Guangzhou (广州 Guǎngzhōu or just simply GZ) is the capital of Guangdong Province in southern China and has a population of over 10 million (The official registered population is 7.3 million, with over 3 million unregistered residents). It is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau. In the era of tea clippers, Guangzhou was known in the West as "Canton". The food and the language of the area are still known as "Cantonese", and the airport code is CAN.
The city is famous for foreign trade and business, and holds China's largest trade fair, the Canton Fair. However, in between the seemingly endless skyscrapers, shopping malls and building sites there is a lot of culture and history, and while Guangzhou is not usually high on the list of Asian tourist destinations, it is amazing how much the city actually has to offer.
There are ten districts in Guangzhou:
- Liwan (荔湾 Lìwān) - This is the old Guangzhou, and is combined with the old Fangcun (芳村 Fāngcūn) area in the southwest. Tourist highlights include the colonial Shamian Island, Xiguan Old Houses, and Shangxiajiu shopping districts.
- Yuexiu (越秀 Yuèxiù) - This is the political and cultural center and includes the old Dongshan (东山, Dōngshān) area. Highlights include Yuexiu Park, Beijing Lu Shopping District, and Huanghuagang Martyrs Memorial Park.
- Haizhu (海珠 Hǎizhū) - Located south of the Pearl River, the district is becoming more business focused, particularly in real estate and trading. Locals refer to this part of Guangzhou as Henan, meaning south of the river. Highlights include the Canton Fair Pazhou Exhibition Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, and the Pearl River Promenade.
- Tianhe (天河 Tiānhé) - This is the new city center. It is thriving with many new developments, including skyscrapers like the Citic Plaza and new construction within Zhujiang New Town. Highlights include the Sports Center and many shopping centers.
- Baiyun (白云 Báiyún) - This district has a big rural touch, but is slowly being taken over by new developments, including the new airport. Highlights include the Baiyun Mountain.
- Huangpu (黄埔 Huángpǔ) - Not well known among foreign tourists, this district is to the east of the city center. Highlights include the former Huangpu Military Academy.
- Panyu (番禺 Pānyú) - This is the new area and it focuses on technology and economic development. Highlights include the Lianhua Mountain, two wild animal theme parks and the new University City.
- Huadu (花都 Huādū) - This is a developing industrial area. Highlights include Huadu Square.
- Nansha (南沙 Nánshā) - This is an industrial area at the southern tip of the city. It offers little to tourists.
- Luogang (萝岗 Luógǎng) - This is the eastern part of the city and is famous for its plum forest. It is not a popular tourist destination, but it does has some historical sites.
In addition to the 10 districts, two nearby cities have been drafted into Guangzhou's jurisdiction:
- Zengcheng (增城 Zēngchéng) is famous for its lychee fruit, which are picked in June and July.
- Conghua (从化 Cónghuà) is known for its hot springs and Tian (Heavenly) Lake Recreation area.
The main tourist areas and metropolitan areas are in the northern part of the city and they include Liwan, Yuexiu and Tianhe. (See maps .)
At first sight, Guangzhou appears to be less a city that's developing, and rather one that's about to explode. Every corner seems packed with high-rise buildings, overpasses, and people running marathons. It can be overwhelming, and the initial instinct of many travelers is to get out as soon as possible. However, those that overcome this urge and stay longer will discover a gentler and more personable side to the city.
As a major entry point for overseas culture for many centuries, foreigners are not the anomaly here that they are in other Chinese cities. Consequently, travelers are afforded more personal space and freedom. In addition, tucked away in the back streets, the old Guangzhou of traditional neighborhoods still moves at an age-old pace, with families and friends often sitting outdoors enjoying tea and banter.
Guangzhou also boasts the largest urban park in China, an island of refurbished colonial buildings and some world class galleries and exhibition spaces. In addition, possibly due to the distance from the country's political centers, the citizens of Guangzhou have developed a laid-back and play-hard approach to life.
