Friday, January 13, 2023
Guanzhou Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Guanzhou

travel guide

Guangzhou (Gungzhu, old name: Canton, or simply GZ) is the capital of Guangdong Province in southern China.

It has a population of 12.7 million people, making it China’s third biggest city after Shanghai and Beijing, according to the 2010 census. It is part of the Pearl River Delta, together with Shenzhen, Dongguan, Hong Kong, Macau, Foshan, Jiangmen, Huizhou, Zhongshan, and Zhuhai.

Guangzhou was known in the West as “Canton” during the age of tea clippers. The local cuisine and language are still referred to as “Cantonese,” and it is totally fine to use either the western or Chinese terminology interchangeably. Cantonese are a proud and hardworking people recognized across China and the globe for their outstanding food and commercial acumen. One thing you’ll note about Guangzhou’s city center is that it lacks the horn-honking clamor seen in other Chinese cities. Cantonese drivers seem to adhere to the regulations of the road a little more than drivers in other places, where traffic is often more chaotic.

The Canton Fair, China’s biggest trade fair, is held in the city, which is well-known for its overseas commerce and commercial dealings. However, there is a lot of culture and history in between the apparently unending skyscrapers, retail malls, and construction projects. While Guangzhou isn’t normally at the top of the list of Asian tourist attractions, it’s remarkable how much the city has to offer.

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Guangzhou | Introduction

Guangzhou – Info Card

POPULATION : • Sub-provincial city 13,080,500
• Urban 11,264,800
• Metro (2013)  23,900,000
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :  China standard time (UTC+8)
LANGUAGE :  Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
RELIGION :  Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%; note: officially atheist
AREA : • Sub-provincial city 7,434.4 km2 (2,870 sq mi)
• Urban 3,843.43 km2 (1,483.95 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  21 m (68 ft)
COORDINATES :  23°08′N 113°16′E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 51.83
 Female: 48.17
ETHNIC :  Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%
AREA CODE :  20
POSTAL CODE :  510000
DIALING CODE :  + 86 (0)20
WEBSITE :  http://english.gz.gov.cn/

Tourism in Guangzhou

Guangzhou looks to be a metropolis on the verge of exploding at first glance, rather than one in the process of evolving. Every every corner seems to be crammed with high-rise skyscrapers, overpasses, and marathon runners. It may be daunting, and many tourists’ first inclination is to leave as quickly as possible. Those who resist this desire and remain will find a kinder and more approachable side to the city.

Foreigners are not the outliers they are in other Chinese cities since Shanghai has been a key entrance point for international culture for millennia. As a result, travelers have greater personal space and independence. Furthermore, nestled away in the back alleys, the old Guangzhou of traditional communities continues to move at an age-old pace, with families and friends often sitting outside enjoying tea and conversation.

Guangzhou is also home to China’s biggest urban park, an island of rehabilitated colonial structures, and world-class galleries and exhibition venues. Furthermore, maybe as a result of their remoteness from the country’s political centers, the people of Guangzhou have evolved a laid-back and play-hard attitude toward life.

Guangzhou is now widely regarded as one of China’s most rich, liberal, and cosmopolitan cities. Despite being a worldwide business centre, there are currently no English signage. Outside of the commercial and tourism zones, virtually few residents are fluent in English. It is very advised to carry a phrasebook. It will be tough to navigate Guangzhou without a phrasebook or comprehension of the language.

Guangzhou is sometimes derisively referred to as “China’s Los Angeles” due to its sprawl of freeways, retail malls, pollution, traffic congestion, diversified population, and comparably high crime rate. Despite allegations to the contrary, Guangzhou is not unsafe in contrast to any big western metropolis.

Climate of Guangzhou

The ideal time to visit Guangzhou in terms of weather is between October and November. April and May, on the other hand, are also excellent months. Guangzhou has a subtropical climate with significant humidity levels in the summer. Temperatures may soar to almost 40 degrees Celsius. From June through September, the typhoon season is in effect. Please keep in mind that the Canton Fair is held yearly between the weeks of Mid-April to Early May and Mid-October to Early November, so obtaining lodging during those periods might be difficult and costly.

Geography of Guangzhou

Guangzhou is located in the south-central region of Guangdong and covers 112° 57′ to 114° 03′ E longitude and 22° 26′ to 23° 56′ N latitude. The Pearl River (Zhujiang), China’s third biggest river, flows through Guangzhou and is navigable all the way to the South China Sea. The city is located in the Pearl River Delta, and the city center is next to Baiyun Mountain, which is known locally as “the lung of the city”. The overall area under the authority of the city is 7,434.4 square kilometers (2,870.4 sq mi).

The prefecture’s elevation usually rises from southwest to northeast, with mountains providing the backbone and the ocean creating the front.

Tiantang Peak (meaning Peak of Paradise in Chinese) is Guangzhou’s tallest peak, rising 1,210 meters (3,970 feet) above sea level.

Economy of Guangzhou

Guangzhou is the primary industrial center of the Pearl River Delta, one of the most important economic and manufacturing districts in mainland China. In 2013, the GDP was ¥1542 billion (US$248 billion), with a per capita income of ¥120,515 (US $19,459).

The Ministry of Trading hosts the China Import and Export Fair, popularly known as the “Canton Fair,” twice a year in April and October. The fair, which opened in the spring of 1957, is a key event for the city. The fair was relocated from the older Liuhua site to the new Pazhou complex beginning with the 104th session. Two Metro Line 8 stations serve the Pazhou complex. Since the 104th session, the Canton Fair has been organized in three stages rather than two.

Guangzhou is one of China’s most important drug-trafficking centres.

Internet, Comunication in Guangzhou

  • The area dialing code for Guangzhou is 020. From overseas, dial +86 20 XXXX-XXXX. Phone numbers have eight digits. When phoning from inside Guangzhou, mobile numbers are 11 digits and a city code is not needed. Add 0 before the number if you’re coming from anywhere other than Guangzhou. (0 XXX-XXX-XXXXX). From overseas, dial +86 XXX-XXX-XXXXX.
  • Tourism Administration of Guangzhou Municipality (广州市旅游局) 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 – Although Internet cafés are prevalent in major Chinese cities, they are often the subject of government crackdowns.
  • 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.

How To Travel To Guangzhou

Get In - By plane

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (广州白云国际机场). It is located 28km north of Guangzhou and is the most convenient airport to get to the city.

Another option is to fly to Hong Kong, although travel times are considerably longer due to the border crossing. From Hong Kong International Airport, you can take cross-border buses to Guangzhou and other cities in Guangdong. These include China Travel Service, Trans-Island Chinalink and Eternal East, with prices ranging from HK$220 to HK$250 per trip.

Get In - By train

Trains travel the 182 km (113 miles) from Hong Kong in about two hours, including a stop in Dongguan. Direct trains to Guangzhou East Station depart from Hung Hom Station in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and arrive at Guangzhou East Station. Direct trains are operated by the Hong Kong MTR. One-way fares start at HKD 190.

It is more beneficial to take the Guangshen Intercity train (广深城际列车) from Shenzhen to Guangzhou East Railway Station. Some routes also stop at Guangzhou Railway Station. Shenzhen is right on the border with Hong Kong, and thousands of people cross the bridge connecting them via Luohu (罗湖) every day. Tickets can be purchased at the Shenzen station in Luohu. The price of a one-way ticket starts at ¥80.

A project to connect the entire Pearl River Delta to the high-speed rail network (300+ km/h) is underway. The Zhuhai-Guangzhou and Guangzhou-Shenzhen lines were opened in 2011 and the journey takes only 57 and 35 minutes respectively. However, the stations are far from the urban centers. A new long-distance line connecting Guangzhou to Wuhan and Beijing was opened. It passes through major cities such as Changsha and Shaoguan. The journey to Wuhan, nearly 1,000 km away, takes just over three hours. A one-way ticket costs from ¥490. The trip to Beijing takes about 7 hours. Guangzhou South Station (广州南站) is the new home of high-speed trains.

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 takes place every other day from Guangzhou Station (广州站). The price of a sleeping car starts at ¥923 at the top. The last stretch is covered by the new Qinghai-Tibet Railway; see also Intercity Travel in Tibet.

Keep in mind that there are now three major train stations in Guangzhou. Countless travelers have gotten the wrong station and missed their scheduled trips, so pay attention to your departure station, which is indicated on your ticket.

  • Guangzhou East Station (广州东站, Dong-Zhan) offers connections to Hong Kong and some mainland cities. The subway line 1 stops here.
  • Guangzhou Station (广州站, Guangzhou-Zhan) is one of the largest in the country and serves lines that lead as far as Harbin. Metro lines 2 and 5 have a connecting stop there.
  • Guangzhou South Station (广州南站, Nan-Zhan) is the newest station and serves the high-speed network. Line 2 of the subway stops here.

There are other stations in Guangzhou, such as North Station and West Station. There are also different names for different stations. Be sure to use the official names to avoid confusion. Although some signs are in English, the staff may not understand English well enough, except at the Guangzhou-Kowloon counter. Take a language guide or a Chinese friend with you if you plan to travel deeper into China.

Get In - By bus

Buses transport passengers from Hong Kong International Airport to various locations in Guangzhou. Destinations include famous landmarks such as Jinan University (暨南大学) on Huangpu Avenue (黄埔大道), the Garden Hotel (花园酒店) and the China Hotel (中国大酒店) (see Hotels section). The trip takes about 3+ hours and costs HKD 250. There are also cross-border bus stations in Hong Kong. One of these stations is on Austin Road and Canton Road, near Kowloon Park. A one-way ticket costs about 100 HKD.

Within the country, it is possible to take a bus from any part of Guangdong province to Guangzhou. There are also many options from neighboring provinces like Guangxi, Hubei and Fujian. Here are some of the major train stations in the city:

  • Provincial Railway 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 mainly serves the main lines outside Guangdong province.
  • Liuhua Station (流花站) (Metro 2 & 5 Guangzhou Railway Station Exit D4) Located in front of the provincial railway station, it mainly serves nearby cities in the province.
  • Tianhe Station (天河客运站) (633 Yanling Road 633燕岭路号) (subway 3) The station serves southern and central China and extends into Gansu province. There are also many connections to cities in Guangdong.
  • Haizhu Station (海珠客运站) (182 Nanzhou Road 182南洲路号) (Metro 2 Nanzhou Station Exit A) The station is located in the southern part of Haizhu and serves major cities in the province and other provinces in southern China, including Hainan.
  • Fangcun Station (芳村客运站) (51 Huadi Middle Avenue) (Metro 1 Kengkou Exit B) The station serves similar lines as Haizhu Station.
  • Yuexiu Nan Station (越秀南汽车站)2 (越秀南东园横号) In addition to departures within the province and other provinces, there are also routes to Macau and Hong Kong.
  • Guangzhou South (广州南汽车客运站) Station mainly serves the surrounding cities. There is a bus to Lo Wu, a frequently used crossing point between Hong Kong and mainland China. The fare is ¥65 and it runs every hour.

