanese in 1938. Two exhibition halls on the Campus of the Academy cover the History of the Academy with English translations. Unfortunately the other exhibition halls, such as Heroes of the Academy, do not have English translations. The site is far from the city center. Free.
- 3 Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (中山纪念堂 Zhōng-shān-jì-niàn-táng), Dongfeng Middle Road (Metro 2 Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, exit C). 8AM-6PM. Dedicated to the founder of the Republic of China and local hero Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. It was constructed in 1931 and built on the original site of Sun Yat-sen's presidential office on Yuexiu Hill. Admission is free for the park and ¥10 to go inside the hall.
- 4 Canton Tower (广州塔), Yuejiang Road West/Yiyuan Road, Haizhu District (Metro 3, APM Chigang Pagoda), ☎ . It was the tallest structure in China prior to the topping out of Shanghai Tower. It is 595.7 m height and it's now the third tallest tower and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world. It has indoor public observatory at 449 m and outdoor observation deck at 488 m. In additions to the observation decks, the tower features various restaurants, a 4-D theater and other entertainment venues. There are also sixteen transparent passenger cars travelling on a track round the edge of the tower's roof, taking between 20 and 40 min to circumnavigate the rooftop. ¥150.
- Xiguan Residence (西关大屋 Xī-guān-dà-wū) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu). See the traditional Cantonese architectures from the Qing Dynasty. These houses can be found in Duobao Road (多宝路), Baohua Road (宝华路), Longjin West Road (龙津西路) and Shangxiajiu Road (上下九路). One of the most famous ones is located at 18 Baoyuan North Street (宝源北街18号). They were occupied by the upper class in the old days.
- Guangzhou Traditional Buildings (骑楼). Are slowly disappearing due to the rapid growth in the city. Remaining buildings can be found near Yide Road, Renmin Nan Road and Zhongshan Road. They make great photo spots.
- 5 Shamian Island (沙面岛) (Metro 1 Huangsha, exit D). The buildings and streets of the former British and French concession have been beautifully renovated, creating an oasis of tranquility in an otherwise bustling and hectic metropolis. One of the old structures is Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, located at 14 Shamian Street. The architecture reflects the colonial era of 19th Century, and it has a unique atmosphere.
- Former Residence of Hong Xiuquan (洪秀全故居 Hóngxiùquán gùjū), 广州市花都区新华街道大布村官禄布 (Guǎngzhōushì huādūqū xīnhuá jiēdào dàbùcūnguān lùbù), ☎ . , The former home of the quasi-Christian leader of the Taiping Rebellion that resulted in the death of about 20 million people during the late Qing dynasty. Shortly after failing the imperial examinations on multiple occasions, Hong Xiuquan became delusional and claimed to have received visions in his dreams that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ destined to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and establish the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in Nanjing as its capital.
- 6 Xiaozhou Village (小洲村). The village is a short taxi ride from University City. Some travelers describe this district as full of historical buildings, fruit orchards and canals and relate that, in recent years, this has become artists' haven. Others report that recent development has obliterated all traces of the village and that the district is a typical industrial suburb adjoining a huge field used as an outdoor latrine.
- 7 Xiao Bei / Siu Bak (小北) (Metro Line 5, Xiaobei Station). Likely Guangzhou's most diverse neighborhood, with banners here written in at least 4 languages: Chinese, English, French and Arabic. You'll find delicious Middle Eastern restaurants before you meander into side streets full of Africans. Even the Chinese salespeople here have thick African accent when they speak English. You may feel like you're in Africa, but this is Guangzhou.
- Shishi Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral (石室圣心大教堂 Shí-shì-shèng-xīn-jiào-táng), 56 Yide Rd (德路旧部前) (Metro 2 Haizhu Square, exit B1). Mon-Fri 8:30-11:30AM and 2:30-5:30PM; Sat, Sun 8:30AM-5PM. It is one of the oldest church structures in the city, and the largest of its kind of Southern China. It is currently in use for worship. Free.
- 8 Liurong Temple (六榕寺 Liù-róng-sì), 87 Liurong Rd (六榕路) (Metro 1 Gongyuanqian, exit I). The Temple of Six Banyan Trees, which includes the 17 story, eight-sided Hua Ta, or Flowering Pagoda, is one of the most popular attractions in Guangzhou. The temple dates back to the 6th century, while the pagoda predates it by about 300 years. ¥5; Flower Pagoda ¥10.
- 9 Bright Filial Piety Temple (Guangxiao Temple) (光孝寺 Guāng-xiào-sì), 109 Guangxiao Rd (光孝路) (Metro 1 Ximenkou, exit C). As the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Hui Neng, trained at this temple in the 7th Century, it is a popular pilgrimage site for Zen Buddhists. The temple has been destroyed several times by fire, and the current buildings date back to the mid-19th century. ¥10.
- Wu Xian Guan Temple (五仙观 Wǔ-xiān-guān), Huifu West Road (惠福西路) (Metro 1 Ximenkou, exit C). ¥5.
- 10 Huaisheng Mosque (怀圣寺 Huái-shèng-sì), 56 Guangta Rd (光塔路) (Metro 1 Ximenkou, exit C). This is one of the oldest Muslim mosques in China, built in 627.
- 11 Sanyuan Temple (三元宫 Sān-yuán-gōng), Yingyuan Road (Metro 2 Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, exit C). This is the largest and oldest Taoist temple in the city.
- 12 Hualin Temple (华林寺 Huá-lín-sì) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu). Free.
- Yuanxuan Taoist Temple (圆玄道观), near Bi Village in southwest Xinhua Town, Huadu District (take bus #9 from Huadu Downtown). It includes three Taoist buildings in one complex: Sanqing Hall, Taihe Hall and Yuanchen Hall. Sanqing Hall is the most architecturally important of the three structures, while Yuanxuan Taoist Temple has carvings of divine beings. The central hall is covered by yellow glazed tiles and decorated with the bright images of Yuqing, Shangqing and Taiqing, the three authoritative deities in Taoism. ¥10.
Museums and galleries
- 13 Guangdong Museum (广东省博物馆新馆) (Metro 3,5 Zhujiiang New Town, exit B1; APM Opera House, exit C). 9AM-5PM, Tue-Sun. The new museum is located in Zhujiang New Town, not to be confused with the old Guangdong Museum near Metro 1 Peasant Movement Institute Station. This is the biggest museum in the city. It covers Guangzhou's history, culture, science and nature. Arrive early as admission is limited to 5,000 per day. Personal ID is required to obtain free tickets at ticket office.
- 14 Guangzhou City Art Museum (广州美术馆 guǎng-zhōu-měi-shù-guǎn), next to the Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park). This impressive gallery has more than 10,000 pieces of art work, including calligraphy, traditional Chinese paintings, sculptures and Tibetan Buddhist art (Thangka). ¥10 with visit to Guangzhou Museum (See Yuexiu Park).
- 15 Guangdong Museum of Art (广东美术馆 Guǎng-dōng-měi-shù-guǎn), 8 Yanyu Road (烟雨路8号), Er-Sha Island. Tue-Sun 9AM-5PM. It focuses on contemporary Chinese art with particular emphasis on Guangdong artists. Personal ID is required to obtain free tickets at ticket office. Visitors are limited to 3,000 a day. Admission is required for special exhibits.
- 16 Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King (西汉南越王博物馆), 867 Jiefang Road N. (解放北路878号) (Across from Yuexiu Park; Metro 2 Yuexiu Park, exit E), ☎ . 9AM-5:30PM. This is a tomb for the king of ancient South China during the Western Han era. ¥12.
- 17 Guangzhou Sculpture Park (广州雕塑公园 guǎng-zhōu-diāo-sù-gōng-yuán), Tongxin Road at the foot of Baiyun Mountain. Free.
- 18 The Memorial Museum Of Generalissimo Sun Yat-Sen's Mansion (孙中山大元帅府纪念馆), 18 Dongsha St, Fangzhi Road (纺织路东沙街18号), ☎ . Tue-Sun 9AM-4:30PM. Free.
- 19 Guangzhou Uprising Museum (广州起义旧址纪念馆), 200 Qiyi Rd (起义路200号) (Metro 1, 2 Gongyuanqian, exit J). 9AM—12PM and 1:30PM–4:30PM Tue–Fri; 10AM-4:30PM Sat-Sun. The Museum is at the site of the first Communist government building. Free.
- 20 Guangzhou Ocean World (广州海洋馆), within Guangzhou Zoo (Metro 6 Huanghuagang). It covers an area of 13,000 square meters and has more than 200 kinds of fish and many other rare ocean creatures. It is a high-tech exhibition hall serving sightseeing, entertainment, research and education purposes.
- 21 Guangdong Revolutions History Museum (广东革命历史博物馆), 2 Lingyuan West Rd (陵园西路2号大院) (martyrs memorial park; Metro 1 Martyrs' Park, exit D). Sun Yat-Sen was sworn in here in 1921 as the president of Republic of China. The museum tells stories from the Opium War to the founding of the new China. Free.
- 22 Peasant Movement Institute (农民运动讲习所 Nóng-jiǎng-suǒ), 42 Zhongshan 4th Rd (中山四路42号) (Metro 1, Peasant Movement Institute, exit C). Tue-Sun 9AM-4:30PM. This is the original site of Communist training center founded by Mao Tse-tung in the 1920s. Now it is a museum covering recent China revolutionary history. Free.
