The new Guangzhou skyline with the Canton Tower and Zhujiang New Town
Guangzhou or Canton (广州) , the capital of Guangdong Province, is the third biggest city in China after Beijing and Shanghai with a population of more than 12 million. Founded in 214 BC, the city has been a springboard for trading, cultural exchanges, many revolutions and reforms, making it an unavoidable stopover to understand what shapes the modern China.
Mention you are traveling to Guangzhou to most northerners, you will almost expect a remark calling the place 'cultureless'. Fair or not, its isolation from the rest of 'typical China' by mountainous topography and early exposure to the outside world has resulted in its unique way of lifestyle, liberal ideas, distinctive cuisine and tremendous wealth. It is no surprise that Guangzhou is a cradle of many reforms and revolutions that changed the fate of China forever. Today Guangzhou still unveils many republic-era sights that help travelers understand modern Chinese history.
Founded in 214 BC, this capital of the richest province is always a mix of new and old. It not only boasts some of the oldest temples in China, a millenarian-old park, an imperial tomb of a southern kingdom and complete preservation of colonial villas and church on Shamian, but it also serves as a showcase of futuristic architectures and autopilot metro on Zhujiang New Town.
Despite its vibrant sight-seeing resources, travelers usually come to Guangzhou to shop. Guangzhou accommodates countless huge markets specializing in almost any made-in-china products, including Chinese tea, herbs, garments, watches, electronics and toys. You will be appalled to see the real prices of those China-made products and the profit your local shops earn by selling them.
As busy as it sounds, you can easily escape the crowd. Just head to surrounding villages, in which some of them date back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD). Bird watching in Nansha Wetland, a 200-hectare stopover for migrant birds from as far as Seriba, can easily make you a peaceful day.
Food is the centerpiece of life and Guangzhou has the country's largest number of restaurants per capita, which is the birthplace of what you call 'Chinese food' (Cantonese food) in the west. Here you can grab the authentic taste of sweet & sour pork, wonton soup and dim-sum. Few travelers can leave the city hungry.
Western central Guangzhou in detail (Liwan and west Yuexiu)
Eastern central Guangzhou in detail (east Yuexiu and Tianhe)
Guangzhou is divided into ten districts. Among them, Yuexiu and Liwan, the cradle for the Cantonese culture, has been the city center since the imperial era. Tianhe, which was a farming village decades ago, has been constructed into a new business center with some biggest shopping malls and highest skyscrapers in the city.
For travelers, the most useful road is Zhongshan Road, a 9 KM long highway horizontally cutting through the downtown of Guangzhou. The highway is divided into 8 sections. From Zhongshan 6 Road (中山六路）to Zhongshan 8 Road (中山八路) it covers around 80% tourist attractions and all famous restaurants. This area is well connected by Metro Line 1 from Changshou Lu (長壽路), Chen Clan Academy (陈家祠), Ximenkou(西门口） to Gongyuanqian (公园前).
Liwan (荔湾 Lìwān) — On the north of the pearl river makes up the old Guangzhou area and home to the standard Cantonese accent (Xiguan Accent, literally West Gate Accent). Tourist highlights include the colonial Shamian Island, Xiguan Old Houses, Xiangxiajiu shopping Street, Liziwan Lake Park and Chen's Clan Academy.
Yuexiu (越秀 Yuèxiù) — The Zhongshan 6 Road area, which covers the original area of Yuexiu before its expansion in the 2005, has been the very core since 214 AD. Highlights include Yuexiu Park, Guangzhou Museum located at Zhanhai Tower, Orchid Garden, Mausoleum of Nanyue King, Guangxiao Temple, Temple of Six Banyan Trees, Beijing Lu Shopping District, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, Shishi Cathedral.
Tianhe (天河 Tiānhé) is the business district, thriving with many skyscrapers and shopping malls. The newly developed Zhujiang New Town (珠江新城) is a showcase of futuristic urban planning and avant-garde archiecture. It is also home to the oldest messy urban village Shipai as well as most expat communities. The district serves as a transportation hub for trains to Hong Kong. Highlights include Guangdong Museum, Central Library, Opera House and Shipai village.
Around the Center
Haizhu (海珠'Hǎizhū') — At the south of the Pearl River, the former industrial district has transformed into more residential and business today. It is home to the city's latest landmark Canton Tower and the South Campus of Sun Yat-Sen University, which is a well-preserved historic building complex of the 1920s. Traders come here often for the Canton Fair in Pazhou.
Panyu (番禺 Pānyú) is an area getting more popular among local tourists. Its Lianhua Mountain boosts 100,000 blooming lotus flower and sits a huge Bodhisattva Guanyin statue. Various theme parks have attracted thousands of tourists. The area is covered by many historic villages and towns that give you a peek into the life of traditional Southern Chinese.
Baiyun (白云 Báiyún) — This district is where the old airport is located. The Baiyun Mountain is a major attraction.
Huangpu (黄埔 Huángpǔ) is home to Huangpu Military Academy.
Nansha (南沙 Nánshā) is a newly developed area at the southern tip of the city. Rural as it may sound, it keeps the survival of the Nansha Wetland, a stopover for migrant birds. Many Chinese worshipers also like to visit the Palace of Heavenly Queen (天后宮). The High-Speed Railway Station (South Station) is built here.
Luogang (萝岗 Luógǎng) is famous for its plum forest and Tianlu Lake Forest Park.
Huadu (花都 Huādū) is where the New Baiyun International Airport is located.
Zengcheng (增城 Zēngchéng) is famous for its lychee fruit, which are picked in June and July.
Conghua (从化 Cónghuà) is popular among tourists for its hot springs and Tianhe (Heavenly Lake) Recreation area.
Formerly known as Canton in the West, the city of Guangzhou has a history dating back roughly 2,200 years.
The symbol of Guangzhou -- the five Rams
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, Guangzhou's history is full of color. In 786 the city was sacked by the Persians and 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, the signing of the Treaty of Nanking, 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 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. Temperature 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.