Today, Guangzhou is recognized as one of China's most prosperous, liberal, and cosmopolitan cities. However, despite being an international trading hub, there is a lack of English signage and, outside of the business districts and tourist areas, very few locals converse well in English.
Formerly known as Canton in the West, the city of Guangzhou has a history dating back roughly 2,500 years.
Although the actual origins of the city are lost in the midst of time, the most popular legend tells of five celestial beings riding into the area that is now Guangzhou on five rams and 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 (City of Rams), Suicheng (Sheaves of Rice City) and Wuyangcheng (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 (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. However, 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 1842 the Treaty of Nanjing was signed, which designated the city as one of the five ports that allowed business transactions with foreign nations.
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. Today, there is a Buddhist monastery to the north of the city and Guangzhou has maintained a strong connection with this school of Buddhism.
When to visit
In terms of climate, the best time to visit Guangzhou is in 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, so unless you enjoy Turkish steam baths, this is a season to avoid! Typhoon season is from June to September. Please note that the Canton Trade Fairs take place annually in 3rd and 4th weeks of April and October, so finding accommodation at these times can be difficult (See the warning section under Sleep).
The New Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (广州白云国际机场, IATA: CAN, ICAO: ZGGG, ) is a major hub in Southern China, second only to Hong Kong. The airport is the base of China Southern Airlines  and has not only an extensive range of domestic flights, but some international connections, including Air France to Paris, China Southern to Los Angeles, Thai Airways to Bangkok, Singapore Airlines to Singapore and Finnair to Helsinki. Other direct international destinations include Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Jakarta, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Osaka.
The airport is 28 km north from downtown Guangzhou, and should not be confused with the former Baiyun Airport which was closed in 2004. A metro line to the airport is under construction but won't be ready until around 2009. In the meantime, taxi is the fastest option. See the airport fare table  for approximate fare cost. A taxi ride to downtown should cost no more than ¥120, inclusive of a ¥15 toll fee. As of the end of 2005, there is a ¥1 fuel surcharge that is not shown on the fare meter.
Alternatively, 9 Airport Express bus lines are available to take you to major destinations in Guangzhou. Line 1 (¥16) departs every 15 minutes from 7 AM until the last flight and takes 45 minutes to reach the train station and Central Hotel. The ticket prices range from ¥10 to ¥36. Lines 1 to 6 are traveling within the metropolitan area, while lines 7-9 go to outer districts. There are also direct Airport Express buses to some cities in the vicinity, including Zhuhai (¥90). Routes to Dongguan and Zhongshan will be in operation soon.
Do not accept solicitations for rides to the city. Those are illegally operated and use unmarked vehicles. They may cost more than taxis since many travelers do not know the cost of airport transportations.
Trains cover the 182 kilometers from Hong Kong in less than one hour and fifty minutes (including a stop at Dongguan). Through Trains to Guangzhou depart from Hong Kong at Hung Hom railway station in Kowloon and arrive in Guangzhou at the East station in Tian He district. Trains operating on this service are operated by China Rail and the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTR). Since the merger of the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) and the MTR, Hung Hom station and Hong Kong ticket sales are controlled by the MTR .
It is faster and cheaper to take the high speed train (200 km/h) from Shenzhen to Guangzhou. Shenzhen is right across the border from Hong Kong and thousands of people walk over the bridge between the two every day. China High Speed train tickets are numbered D8## and can be bought from ticket counters or machines.
A project is underway to link the entire Pearl River Delta area with high speed (200+ km/hr) train network. The Zhuhai-Guangzhou section is due to open in 2008, and the journey will take just 56 minutes. Shenzhen is already connected. This is part of a nation-wide high-speed network that is under construction. Eventually, this will allow a 12-hour Guangzhou-Beijing ride.
Bear in mind there are two major train stations in Guangzhou. The Guangzhou East Station (火车东站) services routes to Hong Kong, and other popular tourist destinations. The Guangzhou Station (广州火车站) is one of the biggest in the country and services routes that go all the way to Harbin. Countless travelers have gone to the wrong station and missed their scheduled trips. So be sure to know which train station to go to, which is specified on the tickets. Metro line 1 ends at Guangzhou East Station, and line 2 has a stop at the main station.