- 23 Redtory (红专厂), 128 Yuancun 4th Cross Road (员村四横路128号), ☎ . Once a can food factory, this old facility is transformed into galleries for contemporary artists. There are also restaurants and shops, which blend in well with the artistic surroundings.
- 24 Yuexiu Park (越秀公园 Yuè-xiù-gōng-yuán) (Metro 2 Yue Xiu Park Station, exit B1). 6AM-9PM. The largest urban park in China and is a lush green area that flows over acres of hills and includes several lakes. It includes the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower (镇海楼) zhèn-hǎi-lóu, now home to the Guangzhou Museum with relics on five floors dating back 5,000 years ago and an up-to-date miniature of modern Guangzhou. ¥10. 9:00 - 11:30, 13:00 - 17:00. Also check out the Stone Statue of the Five Rams (五羊石像), the symbol of Guangzhou (See Understand). Free.
- 25 Yuntai Garden (云台花园 Yún-tái-huā-yuán) (Tour Bus No. 1, 3). Situated at the foot of Baiyun (White Cloud) Mountain and is famous for its wide variety of rare flowers and trees. There are also seasonal exhibits (additional admission). ¥10.
- Green Walk (东濠涌), Yuexiu District, under the Donghaoyong Elevated Road (Metro 1, Peasant Movement Institute).
- 26 Lingnan Impression (岭南印象园) (Metro 4, Higher Education Mega Center South, exit B.). This is a place to see the city's past before the economic boom. The park is 15 minute walk from the subway station. Free shuttle is available on the weekend. ¥45.
- Baomo Garden (宝墨园) (Panyu District). 8:30AM–6PM. Rebuilt in the 1990s from a destroyed ancient garden. ¥45.
- Huanghua Gang Commemoration Park (黄花岗公园 Huáng-huā-gǎng-gōng-yuán), 79 Xianlie Middle Road (先烈中路79号), ☎ . 6AM-8:30PM. This is a park that will set you in a poignant mood. The main attraction is the monument built to commemorate the 72 martyrs who died during the 1911 uprising. Free.
- Guangzhou Martyrs' Memorial Garden (广州起义烈士陵园 Guǎng-zhōu-qǐ-yì-liè-shì-líng-yuán), Zhongshan 2nd Road (中山二路) (Metro 1 Martyrs' Park Station, exit D). 6AM–10PM. This park is dedicated to those who fought and died in the Communist Uprising in 1927. Free.
- Huadu Square (花都广场 huā-dū-guǎng-chǎng). A park-cum-recreation square located in the north part the city and near the government office buildings of Huadu District (花都区). The square incorporates, among other attractions, an outdoor theater, large fountain, outdoor dance area and statues. There is a large grass area that is similar to a Western style meadow and a subtropical forest and ornamental flower beds.
- Taoist temple. Five fairy Taoist temple is located in Hui Fu Xi Lu of the center of Guangzhou. is the historical markers of that Guangzhou has been founded 2000 years.
- Million Sunflower Garden (百万葵园), Panyu, Guangzhou Wanqingsha town. Sunflower Garden million theme park covers an area of 260,000 square meters, planting one million sunflower, become the first in the country house, all imported seeds (mainly Japan) ornamental sunflower park.
- 27 Chimelong Paradise (长隆欢乐世界). 9:30-18:00 (18:30 weekend). The theme park has many thrill rides and shows. ¥200.
- 28 Chimelong Water Park (长隆水上世界). April to Mid-October 9:30AM–10PM. This is a western style water park with great water rides. Warning for people over 1m90, rides are closed for tall people. ¥140 (fall) - ¥198 (summer).
- 29 Guangzhou CrocoPark (广州鳄鱼公园), Metro Line 2, Huijiang Station. You can see, play, touch, take pictures of crocodiles and even eat and buy stuff made of them!
- 30 Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park (广州香江野生动物世界 Xiāng-jiāng-yě-shēng-dòng-wù-shì-jiè) (Metro 3 Hanxi Changlong, exit E). 9:30-18:00. Day safaris and night safaris offered, mini jungle train, free ranging animals. From the Metro station there are scheduled free shuttles to all the Chimelong parks. ¥175.
- 31 Chimelong International Circus (长隆国际大马戏) (Hanxi Changlong, exit E, free shuttle). The closest China gets to Cirque du Soleil. ¥250/adult, ¥125/child or senior.
- 32 Baiyun Mountain (White Cloud Mountain) (白云山 Bái-yún-shān). Open 24 hours. Is a great place to relax and enjoy a day among lush, rolling hills. It also offers great views over the city. The road to the top in most of the daytime is restricted to park trams and pedestrians. To get to the top lookout point, you can use the main roads or trails. There are many places to rest and refreshments are available along the way. It is a great place to see people enjoying nature and playing games, such as shuttlecock, badminton, football and even bungee jumping. There are many bus routes to and from different parts of the city, as well as taxis usually available near the park gate. Park entrance ¥5; Cable car round trip ¥40; tram from ¥20; other attractions ¥5-¥10; packages available from ¥25.
- 33 Lianhua Shan (Lotus Mountain) (莲花山 Lián-huā-shān). Features an impressive quarry from which red sand stones were mined about 2,000 years ago, a pagoda from 1612, and a barrack from 1664. The obligatory statue of Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of compassion, at the side of the Buddhist temple is also not to be missed. From Guangzhou, take Metro line 4 and exchange bus at Shiji Station. There are ferry services from Guangzhou at Tianzi Pier (天字码头)(¥20) and Xidi Pier (西堤码头)(¥25). The boat leaves at 8:15AM and returns at 3:15PM. ¥40.
- Guangzhou University of Traditional Medicine (广州中医药大学 Guǎng-zhōu-zhōng-yī-dà-xué) (Metro 2 Sanyuanli Exit B). Chinese medicine and acupuncture (中医和针灸) is taught here, one of the main universities for traditional medicine in China and attracts many overseas students. It also has a branch in Zhuhai.
- Mandarin House Guangzhou School (广州美和汉语学校 Guǎng-zhōu-Měi-hé-Hàn-yǔ-Xué-xiào) (Tianhe business district). Former winner and multiple nominee of STM’s ‘Star Award’ in the World Language Provider Category. Has language centres in Shanghai and Beijing and is quality accredited by IALC. Mandarin House Guangzhou school offers the same curriculum, courses and level of teaching quality in all their schools. From effective Intensive & Business Courses to Private Tutoring, HSK Preparation and Juniors Programs, assuring there is a course best suited to each level.
If time and weather permit, walking is perhaps the best way to see the city as the back alleys, which are littered with antiquities, are not accessible by motorized vehicles. Most trades and goods categories are concentrated in a specific area or along one main street.
- Qingping Market (清平市场), Qingping Road (清平路) (North from Shamian Island. Metro 1 Huangsha Exit D). Cantonese are known to eat just about any animal, and the market is world famous for its wild animal trades, although it has been tamer since the SARS outbreak. It is still a great place to go for exotic goods. The modern front of the market has quite a few stalls selling dried herbs used in Chinese Medicine. The real charm here lies just behind the modern exterior. The modern exterior is built onto a series of old historical narrow alleyways with shops selling herbs.
- 1 Global International Shoes Trade Centre (国际鞋城步云天地), 26 Zhan Xi Road 广州市站西路26号步云天地.
- Xiguan Antique Street (西关古玩城), near Liwan Park (荔湾湖公园).
- Flower Street (花卉水族街), Baohua Road (宝华路).
- Jade Street (玉器工艺街/玉器街), Changshou Road (长寿路) and Wenchang Road (文昌路), near Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (Metro 1 Changshou Lu).
- Ivory and Sea products (象牙雕刻海味街), Daxin Road (大新路).
- Toy Street and Dried goods and snacks Street (玩具街 and 干果海味食品专业街), Yide Road (一德路) (Metro 2 Haizhu Square).
- Bridal Street (婚纱专卖街), Jiangnan North Road (江南大道北) (Metro 2 The 2nd Workers' Cultural Palace).
- Flowers, Aquatic and Lightings Street, Danan Road (大南街) near Beijing Road (北京路) (Metro 1, 2 Gongyuanqian).
- Household Merchandise Street (日用百货街), Gaodi Street(高第街). The street has become a shopping center selling everyday goods.
- Cultural Street (古玩字画街 / 文化商业街), Wende Road(文德路) (Metro 1 Peasant Movement Institute). A good place to look for antiques and traditional Chinese artistic goods.
- Haiyin Shopping District (海印专业购物区), at the northwest side of the Haiyin Bridge (海印大桥). Selling appliances, sporting goods, cloth, fabrics, camera accessories and electronics.
Malls and shopping centers
- Beijing Lu Pedestrian Street (北京路步行街 Běi-jīng-lù) (Metro 1, 2 Gong Yuan Qian Exits C, D). This is the main shopping thoroughfare, a pedestrian street where most stores are open from 9AM-10PM. Avoid individuals who solicit pirated DVDs and imitation goods. Don't follow anyone into the small dark alleys in between buildings to see their goods.