Please note that the English and Chinese names of the bus stations vary from one sign to another – bus station, bus terminal, bus station, passenger terminal or passenger station. Note that the different names may refer to the same station.

Get In - By boat

There are two major ports – Zhoutouzui Ferry Pier and Dashatou Pier – and many smaller ports.

  • Zhoutouzui ferry pier (洲头咀码头). Regular ferry and hovercraft connections are provided from Hong Kong, Macau and Haikou (Hainan Island). (updated January 2016 | edit)
  • 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 Road2 (南沙经济技术开发区海滨新城商贸大道南二路号) (1.6 km south of Humen Bridge in Nansha, and Nansha is very far from downtown. There are several bus stops from downtown and Panyu, one of them (bus line 3) leaves from Jiaomen subway station), 020 84688963. Makes boat trips from Guangzhou to Hong Kong (75 min, twice a day, ¥165), Macau (80 min, twice a day, ¥180).

How To Get Around In Guangzhou

Guangzhou has a fairly efficient and expanding public transportation system. If you plan to stay in Guangzhou for a long time, you should buy a multi-purpose Lingnan Pass – Yang Cheng Tong (岭南通-羊城通), which works similarly to the Octopus Card in Hong Kong. The card can be used in some urban areas in Guangdong province. It can be used not only for public transportation (buses, subways, parking meters and some cabs), but also for public telephones and some stores, tourist attractions and vending machines. The card contains a refundable deposit of ¥30. The card can be purchased and recharged at many places, such as some 7-Elevens, subway customer service counters and Tiantian laundry. The card can be returned at the end of the trip at any Yang Cheng Tong service center. The best places are the centers located near Gongyuanqian Subway Station, Exit J, Tiyu Xi Subway Station, Exit G, and East Rail Station, Exit HJ. It may be worthwhile to simply keep the map as a souvenir.

Get Around - By Metro

Guangzhou’s metro system began operation in 1999 and has been expanding at a rapid pace ever since. The network covers much of the city center and is rapidly expanding outward. Fares range from ¥2 to ¥19 and most signs and announcements are in Chinese and English. During morning and evening rush hours, trains can be very busy, especially on Line 3. Tickets can be purchased from vending machines in the stations. ¥5 and ¥10 bills as well as ¥0.5 and ¥1 coins are accepted. Unlike other Western countries where one ticket can cover the cost of an entire trip, the metro charges according to distance. You can split your large bills at the customer service counters. The ticket is a small plastic badge that you swipe over the blue reader at the gate to enter the platform and at the exit, where you insert the badge into the slot like in a vending machine. Most of these machines do not accept old or torn bills. If necessary, tell the ticket collector where you want to go and he or she will give you the ticket with the required fare in coins and the rest in bills. It is easier to use Yang Cheng Tong (see above). This card also gives you a discount of 5-40% when you take the subway.

Currently, 9 lines are in service:

Line 1 is the most useful for tourists and runs from southwest to northeast from Xilang in Fangcun to Guangzhou East Station in Tianhe. This line passes under Zhongshan Road in the city center and is the most suitable for accessing shopping malls and tourist sites.

Line 2 runs north-south from Jiahewanggang in Baiyun District to Guangzhou South Station. This line mainly connects you to Baiyun Mountain, Guangzhou Railway Station, Yuexiu Park and Haizhou Square. If you live in the west or central part of Guangzhou, you can also get to the airport by changing to Line 3 at Jiahewanggang.

Line 3 is a Y-shaped north-south line serving the east of Guangzhou. The “main line” runs from Panyu Square to Tianhe Bus Station, while the “branch line” branches off at Tiyu Xilu and runs to the South Airport via Guangzhou East Station.

Line 4 serves the eastern outskirts of Guangzhou and runs from Huangcun in Huangpu District to Jinzhou in Nansha. This line is especially useful for getting to the Olympic Sports Center and University City.

Line 5 runs east-west from Jiaokou (Liwan District) to Wenchong (Huangpu District) and follows the inner ring road through the city. Useful for getting to Guangzhou Station, Garden Hotel and Zhujiang New Town.

Line 6 runs along the northern bank of the Pearl River. It connects Beijing Lu, Cultural Park, Huanghuagang, Tuanyida Square and Dongshanhu Park.

Line 8 was formed from the remnants of Line 2 after its southward extension and runs east-west through Haizhu District from Fenghuang Xincun to Wanshengwei. It is useful for getting to Sun Yat-sen University and the Pazhou Exhibition Center.

The Guangfo Line is the first intercity subway in China. It connects downtown Foshan to Xilang, where you can take Line 1. Foshan center can be reached in about 45-60 minutes from Guangzhou center. Transfers from GZ subway lines and Yangchengtong cards are accepted.

The Zhujiang New Town APM is a driverless People-Mover that serves the downtown area of Tianhe District and is the least used subway line (which is convenient if you want to avoid the most congested section of Line 3). The line has 9 stops, from Linhexi to Canton Tower, and serves many of the district’s sights, including the Guangzhou Opera House, Haixinsha Island (where the opening ceremony of the 2010 Asian Games was held) and Canton Tower. Note that separate tickets are in effect for this line (flat rate of 2 yuan, 5% discount with Yangchengtong card). Unlike other subway lines, you must insert your token at the entrance door – the exit doors open automatically when you approach them.

Get Around - By bus

There is also a comprehensive public bus service that covers Guangzhou from one end to the other. It is by far the cheapest way to get around. The fare is ¥1 for old buses and ¥2 for air-conditioned buses, although most of the old buses have been scrapped. Information at bus stops is usually written in Chinese, though the stop name is also given in pinyin or English (which doesn’t always match the English announcement), and stops near subway stations are (usually) marked with the Guangzhou subway logo, which is handy if you get lost. On-board announcements are made in Mandarin, Cantonese and sometimes English. When you get on the bus, you should know the exact fare or bring a Yang Cheng Tong card. If you are traveling on a quiet bus, it is advisable to signal to the driver that you want to get off when you approach 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 lines are usually divided into several sections, each with a different number. The stops are usually all located on the same side of the street, one after the other, but in some cases (such as Haizhu Square), the stops are spread across the entire square.

Buses are only suitable for travel within a district or to reach suburbs not served by the metro. Heavy traffic can make for a slow and uncomfortable trip, although they can be convenient for inexpensive but slow sightseeing. Trolleybus lines (routes 101-109) are suitable for exploring Liwan and Yuexiu districts.

Most bus routes run from about 6 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. at night, after which there are night buses with the prefix Ye (夜, night). The night line numbers are not related to the normal line numbers. The fare is usually ¥3. Almost all night buses stop operating around 1 or 2 am, some do not leave until around 5 am. In most cases, it is better to take a cab at night. Guangzhou has more than 30 express bus lines (高峰快线), which connect major bus and metro nodes to remote settlements and districts, mainly during rush hour. Fares range from ¥1 to ¥4. There are also four special lines for the university city (大学城专线). They can be found at most of the city’s major train stations, from which you can travel to the university city. Ticket prices range from ¥2 to ¥4. There are also 2 sightseeing bus lines (旅游专线) that pass through many scenic spots in the city. Other special routes are also offered: Lines to certain business districts, shuttles to many different residential complexes such as Favourview Palace and Star River, and even complementary shuttles to certain shopping centers. The driver of a shuttle may ask you for a receipt.

Get Around - By BRT

The bus rapid transit system was put into operation in early 2010. It is essentially a long, separate bus lane (not an elevated road like in Xiamen) that runs along Tianhe Road and Zhongshan Avenue toward the eastern suburbs. Some intersections are crossed by bridges and tunnels, which reduces travel times considerably, but at other intersections there are traffic lights and thus traffic jams, and the crowds can be as large as in the subway stations, but there are fewer doors and less standing room than in the subway trains.

All buses that use the BRT start with a B (B1, B22, etc.), although some stop without the “B” nearby. If you read a bus route (in Chinese), you can see the BRT logo above the name of each BRT station, like the GZ Metro logo above bus stops that are near subway stations. The B1 stops at every BRT station, but other B-route routes use any number of BRT stations (sometimes only one) and take normal routes the rest of the time.

If you board a BRT bus at a normal (non-BRT) stop, the normal fare of ¥2 applies, but you can change for free to other BRT lines provided you change at a BRT stop. If you board at a BRT stop, deposit ¥2 (coins only) at the entrance turnstile to access the platform; no payment is required when you board the bus, and you can ride at the back.

As for normal bus lines, there is almost no English in BRT stations, and only the actual name of the station is in pinyin. Overall, this is not very useful for tourists.

Get Around - By Taxi

This is the most popular way for foreigners to get around, and it is very affordable. The starting fee is ¥10 for the first 2.3 kilometers, or about 1.4 miles. After that, each additional kilometer costs ¥2.6. There is no extra charge for fuel. After 35 kilometers, a 50% surcharge is automatically applied. A few cabs also accept Yang Cheng Tong as a means of payment, but drivers do not prefer it. The cab call number is 96900, which is very useful if you have forgotten your valuables in the cab. Keep your receipt, as it contains the cab’s identification number.

Most cab drivers do not speak English or any other foreign language. So ask the cab driver to write the name and address of your destination in Chinese and show it to them. Many of them come from the poorer provinces in the north and do not even speak Cantonese. If your destination is not well known, add a nearby tourist site to the address, for example “in front of the Garden Hotel”.

While most cabs are the usual VWs and Hyundais found in almost every Chinese city, there are more and more “London cabs” on the streets of Guangzhou (not surprising given that the latest generation of black London cabs are built by Geely Motors in China). They are wheelchair accessible and can carry up to six passengers. Many people recommend using the yellow cabs because this company only employs local Guangzhou drivers who know the city well – other cab companies usually hire migrant workers from other provinces who may not know where they are going.