Note that there is little English signage at the train stations, and staff may not speak it (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 Huang Pu Da Dao (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. The main stations are the Provincial Station (省汽车站), Tianhe Dasha Station (天河大厦站), Liuhua Station (流花站) and Yuexiu Nan Station (越秀南站).
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 Pier (新南沙客运港) is now open with 6 lines daily traveling between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The trip takes 75 minutes (¥116-230). However, Nansha is very far from the city center, although there is a bus route available from White Swan Hotel, running three times a day. Location Nansha Port: 1.6km South from Humen Bridge, Nansha District, Guangzhou. Passengers can take buses at White Swan Hotel to the Dock, 3 runs per day.
Schedule: Nansha to Hongkong: 09:30 11:00 12:00 15:00 16:00 17:30 Hongkong to Nansha: 08:00 08:20 09:00 13:00 14:00 15:30 Tickets: Economic ¥116.00, Business ¥170.00, VIP ¥230.00
Guangzhou has a fairly efficient and rapidly expanding public transportation system.
If you intend to stay in Guangzhou for an extensive period of time, it is highly advisable to purchase a multi-purpose Yang Cheng Tong (羊城通) stored value card, similar to the Octopus Card in Hong Kong. It can be used not only for public transportation (bus, subway, parking meters and some taxis), but also for public phones and designated shops, places of interests and certain vending machines. The card includes a ¥30 refundable deposit. While you can purchase the cards in many places, returning your card at the end of the trip is a hassle, since service locations are limited. The best place to do so is at the service center at the metro Gong Yuan Qian station. It may be worth it to simply keep it as a souvenir.
Guangzhou's metro system  opened in 1999. The network covers much of the city center and is growing rapidly outward. The fare ranges from ¥2 to ¥12. Most of the signs and announcements are also in English. Tickets are bought from vending machines in the stations. Bills from ¥5 - ¥10 or coins from ¥0.5 - ¥1 are accepted at ticket vending machines. You can change smaller bills at the customer service counter. The ticket is a small plastic token, which you swipe over the blue reader at the gate to enter the platform, and at the exit where you insert the token into the slot like a vending machine. Multi-Pass and Yang-Cheng-Tong are also accepted and can be purchased at the customer service counter. Please note that most of these machines do not accept old or torn notes. You can exchange old or torn notes for coins at the customer service counter. Tell the officer at the counter where you want to go and he or she will return your note with the requisite fare in coins and the rest in notes.
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 are slowly being retired.
There are also 3 tourist bus lines, passing through many scenic spots in the city.
This is the most popular way for foreigners to get around, and it is very affordable. The starting charge is ¥7 for the first 2.3 kilometers, or about 1.4 miles. After that is ¥2.6 for each kilometer. The cost may be slightly different, depending on the taxi operators. ¥1 fuel surcharge is now added. Although widely publicized, many of them actually do not accept Yang Cheng Tong as payment. The taxi hot line 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.
Tip: Business names and addresses on this guide are also in Chinese. Print them out and show them to the taxi drivers. Most drivers do not speak English; many not even Cantonese.
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.
Car rental companies in Guangzhou:
- Avis 9 Huali Lu + 86 20 3758-5080
- Hertz 89 Linhe Xi Lu + 86 20 8755-1608
See also Driving in China.
Although a convenient way to navigate the city's back alleys and lanes, motorcycles are totally banned from the downtown area of the city, and riding a motorcycle into these prohibited areas can lead to fines and possible confiscation of the bike.
In addition to the downtown motorcycle ban, electric bicycles are banned from the city roads. 