The airport is 28 km (17 mi) north from central Guangzhou. The most convenient way into the city is by Metro Line 3. The lower level of the airport terminal leads to the Airport South Metro station. A journey to the East Railway Station, or to Tiyu Xilu Metro station (both ¥12) takes about 50 minutes. Trains run every seven minutes, with the first train leaving the airport at 6AM and the last train from and to the airport departing at 11PM.
Taxis are also available and take about the same time as the Metro. A taxi ride to central Guangzhou will cost about ¥120, inclusive of a ¥15 toll fee. Taxi stations are available outside Arrival Hall Section A Gate 5 and Arrival Hall Section B Gate 6. If you arrive after midnight when the metro has stopped running, be prepared for a real long wait in line for taxis. Waiting times can start from 45 mins, not because of the lack of taxis, but because of the sheer number of arrivees. Also, do not be surprised that the queue is not really an orderly queue, which is quintessentially chinese. Some parts it's 2 people, some parts it's 4, and towards the front it can spread out to 8 in a row. People will attempt to out squeeze you to the back at every opportunity possible. You may find yourself 10 spaces behind the person who started right behind you.
Seeing rural Guangzhou from an Airport Express bus.
Airport Express buses operate just outside the arrival terminal, but are a distant second to the metro in reliability and comfort. If you have more than one piece of luggage or if a line has a stop at your hotel, this may be your top choice. Line 1 (¥16) departs every 10-15 minutes from 7AM until the last flight and takes 45 minutes to reach the Guangzhou Railway Station and Central Hotel. The ticket prices range from ¥10-55. Lines 1 to 6 are traveling within the metropolitan area, while lines 7-11 go to outer districts. There are also direct Airport Express buses to some cities in the Pearl River Delta region, such as Zhuhai and Foshan. However, there is no direct bus to Macau or Hong Kong.
Do not accept solicitations for rides to the city. Sometimes, people will stand at the arrival area and ask if you need a taxi. These are illegally operated and use unmarked vehicles, or charge you a fee, offer you a phony receipt, and then arrange a taxi that will still charge you. They usually cost a lot more than licensed taxis since many travelers do not know the cost of airport transportation.
Flying to Hong Kong is another option. From the Hong Kong International Airport, you can take cross-boundary coach to Guangzhou and other cities in Guangdong. Service providers include China Travel Service, Trans-Island Chinalink and Eternal East. Fares range from HK$220-250 one way.
Current as of Sep 2011 * denotes a stop-over in Dongguan (Changping station)
Trains cover the 182 kilometers 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 190HKD-230HKD.
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 Shenzhen 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 rail network. The Guangzhou–Zhuhai (near Macau), Guangzhou–Shenzhen (a different railway, originated from Shenzhen North Station, than the Guangshen intercity train mentioned above) have opened in 2011, and the journey takes just 57 minutes and 35 minutes respectively. A new long distance line from Guangzhou to Beijing will open on 26 December 2012. It travels through major cities such as Changsha, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Shijiazhuang. It takes 7h59m to 9h38m for a journey to Beijing, over 2,000 km away. One way ticket is ¥865. Some high-speed train also go to Luoyang and Xi'an. One way trip from Guangzhou South Station to Xi'an North is between 7h40m and 9h09m, price from ¥816. This is part of a nationwide high-speed network that is under construction.
It is possible to take a direct train from Guangzhou to Lhasa in Tibet. The 4,980 km journey takes 55 hours and runs every other day from Guangzhou Station (广州站). A sleeper costs ¥869 and up. For discussion see Overland to Tibet.
Bear in mind there are now three major train stations in Guangzhou. Countless travellers 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 Railway Station (广州站) 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 East Railway Station (广州东站) services routes to Hong Kong and some mainland cities. Metro line 1 ends here.
Guangzhou South Railway Station (广州南站) serves the high-speed rail network.
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 250 HKD. 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 100 HKD.
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 is a frequent ferry and hovercraft service from Hong Kong, Macau, and Haikou (Hainan Island) at the Zhoutouzui Ferry Pier (洲头咀码头). There are boats from other mainland cities, such as Xiamen, Shanghai, and Qingdao at the Dashatou Pier (大沙头码头).
New Nansha Port(南沙港客运) is operating 4 lines traveling from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, Macau, and the Hong Kong International Airport. The trip takes 75 minutes to Hong Kong. Note that Nansha is very far from the city center, although there are various bus pickup points from the city center and Panyu. The port is 1.6km south of Humen Bridge in Nansha.
Nansha to Hong Kong: 08:00 - 18:00 (5 separate lines) ¥155-250
Nansha to Macau (weekend only): Nansha – Macau 9:00 (Sat) 14:30 (Sun); Macau - Nansha 10:45 (Sat) 16:15 (Sun) ¥180-280
Nansha to Hong Kong Airport: Nansha – HKIA 9:30; HKIA – Nansha 16:00 ¥265-¥350
Guangzhou has an efficient public transportation system. If you stay in Guangzhou for long time, purchase a multi-purpose Ling Nan Tong - Yang Cheng Tong (岭南通-羊城通) stored value card, which can be used to pay fares in metro, bus and ferries and used for many convenience stores, public phones and vending machines.
However, to return the card at the end of the trip, you need to go Gongyuanqian (Exit J) and Tiyu Xi Exit G, and East Railway Station. (Exit HJ). It may be worth simply keeping the card as a souvenir.
Despite the sheer size of the city, walking is a great way of exploring the traditional Liwan and Yuexiu districts. The easy tour is to walk through Zhongshan 6 Road (中山六路, Zhongshan Liulu) which covers most tourist attractions including Liurong Temple, Guangxiao Temple, Huaisheng Mosque and many huge markets. It also has the two most popular pedestrian streets , Beijing Lu and Shang-xia-jiu for shopping mania.