- Mayflower Plaza (五月花广场 Wǔ-yuè-huā-guǎng-chǎng), 68 Zhongshan 5th Road (中山五路68号), at the northern end of the Pedestrian Street. This is a place where young people hang out and shop.
- Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九商业步行街 Shàng-xià-jiǔ) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu Exits D1, D2). This shopping area is also a showcase of traditional Cantonese architecture Qilou(骑楼). It is particularly pretty at night when lights are lit up. Prices here are generally lower than Beijing Road's, but prepare to bargain.
- Liwan Plaza (荔湾广场 lì-wān-guǎng-chǎng), 9 Dexing Road (德星路9号), at the east end of the street. You will find a good selection of crystal there.
- China Plaza (中华广场 Zhōng-huá-guǎng-chǎng), 33 Zhongshan 3rd Rd (中山三路33号) (Metro 1 Martrs' Park, above metro station). This is another large shopping mall with brand name department stores, clothing stores, electronics stores and restaurants.
- Tee Mall (天河城 Tiān-hé-chéng), 208 Tianhe Road (天河路208号) (Metro 1 Tiyu Xilu, right above the metro Tiyu Xilu station). This is one of the busiest and most popular shopping mall in the heart of the city.
- Friendship Store (广州友谊商店 Yǒu-yí-shāng-diàn), 369 Huanshi East Rd (环市东路369号). 9:45AM–9:45PM. It is one of the oldest department stores targeting foreigners in Guangzhou. You will also find its branches in Grandview Mall and Times Square on 28 Tianhe North Road (天河北路28号).
- Wangfujing (王府井百货 Wáng-fǔ-jǐng), 40 Longlin Down Road (农林下路40号). 9:30AM–9:30PM. This is a branch of the famous department store in Beijing, featuring mid to high-end products.
- (万菱广场 Wàn-líng-guǎng-chǎng), 39 Jiefang South Rd (解放南路39号) (Metro 2 Haizhu Square Exit B). At first glance, this looks like a regular shopping mall but it is actually a wholesale market. Each shop usually carries specific products with many selections of varieties. You will find products such as arts and crafts, jewelry, sporting goods, toys, key chains, collectibles and gifts of all types. Many store and boutique owners from all over the world come here to buy their products. You will get the best prices if you buy in bulk (usually 20 or more). Most shop owners will not bargain unless you buy in bulk. However, if you only buy small quantities, the prices are usually cheaper than elsewhere. Not to be confused with Onelink Centre in Tianhe.
- Pearl River Night Cruise (珠江夜游) Dashatou Pier (大沙头码头), Tianzi Pier (天字码头), and Xidi Pier (西堤码头) – This is a one to two hour cruise in the evening and a great way to see the Guangzhou skyline along the Pearl River, including a light show at Bai-E-Tan. Tickets for the deluxe dinner cruise can be bought from most high-end hotels. Prices from ¥50-¥200 per person. Higher end cruises usually include dinner buffet.
Ride the public buses. Cheap and generally safe, but beware of pickpockets. The electric trams are even cheaper at flat rate of ¥2. Hop on to any one of the public buses. Drivers are generally very friendly and helpful. So long as you have sufficient small change for the journey, tell the driver you are in just for a joyride. (In cantonese Yau Cheh Hor literally meaning just for the ride or just for fun. Where the journey terminates, ask anyone what buses will take you back and request the driver to let you know when to get off. So long as you sit not too far away, he (sometimes she) will tell you. Don't worry, everyone is very helpful on these buses. Being paranoid about scams and perceived crimes takes the joy out of what would otherwise be a marvellous holiday.
*Daytime River "Cruise" As cheap as ¥5, you get a ride down to the last terminal at ZhongSan University and back. Just tell the ticket seller at the jetty, in front of Riverside Hostel,you just want a joyride. On your way back,you can get off on the other side of the river at the heart of the commercial district. After spending a couple of hours walking around or even dinner, it will cost you only ¥1 to cross back to the Riverside Hostel
- Chinese New Year/Spring Festival (春节 chūn-jié) occurs on first day of first lunar month, usually in January or February. This is a 15 day celebration and some districts can be quite deserted as many migrant workers return to their home provinces. The flower fair is popular during the days before New Year.
- Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 duān-wǔ-jié) on fifth day of fifth lunar month, usually in May or June. This festival commemorates the sacrifice of Qu Yuan (屈原), a famous poet who drowned himself in the river by way of making a statement against government corruption during the Warring States Period. The highlights are dragon boat racing along the Pearl River, and eating rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves (粽子).
- Mid-autumn Festival (中秋节 zhōng-qiū-jié) is on the 15th day of 8th lunar month, usually in September or October. Cantonese moon cakes are enjoyed during this holiday. Lian Xiang Lou and Taotao Ju's moon cakes are especially famous (see "Eat" section). Kids' favorites are paper lanterns. Many locals also enjoy riding ferries and watching the full moon on the Pearl River.
- Tomb Sweeping Day (清明节 qīng-míng-jié) is around the spring equinox, usually on April 5. Involves visits to the family tombs for cleaning and making offerings.
- Double Ninth Festival (重阳节) is on the 9th day of 9th lunar month, usually in October. Cantonese has the tradition of hiking up Baiyun Mountain. This is also the fall version of the Tomb Sweeping Day in April.
- Qi Xi, or Chinese Valentine's Day (七夕 qī-xī) is on 7th day of 7th lunar month, usually in August or September. According to legend, a heavenly fairy Zhinyu (织女) fell in love with a mortal farm boy Niulang (牛郎). This was forbidden; as punishment, they were only allowed to meet once a year on this day. There are usually parades and carnivals in the city celebrating the holiday. This is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day, but it is steadily losing its appeal among the locals; many have adopted the Western Valentine’s Day on February 14.
- Winter Solstice (冬至, 过冬 dōng-zhì), which literally means the Coming of Winter is on December 22. Traditionally, Cantonese people observe the day with a family feast, which often includes preserved duck and sausages. However, the highlight of the day's festive dishes is hot soup served with flour dumplings (汤丸).
The Canton Fair
The Canton Fair (China Import and Export Commodities Fair) is held twice a year (spring and fall) in the Pazhou Complex at 380 Yuejiang Middle Road (阅江中路380号) (Metro Line 8 Xingangdong or Pazhou station). It lasts for several weeks each time — for example, the Spring 2013 Fair is April 15 to May 5.
Through most of Mao's era — from the first Canton Fair in 1957 until the "reform and opening up" under Deng Xiao Ping began in 1978 — the Canton Fair was almost the only way Chinese and foreign business people could meet and make deals. It is still much the largest trade fair in China; the October 2012 Fair had over a million square meters (11 million square feet) of exhibit space, over 24,000 exhibitors, and over 188,000 overseas buyers. Around $32.5 million worth of business was done at that Fair, and almost certainly much more was done later from contacts made at the Fair.
If you are going to the fair, book a hotel well in advance. Hotels tend to be booked and expensive during the Fair. Metro is a good transportation option to go to the fair ground, and many hotels provide free shuttle services.
Cantonese cuisine is well known for its blend of color, fragrance, taste and presentation, and it is ranked among the top four in the country. In particular, dim sum, a delicate pastry, is famous for being simple yet delicious. Local customs, as well as a long history of contact with the West compared to other regions in China, have played a major role in the development and diversity of Cantonese cuisine. "Chinese food" in Western countries is usually Cantonese food, albeit slightly adapted to Western tastes, meaning that many Western visitors will be familiar with Cantonese food to a certain extent.
Authentic Cantonese cuisine is also famous throughout China for another reason — Cantonese people tend to eat absolutely anything. A well-known Chinese joke is that they eat anything that has four legs other than a table, anything that flies other than an airplane, and anything that swims other than a submarine. In addition to that, various internal organs of animals are regularly eaten, such as the liver, kidneys, heart and even brain. This means that Cantonese cuisine is one of, if not the, most adventurous in China due to their expansive use of exotic ingredients, and their extremely broad definition of what is considered edible. This is how Guangzhou earned the distinct name of "Eating in Guangzhou (食在广州)."
Unlike Szechuan food and most other foods across China, Cantonese food tend to preserve the original flavor of the ingredients and is generically not spicy. The taste of Umami was strongly emphasized in the dishes. The soup is also an important part of the Cantonese cuisine. Those Cantonese soups were distinct by having been cooked for an extended period (typically 4h+).
What to Eat
- White Cut Chicken (白切鸡) This is one of the most popular Cantonese cuisine. It is lightly flavored to allow one to taste the true chicken meat. Many Cantonese restaurants have their signature dish based on this, such as the Wenchang Chicken from Guangzhou Restaurant, Real Taste Chicken from Bingsheng Restaurant and Qingping Chicken from various restaurants.
- Yum Cha / Dim Sum (饮茶/ 点心) "A pot of tea with two pieces (一盅两件)" is Guangzhou's dim sum culture. Many locals stay for hours chatting and reading newspaper with just a small order of food. The varieties of dim sum dishes in many restaurants are easily over a hundred. The bite-size quantity of each dish allows one to venture out and try new things that will satisfy one's taste bud.