The primary language of Guangzhou is Cantonese, although standard Mandarin, or Putonghua, is fast becoming the lingua franca due to the large influx of migrants. As the Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese is considered to be the prestige dialect, Guangzhou is a good place to start for those wanting to learn Cantonese in its "purest" form. English is not common, but is still better understood here than other Chinese cities, especially in restaurants and bars. Be sure to check out the Cantonese phrasebook and Chinese phrasebook.
- Guangxiao Temple (光孝寺 guāng-xiào-sì) 109 Guangxiao Lu (光孝路) (Metro 1 Xi Men Kou - 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 only from the mid 19th century. Admission ¥4.
- Liurong Temple (六榕寺 liù-róng-sì) 87 Liurong Lu (六榕路) (Metro 1 Gong Yuan Qian - 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 ¥5, Flower Pagoda ¥10.
- The buildings and streets of the former British and French concession on Shamian Island (沙面岛) 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. Attractions on the island are all free. As an island, Shamian is not particularly spectacular, but what makes it special that for several hundred years this tiny spit of land was the only place in all of China that Europeans could establish settlements. The architecture reflects that era, and it has a very unique atmosphere. (Metro 1 Huang Sha - Exit D)
- Across the canal from Shamian is the Chinese Medicine Market. 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. The Starbucks on Shamian provides a great respite from the hustle and bustle of Guangzhou
- Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (中山纪念堂 zhōng-shān-jì-niàn-táng),(Metro 2 Ji Nian Tang - Exit C) located on Dongfeng Zhong Lu, 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. Oopen 8AM-6PM. Admission ¥5 for the park and ¥20 to go inside the hall.
- Chen Clan Temple (陈家祠 chén-jiā-cí)  Zhongshan 7 Lu (中山七路)(Metro 1 Chen Jia Ci - 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 Church (石室圣心大教堂 shí-shì-shèng-xīn-jiào-táng) 56 Yide Lu (一德路旧部前)(Metro 2 Hai Zhu Guang Chang).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 limited to Sun from 7AM-10AM. Free admission.
- Huangpu Military Academy (黄埔军校旧址 huáng-pǔ-jūn-xiào-jiù-zhǐ) is located on Changzhou Island. It was founded in 1924 by Sun Yat-sen, along with the Chinese Communist Party at the time. Many famous Chinese war heroes were trained here. Admission ¥15.
- Wu Xian Guan Temple (五仙观 wǔ-xiān-guān) Weifu Xi Lu (惠福西路). (Metro 1 Xi Men Kou Exit C)Admission ¥5.
- Huaisheng Mosque (怀圣寺 huái-shèng-sì) 56 Guangta Lu (光塔路) (Metro 1 Xi Men Kou Exit C). This is one of the oldest Muslim mosques in China, built in 627. The mosque is not open to the public, but you can take a peek outside.
- Sanyuan Temple (三元宫 sān-yuán-gōng) – ingyuan Lu (Metro 2 Ji Nian Tang - Exit C). This is the largest and oldest Taoist temple in the city.
- Xiguan Residence (西关大屋 xī-guān-dà-wū) (Metro 1, Chang Shou Lu)– See the traditional Cantonese architectures from ancient Guangzhou. This structure was occupied by the upper class.
- Hualin Temple (华林寺 huá-lín-sì) (Tour Bus No. 2; Metro 1, Chang Shou Lu)
Museums and galleries
- Guangzhou City Art Museum (广州美术馆) guǎng-zhōu-měi-shù-guǎn (Metro 2 Yue Xiu Gong Yuan)– Located near the Zhehai Building in Yuexiu Park, this impressive gallery has more than 10,000 pieces of art work, including calligraphy, traditional Chinese paintings, sculptures and Tibetan Buddhist art (Thangka).
- Guangdong Museum of Art (广东美术馆) guǎng-dōng-měi-shù-guǎn, 8 Yanyu Lu, Er-sha Island, (Tour Bus No.2) . Open 9AM-5PM, Tue-Sun. The museum is located on Er-Sha Island and focuses on contemporary Chinese art, with a particular emphasis on Guangdong artists. Admission ¥15. Under 18 is free with paying parents.