Beware of cab drivers, because sometimes they not only go around the block one too many times, but they also try to give you counterfeit tickets. When passing tolls, be careful what you pay for. Good drivers will show you toll receipts. Only add the toll to the amount shown on the meter. A trip from the airport to East Station costs about ¥120-130.

Most people think that Guangzhou cab drivers are honest. However, during the Canton Fair near the Pazhou Complex, drivers often break the rules, such as refusing to serve and negotiating the price in advance instead of using the taximeter. Elsewhere in the city, it is also difficult to find a free cab.

Most cab shift changes take place between 3pm and 3pm. During this time, it is difficult to find a cab, as many drivers stop working with the “Out of Service (暂停服务)” sign posted before their shift ends, unless you move in their direction. During rush hour, between 7:30am and 9am and between 5pm and 7pm, it can also be difficult to find a cab. In the evening or at night, there is usually no problem finding a cab.

If you pay with ¥100 bills, be sure to keep your eyes on the money until you accept it. Some cab drivers turn around, do something, turn back and give you fake bills instead, especially if you are a foreigner on your way to the airport. In this situation, there is almost nothing you can do.

Get Around - By Car

Driving in Guangzhou is certainly an option, but drivers who are unfamiliar with driving conditions in China’s large, densely populated cities should be aware that the experience can be extremely daunting and potentially dangerous. However, in Guangzhou, it is common to rent a car with a driver.

Car rental in Guangzhou :

  • Avis (安飞士汽车租凭), 9 Huali Road, +86 20 3829-6279, 8:30-5:30PM.
  • Hertz (赫兹国际汽车出租), 89 Linhe West Road, second floor of Jingxing Hotel. +86 20 8755-1608.

Get Around - By Motorcycle

Although they are a convenient way to get around the city’s alleys, motorcycles are banned in the downtown area and riding a motorcycle in these prohibited areas can result in fines and possibly confiscation of the bike. In addition to the central motorcycle ban, electric bikes are also prohibited on city streets.

Get Around - By bicycle

Due to the improvement of public transportation and the increasing accessibility of private cars, the number of bicycles in Guangzhou has decreased sharply. In recent years, the government has been promoting this low-carbon mode of transportation. There are now more than 100 rental stations on many BRT lines and subway stations. Rental fees are per hour and up to ¥30 per day. A popular bike path runs along the Pearl River on the Haizhu District side. Other special bike paths are also being gradually built in the city center, including in Tianhe District. The Yangchengtong card is accepted at many public rental points.

New bikes are available in large supermarkets from ¥200 for a cheap one-speed bike to about ¥800 for a 21-speed mountain bike, although the quality leaves much to be desired. Giant and Merida are the two most common international brands (both from Taiwan). They are admittedly a bit more expensive (you’ll have to pay more than ¥1000 for bikes with more than one gear), but they are also a bit faster and of better quality. Also get a decent quality lock – bike theft is very common!

Folding bicycles are allowed on the subway (but not on buses) and can be carried in the trunk of a cab at the discretion of the driver, but non-folding bicycles are not allowed on all public transportation except river crossing ferries. Bicycles are not allowed to cross the river through the Zhujiang Tunnel or Zhujiang Suspension Bridge, but they can be carried on public ferries for ¥1.

Get Around - By ferry

Ferry is the cheapest way to cross the Pearl River (Zhujiang). In the 1980s and early 1990s, ferries were very popular and carried tens of thousands of passengers per day across the river. Nowadays, the popularity of the ferries has greatly decreased, mainly due to the completion of several bridges on the Pearl River and the availability of other means of public transportation. The river narrows as it passes through the city center (it is slightly wider than the Thames in central London). It is generally faster and more convenient to use bridges or public transport (subway, bus) to cross the river than to wait for ferries. A ferry service, which remains very popular, connects Huangsha Wharf to the Fish Market next to Shamian Island and Changdi Road Wharf on the Fangcun side. Ferries run every 10 minutes from 6am to 10pm. The fare is ¥0.5 for a pedestrian or ¥1 if you bring a bicycle. The ticket price can be paid in cash (no change) or with the Yangchengtong card. There are separate entrances for cyclists and pedestrians, and you pay at the entrance gate.

Get Around - On Foot

Due to the size of the city, it is not advisable to travel by foot if you are trying to reach destinations in different neighborhoods. However, walking is a great way to explore the different areas of the city, and almost every little alleyway is home to markets, small antique stores and local restaurants. Walking along the main streets can be a nightmare – construction can cause uncomfortable detours for pedestrians. Open manhole covers or sidewalks blocked by huge piles of cement are not uncommon. Be careful when crossing streets, even if the light is green, as bikes and cars commonly expect everyone to swerve and pass blindly. Many major intersections require complicated underpasses and walkways to cross. Don’t forget to bring a map. It is all too easy to get lost in the maze of small streets and alleys, even though some signs are also in English.

Districts & Neighbourhoods In Guangzhou

After the 2014 restructuring, Guangzhou has 11 districts. Among them, Liwan, Yuexiu, Tianhe and Haizhu constitute the heart of the city.

  • Liwan (荔湾 Lìwān) – The part north of the Pearl River is the old Guangzhou. Tourist highlights include the colonial Shamian Island, the ancient Xiguan Houses, the Xiangxiajiu shopping district and Chen’s Clan Academy.
  • Yuexiu (越秀 Yuèxiù) – This is the political and cultural center and includes the former Dongshan (东山, Dōngshān) district. Yuexiu Park, the Beijing Lu shopping district and the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall are among the highlights.
  • Tianhe (天河 Tiānhé) – This is the new downtown and business district. It is thriving with many new developments, including skyscrapers, a stadium, and large shopping centers. It is also home to the oldest urban village in Shipai and most of the expatriate communities. The district serves as a hub for the international airport and the train to Hong Kong. Highlights include the Guangdong Museum, the Central Library, the Opera House and Shipai Village.
  • Haizhu (海珠 Hǎizhū) – Located south of the Pearl River, this district is increasingly becoming a business center, especially for real estate and commerce. Locals refer to this part of Guangzhou as Henan, which means south of the river. Highlights include the Canton Tower, Canton Fair Pazhou Exhibition Center, Sun Yat-Sen University and the Pearl River Walk.
  • Baiyun (白云 Báiyún) – This district is very rural, but is slowly being overrun by new developments. Among the highlights is Baiyun Mountain.
  • Huangpu (黄埔 Huángpǔ) – This area not well known to foreign tourists is located east of downtown. The former Huangpu Military Academy is among its highlights. Luogang District (萝岗), which was dissolved in 2014, also became a part of Huangpu District.
  • Panyu (番禺 Pānyú) – This is the new area that focuses on technology and economic development. Highlights include Lianhua Mountain, several theme parks and the University Mega Center.
  • Huadu (花都 Huādū) – This is a rapidly 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 end of the city. This is where the new station for the high-speed train is located.
  • Zengcheng (增城 Zēngchéng) is famous for its lychee fruit, which is harvested 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 settlements are in the northern part of the city, including Liwan, Yuexiu, Tianhe and Haizhu.

Prices In Guangzhou

Tourist (Backpacker) – 31 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:meals in cheap restaurant, public transport, cheap hotel.

Tourist (regular) – 78 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:mid-range meals and drinks,transportation, hotel.

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk 1 liter $1.80
Tomatoes 1 kg $1.15
Cheese 0.5 kg $15.20
Apples 1 kg $2.00
Oranges 1 kg $1.50
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $0.85
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $14.50
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.11
Bread 1 piece $1.35
Water 1.5 l $0.64

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $16.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $30.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $50.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $4.25
Water 0.33 l $0,39
Cappuccino 1 cup $3.70
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $2.60
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $0.92
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $0.55
Coctail drink 1 drink $8.00

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema 2 tickets $18.00
Gym 1 month $45.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $6.50
Theatar 2 tickets $160.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.03
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $3.20

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics 1 pack $3.85
Tampons 32 pieces $3.25
Deodorant 50 ml. $5.00
Shampoo 400 ml. $5.80
Toilet paper 4 rolls $1.25
Toothpaste 1 tube $1.70

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $83.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $32.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $90.00
Leather shoes 1 $74.00

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline 1 liter $1.02
Taxi Start $1.50
Taxi 1 km $0.40
Local Transport 1 ticket $0.30