- Siu Mei / Shao Wei (烧味) Cantonese barbecue is famous around the world where many have seen the image of roasted ducks and chicken hanging in front of a store. Siu mei is a staple item in Cantonese restaurants. Some Varieties include barbecued pork (叉烧), roast goose (烧鹅) and roast pig (烧肉).
- Seafood (海鲜) Eating fresh seafood the Cantonese way is a good way to explore Cantonese culture. From picking live fish or lobsters in front of your eyes to eating the sea creatures with their heads attached, this is a great advanture for any visitors.
- Dessert (甜品, 糖水) A Cantonese meal is not complete without Cantonese desserts. Soupy or custard desserts are common. Two distinct Guangzhou favorites are double layered milk (双皮奶) and ginger milk curd (姜撞奶). Other popular choices include tofu pudding (豆腐花), red bean paste (紅豆沙), green bean paste (綠豆沙), guilinggao (龟苓膏), black sesame paste (芝麻糊) and sago (西米露).
- Guangzhou Restaurant (广州酒家), 2 Wenchang South Road (文昌南路2号) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu), ☎ . This Cantonese family restaurant is famous for its signature dishes Wenchang Chicken and special baby pig. It has several branches in the city. Other locations include 20 Binjiang West Road (滨江西路20号) and 112 Tiyu East Road (体育东路112号).
- Lian Xiang Lou (莲香楼), 67 Dishifu Road (第十甫路67号) directions=, ☎ . M-F 6:30AM-10PM, Sa-Su 6:30AM-11PM. Founded in 1889, Lian Xiang Lou is known for its tasty dim sum and pastries. There are now more than 20 bakery stores throughout the city.
- Pan Xi Restaurant (泮溪酒家), 151 Longjin West Road (龙津西路151号), ☎ . Located in the heart of the Old Guangzhou, this Cantonese Restaurant serves dim sum next to trickling streams and stunning architecture. Try one of their famous dumplings shaped like a rabbit's head.
- Taotao Ju Restaurant (陶陶居), 20 Dishifu Road (第十甫路20号) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu; Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street), ☎ . This is the oldest traditional dim sum restaurant in the city but nowadays, their food not up to standard as their chef left for high end restaurant in Hong Kong. Dim sum hours are still busy, so reservation is recommended. Specialty includes moon cakes and other traditional Cantonese pastries.
- Four Seasons Restaurant (中国大酒店四季厅), 122 Liuhua Road (流花路122号中国大酒店) (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park Exit D2), ☎ . 11AM-2.30PM, 6PM-10PM. Classic Cantonese cuisine using fresh, quality ingredients. Renowned for its Roasted Suckling Pig and Peking Duck. Dim sum is serve during lunch hours. ¥200 per person.
- Food Street Restaurant (中国大酒店食街), 122 Liuhua Road (流花路122号中国大酒店) (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park Exit D2), ☎ . 7.30am-12 midnight. Serving local and regional cuisine, this casual restaurant resembles the open Kitchens of Old Canton. Try their famous wonton noodles, dim sum and fisherman's Congee.
- Baifu Restaurant (百福酒家), 112 Tiyu East Road (体育东路112号百福广场三楼) (3F, Baifu Plaza, Metro 1 Tianhe Sports Center), ☎ .
- Chuan Guo Yan Yi (川国演义), 140-148 Tiyu East Road (体育东路140-148号), ☎ . The restaurant specializes in Sichuan (Szechwan) hot pot. It is busy on Friday and Saturday nights. This high end restaurant is popular among expats and those who like hot and spicy food.
- Liuhua Congee House (流花粥城), Renmin North Road (人民北路903号流花湖公园) (In Liuhua Park. Metro 2 Yuexiu Park), ☎ . Open 24 hours. Excellent dim sum and Cantonese porridge in beautiful surroundings.
- Wenji Restaurant (文记壹心鸡), 10 Boahua Road (荔湾区宝华路旋源桥10号) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu; Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street), ☎ . As the place was established by the former chefs from Qingping Restaurant, they have the original Qingping Chicken on the menu.
- Cai Gen Xiang (菜根香), 167 Zhongshan 6th Road (中山六路167号) (Metro 1 Ximenkou), ☎ . 6:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM.
- Fo World Sushishe (佛世界素食社), 2-8 Niunaichang St, Tongfu Middle Road (同福中路牛奶厂街二圣宫前2-8号) (Metro 2 The 2nd Workers' Cultural Palace), ☎ . 7AM-9PM. The restaurant is hidden in a small street, this place is especially crowded on the 1st and 15th of each month (lunar calendar). Part of the profits is given to the neighboring temple.
- Foo Yau Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant (佛有缘素食馆), Xinfu Xincun (幸福新村) (Metro 1 Chan Clan Academy Exit D), ☎ . 7AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM. This place serves creative vegetarian dishes with dim sum served in the morning.
- Sharmaji Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, 1号 Huang Tian Zhi Jie, Yue Xiu Qu, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区麓景路黄田直街1、2号), ☎ . One of the most famous Vegetarian Indian restaurants in Guangzhou. Founded in 2001, it serves vegetarian Indian buffet only, located in the Indian ghetto in Guangzhou, near the Dong Yue Hotel. Located on the 4th floor of the Gitic Hotel. No meat or alcohol served.
- Shui Yun Tian (水云天), 38-42 Jinghui Road (净慧路38-42号首层) (next to the Guangxiao Temple, Metro 1 Ximenkou), ☎ . 6:30AM-2:30PM, 4:30PM-9:30PM. Great buffet around noon.
- Cow and Bridge Thai Restaurant (牛桥泰菜), 2/F, Xiang Long Garden, 181 Tianhe North Road (天河北路181号祥龙花园二楼) (Metro 3 Linhexi), ☎ . This famous Thai restaurant offers many varieties of Thai dishes. Ask for the more fiery version of your meal, if you're used to Thai cuisine, as the dishes are somewhat localized.
- Lan Kwai Fong (兰桂坊), 5 Shamian South St (沙面南街5号) (Metro 1 Huangsha), ☎ . This tourist friendly restaurant offers good curries and polite service on the quite Shamian Island.
- Banana Leaf (蕉叶西餐厅). This is a established traditional Thai restaurant chain in Guangzhou.
- Tianhe, 28 Tianhe North Road (天河北路28号时代广场2楼) (Metro 3 Linhexi; 2/F, Times Square), ☎ .
- GZTV Hotel, G/F, 8 Luhu Rd.
- World Trade Center, 5/F, 371-375 Huanshi East Rd.
- Tai Man Guan (泰满贯), 7F Tower North East, Teemall, 208 Tianhe Road (天河路208号天河东北塔7楼) (Metro 3 Tiyu Xilu). This is located in the Tee Mall in Tianhe. The Thai restaurant offers many varieties of Thai dishes with great curry and noodle dishes.
- Vaastu (雅仕度印度餐厅), 13-15, 475 Huanshi Dong Lu, Yue Xiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区环市东路475号东都大世界首层A区13号－15号), ☎ . This high end restaurant opened its door in 2008. It serves traditional Indian food with vegetarian dishes available.
- Sharmaji Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, 1号 Huang Tian Zhi Jie, Yue Xiu Qu, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区麓景路黄田直街1、2号), ☎ . One of the most famous Vegetarian Indian restaurants in Guangzhou. Founded in 2001, it serves vegetarian Indian buffet only, located in the Indian ghetto in Guangzhou, near the Dong Yue Hotel. Located on the 4th floor of the Gitic Hotel. No meat or alcohol served.
- Lucy's Cafe & Restaurant, 3 Shamian South St (沙面南街3号) (Metro 2 Huangsha), ☎ . Located near the White Swan hotel, Lucy's Cafe & Restaurant is an established American restaurant on Shamian Island. They serve everything from burgers to pasta to Tex-mex, and portions are large. This is a favorite for adoption families who stays on the island.
- Oggi Restaurants, e-mail: email@example.com. Oggi serves traditional Italian food in central Guangzhou.
- Oggi Trattoria, 1 Tiyu East Road (天河区体育东路1号), ☎ . 11AM-12AM. Come and enjoy their great pizza and pasta with choice Italian wine.
- Oggi Pizzeria, G/F Tianlun Garden, Jianshe 4th Road (建设四马路), ☎ . 24/7. The European theme style cafe and bar serves great pizzas and traditional Italian home dishes with wine carte and draught beer.
- [dead link]Bosphorus Turkish Restaurants, 1 Jianshe 6th Rd (Metro 5 Xiaobei Exit A), ☎ . 10AM-11PM. There are two location in GZ. Bosphorus Premium Located in ex Tang Club , and Bosphours Xiaobei located in Zhaoqing Building , it has delicious and halal foods. The third location in Yiwu city . The Bosphorus premium has two floor, having lunch and dinner at 2. floor, smoke and coffee at 3. floor. The portions are large, price are acceptable according to food quality. This is a favorite for eating doner (one of famous Turkish food) and kebabs especially Iskender.
- 13 Factories (十三行), 7 Tianhe North Street (体育西路天河北街七号) (Metro 3 Linhexi exit B), ☎ . 11AM-12AM. Menu has a heavy American Southern influence, with authentic gumbo, jambalaya, po' boys and pulled pork all on offer, but French, Spanish and Italian dishes are also served. It is a favor of both expats and locals.