- Nanyue Royal Tomb Museum (南越王墓 nán-yuè-wáng-mù), 867 Jiefang Bei Lu, (Metro 2 Yue Xiu Gong Yuan) (解放北路867号) - Across from Yuexiu Park. This is a tomb of a king of ancient South China. 9AM-5:30PM. Admission is ¥12, 20 8666 0885)
- Guangzhou Sculpture Park (广州雕塑公园) guǎng-zhōu-diāo-sù-gōng-yuán – Tongxin Lu at the foot of Baiyun Mountain. (Tour Bus No. 1, 3)
- President Sun Yat-Sen Museum (孙中山大元帅府纪念馆) 18 Dongsha Jie, Fangzhi Lu (纺织路东沙街18号). +86 20 3428-1366. Admission is ¥6. Open 9am-5pm Tue-Sun. Closed Mon.
- Guangzhou Uprising Museum (广州起义旧址纪念馆) 200 Qiyi Lu (起义路200号)(Metro 1, 2 Gong Yuan Qian Exit J). The Museum is at the site of the first Communist government building. Open 9AM—12PM and 1:30PM-4:30PM Tues–Sun. Closed Mon.
- Guangdong Revolutions History Museum (广东革命历史博物馆) 2 Lingyuan Xi Lu [b8907[p (陵园西路2号大院之2), (Located in the martyrs memorial park. Metro 1 Lie Shi Ling Yuan 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.
- Peasant Movement Institute (农民运动讲习所 nóng-jiǎng-suǒ) 42 Zhongshan 4 Lu (中山四路42号),(Metro 1, Nong Jiang Suo 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 the recent China revolutionary history. Open 9AM-4:30PM Tue-Sat.
- Huanghua Gang Commemoration Park (黄花岗公园), huáng-huā-gǎng-gōng-yuán,  79 Xianlie Zhonglu, ) (Tour Bus No. 1), +86 20 3758-8321. Open 6AM-8:30PM. Admission ¥8. 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.
- 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 City Museum with relics dating back to the 15th century and an up-to-date miniature of Guangzhou. Also check out the Stone Statue of the Five Rams (五羊石像), the symbol of Guangzhou (For more details, see 'History' section of Understand). Open 6AM-9PM. Admission is ¥5 for the park. Zhenhai Tower admission is ¥10.
- 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. Every year there is a beautiful 3-D flower exhibit. During this period, admission is ¥20, but it is well worth it. Admission is ¥10.
- Huadu Square (花都广场) huā-dū-guǎng-chǎng is a park-cum-recreation square located in the north part the city and near the government office buildings of Huadu District (花都区). The square incorporates, among other attractions, an outdoor theater, large fountain, outdoor dance area and statues. There is a large grass area that is similar to a Western style meadow and a subtropical forest and ornamental flower beds.
- 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.
- Guangzhou Martyrs' Memorial Garden (广州起义烈士陵园) guǎng-zhōu-qǐ-yì-liè-shì-líng-yuán) Zhongshan 2 Lu (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.
- Grand World Scenic Park (广州世界大观) guǎng-zhōu-shì-jiè-dà-guān, 888 Daguanyuan Nan Lu (天河东圃大观园南路888号), (Bus 548, 224, 245). Open 8:30AM-5:30PM.
- The Baiyun Shan (White Cloud Mountain) (白云山 bái-yún-shān),(Tour Bus No. 1, 3)  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 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 badminton, football (soccer) and even bungie 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 6AM-7PM. Park entrance ¥5. Cable car round trip is ¥40, tram from ¥20. Other attractions ¥5-¥10)
- 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 bus 308 or 302 and exchange bus at Panyu (番禺). The bus takes about two hours and costs ¥14. There is a ferry service from Guangzhou at Tianzi Pier (天字码头) at Beijing Lu Nan (北京路南) for ¥25. The boat leaves at 8:15AM and returns at 3:15PM. Admission is ¥30.