To give you some sense of direction whenever you get lost, head back to Zhongshan Road and figure out where the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) is and you will easily tell every direction. This area is also well connected by Metro Line 1 and Trolleybus 104, 107, 109 and 78(Night Bus) which is the only trackless tram system in South China.
Bicycles are promoted as 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 ¥500 for a reasonable cheap single-speed to around ¥2000-3000 for a 21-speed mountain bike. Giant and Merida are the two most common international brands. High-end bicycles are also available to affluent customers in this rich city.
Folding bikes are permitted on the subway (sometimes not on buses) and tax, 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).
Line 1 is the most useful for tourists, horizontally cutting through the center of Guangzhou. Five major stations Huangsha, Changshuo Lu, Chen Clan's Academy, Ximenkou, Gongyuanqian cover up to 80% tourist sights.
Line 2 runs horizontally through Guangzhou South Station and Yuexiu Park.
Line 3 is a Y-shaped eastern Guangzhou. The 'main line' runs from Panyu Square to the Tianhe Intercity Coach Station, whilst the 'branch line' splits off at Tiyu Xilu and heads towards Airport South.
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 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 8 was formed out of the remnants of Line 2 following it's southward extension and runs east-west through Haizhu District from Fenghuang Xincun to Wanshengwei. Useful for reaching Sun Yat-sen University and Pazhou Exhibition Centre.
Zhujiang New Town APM is an experimental autopilot metro system which takes you to the Canton Tower. You need a separate 2yuan ticket to get a ride.
Guangfo Line is China's first intercity railway, 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.
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.
This is the most popular way for foreigners to get around, and it is very affordable. The starting charge is ¥10 for the first 2.6 kilometres, and after that ¥2.6 for each kilometre. No fuel surcharge is added, but a 50% surcharge is automatically added when the trip reaches 35 kilometres. 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 have the name and address of your destination written in Chinese to show the 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 notes. 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 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 a taxi available elsewhere in the city.
Most taxi shift changes take place between 15:00-17:00. 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 19:30-09:00 and 17:00-19:00. Finding a taxi at night is usually not a problem.
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.
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.
The ferries are the cheapest way of crossing the Pearl River (Zhujiang). They were very popular in the 1980s and early 90s, carrying tens of thousands of people across the river each day. Nowadays its popularity declines greatly, mostly because of the construction of many bridges along the Pearl River and the availability of other public transportation. The river narrows while going through the city center (a bit wider than the Thames in central London). It is usually faster and more convenient to use the bridges or public transport(metro, bus) to cross the river, rather than wait for the ferries. One ferry route that still remains popular is between the Huangsha Pier by the seafood market next to Shamian Island and the pier on Bai-e-tan Bar Street (Changdi Road) in Fangcun. It departs 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.
Mandarin is the universal speech but Cantonese is prevalent. Local people take the preservation of their dialect so seriously that they even marched to the government office to protest against a plan to limit the use of Cantonese in TV and radio broadcasting.
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.
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.
Liurong Temple (六榕寺 liù-róng-sì) 87 Liurong Road (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. Admission is ¥5; Flower Pagoda ¥10.
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. (Admission ¥10)
Shishi Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral (石室圣心大教堂 shí-shì-shèng-xīn-jiào-táng) 56 Yide Road (一德路旧部前)(Metro 2 Haizhu Square Exit B1).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. Visiting hours are weekdays 8:30-11:30AM and 2:30-5:30PM; weekends 8:30AM-5PM. Free admission.
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (中山纪念堂 zhōng-shān-jì-niàn-táng) (Metro 2 Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall - Exit C) located on Dongfeng Middle Road, is 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. Open 8AM-6PM. Admission is free for the park and ¥10 to go inside the hall.
Canton Tower (广州塔) (Metro 3, APM Chigang Pagoda) is the tallest structure in China. In additions to the observation deck, the tower features various restaurants, a 4-D theater and other entertainment venues. Admission is ¥150.
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.
Bright Filial Piety Temple (Guangxiao Temple) (光孝寺 guāng-xiào-sì) 109 Guangxiao Road (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. Admission is ¥10; free if you eat at the temple's vegetarian restaurant (菩提甘露坊). You can also apply your admission toward your meal.
Wu Xian Guan Temple (五仙观 wǔ-xiān-guān) Huifu West Road (惠福西路). (Metro 1 Ximenkou Exit C) Admission is ¥5.
Huaisheng Mosque (怀圣寺 huái-shèng-sì) 56 Guangta Road (光塔路) (Metro 1 Ximenkou Exit C). This is one of the oldest Muslim mosques in China, built in 627. The mosque is open to Muslims only and not open to the general public, but you can take a peek outside.
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.
Hualin Temple (华林寺 huá-lín-sì) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu) Free admission.
Yuanxuan Taoist Temple (圆玄道观) is located in the Huadu District. 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. The temple is located near Bi Village in southwest Xinhua Town. You can take the No. 9 bus from Huadu Downtown. Admission is ¥10.
Xiao Bei / Siu Bak (小北) So basically, this is Guangzhou's chocolate ville, banners here are written in at least 4 languages: Chinese, English, French and Arabic. This is probably one of Guangzhou's most diverse neighborhood! You'll find delicious middle eastern restaurants before you meander into the side streets full of Africans. Even the chinese salespeople here have thich African accent when they speak English. You may feel like you're in Africa, but this is Guangzhou. To get there, take GZ Metro Line 5, Xiaobei Station.
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.
Memorial of the Huangpu Military Academy (黄埔军校旧址 huáng-pǔ-jūn-xiào-jiù-zhǐ) is on 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 admission.
Former Residence of Hong Xiuquan (洪秀全故居:Hóngxiùquán gùjū), +8602036861225, +8602086832232,Address: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 captial.
Note that most museums and libraries are closed on Monday.
Mausoleum of the Nanyue King (西汉南越王博物馆) , +86 20 3618-2920, 867 Jiefang North Road (解放北路878号), (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park Exit E) Discovered accidentally in 1983 during the construction of proposed shopping mall, this impressive mausoleum proves to be the most important historic discovery in South China, making it a must on any itinerary. Major display is the King's burial suit made of thousands of jade tiles. 9AM-5:30PM daily. Admission is ¥12.