Sights & Landmarks In Guangzhou

Landmarks

  • The Chen Clan Academy (陈家祠 Chén-jiā-cí), Zhongshan 7th Road (中山七路) (subway 1 Chan Clan Academy, exit D), is a very well-preserved 19th century architecture. It once belonged to a wealthy family named Chen and now houses many artifacts, including ivory carvings and art statues.¥10.
  • Huangpu Military Academy Memorial (黄埔军校旧址 Huáng-pǔ-jūn-xiào-jiù-zhǐ, Huangpu is also spelled Whampoa), Changzhou Island (subway 5, Yuzhu, exit D. Take bus 431 for the ferry to Changzhou pier). The original military academy was founded in 1924 by Sun Yat-sen, with the support of 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 there. The original building was destroyed by the Japanese in 1938. Two exhibition halls on the academy campus deal with the history of the academy with English translations. Unfortunately, there are no English translations for the other exhibit halls, such as those devoted to the heroes of the Academy. The site is far from downtown. Free of charge.
  • Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (中山纪念堂 Zhōng-shān-jì-niàn-táng), Dongfeng Middle Road (subway 2 Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, exit C).8AM-6PM. The memorial hall dedicated to the founder of the Republic of China and local hero Dr. Sun Yat-Sen was built in 1931 on the original site of Sun Yat-sen’s presidential office on Yuexiu Mountain. Entrance to the park is free, entrance to the hall costs ¥10.
  • Canton Tower (广州塔), Yuejiang Road West/Yiyuan Road, Haizhu District (Metro 3, APM Chigang Pagoda), +82 20-8933 8225. It was the tallest structure in China before the Shanghai Tower reached the top. With a height of 595.7m, it is now the third tallest tower and the fifth tallest free-standing structure in the world. It has a public observatory at 449 m height and an observation platform at 488 m height. In addition to the observation platforms, the tower offers several restaurants, a 4D theater and other entertainment options. There are also sixteen transparent passenger cars that run on a rail around the roof of the tower and take between 20 and 40 minutes to complete a tour. ¥150.
  • Xiguan Residence (西关大屋 Xī-guān-dà-wū) (subway 1 Changshou Lu). Observe the traditional Cantonese architecture dating back to the Qing Dynasty. You’ll find these houses on 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 is at 1818 Baoyuan North Street (宝源北街号). They were once inhabited by the upper class.
  • Guangzhou’s traditional buildings (骑楼). They are gradually disappearing due to the rapid growth of the city. The remaining buildings are located near Yide Road, Renmin Nan Road and Zhongshan Road. They make great photo subjects.
  • Shamian Island (沙面岛) (subway 1 Huangsha, exit D). The buildings and streets of the former British and French Concession have been beautifully renovated and are an oasis of calm in an otherwise bustling and busy metropolis. One of the old buildings is the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel on Shamian14 Street. Its architecture reflects the 19th century colonial era 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), +86 02036861225, +86 02086832232. The former home of the quasi-Christian leader of the Taiping Revolt, which resulted in the deaths of about 20 million people in the late Qing Dynasty. Shortly after repeatedly failing the imperial examinations, Hong Xiuquan became delirious, claiming 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’s heavenly kingdom in Nanjing as its capital.
  • Xiaozhou Village (小洲村). The village is located a short cab ride from the university town. Some travelers describe this area as teeming with historic buildings, orchards, and canals, and say that it has transformed in recent years into an artist’s paradise. Others report that recent development has erased all traces of the village and that the neighborhood is a typical industrial suburb, bordered by a huge field used as an open-air latrine.
  • Xiao Bei / Siu Bak (小北) (subway line 5, Xiaobei station). Probably the most diverse neighborhood in Guangzhou, with banners here written in at least 4 languages – Chinese, English, French and Arabic. You’ll find delicious Middle Eastern restaurants here, before getting lost in side streets filled with Africans. Even the Chinese vendors here have a strong African accent when speaking English. It feels like Africa, but it’s Guangzhou.

Religious buildings

  • Shishi Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (石室圣心大教堂 Shí-shì-shèng-xīn-jiào-táng), 56 Yide Rd (德路旧部前) (subway 2 Haizhu Square, exit B1). Mon-Fri 8:30-11:30am and 2:30-5:30pm; Sat, Sun 8:30am-5pm. This is one of the oldest churches in the city and the largest of its kind in southern China. It is currently used for religious services. Free admission.
  • Liurong Temple (六榕寺 Liù-róng-sì), 87 Liurong Rd (六榕路) (subway 1 Gongyuanqian, exit I). The Six Banyan Temple, which also includes the 17-story, eight-sided Hua Ta, the Flower Pagoda, is one of the most popular attractions in Guangzhou. The temple dates back to the 6th century, while the pagoda is about 300 years older than it. ¥5; flower pagoda ¥10.
  • Bright Filial Piety Temple (Guangxiao Temple) (光孝寺 Guāng-xiào-sì), 109 Guangxiao Rd (光孝路) (subway 1 Ximenkou, exit C). As the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Hui Neng, was trained in this temple in the 7th century, it became a popular pilgrimage site for Zen Buddhists. The temple has been destroyed by fire several times and the present buildings date from the mid-19th century. ¥10.
  • Wu Xian Guan Temple (五仙观 Wǔ-xiān-guān), Huifu West Road (惠福西路) (subway 1 Ximenkou, exit C). ¥5.
  • Huaisheng Mosque (怀圣寺 Huái-shèng-sì), 56 Guangta Rd (光塔路) (subway 1 Ximenkou, exit C). This is one of the oldest Muslim mosques in China, built in 627.
  • Sanyuan Temple (三元宫 Sān-yuán-gōng), Yingyuan Road (subway 2 Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, exit C). This is the largest and oldest Taoist temple in the city.
  • Hualin Temple (华林寺 Huá-lín-sì) (subway 1 Changshou Lu). Free.
  • Yuanxuan Taoist Temple (圆玄道观) is located near Bi Village, southwest of Xinhua City, Huadu District (accessible by bus line 9 from downtown Huadu). It consists of three Taoist buildings in one complex: Sanqing Hall, Taihe Hall and Yuanchen Hall. Sanqing Hall is the most important of the three buildings architecturally, while Yuanxuan Taoist Temple features sculptures of divine beings. The central hall is covered with yellow glazed tiles and decorated with bright images of Yuqing, Shangqing and Taiqing, the three authoritative deities of Taoism. ¥10.

Parks

  • Yuexiu Park (越秀公园 Yuè-xiù-gōng-yuán) (Metro 2 Yue Xiu Park station, exit B1). China’s largest urban park is a lush green space that spans several hills and includes several lakes. It includes the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower (镇海楼)zhèn-hǎi-lóu, now home to the Guangzhou Museum, which displays relics from 5,000 years ago and a present-day miniature of modern Guangzhou on five floors. ¥10. 9:00 – 11:30, 13:00 – 17:00. Also visit the stone statue of the Five Rams (五羊石像), the symbol of Guangzhou. Free
  • Yuntai Garden (云台花园 Yún-tái-huā-yuán) (Tourbus #1, 3). Located at the foot of Baiyun (White Cloud) Mountain, it is famous for its wide variety of rare flowers and trees. It also hosts seasonal exhibitions (additional admission). ¥10.
  • Green Walk (东濠涌), Yuexiu County, under Donghaoyong Expressway (subway 1, Institute of Peasant Movement).
  • Lingnan Impression (岭南印象园) (subway 4, Higher Education Mega Center South, exit B. ). It is a place to see the city’s past before the economic boom. The park is a 15-minute walk from the subway station. On weekends, there is a free shuttle service. ¥45.
  • Baomo Garden (宝墨园) (Panyu district). 8:30AM-6PM. Rebuilt in the 1990s from an old destroyed garden. ¥45.
  • Huanghua Gang Commemoration Park (黄花岗公园 Huáng-huā-gǎng-gōng-yuán), 79 Xianlie Middle Road79 (先烈中路号), +86 20 3758-8321.6AM-8:30PM. A park that will immerse you in a moving atmosphere. The main attraction is the monument erected in memory of the 72 martyrs who died during the 1911 uprising. Free of charge.
  • 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) (subway 1 Martyrs’ Park Station, exit D). 6AM-10PM. This park is dedicated to those who fought and died in the 1927 communist uprising. Free of charge.
  • Huadu Square (花都广场 huā-dū-guǎng-chǎng). It is a park and recreation plaza located in the northern part of the city and near the government buildings of Huadu (花都区) district. In the square, there is an open-air theater, a large fountain, an open-air dance floor, and statues, among other things. There is a large lawn that resembles a western-style meadow, as well as a subtropical forest and ornamental flowerbeds.
  • Taoist Temple. Five fairies Taoist temple is located in Hui Fu Xi Lu of central Guangzhou. is the historical marker that Guangzhou was founded 2000 years.
  • Million Sunflower Garden (百万葵园), Panyu, Guangzhou Wanqingsha City.Sunflower Garden Million theme park covers an area of 260,000 square meters, planting a million sunflowers, will be the first in the country house, all imported seeds (mainly Japan) ornamental sunflower park.

Theme parks

  • Chimelong Paradise (长隆欢乐世界). 9:30am-6pm (6:30pm on weekends). The amusement park offers many exciting rides and shows. ¥200.
  • Chimelong Water Park (长隆水上世界). April to mid-October 9:30-10:00 am. This is a western style water park with great water slides. Warning for people over 6 feet tall, the rides are closed to tall people. ¥140 (fall) – ¥198 (summer).
  • Guangzhou CrocoPark (广州鳄鱼公园), metro line 2, Huijiang station: you can see, play with, touch, photograph and even eat crocodiles and buy things made of them!
  • Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park (广州香江野生动物世界 Xiāng-jiāng-yě-shēng-dòng-wù-shì-jiè) (subway 3 Hanxi Changlong, exit E). 9:30am-6pm: day and night safaris, mini-train in the jungle, free-range animals. From the subway station, there are free shuttle buses to all parks in Chimelong. ¥175.
  • Chimelong International Circus (长隆国际大马戏) (Hanxi Changlong, exit E, free shuttle). China is not as close to Cirque du Soleil. ¥250/adult, ¥125/child or senior.

Mountains

  • Baiyun Mountain (White Cloud Mountain) (白云山 Bái-yún-shān). Open 24 hours a day. A great place to relax and enjoy a day amidst lush, gentle hills. From here, there is also a great view of the city. During the day, the path to the top is usually only accessible to park streetcars and pedestrians. To reach the upper viewpoint, you can take the main roads or hiking trails. Along the way, there are many rest areas and opportunities for refreshments. It is a great place to watch people enjoy nature and play games like badminton, soccer and even bungee jumping. There are many bus routes to and from different parts of the city, as well as cabs, which are usually available near the park entrance. Park entrance ¥5; round-trip cable car ¥40; streetcar from ¥20; other attractions ¥5-¥10; passes available from ¥25.
  • Lianhua Shan (Lotus Mountain) (莲花山 Lián-huā-shān). There is an impressive quarry from which red sandstone was quarried about 2,000 years ago, a pagoda dating from 1612, and a military barracks dating from 1664. Also not to be missed is the unmissable statue of Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion, on the side of the Buddhist temple. From Guangzhou, take Metro Line 4 and change to a bus at Shiji Station. From Guangzhou, there are ferry connections at Tianzi Pier (天字码头)(¥20) and Xidi Pier (西堤码头)(¥25). The boat leaves at 8:15 and returns at 3:15. ¥40.

Museums & Galleries In Guangzhou

Note that most museums and libraries are closed on Mondays.