- Buongiorno Italian Restaurant (Buongiorno 意大利餐厅), 3F Yian Plaza, 33 Jianshe 6th Road (越秀区建设六马路33号宜安广场3楼304/310), ☎ . 11AM-11PM. The authentic Italian restaurant is Italian managed and prepared, serving pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes.
- Prime Steakhouse, 122 Liuhua Road (流花路122号中国大酒店), ☎ . 11AM-2.30pm, 6PM-11PM. This is one of Guangzhou's finest steakhouse serving Australian and Japanese prime cuts, seafood, pasta and desserts.
- Cafe Veranda, 122 Liuhua Road (流花路122号中国大酒店), ☎ . 6.30am-10PM. This place serves a lavish international buffet and also has à la carte menu. All Western and Asian delights can be found here and the breakfast buffet is simply excellent.
- The Italian Restaurant (小街风情意大利餐厅), 3F Zhujiang Building East Tower, 360 Huanshi East Road (环市东路360号珠江大厦东座3楼) (Metro 5 Taojin), ☎ . 10:30AM-2AM. Despite the unimaginative name, this place offers good pizzas, pasta and beer. Buffet is available.
- La Seine Restaurant Franca (塞纳河法国餐厅), 33 Qingbo Road (二沙岛晴波路33号) (Ground floor, Zinghai Concert Hall), ☎ . The upscale restaurant has an elegant French decor, overlooking the Pearl River skyline. ¥200 and up.
- K's Western Delights (K’S西方佳肴), Tao Jin Jia Yuan, ☎ . They serve Western-style homemade kosher sandwiches, managed and prepared by Westerners. Delivery service is available.
- Pizza2Pizza, Tianhe North Road (天河北路614号2号铺）, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-2AM. The restaurant serves appetizers, Salads, Pizza and Pasta. Dine-in, take-out and catering are available. Free delivery within 2 km of the location. Check their website for other locations.
- [dead link]Tekila Mexican Restaurant and Bar, 2F, 11 Jianshe 6th Road (建设六马路11号二楼) (Metro 5 Taojin), ☎ . This place serves authentic Mexican food. It has great Margaritas. Entertainment includes salsa dancing.
- [dead link]BOCA Restaurant and Cafe, 75 Tianhe East Road #107(天河东路75号首层107), ☎ . This place serves appetizer, Soup, Salad, Sandwiches, Rice Delights, Pastas and other Main Courses. Kids' meal is available.
- Gail's Place, 1/F Stars Building, 172 Huasui Road (珠江新城华穗路172号,星辰大厦首层02铺), ☎ . The family owned restaurant has a huge western food menu with an accent on American and fusion style dishes. For those who celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, Gail's offers a fully cooked turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce.
- Best-Way African Restaurant, No. 003 1/F Jindu Bldg, 99 Guangyuan West Rd (opposite Canaan Market), ☎ . This Nigerian restaurant serves cuisine cooked Igbo style (try the semo and egusi soup). It is a bit out of the way (down some narrow stairs and under a concrete overpass), but the ambiance is cozy inside with Nigerian music playing.
Foreign fast food, ice cream and coffee chains are well established in Guangzhou. These include Subway (赛百味), Dairy Queen (冰雪皇后), Saizeriya (Japanese Italian Food Chain), Papa John's Pizza (棒约翰), KFC (肯德基), Pizza Hut (必胜客), McDonald's (麦当劳), Burger King (汉堡王), Starbucks (星巴克) and Häagen-Dazs (哈根达斯). Most of these can be found in the Zhengjia Plaza (See "Shop").
Convenience stores are on almost every street corner and most are open 24 hours. Major convenience store chains include 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Circle-K and C-Store. Prices are a little higher than in local shops or supermarkets, particularly at 7-Eleven. Some FamilyMarts and Circle-K's do not sell cigarettes, but C-store does. Corner's Deli is a specialty food chain store with several locations in the city with a good selection of imported foods. One of the locations is at unit 6, Backstreet, CITIC Plaza.
Carrefour (家乐福) This French hypermarket has four stores in Guangzhou. One of them is at Kangwang Road (康王中路656号) near Chenjiaci station. It is cheap and has a good selection of products.
Jusco (吉之岛)There are several locations including Tee Mall at Tiyu West Road and Linhe Middle Road near the East Train Station. This Japanese chain has a good selection of imported groceries.
Park 'n' Shop (百佳) This Hong Kong chain has several locations ranging from convenience stores to hypermarkets. The largest stores are in the shopping mall above Metro Changshou Lu Station and at Tianhe North Road close to the Longkouxi bus stop. It is a little more expensive but has a good selection of imported groceries.
TESCO This British hypermarket is located on Zhongshan 6th Road above the Metro Ximenkou Station. The store spreads over 4 floors and the price is reasonable.
Wal-Mart (沃尔玛) The lower-end market has numerous locations in Guangzhou. Formerly known as Trust-Mart (好又多) but rebranded after acquired by Wal-Mart (沃尔玛). Wal-Mart has been upgrading the stores, and the prices while they are at it. This chain has a large stock of non-food items but the grocery selection is limited. It is often crowded on the weekends.
Vanguard (华润万家) This is the flagship operating supermarket chains of China Resources. It is the third largest supermarket chain in Hong Kong. It operates approximately 450 stores in China. There are over 20 stores in Guangzhou.
Lotus (卜蜂莲花) There are several locations ranging from convenience stores to hypermarkets. One of the locations is at 399 Chebei Road (车陂路399号).
When it comes to drinks, Guangzhou is one of the best cities in China to knock back a few. With a relatively large population of foreigners here, the city offers a wide variety of nightspots that cater to all tastes.
Tsing Tao and Zhu Jiang are the two major Chinese beer brands that are sold almost everywhere. Both are fairly standard light lagers. Carlsberg is also brewed in Guangzhou, which explains the reasonably large amount of Carlsberg taps in the bars.
- Elephant and Castle (next door to Hill Bar opposite the Garden Hotel). British style pub serving Kilkenny, Guinness and a variety of bottled and draft beers. Prices are reasonable for the area, especially during Happy Hour. 22.
- Hill Bar (Outside Baiyun Hotel and across from Garden Hotel). Reasonable price for drinks and live band performances nightly. ¥35 pints.
- Hooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant, Zhujiang New Town, ☎ . Hooley's is an Irish themed pub with a focus on live music performances (rock, pop, folk and jazz). Serves Irish, Italian and fusion dishes. Bakes its own bread. Music Friday to Saturday with open mic sessions on Wednesdays and Ladies Night on Thursdays. Hooley's has closed and will re-open in the Zhu Jiang New Town area in late December early January.
- Paddy Field Irish Pub and Restaurant (Behind Garden Hotel).
- Tavern Sports Bar (Metro APM Guangzhou Opera House), poly 108/ 2 huajiu Road, Zhujiang New Town (珠江新城华就路2号), ☎ . 11:30AM to 2AM. Tavern Bar is an English-style pub serving appetizers, pub-grub and international food. Happy Hour from 4-8PM and all day Monday, Happy Hour pints from ¥20. Range of draught beers and cocktails. Shows live sports on big screen TVs. Pool tables and private rooms are available. Quiz night every Wednesday at 8:30.
- Sleeping Wood Cafe. Restaurant pub next to the old Holiday Inn City Centre. Serves western food and all kinds of alcoholic drinks. Bottled Tsingtao beer for ¥30. Nice and quiet place to unwind, especially in the open area. 2nd location along Pearl River. ¥25-¥30.
- Sapphire Lounge, 122 Liuhua Rd (流花路122号中国大酒店), ☎ . 3PM to late. Located on the 4th floor of China Hotel, Sapphire Lounge serves an extensive selection of classic and contemporary martinis, cocktails, wines, liquor and more in a chic and upbeat atmosphere. Perfect for after-work drinks or a night out.
- Oh Marco Wine Cellar, 9 Yiyuan Road 4-5, Haizhu District, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 9AM-9PM. Oh Marco is a retail wine chain shop. There you can drink a glass or buy a bottle of wine. It offers full range of wines, directly imported from France. Perfect for after-work drinks. Drinks from ¥18..
- C:Union (喜窝), 115 Shuiyin Road (水荫路115号天溢大厦副大堂1楼). Great place to hear atypical live music like reggae or classic rock. Bar has both an indoor section consisting of a dance floor and couches and an outdoor section with patio seating and recently-added new basement. Wide beer selection and bartenders measure all drinks out in plain view. Early on the bar is populated mostly by locals, however as the night progresses the bar quickly fills with expats. Patrons tend to be very friendly open to meeting new people. There is usually at least one English speaking bartender at each station. ¥25-¥50 beer, ¥15 shots.
- The Cave (墨西哥餐厅酒吧), 360 Huanshi East Road (环市东路360号珠江大厦东侧) (basement on the end of the Zhujiang Tower (珠江大厦) near Garden Hotel), ☎ . This is a favorite expat hangout. The resident DJ spins a wide range of music. The Cave features exotic dance performances, including live-python dances. ¥30-40 standard drink.