Guangzhou Museum (广州博物馆) , Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park. Among the first museums in republic era of China, it is located in an ancient Zhenhai Tower overseeing the traditional Guangzhou regions. The museum vividly displays the history of South China. Admission: ¥10.
Guangdong Museum (广东省博物馆新馆) (Metro 3,5 Zhujiiang New Town Exit B1; APM Opera House Exit C) Open 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.
Guangdong Museum of Art (广东美术馆) guǎng-dōng-měi-shù-guǎn, 8 Yanyu Road (烟雨路8号) on Ersha Island (二沙島). It shows contemporary, and sometimes ultra controversy Chinese art. Personal ID is sometimes required. Open 9AM-5PM, Tue-Sun.
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 Road (纺织路东沙街18号). +86 20 8901-2366. Open 9AM-4:30PM Tue-Sun. Free Admission.
Guangzhou Uprising Museum (广州起义旧址纪念馆) 200 Qiyi Road (起义路200号)(Metro 1, 2 Gongyuanqian Exit J). The Museum is at the site of the first Communist government building. Open 9AM—12PM and 1:30PM-4:30PM Tue–Fri; 10AM-4:30PM Sat-Sun. Free Admission.
Guangzhou Ocean(广州海洋馆) Situated within Guangzhou Zoo, Guangzhou Ocean World covers an area of 13,000 square meters (about 139,931 square feet) 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.
Guangdong Revolutions History Museum (广东革命历史博物馆) 2 Lingyuan West Road (陵园西路2号大院), (Located in the 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 Admission.
Peasant Movement Institute (农民运动讲习所 nóng-jiǎng-suǒ) 42 Zhongshan 4th Road (中山四路42号),(Metro 1, Peasant Movement Institute Exit C). 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. Open 9AM-4:30PM Tue-Sun. Free admission.
Redtory (红专厂)  128 Yuancun 4th Cross Road (员村四横路128号) Once a can food factory, this old can-packing factory is transformed into galleries for contemporary artists. There are also restaurants and shops, which blend in well with artistic surroundings. +86 20 8557-4346.
Despite its reputation for business and busy trading, Guangzhou has many historic parks everywhere, ranging from a 1000-year-old lake garden, green mausoleum for martyrs to a vast wetland dedicating for migrant birds from Serbia and Mongolia.
Yuexiu Park (越秀公园) yuè-xiù-gōng-yuán, (Metro 2 Yue Xiu Park Station Exit B1) is 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 Museumwith relics on five floors dating back 5,000 years ago and an up-to-date miniature of modern Guangzhou. Admission is ¥10. Hours 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). Open 6AM-9PM. Free Admission.
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. Admission is ¥45.
Baomo Garden (宝墨园) is located in Panyu District, rebuilt in the 1990s from a destroyed ancient garden. Hours 8:30AM-6:00PM; Admission is ¥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) +86 20 3758-8321. Open 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 admission.
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)  This park is dedicated to those who fought and died in the Communist Uprising in 1927. Hours 6:00AM-10:00PM; Free admission.
Yuntai Garden (云台花园)(Tour Bus No. 1, 3) yún-tái-huā-yuán is 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). Admission is ¥10.
Xiangjiang Wild Animal Safari Park (香江野生动物世界) xiāng-jiāng-yě-shēng-dòng-wù-shì-jiè is in Panyu district. Hours 9:30-18:00; Admission is ¥180.
Green Walk(东濠涌)(Metro 1, Peasant Movement Institute) This is in Yuexiu District, under the Donghaoyong Elevated Road.
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) Sunflower Garden million theme park, located in Panyu, Guangzhou Wanqingsha town, 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.
Chimelong Paradise (长隆欢乐世界) The theme park has many thrill rides and shows. Hour: 9:30-18:00 (18:30 weekend); Admission is ¥200.
Chimelong Water Park (长隆水上世界)  This is a western style water park with great water rides. Hour: 9:30AM-10:00PM, April to Mid-October; Admission is ¥140 (fall) - ¥198 (summer).
Guangzhou CrocoPark (广州鳄鱼公园) You can see, play, touch, take pictures of crocodiles and even eat and buy stuff made of them! Guangzhou Metro Line 2, Huijiang Station.
Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park (广州香江野生动物世界) Day safaris and night safaris offered, mini jungle train, free ranging animals. Guangzhou Metro Line 3, Hanxi Changlong Station, take exit E, there are scheduled free shuttles to all the Chimelong parks.
Chimelong International Circus (长隆国际大马戏) The closest China gets to Cirque du Soleil, 250/adult, 125/child or senior. Hanxi Changlong, exit E, free shuttle.
Baiyun Mountain (White Cloud Mountain) (白云山 bái-yún-shān) 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. Open 24 hours. Park entrance ¥5; Cable car round trip ¥40; tram from ¥20; other attractions ¥5-¥10; packages available from ¥25.
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. Admission is ¥40.
Mandarin House Guangzhou School (广州美和汉语学校 Guǎngzhōu Měihé Hànyǔ School)  offers intensive & business courses to HSK preparation to all levels.
Sun Yat-sen University (中山大学 Zhongsan Daxue) Founded by Republican China's (and Guangdong's own) revolutionary hero. Offers full-time Manadarin language program to foreigners at various levels. Attracts students from all around Asia and the world. Program is located in the beautiful and historic south campus in Haizhu District.
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.
Guangzhou wholesale market directory. Find all kinds of professional wholesale markets in Guangzhou
Qingping Market (清平市场) Qingping Road (清平路),(Metro 1 Huangsha Exit D) It is located North from Shamian Island. 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.
Global International Shoes Trade Centre(国际鞋城步云天地) Address: 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 (玩具街) and Dried goods and snacks Street (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). This is a good place to look for antiques and traditional Chinese artistic goods.