  • Mausoleum of King Nanyue (西汉南越王博物馆), +86 20 3618-2920, 867 Jiefang North Road878 (解放北路号), (subway 2 Yuexiu Park exit E) Stumbled upon in 1983 during the construction of a shopping center project, This impressive mausoleum is the most important historical find in southern China and should therefore be part of any travel itinerary. The main attraction is the king’s funeral ornament, made from thousands of jade tiles. Daily from 9am to 5:30pm. The entrance fee is ¥12.
  • Guangzhou Museum (广州博物馆), Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park. It is one of the first museums in the Republic of China and is located in an ancient Zhenhai Tower overlooking the traditional areas of Guangzhou. The museum clearly illustrates the history of southern China. Admission: ¥10.
  • Guangdong Museum (广东省博物馆新馆) (subway 3,5 Zhujiiang New Town exit B1; APM Opera House exit C) Open 9am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday. The new museum is located in Zhujiang New Town, not to be confused with the old Guangdong Museum, near the 1 Peasant Movement Institute subway station. It is the largest museum in the city. It covers the history, culture, science and nature of Guangzhou. Arrive early, as the number of admission tickets is limited to 5,000 per day. To get free admission tickets at the cashier, an ID card is required.
  • Guangdong Museum of Art (广东美术馆) guǎng-dōng-měi-shù-guǎn, 8 Yanyu Road8 (烟雨路号) on Ersha Island (二沙島). Contemporary Chinese art, some of which is very controversial, is exhibited there. Personal identification is sometimes required. Open from 9am to 5pm, Tuesday through Sunday.
  • Guangzhou Sculpture Park (广州雕塑公园) guǎng-zhōu-diāo-sù-gōng-yuán Tongxin Road at the foot of Baiyun Mountain. Free admission.
  • The Memorial Museum Of Generalissimo Sun Yat-Sen’s Mansion (孙中山大元帅府纪念馆) 18 Dongsha St, Fangzhi Road18 (纺织路东沙街号). +86 20 8901-2366. open 9AM-4:30PM Tue-Sun. Free admission.
  • Guangzhou Spring Museum (广州起义旧址纪念馆) 200 Qiyi Road200 (起义路号) (subway 1, 2 Gongyuanqian, exit J). The museum is located on the site of the first Communist government building. Open Tue-Fri 9am-12pm and 1:30pm-4:30pm; Sat-Sun 10am-4:30pm. Free admission.
  • Guangzhou Ocean(广州海洋馆) Located in Guangzhou Zoo, Guangzhou Ocean World covers 13,000 square meters and is home to over 200 species of fish and many other rare marine species. It is a high-tech exhibition hall for sightseeing, entertainment, research and education.
  • Guangdong Revolutions History Museum (广东革命历史博物馆) 2 Lingyuan West Road2 (陵园西路号大院), (In Martyrs’ Memorial Park. Metro 1 Martyrs’ Park exit D). Sun Yat-Sen was sworn in as President of the Republic of China in 1921. The museum tells the story of the Opium War until the founding of the new China. Free admission.
  • Institute of Peasant Movement (农民运动讲习所 nóng-jiǎng-suǒ) 42 Zhongshan 4th Road42 (中山四路号),(subway 1, Institute of Peasant Movement exit C). This is the original site of the communist training center founded by Mao Tse-tung in the 1920s. Today, it is a museum on the recent history of the Chinese revolution. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Free admission.
  • Redtory (红砖厂) 128 Yuancun 4th Cross Road128 (员村四横路号) This former can factory has become a gallery for contemporary artists. There are also restaurants and stores that fit in well with the artistic environment. +86 20 8557-4346.

Things To Do In Guangzhou

  • Night cruise on the Pearl River (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 one to two hour evening cruise is a great way to see the Guangzhou skyline along the Pearl River, including a light show at Bai-E-Tan. Tickets for the luxury dinner cruise can be purchased at most high-end hotels. Prices range from 50 to 200 yen per person. High-end cruises usually include an evening buffet.

  • Bike

There is a vast system of small streets and alleys, green spaces, boulevards and parks that are perfect for cycling. You can explore the parks, temples, markets and quieter residential areas of Guangzhou. Some hostels offer bike rental for as little as 5 RMB per hour.

Cycle Canton – guided bike tours, +86 15626406926 ([email protected]””). Cycle Canton offers guided bike tours of Guangzhou. The tour winds its way through bustling old urban villages, where you mingle with the locals, to the ultra-modern architecture of the new city. The route through downtown Guangzhou, from Taojin to Pearl River New Town, is very safe and comfortable, as it is almost entirely car-free and runs mostly along picturesque lanes, green spaces, parks, markets and waterfront promenades. You will be amazed by the beauty of Guangzhou and the fascinating stories of the places we will visit, including ancient hutongs, temples, ancestral halls, parks, Kong Fu studios, islands and squares. Cycle Canton has hosted over 1,000 guests – tourists, expats and locals – since 2013. The tour is consistently ranked as the best activity in Guangzhou on TripAdvisor and has been featured in many local media. Guests need not be avid cyclists; child seats are available upon request. The tour lasts 4 hours, bike, helmet, guide, snacks and water are provided and the total cost is 300 RMB.

  • Tour de table

Eating Adventures, +86 18688380352. offers private and group tours of Guangzhou. Tours last about 3 hours and are led by licensed English-speaking guides. Cost from 399 RMB, all meals included.

  • Walk in the old hutongs

South of the Chan Clan Academy, there is a vast network of unbuilt Hutong streets where tourists can immerse themselves in the daily lives of the people who live in these small alleys.

Walking Tour – Guangzhou Private Tour Guide by Janvi, +86 13826227014 ([email protected]). Janvi is a native of Guangzhou. He offers foreign visitors a guided tour in and around Guangzhou and helps foreign visitors discover the local culture and customs of Guangzhou. He will show you the old Guangzhou (Canton), which only the locals know, at low prices that the travel agencies do not offer. He will tell you about the historical Guangzhou as well as the modern Guangzhou and immerse you in the daily life of Guangzhou. The tour lasts between 7 and 10 hours and costs between 100 and 120 USD.

  • Public buses

Cheap and safe. Electric streetcars are even cheaper, with a flat fee of ¥2. Get on one of the public buses. The drivers are usually very friendly and helpful. As long as you have enough change for the ride, tell the driver you just want to go for a ride. (In Cantonese, Yau Cheh Hor literally translates to “just for fun” or “just for the ride”. At the end of the ride, ask which buses will take you back and ask the driver to tell you when to get off. As long as you are not sitting too far away, he (sometimes she) will tell you. Don’t worry, everyone is very helpful on these buses. Fear of scams and suspected crimes takes the fun out of an otherwise wonderful vacation.

  • River cruise” during the day

For only ¥2, you can go to the last terminal of ZhongSan University and back. Just tell the ticket seller at the pier in front of Riverside Hostel that you just want to take a ride. On the way back, you can walk down to the other side of the river, in the heart of the business district. After a walk of several hours or even a dinner, the return to Riverside Hostel will cost you only ¥1.

Food & Restaurants In Guangzhou

Cantonese cuisine is known for its mix of colors, scents, flavors and presentations and is among the four best in the country. Dim sum in particular, a delicate pastry, is famous for its simplicity and delicacy. Local customs and longer contact with the West than in other parts of China have played an important role in the development and diversity of Cantonese cuisine. “Chinese food” in Western countries is generally Cantonese food, although slightly adapted to Western tastes, which means that many Western visitors will be familiar with Cantonese food to some extent.

Authentic Cantonese cuisine is also famous throughout China for another reason: the Cantonese tend to eat absolutely anything. A well-known Chinese joke is that they will eat anything with four legs except a table, anything that flies except a plane, and anything that floats except a submarine. In addition, they regularly eat various internal organs of animals, such as liver, kidneys, heart and even brain. This means that Cantonese cuisine is one of the most adventurous, if not the most adventurous in China, as it uses many exotic ingredients and the definition of what is considered edible is very broad. This is why Guangzhou is nicknamed the “food of Guangzhou (食在广州)”.

What to Eat

  • White chicken (白切鸡) This is one of the most popular Cantonese cuisines. It is slightly spicy so that one can taste the real chicken meat. Many Cantonese restaurants have their own dish based on this recipe, for example Wenchang chicken at Guangzhou restaurant, Real Taste chicken at Bingsheng restaurant and Qingping chicken in several restaurants.
  • Yum Cha / Dim Sum (饮茶/ 点心) “A teapot with two pieces (一盅两件)” is the Dim Sum culture of Guangzhou. Many locals stay for hours chatting and reading the newspaper, while they just place a small order. In many restaurants, the selection of dim-sum dishes is well over a hundred. The bite size of each dish makes it possible to try new things that suit everyone’s taste.
  • Siu mei / Shao Wei (烧味) Cantonese barbecue is known around the world, and many are familiar with the image of roasted ducks and chickens hanging in front of a store. Siu mei is a staple in Cantonese restaurants. Some varieties are grilled pork (叉烧), roast goose (烧鹅) and roasted pork (烧肉).
  • Seafood (海鲜) Eating fresh Cantonese-style seafood is a great way to experience Cantonese culture. From picking live fish or lobsters in front of your eyes to eating the sea animals with their heads on, it is a great benefit for every visitor.
  • Dessert (甜品, 糖水) A Cantonese meal is not complete without Cantonese desserts. Soup or pudding-based desserts are common. Two typical Guangzhou desserts are double layer milk (双皮奶) and ginger curd (姜撞奶). Other popular dishes 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).