- Club NaNa, Tianlun Garden, 26 Jianshe 4th Road (建设4马路26号天伦花园) (up the street from Oggi's Pizza). Packs a variety of music, well-known throughout Guangzhou for its wild parties, including a singles lock and key party, a secret costume party, and live hip-hop shows. The owners may be seen handing out free drinks. Beware of the tequila shots. Begins as a largely Chinese club but around 11:30PM, the shaking switches from dice to dancing and it becomes a mix of East and West.
- Gipsy King Bar (大篷车酒吧), 360 Huanshi East Road (环市东路360号珠江大厦西地下) (opposite end of the Zhujiang Building from the Cave), ☎ . Underground bar similar to the Cave. Many local "working" girls sashay around. There are individual dance performances at one corner of the bar, while group performances start on the main dance floor at 10PM. AS OF NOV 2013, THE GIPSY KING BAR IS UNDER RENOVATION.
- Penthouse. High class bar with dance floor. Variety of sparkling wine ensures you can live it up with standards. The DJs blast the hottest music.
- Heihei Club, 2 Qiaoguang Road, Yuexiu District.. Good crowd, blend of locals and foreigners. Good music though a little pricy. It was reported that pickpocketing is rampant here.
- True Colors (本色), 276 Yanjiang Zhong Lu (200m east of the Tianzi Matou, Yuexiu District (8373 5858)). Club has dozens of tables on the floor for groups to drink and play local dice games. The DJ booth overlooks the floor and between it and the massive windows runs a strip that can rise up for live performances and for models to runway walk. There's a dance floor that's maybe 25 square meters where locals and expats dance. DJs come from all over the world and play their own mix of house occasionally punctuated with hip-hop.
The culture of tea drinking, also known as Yum Cha (饮茶), runs deep in Guangzhou. After all, the city was at the center of the massive tea trade that existed between China and Europe during the 19th century.
- Simple Love Tea Shop (十月红奶茶), #102, 94 Tianhe South Rd (Down from the south gate of TeeMall). 3PM-2AM. This is a Taiwanese style tea and coffee shop. There are about five other locations in the city.
- Tian Chang Di Jiu, 1 Zhengping Middle Street, Taojin Rd, ☎ .
- Chun Ya Yuan Teahouse (春雅源茶艺馆), 19 Siyou New Rd (4/F, Changcheng Hotel), ☎ . 7PM-1AM.
- Crystal Tea House, 6 Longkou East Road, Tianhe (1/F, Yuan Yang Hotel), ☎ . 10AM-2AM.
- Wong Chun Loong Herbal Tea. The traditional herbal tea chain has over a dozen branches in the city, including 17 Wenchang South Road, 109 Huagui Road, 51 Dishifu Road, 504 Xihua Road, and many more.
- People's Cakes & Coffee. Enjoy cakes and coffee at this Western coffee shop run by Koreans.
- Yuexiu, #102, 17 Jianshe 6th Road (建设六马路17号102房), ☎ .
- Taojin, 98 Taojin South Rd, ☎ .
- Starbucks. The Seattle chain has been in china for over 10 years, with more than 25 locations in Guangzhou alone. The benefit to many travelers is the free Wi-Fi. Popular locations include Taojin Road by the Guangzhou Friendship Store, Huanshi East Road in the Peace World Plaza, across the street from the Garden Hotel, and Shamian Island. Check their website for complete listing. Check out some local fusion items including a wide selection of Chinese tea, Green Tea Tiramisu and Shredded Ginger Pork Panini.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
Unlike many other big cities in China, Guangzhou has very limited choice of youth hostels. Most hostels in the city are illegally operated and unlicensed, mostly located in residential apartment buildings. The management usually discourages most socializing activity, worrying that any noise may lead to complaints from their neighbors and result in government crackdown.
- Aaishe Youth Hostel (广州爱舍青年旅舍), Tian shou lu, building number 6（天寿路6号）, apt at 10th floor, (A B)(华辉阁10AB）, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. 40 till 60 yuan An apartment converted hostel, it has 20 beds, free wifi, a/c and 24-hour hot water. The area is residential and may not be easy to find. It is close to Guangzhou East Railway Station but located on the north side of Tianhe, which is away from tourist attractions. Expect 10 minute walk to the closest Linhexi metro station.
- City Youth Hostel (广州国际青年旅舍), 179 Huanshi West Road (环市西路179号) (Metro 2 & 5, Guangzhou Railway Station), ☎ . Tiny single rooms and close to the train station but it does not provide the nicest environment. singles ¥80, ¥60 for members.
- Guangdong Youth Hostel (广东鹅潭宾馆), 2 Shamian 4th Street (沙面四街2号) (Across from White Swan Hotel, Metro 1 Huangsha Exit D), ☎ . This place offers around 15 dorm beds. There is a lounge, which is a small spare room with free access to computers and internet, TV, microwave oven and refrigerator until midnight. Wi-Fi is available and basic English is spoken. Despite excellent location, the place is an ordinary Chinese hotel, rather than a hostel that provides a socializing environment. Only foreign passport holders are accepted in the dorm. Dorm room ¥60, singles ¥200.
- Guangzhou Riverside Youth Hostel (广州江畔国际青年旅舍), 15 Changdi Street (长堤路15号) (Metro 1 Fangcun Exit B1), ☎ . A waterfront hostel located on the south side (less developed) of the Pearl River. It takes a 15-20 minute walk to the metro station; also accessible by river ferry (until 10PM). Spacious common areas but limited kitchen facilities. Some rooms are not equipped with lockers and theft reports are frequently heard. Doubles ¥178, dorm bed ¥65; ¥96 Canton Fair.
- Guangzhou Journey House Youth Hostel (广州征途青年旅舍), Room 27F, building 1,Jiayiyuan Garden, 445 Tianhe North Road (天河北路445号嘉怡苑1栋27F房), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 12PM. The apartment-converted hostel is more like a dorm for Chinese job-seekers and socializing activities are usually discouraged. The area is residential and may not be easy to find. Close to the Guangzhou East Railway Station but away from tourist attractions. Dorm room ¥50, singles with ¥140.
- Binjiang Hostel (滨江青年旅舍), 405 Yanjiang East Road (大沙头沿江东路405号), ☎ . 2 km (25 minute walk) away from the nearest metro station. Dorm room ¥60, singles with shower ¥170.
- Tielu Tong Tong Hotel (广州通通酒店), 101 Guangyuan West Road 广园西路101号 (Metro 2 Guangzhou Railway Station). A few blocks from the train station, the hotel is spacious but noisy. It is friendly to African travelers who are looking for lodging near Xiaobei and other wholesale trading markets. ¥160.
- Guangdong Victory Hotel (广东胜利宾馆), 53 Shamian North Street (沙面北街53号) (Metro 1 Huangsha Station Exit D, use pedestrian bridge to Shamian Island), ☎ . The hotel is located on Shamian Island. It consists of the East building and West building. It has very clean rooms and western-style buffet breakfast. ¥420.
- [dead link]Zhong Qiao Hotel Guangzhou (中桥宾馆), 103 Chigang Road (赤岗路103号), ☎ . The hotel is close to Pazhou Trade Center where Canton Fair is held. Check their website for other locations in the chain.
- [dead link]Baiyun Hotel (白云宾馆), 367 Huanshi East Road (环市东路367号) (across from Garden Hotel), ☎ . Member of Best Western hotel chain.
- [dead link]Dongyue Fashion Hotel (东岳时尚酒店), 10 Tangdong East Road (天河区棠东东路10号), ☎ . It offers clean and comfortable rooms that are furnished with all the essentials for a restful stay. ¥178.
- Guangzhou Hotel (广州宾馆), 2 Guangzhou Qiyi Road, Haizhu Square (海珠广场起义路2号) (Metro 2 Haizhu Square Exit B3), ☎ . ¥328.
- [dead link]Huifeng Apartment Guangzhou (广州汇峰国际公寓), 8 Xingsheng Road, Zhujiang New Town, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Each of the 198 serviced apartments has a kitchens and free cable internet access. ¥298.
- Binghua Hotel (冰花酒店), 2 Tianhe North Road (天河北路2号), ☎ . The hotel is located at the gateway to Tianhe. Hooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant is on the ground floor.
- Bostan Hotel (广东博斯坦宾馆), 76 Tianhe North Road (天河北路76号), ☎ . The hotel has multifunction halls and meeting rooms for business or personal affairs, as well as KTV rooms, a beauty salon, and restaurants that serve Xinjiang Muslim cuisines.
- Hotel Canton (广州大厦), 374 Beijing Road (广州市北京路374号) (Metro 1/2 Gongyuanqian), ☎ . This was once a glorious hotel, but it is now a bit outdated. However, it is located just North of the Beijing Lu Pedestrian Street. ¥390.
- Hotel Landmark (华厦大酒店), 8 Qiaoguang Road (海珠广场侨光路8号) (Metro 2 Haizhu Square Exit A), ☎ . ¥500.
- 1 Lido Hotel (丽都大酒店), 182 Beijing Road (北京路182号), ☎ . In the heart of central Guangzhou and Beijing Road Shopping Street. ¥350.
- Liuhua Hotel (流花宾馆), 194 Huanshi West Road (环市西路194号) (Metro 2/5 Guangzhou Railway Station), ☎ . ¥468.