Haiyin Shopping District (海印专业购物区) is located at the northwest side of the Haiyin Bridge (海印大桥), selling appliances, sporting goods, cloth, fabrics, camera accessories and electronics.
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. Remember to visit 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. Remember to visit Liwan Plaza (荔湾广场 lì-wān-guǎng-chǎng), located at 9 Dexing Road (德星路9号), 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 Road, (中山三路33号),(Metro 1 Martrs' Park) Located on top of a metro station, this is another large shopping mall with brand name department stores, clothing stores, electronics stores and restaurants.
Taikoo Hui (太古汇)  (Metro Line 3, Shipaiqiao) A fancy latest shopping mall that targets affluent customers. L3 has several western cafes and bistros which are popular among expats and local bourgeoisies. The bookshop in L1, Fangshuo, is one of the fanciest bookshop of its kind in China, which has a fair collection of English books as well.
China Plaza (中华广场 zhōng-huá-guǎng-chǎng). 33 Zhongshan 3rd Road, (中山三路33号),(Metro 1 Martrs' Park) The mall is extremely popular among young locals and displays what they think "fashionable". Located on top of a metro station, it also has a huge food court which serves anything from Sichuanese spicy food to Japanese Sushi.
Grandview Mall (Zhengjia Plaza) (正佳广场 zhèng-jiā-guǎng-chǎng)  228 Tianhe Road, (天河路228号),(Metro 1, 3 Tianhe Sports Center Exit D3). +86 20 3833-0098. This is the largest mall in Guangzhou, located in the heart of Tianhe District. It includes famous fashion stores and several department stores, and some cheesy music fountains.
Tee Mall (天河城 tiān-hé-chéng)  208 Tianhe Road (天河路208号)(Metro 1 Tiyu Xilu). Located right above the metro Tiyu Xilu station, this is one of the most popular shopping mall.
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 safe. 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.
Flower Street in Tianhe during Chinese 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 5th. 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 Zhinu (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 14th.
Winter Solstice (冬至, 过冬 dōng-zhì), which literally means the Coming of Winter is on December 22nd. 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).
Canton Fair (China Import and Export Commodities Fair) held twice a year in Guangzhou since 1957 and is the largest trade fair in China. It has the largest assortment of products, the largest attendance, and the largest number of business deals made at the fair. Canton Fair is held in the Pazhou Complex at 380 Yuejiang Middle Road (阅江中路380号) (Metro Line 8 Xingangdong or Pazhou station).
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 the best transportation option to go to the fair ground, while 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 served in Western countries is usually Cantonese food, albeit slightly adapted to Western tastes, meaning that most Western visitors from large cities will be familiar with Cantonese food to a certain extent. That being said, authentic Cantonese cuisine is also famous throughout China for another reason - Cantonese people eat absolutely anything, and it is often said that Cantonese people 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)."
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. However, to be cautious, especially westerners, since the chicken is completely steam without any cut off, you might see the head and feet of the chicken
Yum Cha / Dim Sum (饮茶) "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), ☎ +86 20 8138-0388, . This Cantonese family restaurant is famous for its signature dishes Wenchang Chicken and special baby pig. Get up early and try it's Yum Cha (Cantonese dim sum). 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).edit
Pan Xi Restaurant (泮溪酒家), 151 Longjin West Road (龙津西路151号), ☎ +86 20 8181-5718. 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.edit
Datong Restaurant (大同酒家), 63 Yanjiang Road (沿江路63号), ☎ +86 20 8188-8988. This time-honored restaurant spans all 8 floors of the old building, overlooking the Pearl River. The place has been around for a long time and is a favorite among locals.edit
Taotao Ju Restaurant (陶陶居), 20 Dishifu Road (第十甫路20号) (Metro 1 Changshou Lu; Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street), ☎ +86 20 8138-9632. 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.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8666-6888. 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. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8668-0108. Open 24 hours. Excellent dim sum and Cantonese porridge in beautiful surroundings.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8172-8887. As the place was established by the former chefs from Qingping Restaurant, they have the original Qingping Chicken on the menu.edit
Lian Xiang Lou (莲香楼), (Metro 1 Changshou Lu; Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street), ☎ +86 20 8181-1638, . M-F 6:30AM-10PM, Sa-Su 6:30AM-11PM. Founded in 1889, Lian Xiang Lou is a famed Cantonese restaurant across China. Local gourmets may disdain its dishes but its bakery is still popular among tourists edit
Cai Gen Xiang (菜根香), 167 Zhongshan 6th Road (中山六路167号) (Metro 1 Ximenkou), ☎ +86 20 8334-4363. 6:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM. edit
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 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.edit
Foo Yau Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant (佛有缘素食馆), Xinfu Xincun (幸福新村) (Metro 1 Chan Clan Acadamy Exit D), ☎ +86 20 8125-0428, . 7AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM. This place serves creative vegetarian dishes with dim sum served in the morning.edit
Sharmaji Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, ☎ +8615915727374, . 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. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8107-2463. 6:30AM-2:30PM, 4:30PM-9:30PM. Great buffet around noon.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8525-0821. 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. edit
Lan Kwai Fong (兰桂坊), 5 Shamian South St (沙面南街5号) (Metro 1 Huangsha), ☎ +86 20 8121-6523. This tourist friendly restaurant offers good curries and polite service on the quite Shamian Island. edit
Banana Leaf (蕉叶西餐厅), . This is a established traditional Thai restaurant chain in Guangzhou.edit
Tianhe, 28 Tianhe North Road (天河北路28号时代广场2楼) (Metro 3 Linhexi; 2/F, Times Square), ☎ +86 20 3891-0728. edit
World Trade Center, 5/F, 371-375 Huanshi East Road. edit
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.edit
Vaastu (雅仕度印度餐厅), ☎ +86 20 3825-8181, . This high end restaurant opened its door in 2008. It serves traditional Indian food with vegetarian dishes available. edit
Sharmaji Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, ☎ +8615915727374, . 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. edit
Lucy's Cafe & Restaurant, 3 Shamian South St (沙面南街3号) (Metro 2 Huangsha), ☎ +86 20 8121-5106. 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.edit
Oggi Trattoria, 1 Tiyu East Road (天河区体育东路1号), ☎ +86 20 8751-5882. 11am-12am. Come and enjoy their great pizza and pasta with choice Italian wine.edit
Oggi Pizzeria, G/F Tianlun Garden, Jianshe 4th Road (建设四马路), ☎ +86 20 8356-1196. 24/7. The European theme style cafe and bar serves great pizzas and traditional Italian home dishes with wine carte and draught beer.edit
Bosphorus Turkish Restaurants, 1 Jianshe 6th Road (Metro 5 Xiaobei Exit A), ☎ +86 20 8376-7644, . 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.edit