Traditional

  • Guangzhou Restaurant (广州酒家), 2 Wenchang South Road2 (文昌南路号)(Metro 1 Changshou Lu), +86 20 8138-0388. This Cantonese family restaurant is famous for its special dishes, Wenchang chicken and special baby pig. It has several branches in the city. It is also located at 20 Binjiang West Road20 (滨江西路号) and 112 Tiyu East Road112 (体育东路号).
  • Lian Xiang Lou (莲香楼), 67 Dishifu Road67 (第十甫路号) directions=, +86 20 8181-1638. M-F 6:30-10PM, Sat-Sun 6:30-11PM. Founded in 1889, Lian Xiang Lou is known for its delicious dim sum and pastries. There are now over 20 bakeries throughout the city.
  • Pan Xi Restaurant (泮溪酒家), 151 Longjin West Road151 (龙津西路号), +86 20 8181-5718. This Cantonese restaurant is located in the heart of Guangzhou’s old town and serves dim sum next to lapping streams and impressive architecture. Try one of the famous rabbit head-shaped ravioli.
  • Datong Restaurant (大同酒家), 63 Yanjiang Road63 (沿江路号), +86 20 8188-8988. This venerable restaurant spans the 8 floors of the old building overlooking the Pearl River. The establishment has been around for a long time and is very popular with the locals.
  • Taotao Ju Restaurant (陶陶居), 20 Dishifu Road20 (第十甫路号) (subway 1 Changshou Lu; Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street), +86 20 8138-9632. This is the oldest traditional dim-sum restaurant in the city, but these days the food is not up to standard, as the chef has left for a high-end restaurant in Hong Kong. It is always crowded at dim sum time, so reservations are recommended. Among the specialties are moon cakes and other traditional Cantonese pastries.
  • Four Seasons Restaurant (中国大酒店四季厅), 122 Liuhua Road122 (流花路号中国大酒店) (subway 2 Yuexiu Park, exit D2), +86 20 8666-6888. 11-22.30 H, 18-22 H. Classic Cantonese cuisine with fresh, quality ingredients. Famous for its roasted suckling pig and Peking duck. Dim sum is served at lunchtime. ¥200 per person.
  • Food Street Restaurant (中国大酒店食街), 122 Liuhua Road122 (流花路号中国大酒店) (subway 2 Yuexiu Park, exit D2), +86 20 8666-6888. 7:30am-12pm. Serving local and regional cuisine, this casual restaurant is reminiscent of the open kitchens of the old township. Try the famous wonton noodles, dim sum and fisherman’s congee.
  • Baifu Restaurant (百福酒家), 112 Tiyu East Road112 (体育东路号百福广场三楼) (3F, Baifu Plaza, Metro 1 Tianhe Sports Center), +86 20 3880-8268.
  • Chuan Guo Yan Yi (川国演义), 140-148 Tiyu East Road (体育东路140-148号), +86 20 3887-9879. The restaurant specializes in Sichuan (Szechwan) hot pot. On Friday and Saturday nights, it is very crowded. This upscale restaurant is popular with expats and spicy food lovers.
  • Liuhua Congee House (流花粥城), Renmin North Road903 (人民北路号流花湖公园) (In Liuhua Park. Metro 2 Yuexiu Park), +86 20 8668-0108. Open 24 hours. Excellent dim sum and Cantonese porridge in a pleasant setting.
  • Wenji Restaurant (文记壹心鸡), 10 Boahua Road10 (荔湾区宝华路旋源桥号)(Metro 1 Changshou Lu; Shangxiajiu pedestrian zone), +86 20 8172-8887.As the establishment was founded by the former cooks of Qingping Restaurant, the menu features the original Qingping chicken.

Vegetarian

  • Cai Gen Xiang (菜根香), 167 Zhongshan 6th Road167 (中山六路号) (subway 1 Ximenkou), +86 20 8334-4363. 6:30-2:30 H, 17:00-9:00 H.
  • 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), +86 20 8424-3590. 7AM-9PM. The restaurant is tucked away in a small street and is especially busy on the 1st and 15th of each month (lunar calendar). Part of the profits are donated to the nearby temple.
  • Foo Yau Yuan vegetarian restaurant (佛有缘素食馆), Xinfu Xincun (幸福新村) (subway 1 Chan Clan Academy exit D), +86 20 8125-0428. 7am-3pm, 5pm-10am. Creative vegetarian dishes are served, dim sum is served in the morning.
  • Sharmaji Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, 1号 Huang Tian Zhi Jie, Yue Xiu Qu, Guangzhou12 (广州市越秀区麓景路黄田直街、号), +8615915727374. One of the most famous vegetarian Indian restaurants in Guangzhou. It was founded in 2001 and offers exclusively vegetarian Indian buffets. It is located in the Indian ghetto of Guangzhou, near Dong Yue Hotel. It is located on the fourth floor of Gitic Hotel. No meat or alcohol is served.
  • Shui Yun Tian (水云天), 38-42 Jinghui Road (净慧路38-42号首层) (next to Guangxiao Temple, subway 1 Ximenkou), +86 20 8107-2463. 6:30-2:30 a.m., 4:30-9:30 p.m. Large buffet at lunch time.

Southeast Asia

  • Cow and Bridge Thai Restaurant (牛桥泰菜), 2/F, Xiang Long Garden, 181 Tianhe North Road181 (天河北路号祥龙花园二楼) (metro 3 Linhexi), +86 20 8525-0821. This famous Thai restaurant offers many different Thai dishes. If you are familiar with Thai food, ask for the spicier version, as the dishes are a bit localized.
  • Lan Kwai Fong (兰桂坊), 5 Shamian South St5 (沙面南街号) (subway 1 Huangsha), +86 20 8121-6523. This tourist-friendly restaurant offers good curries and courteous service on peaceful Shamian Island.
  • Banana Leaf (蕉叶西餐厅). This is a well-established chain of traditional Thai restaurants in Guangzhou.
  • Tianhe, 28 Tianhe North Road282 (天河北路号时代广场楼) (Metro 3 Linhexi; 2/F, Times Square), +86 20 3891-0728.
  • 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 Road2087 (天河路号天河东北塔楼) (subway 3 Tiyu Xilu). It is located in Tee Mall in Tianhe. This Thai restaurant offers many different Thai dishes with great curries and noodles.

Indian

  • Vaastu (雅仕度印度餐厅), 13-15, 475 Huanshi Dong Lu, Yue Xiu District, Guangzhou475 (广州市越秀区环市东路号东都大世界首层A区1315号-号), +86 20 3825-8181 This upscale restaurant opened in 2008. It serves traditional Indian cuisine and also offers vegetarian dishes.
  • Sharmaji Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, 1号 Huang Tian Zhi Jie, Yue Xiu Qu, Guangzhou12 (广州市越秀区麓景路黄田直街、号), +8615915727374. One of the most famous vegetarian Indian restaurants in Guangzhou. It was founded in 2001 and offers exclusively vegetarian Indian buffets. It is located in the Indian ghetto of Guangzhou, near Dong Yue Hotel. It is located on the fourth floor of Gitic Hotel. No meat or alcohol is served.

Western

  • Lucy’s Cafe & Restaurant, 3 Shamian South St3 (沙面南街号) (subway 2 Huangsha), +86 20 8121-5106. Lucy’s Cafe & Restaurant, located near the White Swan Hotel, is a well-established American restaurant on Shamian Island. It has everything from burgers to pasta to Tex-Mex, and the portions are large. It is a popular restaurant for adoptive families staying on the island.
  • Oggi Restaurants, e-mail: [email protected] Oggi serves traditional Italian food in the center of Guangzhou.
  • Oggi Trattoria, 1 Tiyu East Road1 (天河区体育东路号), +86 20 8751-5882. 11-12H. Come enjoy their great pizzas and pastas accompanied by fine Italian wines.
  • Oggi Pizzeria, G/F Tianlun Garden, Jianshe 4th Road (建设四马路), +86 20 8356-1196. 24/7. The European-style cafe and bar serves great pizza and traditional Italian home cooking, with a wine list and beer on tap.
  • Bosphorus Turkish Restaurants, 1 Jianshe 6th Rd (subway 5 Xiaobei exit A), +86 20 8376-7644. 10AM-11PM. There are two locations in GZ. Bosphorus Premium in the former Tang Club and Bosphours Xiaobei in the Zhaoqing Building, which offers delicious halal food. The third location is in Yiwu City. Bosphorus Premium has two floors, lunch and dinner on the 2nd floor, smoke and coffee on the 3rd floor. The portions are large and the prices are acceptable for the quality of the food. It is a favorite for eating kebab (one of the most 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) (subway 3 Linhexi exit B), +86 20 3884 9230. 11-12AM. The menu is heavily influenced by the American South, with authentic gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys and pulled pork, but French, Spanish and Italian dishes are also offered. The restaurant is popular with foreigners and locals alike.
  • Buongiorno Italian Restaurant (Buongiorno 意大利餐厅), 3F Yian Plaza, 33 Jianshe 6th Road333 (越秀区建设六马路号宜安广场楼304/310), +86 20 83633587. 11AM-11PM. This authentic Italian restaurant, run and prepared by Italians, offers pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes.
  • Prime Steakhouse, 122 Liuhua Road122 (流花路号中国大酒店), +86 20 8666-6888. 11AM-2.30pm, 6PM-11PM. This is one of the best steakhouses in Guangzhou, serving Australian and Japanese prime cuts, seafood, pasta and desserts.
  • Café Veranda, 122 Liuhua Road122 (流花路号中国大酒店), +86 20 8666-6888. 6.30-10PM. A rich international buffet is served here and an a la carte menu is also available. All Western and Asian delicacies are available, 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 Road3603 (环市东路号珠江大厦东座楼) (subway 5 Taojin), +86 20 8386-3840. 10:30-2H. Despite the unfancy name, they serve good pizza, pasta and beer. A buffet is available.
  • La Seine Restaurant Franca (塞纳河法国餐厅), 33 Qingbo Road33 (二沙岛晴波路号) (first floor, Zinghai Concert Hall), +86 20 8735-2222. This upscale restaurant features elegant French decor and a view of the Pearl River skyline. ¥200 and up.
  • K’s Western Delights (K’S西方佳肴), Tao Jin Jia Yuan, +86 13533377784, offers homemade Western-style kosher sandwiches made by Westerners. Delivery service is available.
  • Pizza2Pizza, Tianhe North Road6142 (天河北路号号铺), e-mail:[email protected] 10AM-2AM. The restaurant serves appetizers, salads, pizzas and pastas. Dine-in, take-out and catering are available. Free delivery within a 2km radius of the site. Other locations can be found on the website.
  • Tekila Mexican Restaurant and Bar, 2F, 11 Jianshe 6th Road11 (建设六马路号二楼) (subway 5 Taojin), +86 20 8381-6996. It serves authentic Mexican food. The margaritas are excellent. For entertainment, there is salsa music.
  • BOCA Restaurant and Cafe, 75 Tianhe East Road #10775(天河东路号首层107), +86 20 8759-1558. They serve appetizers, soup, salads, sandwiches, rice dishes, pasta and other main dishes. Children’s dishes are also available.
  • Gail’s Place, 1/F Stars Building, 172 Huasui Road17202 (珠江新城华穗路号,星辰大厦首层铺), +86 20 8350-1667. This family-owned restaurant offers an extensive Western menu with an emphasis on American and fusion dishes. For those celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas, Gail’s offers a fully prepared turkey with stuffing, roasting gravy and cranberry sauce.

African

  • Best-Way African Restaurant, No. 003 1/F Jindu Bldg, 99 Guangyuan West Rd (opposite Canaan Market), +86 20 6114-7501. This Nigerian restaurant serves Igbo cuisine (try the Semo and Egusi soup). It is a bit isolated (by taking a narrow staircase and passing under a concrete bridge), but there is a warm atmosphere inside with Nigerian music.