- Nanyang King's Gate Hotel (南洋长胜酒店), 38 Xinghua Road (兴华路38号) (near Baiyun Mountain in Tianhe District), ☎ . This is a 5-star hotel with 468 guest rooms, overlooking the beautiful Baiyun Mountain. Accommodation includes a bathroom with steam area and massage tub. Hotel facilities include and Western restaurants, lobby bar, conference hall, health club and KTV. ¥458.
- Oriental Resort (广州鸣泉居), 1068 Baiyun South Avenue (白云大道南1068号) (On Baiyun Mountain), ☎ . Quiet and away from the city. ¥480.
- Raystar Hotel (瑞星大酒店), 95 Chepi Road (车陂路95号) (Metro 4/5 Chebeinan). 4-star hotel offers free broadband Internet apart from furnished rooms and conference suites.
- Springdale Serviced Residence Guangzhou (广州盛雅服务公寓), Tower B1, No 105 Tiyuxi Road, Tianhe district, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. The residence offers studio, one, two, or three-bedroom apartments that are furnished with a comfortable living and dining area, broadband Internet access, and a kitchen. Daily rates starts from ¥480.
- China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel (中国大酒店), 122 Liuhua Road (流花路100号) (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park), ☎ . The 5-Star Luxury Marriott Hotel is located in the heart of central Guangzhou. It features 850 guestrooms, 8 Food and Beverage outlets, Executive Lounge and Shopping Arcade. An entrance to the Metro is just outside. ¥800 up.
- Garden Hotel (花园酒店), 368 Huanshi East Road (环市东路368号), ☎ . The hotel has standard hotel rooms as well as apartments and offices for rent. Deluxe rooms are clean but basic; elite rooms are newly renovated and attractive. The Carousel Restaurant offers excellent dinner buffet with panoramic views of Guangzhou on the top level. The hotel also has various Shops, HSBC and Bank of China branches and a bus station serving express buses to the Guangzhou airport, the Hong Kong airport and nearby cities such as Zhuhai.
- Dong Fang Hotel (东方宾馆), 120 Liuhua Road (流花路120号) (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park), ☎ .
- Four Seasons Hotel (四季酒店), 5 Zhujiang West Road (珠江西路5号), ☎ . 1600 and up.
- Asia International Hotel (亚洲国际大酒店), 326 Huangshi East Road, Sec 1 (环市东路326号), ☎ . One of a handful of hotels that feature separate bath and shower areas in a standard room. Internet access is free but slow. It also features Guangzhou's highest revolving restaurant on the top level.
- China Mayors Plaza (广州市长大厦), 189 Tianhe North Road (天河北路189号), ☎ . ¥600.
- Donlord International Hotel (鼎龙国际大酒店), 63 Guangzhou Ave North (广州大道北63号), ☎ . The hotel has 288 guest rooms. The Dragon & Phoenix Restaurant offers top-grade Cantonese and Chaozhou dishes while Four Seasons Café specializes in French style food.
- Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, 12 Zhujiang West Road (珠江西路12号) (Metro APM Zhujiang New Town), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The 5-star hotel has 350 rooms and suites with panoramic views of the Pearl River. Amenities include walk-in shower, Wi-Fi and iPod docking station. Hyatt Grand Club lounge offers free continental breakfast and canapés. ¥1200.
- Crown Plaza Guangzhou City Centre (广州中心皇冠假日酒店), 339 Huanshi East Road (环市东路339号), ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 1400h, check-out: 1200h. Previously the Guangdong International Hotel (广东国际大酒店), this 63-storey building is now a Crown Plaza hotel under the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Rooms are adequately furnished and WiFi internet is provided for free. The hotel is conveniently located in the middle of the city, right next to the Guangdong TV Station (广东电视台) and nearby Taojin Metro Station (Line 5). The French consulate shares the same address. From the airport, there is an airport-express bus (Line 2A) that can bring you directly to the hotel for ￥19.
- Nanyang Royal Hotel (南洋冠盛酒店), 11 Tianfu Road (天府路11号). 5-star hotel offering 268 Victorian-inspired rooms with contemporary amenities. Leisure and dining facilities are also available.
- Royal Marina Plaza (科尔海悦酒店) (Metro 3 Panyu Square Exit A), ☎ . Offers air-conditioned rooms all equipped with a private toilet and bath, satellite TV, safe, and refrigerator. Some of its amenities include Pattaya Spa Center, indoor pool, health club, boutique shops, and night club. ¥528.
- [dead link]Dragon Lake Princess Hotel (九龙湖公主酒店), 3 Shanqian Avenue, Huadong Town, Huadu District (花都区花东镇山前大道3号九龙湖社区), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Designed and built in the style of a European town, the hotel is located in the Dragon Lake Resort. River Main in the village, It offers accommodation, dining, meeting, amusement, sports and leisure facilities. The hotel has bus route from and to Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The facility is beautiful and relaxing, but it is 35 minutes away from the city center. ¥750.
- Pullman Baiyun Airport Guangzhou (广州铂尔曼白云机场大酒店), In the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport complex. ¥750.
- Hanfeng International Hotel (汉风国际大酒店), 6 Tianhe North Road (天河北路6号). The hotel offers free broadband Internet with generously furnished rooms and conference suites. The hotel is currently closed for renovations.
- White Swan Hotel (白天鹅宾馆), 1 Shamian South St (沙面南街1号) (Metro 1 Huangsha), ☎ . On the banks of the Pearl River on the quiet Shamian Island, complimented by a charming park nearby where locals can be found doing tai chi. Surrounding the hotel are blocks of little shops run by locals willing to bargain.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Guangzhou (广州希尔顿逸林酒店), 391 Dongfeng Rd, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. DoubleTree by Hilton Guangzhou is a modern hotel with 305 rooms near the Guangzhou CBD. It is located 31 km. away from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and features a ballroom, seven first-class meeting rooms, an outdoor terrace pool, five restaurants on-site, and a fitness center. ¥850 up.
Guangzhou, which has been the first open port in China, is generally tolerant of different cultures. Crimes that target foreigners are not common despite the city's reputation for petty crimes. Pickpockets are active in shopping area and transportation hubs. Safety has improved a lot since the 2010 Asian Games but the best defense, as always, is to avoid flashing your valuables in public, wandering around alone late at night. Use only official taxis and change money at banks instead of grocery stores.
A Hong Kong Perspective
Hong Kong is a remarkably safe city, so much so that residents view neighboring Guangzhou as a wild and lawless city full of danger. While Guangzhou is indeed less safe than Hong Kong, it still rates favorably when compared to most Western cities. If someone in Hong Kong warns you not to cross the border, do take it with a pinch of salt. A short journey away is a new city certainly worth exploring without any major safety concerns.
As the richest province of China, it has attracted an enormous number of immigrant workers from other mainland provinces and some developing countries. Drug trafficking is a serious offense and foreigners are not exempted from the death penalty. The police is known for expanding its Arabic- and English-speaking forces to deal with the rising drug trade among foreigners.
Traffic conditions in Guangzhou have drastically improved in recent years and rules are practiced - relatively. However, like everywhere else in China, cars do not yield to pedestrians and zebra crossings are for display only.
Emergency numbers are: Police: 110; Fire: 119; Medical: 120; Traffic accident: 122
- The area dialing code for Guangzhou is 020. From overseas, dial +86 20 XXXX-XXXX. Phone numbers are 8 digits. Mobile numbers are 11 digits and city code is not required when dialing from within Guangzhou. From outside of Guangzhou, add 0 before the number (0 XXX-XXX-XXXXX). From overseas, dial +86 XXX-XXX-XXXXX.
- Tourism Administration of Guangzhou Municipality (广州市旅游局)  [dead link] 13-15/F, 140 Dongfeng West Road. (东风西路140号13-15楼). +86 20 8107-8200.
- Complimentary wi-fi is offered throughout national Airport via SSID "AIRPORT-WIFI-FREE."
- Internet cafes are common in major Chinese cities, though are often the target of government crackdowns. Popular ones in Guangzhou include:
- Worldwide Network on Jiangsu Road
- the famous elite cafe Sparkice (实华开) in Central Plaza on Huaihai Middle Road
- China Mayors Plaza (市长大厦). 189 Tianhe North Road (天河北路189号)
- Budget Internet Cafe on Fuzhou Road
- Police: The Public Security Bureau Exit-Entry Administration Division is located at 155 Jiefang South Road (解放南路155号) +86 20 8311-5808 (M-F 8:50AM–11:30AM, 2:30PM-5PM.) You can get your visa extension done here.
- Australia, 12F Development Center, 3 Linjiang Avenue (珠江新城临江大道3号发展中心12楼), ☎ .
- Belgium, Rm. 1601-1602A CITIC Plaza, 233 Tianhe North Road (天河北路233号中信广场1601-1602A室), ☎ .
- Cambodia, Rm. 804-807 Garden Hotel, 368 Huanshi East Road (环市东路368号花园大厦804-807室), ☎ .
- Canada, Ste. 801 China Hotel Office Tower Liuhua Road (流花路中国大酒店商业大厦801), ☎ .
- Cuba, Room 2411 West Tower, Hua Pu Office Complex, 9 Hua Ming Road, Zhujiang New Town (珠江新城华明路9号华普广场西塔2411房 ), ☎ .