13 Factories (十三行), 7 Tianhe North Street (体育西路天河北街七号) (Metro 3 Linhexi exit B), ☎ +86 20 3884 9230. 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.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 83633587, . 11AM-11PM. The authentic Italian restaurant is Italian managed and prepared, serving pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes.edit
Prime Steakhouse, 122 Liuhua Road (流花路122号中国大酒店), ☎ +86 20 8666-6888. 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-11pm. This is one of Guangzhou's finest steakhouse serving Australian and Japanese prime cuts, seafood, pasta and desserts.edit
Cafe Veranda, 122 Liuhua Road (流花路122号中国大酒店), ☎ +86 20 8666-6888. 6.30am-10pm. This place serves a lavish international buffet and also has a la carte menu. All Western and Asian delights can be found here and the breakfast buffet is simply excellent.edit
Danny's Italian American Restaurant, 4F Home Garden Mall, 188 Huangpu West Avenue (黄埔大道西188号维家思广场四楼) (Metro APM Huangpu Dadao), ☎ +86 20 8756-1993, . Established in Guangzhou since 1997, the restaurant serves Italian and American dishes including pasta and pizza along with other western food. Chinese dishes are also available. Delivery is also available.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8386-3840. 10:30AM-2AM. Despite the unimaginative name, this place offers good pizzas, pasta and beer. Buffet is available.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8735-2222. The upscale restaurant has an elegant French decor, overlooking the Pearl River skyline.¥200 and up. edit
K's Western Delights (K’S西方佳肴), Tao Jin Jia Yuan, ☎ +86 13533377784, . They serve Western-style homemade kosher sandwiches, managed and prepared by Westerners. Delivery service is available.edit
Pizza2Pizza, Tianhe North Road (天河北路614号2号铺）, (email@example.com), . 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.edit
Tekila Mexican Restaurant and Bar, 2F, 11 Jianshe 6th Road (建设六马路11号二楼) (Metro 5 Taojin), ☎ +86 20 8381-6996, . This place serves authentic Mexican food. It has great Margaritas. Entertainment includes salsa dancing.edit
BOCA Restaurant and Cafe, 75 Tianhe East Road #107(天河东路75号首层107), ☎ +86 20 8759-1558, . This place serves appetizer, Soup, Salad, Sandwiches, Rice Delights, Pastas and other Main Courses. Kids' meal is available.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8350-1667, . 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.edit
Best-Way African Restaurant, No. 003 1/F Jindu Bldg, 99 Guangyuan West Road (opposite Canaan Market), ☎ +86 20 6114-7501. 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.edit
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.
TESCO (乐购) The British hypermarket is located on Zhongshan 6th Road above the Metro Ximenkou Station and it is the largest supermarket in Guangzhou on a single premise.
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.
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.
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.
Trust-Mart (好又多) The lower-end market has numerous locations in Guangzhou and it is recent acquired by Wal-Mart (沃尔玛). It will be soon re-branded to Wal-Mart. 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.
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.
Covent Garden, 广州珠江新城华强路2号富力盈丰大厦首层 (Located on the small road across from Ocean Palace on Jinsui Road), ☎ +86 20 38065757. 10AM to 3AM. British pub in the Zhujiang New Town. Recently won the best new pub in Guangzhou at the PRD awards. Large selection of cocktails and whiskeys with pints of Tiger Beer from ¥25 during happy hour, 4PM-8:30PM. edit
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. edit
Hill Bar, (Outside Baiyun Hotel and across from Garden Hotel). Reasonable price for drinks and live band performances nightly.¥35 pints. edit
Hooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant, Xing Sheng Lu, Zhujiang New Town (Metro 5 Liede exit D), ☎ +86 20 3886-2675, . 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.edit
Paddy Field Irish Pub and Restaurant, (Behind Garden Hotel). edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8550-3038, . 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.edit
Sleeping Wood Cafe. (Happy hour before 8PM). Cozy restaurant pub next to the Holiday Inn with friendly English speaking staff. Serves western food and all kinds of alcoholic drinks. One-for-one pint-sized Tsing Tao draft beer during happy hour. Good place to unwind, especially in the open area. 2nd location along Pearl River.¥25-¥30. edit
Sapphire Lounge, 122 Liuhua Road (流花路122号中国大酒店), ☎ +86 20 8666-6888. 3:00PM 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.edit
The Brew, Zhujiang New Town, Panyu, Jianshe Liu Ma Road (Metro 5 Taojin exit B), . The Brew, formally known as The Strange Brew, is a Canadian owned and operated bar with three locations in Guangzhou. It's menu has a strong Canadian/ American influence and boasts the best burgers in the city. There are specials every day of the week which differ from location to location. It is the ideal place to have a drink and catch the game (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, Rugby and more).edit
Perry's Café, 2nd floor of No. 61, Hongmei Lu, Haizhu District (海珠区红梅路61号2楼) (taxi would be easiest way, make sure you have the address written down in chinese). Located in Dadao of Haizhu District, is Perry's Café. Although hidden, the newly opened cafe is ideal for overseas students or foreign friends in the community. Offers European dishes, opened until late night (at least 4AM)edit
Oh Marco Wine Cellar, 9 Yiyuan Road 4-5, Haizhu District, ☎ +86 20 3448-2809 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.. edit
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. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8386-3660. This is a favorite expat hangout. The resident DJ spins a wide range of music. The Cave features exotic dance performances, including live-python dance.¥30 standard drink. edit
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.edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8387-5177. 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.¥30 standard drink. edit
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.edit
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.edit
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.edit
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 Road (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.edit
Chun Ya Yuan Teahouse (春雅源茶艺馆), 19 Siyou New Road (4/F, Changcheng Hotel), ☎ +86 20 8761-2888 ext.6488. 7PM-1AM. edit
Crystal Tea House, 6 Longkou East Road, Tianhe (1/F, Yuan Yang Hotel), ☎ +86 20 8759-6988 ext.67. 10AM-2AM. edit
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.edit
People's Cakes & Coffee. Enjoy cakes and coffee at this Western coffee shop run by Koreans.edit
Taojin, 98 Taojin South Road, ☎ +86 20 8348-8085. edit
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.edit
NOTE: From April 15th to May 5th and October 15th to November 5th are the annual Guangzhou International Trade Fairs in which room rates in hotels and hostels will usually be hiked up. Prices vary every year and you are advised to secure your bed before going to Guangzhou in those two seasons
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Guangzhou has two HI-affiliated youth hostels, one in the outskirt Yangcun and a new one in Yangji. Most other hostels, usually located in a residential apartment building, are illegally operated and subject to the frequent police crackdown.