Foreign chains

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 restaurant 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 them are located in Zhengjia Plaza.

Convenience Stores

Convenience stores can be found on almost every corner, and most are open 24 hours a day. Some of the larger convenience store chains include 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Circle-K and C-Store. Prices are slightly higher than at local stores or supermarkets, especially at 7-Eleven. Some FamilyMart and Circle-K do not sell cigarettes, while C-Store does. Corner’s Deli is a chain of specialty food stores with several branches in town and a good selection of imported foods. One of the stores is located in Unit 6, Backstreet, CITIC Plaza.

Coffee & Drinks in Guangzhou

Tea houses

Tea culture, also known as Yum Cha (饮茶), has deep roots in Guangzhou. After all, in the 19th century, the city was the center of a vast tea trade between China and Europe.

  • Simple Love Tea Shop (十月红奶茶), #102, 94 Tianhe South Rd (downstairs from the south door of the TeaMall). 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, +86 20 8358-1627.
  • Chun Ya Yuan Tea House (春雅源茶艺馆), 19 Siyou New Rd (4/F, Changcheng Hotel), +86 20 8761-2888 ext 6488. 19.00-1.00 PM.
  • Crystal Tea House, 6 Longkou East Road, Tianhe (1/F, Yuan Yang Hotel), +86 20 8759-6988 ext 67. 10-2H.
  • Wong Chun Loong Herbal Tea. The traditional herbal tea chain has more than a dozen stores in the city, including 17 Wenchang South Road, 109 Huagui Road, 51 Dishifu Road, 504 Xihua Road and many others.
  • People’s Cakes & Coffee. Enjoy cakes and coffee at this western café run by Koreans.
  • Yuexiu, #102, 17 Jianshe 6th Road17102 (建设六马路号房), +86 20 8376-6677.
  • Taojin, 98 Taojin South Rd, +86 20 8348-8085.
  • Starbucks is the first brand. The Seattle-based chain has been present in China for more than 10 years and has more than 25 locations in Guangzhou alone. The advantage for many travelers is the free Wi-Fi. Popular locations include Taojin Road near the Guangzhou Friendship Store, Huanshi East Road at Peace World Plaza, across from the Garden Hotel and Shamian Island. You can find a complete list on the website. Try some local fusion products, including a wide selection of Chinese tea, Green Tea Tiramisu and Shredded Ginger Pork Panini.

Shopping In Guangzhou

Street markets

If time and weather permit, a walk is perhaps the best way to explore the city, as the antique-strewn alleys are not suitable for motorized vehicles. Most professions and merchandise groups are concentrated in a specific area or along a main street.

  • Qingping Market (清平市场), Qingping Road (清平路) (north of Shamian Island. Metro 1 Huangsha exit D). Cantonese are known to eat just about any animal, and the market is world famous for its wildlife trade, although it has calmed down a bit since the SARS outbreak. But it’s still a good place to buy exotic products. In the modern part at the front of the market, there are a few stalls selling dried herbs used in Chinese medicine. But the real charm of the market lies behind its modern exterior. The modern exterior is backed by a series of old, narrow, historic alleys where herbal shops are located.
  • Global International Shoes Trade Centre (国际鞋城步云天地), 26 Zhan Xi Road 26广州市站西路号步云天地.
  • 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), close to the Shangxiajiu pedestrian zone (subway 1 Changshou Lu).
  • Ivory and Seafood (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) (subway 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).
  • Flower, Water and Lighting Street, Danan Road (大南街) near Beijing Road (北京路) (subway 1, 2 Gongyuanqian).
  • Household goods street (日用百货街), Gaodi street(高第街). This street has become a shopping mall selling basic necessities.
  • Cultural Street (古玩字画街 / 文化商业街), Wende Road(文德路) (subway 1 Peasant Movement Institute). A good place to look for antiques and traditional Chinese art.
  • Haiyin Shopping District (海印专业购物区), on the northwest side of Haiyin Bridge (海印大桥). Sells home appliances, sporting goods, clothing, fabrics, camera accessories and electronics.

Malls and shopping centers

  • Beijing Lu pedestrian street (北京路步行街 Běi-jīng-lù) (subway 1, 2 Gong Yuan Qian exit C, D). This is the main shopping street, a pedestrian street where most stores are open from 9am to 10pm. Avoid people selling pirated DVDs and counterfeit goods. Don’t follow anyone down the dark alleys between buildings to see their wares.
  • Mayflower Plaza (五月花广场 Wǔ-yuè-huā-guǎng-chǎng), 68 Zhongshan 5th Road68 (中山五路号), at the northern end of the pedestrian zone – a place where young people hang out and shop.
  • Shangxiajiu pedestrian area (上下九商业步行街 Shàng-xià-jiǔ) (subway 1 Changshou Lu exits D1, D2). This shopping area is also a showcase of traditional Cantonese Qilou(骑楼) architecture. It is especially nice at night when the lights are on. Prices here are generally lower than on Beijing Road, but be prepared to haggle.
  • Liwan Plaza (荔湾广场 lì-wān-guǎng-chǎng), 9 Dexing Road9 (德星路号), at the eastern 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 Rd33 (中山三路号) (subway 1 Martrs’ Park, above the subway 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 Road208 (天河路号) (subway 1 Tiyu Xilu, just above Tiyu Xilu subway station). This is one of the busiest and most popular shopping malls in the heart of the city.
  • Friendship Store (广州友谊商店 Yǒu-yí-shāng-diàn), 369 Huanshi East Rd369 (环市东路号). 9:45-9:45 AM. This is one of the oldest department stores in Guangzhou targeting foreigners. Other stores are located in Grandview Mall and Times Square at 28 Tianhe North Road28 (天河北路号).
  • Wangfujing (王府井百货 Wáng-fǔ-jǐng), 40 Longlin Down Road40 (农林下路号). 9:30-9:30 AM. This is a branch of the famous department store in Beijing, offering mid to high-end products.
  • Onelink Plaza (万菱广场 Wàn-líng-guǎng-chǎng), 39 Jiefang South Rd39 (解放南路号) (subway 2 Haizhu Square exit B). At first glance, it looks like a normal shopping mall, but it is actually a wholesale market. Each store usually has specific products with a wide range of varieties. You will find products such as crafts, jewelry, sporting goods, toys, key chains, collectibles and gifts of all kinds. Many store owners and boutiques from all over the world come here to buy their products. You will get the best prices if you buy in large quantities (usually 20 pieces or more). Most of the shopkeepers don’t make good deals if you don’t buy in large quantities. However, if you buy only small quantities, the prices are usually better than elsewhere. Not to be confused with the Onelink Centre in Tianhe.

Supermarket Chains

Carrefour (家乐福) This French hypermarket has four stores in Guangzhou. One of them is located on Kangwang Road656 (康王中路号), near Chenjiaci Station. It is cheap and has a good selection of products.

Jusco (吉之岛)There are several locations, including Tee Mall on Tiyu West Road and Linhe Middle Road, near East Station. This Japanese chain has a good selection of imported food products.

Park ‘n’ Shop (百佳) This Hong Kong chain has several locations, ranging from convenience stores to hypermarkets. The largest stores are located in the shopping center above Changshou Lu subway station and on Tianhe North Road, near the Longkouxi bus stop. They are a bit more expensive, but have a good selection of imported food products.

TESCO This British hypermarket is located in Zhongshan 6th Road, above Ximenkou subway station. The store is spread over 4 floors and the prices are reasonable.

Trust-Mart (好又多) The entry-level market has many locations in Guangzhou and was recently acquired by Wal-Mart (沃尔玛). It will soon be renamed Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has modernized its stores while raising prices. This cha簾ne has a wide assortment of non-food items, but the selection of food products is limited矇. On weekends, it is often crowded.

Vanguard (华润万家) is the flagship supermarket chain of China Resources. It is the third largest supermarket chain in Hong Kong. It operates about 450 stores in China. In Guangzhou, it has over 20 stores.

Lotus (卜蜂莲花) There are several locations, ranging from hypermarkets to supermarkets. One of the sites is at 399399 Chebei Road (车陂路号).

Nightlife In Guangzhou

When it comes to having a drink, Guangzhou is one of the best cities in China to have a few drinks. With a relatively high proportion of foreigners, the city offers a wide range of nightclubs for all tastes.

Tsing Tao and Zhu Jiang are the two big Chinese beer brands that are sold almost everywhere. Both are fairly ordinary lagers. Carlsberg is also brewed in Guangzhou, which explains the relatively large number of Carlsberg beer pumps in bars.