- Denmark, Ste. 1578 China Hotel Office Tower Liuhua Road (流花路中国大酒店商业大厦1578室), ☎ .
- France, Rm. 803 Guangdong International Hotel Main Tower, 339 Huanshi East Road (广东国际大酒店主楼801-803室), ☎ .
- Germany, Rm. 19F Guangdong International Hotel, 339 Huanshi East Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店19楼), ☎ .
- Greece, Room 2105 Skyfame Tower, 8 Linhe Middle Rd, ☎ .
- India, Units 1401-1404 14F Skyfame Tower, 8 Linhe Middle Road (林和中路8号 天誉三期14楼1401-1404单元), ☎ .
- Indonesia, Rm. 1201-1223 West Building Dongfang Hotel, 120 Liuhua Road (流花路120号东方宾馆西座2楼1201-1223室), ☎ .
- Israel, 19th floor, Development Center, 3 Linjiang DaDao,Zhujiang New Town (珠江新城临江大道3号发展中心19楼), ☎ .
- Italy, Rm. 5207-5208 CITIC Plaza, 233 Tianhe North Road (天河北路233号中信广场5207-5208室), ☎ .
- Japan, Garden Tower 368 Huanshi East Road (环市东路368号花园酒店1楼), ☎ .
- Korea, 18 Youlin 3 Road, Haizhu District (海珠区赤岗领事馆区友邻三路18号), ☎ . ,
- Malaysia, Rm. 1912-1918 CITIC Plaza, 233 Tianhe North Road (天河北路233号中信广场 1915-18室), ☎ .
- Mexico, Rm. 1402-03 183 Tianhe North Road (天河北路183号大都会广场1401室), ☎ .
- Netherlands, Teem Tower, 34th Floor, 208 Tianhe Road, Guangzhou, 510620 广州市天河路208号粤海天河城大厦), ☎ .
- Norway, Rm. 1802 CITIC Plaza, 233 Tianhe North Road ( 天河北路233号中信广场18楼1802室), ☎ .
- New Zealand, Rm. 1160 China Hotel Office Tower Liuhua Road (流花路中国大酒店商业大厦1160室), ☎ .
- Pakistan, Rm. No. 705-06 Grand Tower No. 228 Tianhe Rd, ☎ .
- Philippines, Rm. 709-711 Guangdong International Hotel 339 Huanshi East Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店710室), ☎ .
- Poland, 63 Shamian Street (沙面大街63号), ☎ .
- Singapore, Rm. 2418 CITIC Plaza, 233 Tianhe North Road (天河北路233号中信广场2418室), ☎ .
- Switzerland, 27F Grand Tower 228 Tianhe Road (天河区天河路228号广晟大厦27层), ☎ .
- Thailand, M07 Garden Hotel, 368 Huanshi East Road (环市东路368号花园酒店2楼M07室), ☎ .
- United Kingdom, 2F Guangdong International Hotel 339 Huanshi East Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店二楼), ☎ .
- U.S.A., 43 Huajiu Road, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District (天河区珠江新城华就路43号) (public entrance on Huaxia Road (华夏路), near Exit B1 of Zhujiang New Town metro station on Line 3 and Line 5). This is the only U.S. Consulate in China that processes adoption and immigration visas.
- Vietnam, 2F Building B North, Landmark Canton Hotel, 8 Qiaoguang Road (侨光路8号华厦大酒店B座2楼), ☎ .
ATMs that accept foreign credit or debit cards are common in shopping malls and tourist areas. Withdrawal is available in Chinese currency only. Most banks in the city center also accept exchanges from your local currencies to ¥. Your passport is required for this service. Some banks allow you to change back to your local currency with the original exchange memo.
- Bank of China (中国银行)  There is a branch inside Garden Hotel. ATM is available on the ground floor of White Swan Hotel and over 100 locations in Guangzhou. Their ATMs are the best bet for using foreign cards.
- Bank of America Rm 2506, 555 Renmin Middle Road +86 20 8130-0888. The bank has alliance with China Construction Bank.
- Citi Unit 101, Fortune Plaza, 118 Tiyu East Road. +86-20 3898-1688. This bank has a full service branch with currency exchange services and 24-hour ATMs.
Few lower end hotels and hostels have coin-operated self-service laundry room. Self-service laundromats are not available on the streets, although dry clean and laundry stores are available to clean your clothes. Normally you can drop your clothes off and pick them up the next day. One laundry chain is Tiantian (天天洗衣), which is conveniently located in most Metro stations. There are many stores on Shamian Island that have laundry service. An average load of laundry costs about ¥100.
In other parts of the city, there are laundry and dry clean shops sprinkled throughout neighborhoods. An average load should cost no more than ¥40. If you are doing sheets and blankets, they should charge no more than ¥10 for a blanket, ¥30 for a quilt. Dry-cleaning a sweater is about ¥8.
Guangzhou Television (GZTV)  [dead link] has an "English" channel, now called Guangzhou I Channel (but still "English" according to the Chinese name), offering entertainment and cultural programs from around the world, mostly dubbed in Mandarin and subtitled in Chinese. Hong Kong’s international channels, TVB Pearl and ATV World, available in most hotels, have a great selection of programs from the UK and US, plus news at 7:30PM and late (11PM or later) every day.
Newspapers and Magazines
The China Daily and/or Global Times are the two only English language newspapers available in Guangzhou (unless you go to a library), and both can be found on newsstands throughout the city. There are several bookstores throughout the city that sell current English and Foreign periodicals. The South China Morning Post from Hong Kong is also available by subscription only. South China TALK is a monthly English-language magazine based in Guangzhou.
Places of worship
All the religious sites listed in the See section are open to worshippers.
- Christian: Guangzhou International Christian Fellowship holds weekly service on Sundays at 10AM for expats from around the world in English. You must show your travel documents to enter since residents are not allowed there due to local laws. The meeting location is Star Hotel (景星酒店) near the East Train Station. Phone: +86 1366 234 6904. Hotel Address: 89 Linhe West Road (林和西路89号). (Metro 1 East Railway Station)
Guangzhou has over 15 branches of Total Fitness. One of the locations is at the 8th floor of Grandview Mall (Zhengjia Plaza 正佳广场). The Guangzhou Marriott (see sleep) has a complete new gym with Star Trac equipment, a swimming pool, tennis court, sauna and steam.
- Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital is near the Garden Hotel. 106 Zhongshan 2nd Road +86 20 8382-7812, +86 20 2062-2031.
- Kaiyi International Dental Care [dead link] Ice Flower Hotel, 2 Tianhe North Road +86 20 3886-4821, +86 20 3387-4278.
China Post, the official post office, is your best bet for regular letters and postcards. For packages, other than the post office, there are many shipping centers around the city who are agents for DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT and EMS. There are usually shipping counters at higher-end hotels. Ask your hotel for the nearest shipping locations.
- Post Office (China Post) - Post Office is usually slow and little English is spoken. EMS service is available through the post office. The following are locations close to tourist areas.
- Shamian Post: Shamian 3rd Street (沙面三街) 9AM-5PM, closed on Sunday.
- Liuhua Post: 151 Huanshixi Road (广州市环市西151号) between Guangzhou Railway Station and the Provincial Coach Terminal.
- Taojin Post: 5 Taojin North Road (淘金北路正平中街5号) +86 20 8357-1583
- DHL There is a branch in Garden Hotel +86 20 8384-9210.
- UPS 1121 Guangyuan Middle Road, +86 20 8657-9898; China Hotel, +86-20 8666-2696; TeeMall +86 20 8230-4008.
- The dwellings of overseas Chinese from the early 20th century in Kaiping (开平). Take a 2-hour bus form Fengcun Bus Station (芳村汽车站) (Metro 1 Kengkou Exit B) ¥60.
- Foshan (佛山) is only an hour away from Guangzhou. Famous for its Ancestry Temple (祖庙), it is also the home to legendary martial art master Wong Fei Hong. Take the Foshan Metro at the Xilang Station of Guangzhou Metro Line 1.
- Hong Kong (香港) is 2–3 hours away, depending on the modes of transportation.
- Humen (虎门) in Dongguan (东莞) is famous for its Opium War era relics (虎门销烟). It is a bridge away from the Nansha District. Most trains going to Shenzhen or Hong Kong stop at Dongguang.
- Shenzhen (深圳) is located on the border with Hong Kong. It is one of the first special economic zones in China. Check out theme parks such as Windows of the World, the China Folk Culture Villages and Splendid China. Bus and train services are run frequently. The trip will take 1 to 2 hours. Tickets cost around ¥60 - ¥80.
- Zhuhai (珠海) is another special economic zone to the south bordering Macau. You can get a bus ride from any of the major bus stations in the city. You can also take a high speed train at the South Station (Metro 2 Guangzhou South Railway Station) and it only takes about 45 minutes (¥44).
- Chaozhou famous for its wood cutting art, city walls, river bridge and nice parks. Take a high speed train at the South or East Station and it only takes about 3 hours to Chaoshan, the high speed train station between Chaozhou and Shantou. Frequently running city buses connect to downtown (take north exit).
|Routes through Guangzhou|
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