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), ☎ +86 20 2239-2500. An HI-affiliated hostel is located on the outskirt of Guangzhou. It takes a 15-20 minute walk to the metro station; also accessible by river ferry (until 10pm). Free lockers are provided in some rooms.Doubles ¥178, dorm bed ¥65; ¥96 Canton Fair. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 3880-4573 (email@example.com), . checkin: 1:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. The apartment-converted hostel is popular with Chinese job-seekers. The area is residential and may be difficult to find for non-Chinese speaking foreigners. Dorm room ¥50, singles with ¥140 (¥180 Canton Fair). edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8121-6688, . 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. edit
Zhong Qiao Hotel Guangzhou (中桥宾馆), 103 Chigang Road (赤岗路103号), ☎ +86 20 6276-4628, . The hotel is close to Pazhou Trade Center where Canton Fair is held. Check their website for other locations in the chain.edit
Dongyue Fashion Hotel (东岳时尚酒店), 10 Tangdong East Road (天河区棠东东路10号), ☎ +86 20 2886-4999, . It offers clean and comfortable rooms that are furnished with all the essentials for a restful stay.¥178. edit
Huifeng Apartment Guangzhou (广州汇峰国际公寓), 8 Xingsheng Road, Zhujiang New Town, ☎ +86 20 3805-1035 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Each of the 198 serviced apartments has a kitchens and free cable internet access.¥298. edit
Binghua Hotel (冰花酒店), 2 Tianhe North Road (天河北路2号), ☎ +86 208750-2888. The hotel is located at the gateway to Tianhe. Hooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant is on the ground floor.edit
Bostan Hotel (广东博斯坦宾馆), 76 Tianhe North Road (天河北路76号), ☎ +86 20 3878-2888. 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.edit
Hotel Canton (广州大厦), 374 Beijing Road (广州市北京路374号) (Metro 1/2 Gongyuanqian), ☎ +86 20 8318-9888, . 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. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8335-5988, . ¥500. edit
Lido Hotel (丽都大酒店), 182 Beijing Road (北京路182号), ☎ +86 20 8332-1988. In the heart of central Guangzhou and Beijing Road Shopping Street.¥350. edit
Liuhua Hotel (流花宾馆), 194 Huanshi West Road (环市西路194号) (Metro 2/5 Guangzhou Railway Station), ☎ +86 20 8666-8800, . ¥468. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 6136-8888, . 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. edit
Oriental Resort (广州鸣泉居), 1068 Baiyun South Avenue (白云大道南1068号) (On Baiyun Mountain), ☎ +86 20 8663-2888, . Quiet and away from the city.¥480. edit
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.edit
Springdale Serviced Residence Guangzhou (广州盛雅服务公寓), Tower B1, No 105 Tiyuxi Road, Tianhe district, ☎ +86 20 8396-6088 (email@example.com, fax: +86 20 8360-0466), . 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. edit
Guangzhou Hotel Guangzhou (广州宾馆), No. 2 Qiyi Road, Guangzhou, China, . Ideally located in the heart of Guangzhou, with the Pearl River to the south and Yuexiu Mountain to the north, Guangzhou Hotel enjoys superb location with easy access to the city. edit
Jinzhou Business Hotel Guangzhou (广州锦洲国际酒店), Yuexiu district liberation road no. 899.Guangzhou, . Jinzhou Business Hotel Guangzhou(Jinzhou Shangwu Jiudian) is very close to the metro station, Guangzhou Railway Station and Guangdong Bus Station.edit
Pullman Baiyun Airport Hotel Guangzhou (广州白云机场铂尔曼大酒店), Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Baiyun Guangzhou, . Located in the Guangzhou International Airport Complex, Pullman Guangzhou Baiyun Airport offers a relaxing haven for the busy traveler with easy accessibility. The hotel is a 3-minute walk to the departure terminal, 30-minute metro ride to city centre. edit
China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel (中国大酒店), 122 Liuhua Road (流花路100号) (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park), ☎ +86 20 8666-6888, . 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.¥650. edit
Garden Hotel (花园酒店), 368 Huanshi East Road (环市东路368号), ☎ +86 20 8333-8989, . 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.edit
Dong Fang Hotel (东方宾馆), 120 Liuhua Road (流花路120号) (Metro 2 Yuexiu Park), ☎ +86 20 8666-9900, . edit
White Swan Hotel (白天鹅宾馆), 1 Shamian South St (沙面南街1号) (Metro 1 Huangsha), ☎ +86 20 8188-6968, . 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. This landmark hotel is now closed for renovations and is expected to reopen in 2013.edit
Baiyun Hotel (白云宾馆), 367 Huanshi East Road (环市东路367号) (across from Garden Hotel), ☎ +86 20 8333-3998, . Member of Best Western hotel chain.edit
Ascott Guangzhou (广州雅诗阁服务公寓), No 73 Tianhe Dong Road, Tianhe district, ☎ +86 20 8513-0388 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 20 8513-0366), . The residence offers 208 apartments that comes with a separate living space equipped with modern furnishings, kitchens and broadband internet access. Daily rates starts from ¥700. edit
Asia International Hotel (亚洲国际大酒店), 326 Huangshi East Road, Sec 1 (环市东路326号), ☎ +86 20 6128-8888, . 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.edit
China Mayors Plaza (广州市长大厦), 189 Tianhe North Road (天河北路189号), ☎ +86 20 8755-3838, . ¥600. edit
Donlord International Hotel (鼎龙国际大酒店), 63 Guangzhou Ave North (广州大道北63号), ☎ +86 20 8774-8999. 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.edit
Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, 12 Zhujiang West Road (珠江西路12号) (Metro APM Zhujiang New Town), ☎ + 86 20 8396-1234 (email@example.com), . 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. edit
Guangdong International Hotel (广东国际大酒店), 339 Huanshi East Road (环市东路339号), ☎ +86 20 8331-1888, . edit
Holiday Inn City Center Guangzhou (文化假日酒店), 28 Guangming Road (环市东华侨新村光明路28号) (Metro 5 Taojin), ☎ +86 20 6128-6868, . Not exactly the newest, biggest or cheapest hotel around, but does offer a convenient location. Rooms are clean, have comfortable beds and pillows, and a good selection of TV channels. Internet access is stable and costs ¥80 a day. Priority Club platinum members get automatic upgrades to executive rooms (subject to availability) and access to the executive lounge. An airline ticketing office and a Hertz car rental counter are available. There's also another Holiday Inn at 188 Dishifu Road.edit
The Westin Guangzhou (天誉威斯汀酒店), 6 Linhe Middle Road (林和中路6号) (Metro 3 Linhexi), ☎ +86 20 2886-6868, . The luxury chain has 448 rooms and suites. It is located next to the U.S. Consulate. It is also a short walk to the East Rail Station.edit
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.edit
Royal Marina Plaza (科尔海悦酒店), 288 (Metro 3 Panyu Square Exit A), ☎ +86 20 3462-8888. 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. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 3690-8888 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 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. edit
Pullman Baiyun Airport Guangzhou (广州铂尔曼白云机场大酒店), In the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport complex. ¥750. edit
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.edit
Guangzhou, one of the first open port in China, is known for its liberalism and general tolerance of cultural differences. Crimes that target foreigners are rarely heard but pickpockets could happen in shopping areas and transportation hubs. Teahouse scams, which is a serious problem in Beijing and Shanghai, have not been reported in Guangzhou.
As the wealthiest province of China, it has attracted enormous immigrant workers both from other provinces and overseas. The local police has Arabic- and English-speaking forces to deal with the rising drug trade involved with foreigners, who are not exempted from death penalty for drug trafficking.
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.
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.
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.
Internet is prevalent in Guangzhou. Many western chain restaurants such as McDonald's, Subway, Starbucks, offer an easy access to Internet. Many major public places are now covered with free wifi (ssid: wireless_GZ), including the Baiyun International Airport, libraries, public parks, hospitals, railway stations and several shopping centers.
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.
India (印度驻广州总领事馆), 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), ☎ +86 20 8550-1501. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8601-8772. edit
Isreal以色列国驻广州总领事馆Consulate General of Israel in Guangzhou办公处：广州市珠江新城临江大道3号发展中心19楼,510623.Chancery：19th floor, Development Center, 3 Linjiang Da Dao,Zhujiang New City, Guangzhou 510623. TEL: 020－85130509
United Kingdom, 7F Guangdong International Hotel 339 Huanshi East Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店二楼), ☎ +86 20 8314-3000. edit
U.S.A. (美国驻广州总领事馆), 5th Floor Tianyu Garden (Phase II) 136-142 Linhe Middle Road (林和中路136-146号天御花园二期5楼), ☎ +86 20 8121-8000, . This is the only U.S. Consulate in China that processes adoption visas. edit
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), ☎ +86 20 8330-5911. edit
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.
HSBC2, G/F, Garden Hotel, 368 Huan Shi Dong Lu +86 20 8313 1888.
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.
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 then ¥10 for a blanket, ¥30 for a quilt. Dry-cleaning a sweater is about ¥8.
Guangzhou Television (GZTV)  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.
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.
All the religious sites listed in the See section are open to worshippers.
Christian: Guangzhou International Christian Fellowship (GICF)  holds weekly service on Sundays at 10:00AM-11:30AM for expats in English. In accordance with government regulations, the service is exclusively open to foreign passport holders, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan nationals. Address: Westin Hotel (威斯汀酒店), 6 Lin He Zhong Road. (天河区林和中路6号) +86 20 28266868.
Catholic: An English mass is held at Shishi Church at 3:30PM every Sunday. English Bible study is also available on Wednesday at 7:30pm-9:00pm. Address: Shishi Church (石室教堂）No. 56 # 8, Jiu Bu Qian, Yide Zhong Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou. (越秀区一德中路旧部前56号之8)
Muslim: Huaisheng Mosque (怀圣寺 huái-shèng-sì) at 56 Guangta Road (光塔路) (Metro 1 Ximenkou) is exclusively open to Muslims. Jumu'ah (صلاة الجمعة) is held every Friday just after noon.
Most public parks offer free gym facilities. For serious bodybuilders, Total Fitness  has around 15 branches which are usually close to metro stations. Membership costs about ¥2000-4000 a year, depending on your bargaining power.
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.
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).