Pubs

  • Covent Garden, 2广州珠江新城华强路号富力盈丰大厦首层 (in the small street opposite the Ocean Palace on Jinsui Road), +86 20 38065757. From 10 am to 3 am. British pub in Zhujiang New Town. Recently voted best new pub in Guangzhou at the PRD Awards. Great selection of cocktails and whiskies, as well as Tiger Beer from ¥25 during happy hour from 4pm to 8:30pm.
  • Come and see us. This English-style bar is perfect for a night out with friends. The menu features many different burger dishes and delicious cocktails.
  • Feeling Bar, (next to MRT 3 exit C of South China Normal University). 10am-2pm. This trendy bar is the perfect place for students and expats. It offers a wide range of delicious food and drinks, has shishas and daily specials.
  • Hill Bar, (outside Baiyun Hotel and opposite the Garden Hotel). Reasonable prices for drinks and live music in the evening. ¥35 pints.
  • Hooley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, Xing Sheng Lu, Zhujiang New Town (subway 5 Liede exit D), +86 20 3886-2675. Hooley’s is an Irish-themed pub with an emphasis on live music (rock, pop, folk and jazz). Serves Irish, Italian and fusion dishes. Bakes its own bread. Music Friday through Saturday, Open Mic sessions on Wednesday and Ladies Night on Thursday.
  • Paddy Field Irish Pub and Restaurant, (behind the Garden Hotel).
  • Rebel Rebel, 42 Ti Yu Dong Lu, Tian He District (a little off the main street, in a side street next to the Oakwood Premier building), +86 20 85201579. From 11am to 2am. This hip, British-inspired urban bar and restaurant has a full drink menu and specializes in British beers, if available. They also offer a range of dishes with modern twists on British classics like Punk Rock Pie, Sausages & Mash and Fish & Chips, as well as a range of pasta dishes, pizzas, burgers and popular Asian dishes. There are daily specials and a happy hour from 2-8pm. Most nights there is live music in this popular central bar, which is popular with locals and expats alike. Regularly, sporting events, especially soccer, are broadcast live on the big screen. In addition, monthly art exhibitions are held here, showcasing local talent in all fields of art, and interesting works of art are usually on display in the bar.
  • Tavern Sports Bar (Metro APM Guangzhou Opera House), poly 108/ 2 huajiu Road, Zhujiang New Town 2(珠江新城华就路号) Panyu Location, Yingbin Road, right side of Huanan Country Garden entrance, 番禺区迎宾路华南碧桂园正门右侧, +86 20 8550-3038. From 11:30am to 2am. The Tavern Bar is an English-style pub serving appetizers, pub grub and international dishes. Happy hour from 4pm to 8pm and all day Monday, happy hour pints from ¥20. Selection of draught beers and cocktails. Live sports broadcasts on big screen TVs. Pool tables and private rooms are available. Wednesday nights are Trivia Night at the Zhujiang New Town branch from 9pm to 10:30pm.
  • Sleeping Wood Cafe. (happy hour before 8pm). Nice restaurant-pub next to the Holiday Inn with friendly English speaking staff. Offers Western food and all kinds of alcoholic drinks. During happy hour, a Tsing Tao beer on draught is offered at half price. A good place to relax, especially in the open air. 2nd location on the Pearl River. ¥25-¥30.
  • Oh Marco Wine Cellar, 9 Yiyuan Road 4-5, Haizhu District, +86 20 3448-2809 ([email protected]). 9AM-9PM. Oh Marco is a retail wine chain. You can have a glass of wine or buy a bottle. The offering includes a wide range of wines imported directly from France. Perfect to have a drink after work. Drinks from ¥18.
  • Sapphire Lounge, 122 Liuhua Road122 (流花路号中国大酒店), +86 20 8666-6888. 3pm to late. The Sapphire Lounge, located on the 4th floor of the China Hotel, offers a wide selection of classic and modern martinis, cocktails, wines, spirits and more in a chic and peppy atmosphere. Ideal for an after-work drink or a night out.
  • The Brew, Zhujiang New Town, Panyu, Jianshe Liu Ma Road (subway 5 Taojin exit B). The Brew, formerly known as The Strange Brew, is a Canadian-owned and operated bar with three locations in Guangzhou. The menu has a strong Canadian-American influence and features the best burgers in the city. Every day of the week, there are specials that vary from location to location. It’s a great place to have a drink and watch a game (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, rugby and more).
  • Perry’s Café, 2nd floor of No. 61, Hongmei Lu, Haizhu District612 (海珠区红梅路号楼) (the easiest way is to take a cab, you must have the address in Chinese). Perry’s Cafe is located in Dadao, Haizhu district. Although this recently opened cafe is a bit hidden, it is ideal for overseas students or foreign friends in the community. It offers European dishes and is open late at night (at least until 4am).

Dance clubs

  • C:Union (喜窝), 115 Shuiyin Road1151 (水荫路号天溢大厦副大堂楼). A great place to listen to atypical live music like reggae or classic rock. The bar has both an indoor space with dance floor and couches and an outdoor space with patio seating and a newly added cellar. There is a wide selection of beers and the bartenders measure all the drinks prominently. At first, the bar is mostly frequented by locals, but as the evening progresses, it quickly fills up with expats. The customers are generally very friendly and open to meeting new people. There is usually at least one English-speaking bartender at each station. ¥25-¥50 beer, ¥15 shot.
  • The Cave (墨西哥餐厅酒吧), 360 Huanshi East Road360 (环市东路号珠江大厦东侧) (basement at the end of Zhujiang Tower (珠江大厦) near the Garden Hotel),+86 20 8386-3660. This is a popular hangout for expats. The local DJ plays a wide range of music here. The Cellar offers exotic dance performances, including live python dancing. ¥30 Standard drink.
  • Club NaNa, Tianlun Garden, 26 Jianshe 4th Road426 (建设马路号天伦花园) (the street above Oggi’s Pizza). The establishment is known throughout Guangzhou for its wild parties, including a bachelor key party, a secret costume party and live hip-hop performances. The owners can be observed handing out free drinks. Watch out for the tequila shooters. At first, the club is mostly Chinese, but by 11:30 p.m., the shaking shifts from dice to dance and it’s a mix of East and West.
  • Gipsy King Bar (大篷车酒吧), 360 Huanshi East Road360 (环市东路号珠江大厦西地下) (across the street from the Zhujiang Building at the Cave), +86 20 8387-5177. An underground bar, similar to the Cave. Many local “working” girls hang out here. Individual dance demonstrations are held in a corner of the bar, while group demonstrations start at 10pm on the main dance floor. ¥30 Standard drink.
  • Terrace apartment. High-end bar with dance floor. A large selection of sparkling wines allows you to experience it with level. DJs play the hottest music.
  • Heihei Club, 2 Qiaoguang Road, Yuexiu District ..Good audience, mix of locals and foreigners. Good music, although a bit expensive. It has been reported that pickpocketing is common.
  • True Colors (本色), 276 Yanjiang Zhong Lu ((200m east of Tianzi Matou), Yuexiu District (8373 5858)). The club has dozens of tables on the floor, where groups can drink and play local dice games. The DJ’s desk towers above the floor, and between it and the huge windows runs a ribbon that can be lifted for live performances and runway models. There is a dance floor of perhaps 25 square meters on which locals and foreigners dance. DJs come from all over the world and play their own house mix, interrupted from time to time by hip-hop.

Tea houses

Tea culture, also known as Yum Cha (饮茶), has deep roots in Guangzhou. After all, in the 19th century, the city was the center of a vast tea trade between China and Europe.

  • Simple Love Tea Shop (十月红奶茶), #102, 94 Tianhe South Road (downstairs from the south gate of the TeaMall). 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 Road, +86 20 8358-1627
  • Chun Ya Yuan Tea House (春雅源茶艺馆), 19 Siyou New Road (4/F, Changcheng Hotel), +86 20 8761-2888 ext.6488. 7:00-1:00 PM.
  • Crystal Tea House, 6 Longkou East Road, Tianhe (1/F, Yuan Yang Hotel), +86 20 8759-6988 ext.67. 10-2H.
  • Wong Chun Loong Herbal Tea. The traditional herbal tea chain has more than a dozen stores in the city, including 17 Wenchang South Road, 109 Huagui Road, 51 Dishifu Road, 504 Xihua Road and many others.
  • People’s Cakes & Coffee. Enjoy cakes and coffee at this western café run by Koreans.

Festivals & Events In Guangzhou

Festivals

  • The Chinese New Year/Spring Festival (春节 chūn-jié) takes place on the first day of the first lunar month, usually in January or February. It is a 15-day festival, and some areas can be quite deserted, as many migrant workers return to their home provinces. The flower market is very popular in the days leading up to the New Year.
  • Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 duān-wǔ-jié) on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, usually in May or June. This festival commemorates the sacrifice of Qu Yuan (屈原), a famous poet who drowned in the river to protest government corruption during the Warring States period. Highlights include dragon boat races on the Pearl River and a meal of rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaves (粽子).
  • The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节 zhōng-qiū-jié) is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, usually in September or October. On this holiday, Cantonese mooncakes are eaten. Lian Xiang Lou and Taotao Ju mooncakes are particularly famous (see “Meals” section). Paper lanterns are very popular with children. Many locals also like to take ferries to watch the full moon on the Pearl River.
  • Tomb purification day (清明节 qīng-míng-jié) takes place around the spring equinox, usually on April 5. On this occasion, family graves are visited to purify them and make offerings.
  • The Double Ninth Festival (重阳节) takes place on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, usually in October. Cantonese people have a tradition of going to Mount Baiyun. It is also the autumn version of Tomb Sweeping Day, which is held in April.
  • Qi XiChina’s Valentine’s Day (七夕 qī-xī), takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, usually in August or September. According to legend, a celestial fairy Zhinu (织女) fell in love with a young mortal peasant Niulang (牛郎). This was forbidden; as a punishment, they could only meet once a year on this day. On this day, parades and carnivals are usually held in the city to celebrate the holiday. This is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day, but it is losing its appeal among the locals; many have adopted the Western Valentine’s Day on February 14.
  • The winter solstice (冬至, 过冬 dōng-zhì), which literally means “the arrival of winter,” occurs on December 22. Traditionally, the Cantonese celebrate this day with a family feast, which often includes duck preserves and sausages. But the highlight of the festive dishes on this day is hot flour dumpling soup (汤丸).

The Canton Fair

The China Import and Export Commodities Fair, held twice a year in Guangzhou since 1957, is the largest trade fair in China. It has the widest range of products, the largest number of visitors and the highest number of business transactions concluded at the fair. The Canton Fair is held in the Pazhou Complex at 380 Yuejiang Middle Road380 (阅江中路号) (subway line 8, Xingangdong or Pazhou station).

If you want to go to the fair, you must book a hotel in time. During the fair, hotels are usually full and expensive. The subway is the best way to get to the fairgrounds, while many hotels offer a free shuttle service.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Guangzhou

Violent crime is not common. As one of the first open ports in China, Guangzhou is known for its liberalism and general tolerance of cultural differences. Crimes targeting foreigners are rare, but pickpocketing can occur in commercial areas and at intersections. Teahouse scams, which are a serious problem in Beijing and Shanghai, have not been reported in Guangzhou.

A possible fraud is when a cab driver refuses your fare and tells you it is fake. The cab driver exchanges your fare for a fake one without you realizing it. Always be suspicious if a vendor refuses your money and gives it back.

As China’s richest province, it has attracted a huge influx of migrant workers from other provinces and overseas. The local police have Arabic and English speaking forces to combat the increase in drug trafficking with foreigners, who are not exempt from the death penalty for drug trafficking.

Traffic conditions in Guangzhou have improved drastically in recent years and rules are respected – relatively speaking. But as everywhere in China, cars do not give priority to pedestrians and crosswalks are there only for show.

The emergency numbers are as follows: Police: 110; Fire: 119; Doctor: 120; Traffic accident: 122.

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