- Sun Yat-Sen University  (中山大学 zhōng-shān-dà-xué), (Metro 2 Sun Yat-Sen University Station - Exit A)– This is the most famous university in Guangzhou and Southern China. It was founded by Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China. The school now has three campuses. The old campus is green and beautiful, and has many historical sites. The north gate has a great river view.
- Chinese medicine and acupuncture (中医和针灸) is taught at Guangzhou University of Traditional Medicine (广州中医药大学 guǎng-zhōu-zhōng-yī-dà-xué)  (Metro 2 San Yuan Li - Exit B). This is one of the main universities for traditional medicine in China and attracts many overseas students.
If time and weather permits, 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 marker directory . Find all kinds of professional wholesale markets in Guangzhou
- Global International shoes Trade Centre (国际鞋城步云天地) Address:Zhan Xi Road 26# 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 Lu (宝华路).
- Jade Street (玉器工艺街/玉器街) Changshou Lu (长寿路) and Wenchang Lu (文昌路), near Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. (Metro 1 Chang Shou Lu)
- Ivory and Sea products (象牙雕刻海味街) Daxin Lu (大新路).
- Toy Street (玩具街) and Dried goods and snacks Street (干果海味食品专业街) Yide Lu (一德路). (Metro 2 Hai Zhu Guang Chang)
- Bridal Street (婚纱专卖街) Jiangnan Bei Lu (江南大道北).
- Flowers, Aquatic and Lightings Street Danan Lu (大南街) near Beijing Lu (北京路). (Metro 1, 2 Gong Yuan Qian)
- Household Merchandise Street (日用百货街) Gaodi Jie (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 Lu (文德路),(Metro 1 Long Jiang Suo). This is a good place to look for antiques and traditional Chinese artistic goods.
- Qingping Market (清平市场) Qingping Lu (清平路(,(Metro 1 Huang Sha) –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.
- 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 eletronics.
Malls and shopping centers
- Beijing Lu Pedestrian Street (北京路步行街 běi-jīng-lù) – 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) at 68 Zhongshan 5 Lu (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. (Metro 1, 2 Gong Yuan Qian - Exits C, D)
- Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九商业步行街 shàng-xià-jiǔ) This shopping area is also a showcase of traditional Cantonese architecture. It is particularly pretty at night when it's lit up. Prices here are generally lower than Beijing Lu's, but prepare to bargain a fair bit. Remember to visit Liwan Plaza (荔湾广场 lì-wān-guǎng-chǎng), located at 9 Dexing Lu (德星路9号), the east end of the street. (Metro 1 Chang Shou Lu - Exits D1, D2.) You will find a good selection of crystal here.
- Zhengjia Plaza (Grandview Mall) (正佳广场 zhèng-jiā-guǎng-chǎng)  228 Tianhe Lu, (天河路228号),(Metro 1, 3 Ti Yu Zhong Xin). +86 020 3833-0098. This is new mall built near Teem Mall, located in the heart of Tianhe district. It includes famous fashion stores and several department stores, with beautiful musical fountians and fantastic views. Guest flow can reach half a million a day on holidays and festivals. This mall includes Starbucks, Dairyqueen, Pizzahut and McDonalds. An iceskating rink, amusement park, and a fivestar cinema is available. This is the largest Western-style shopping mall in China.
- China Plaza (中华广场 zhōng-huá-guǎng-chǎng). 33 Zhongshan 3 Lu, (中山三路33号),(Metro 1 Lie Shi Ling Yuan) – Located on top of a metro station, this is another large shopping mall with brand name department stores, clothing and electronics stores, restaurants, etc.
- Tee Mall (天河城 tiān-hé-chéng)  (Chinese) 208 Tianhe Lu (天河路208号),(Metro 1 Ti Yu Xi Lu). This is probably the busiest and most popular shopping mall in the heart of the city. It is located right above the metro station.
- Zhong Tian Shopping Plaza (中天购物城 zhōng-tiān-gòu-wù-chéng) – Located at Zhongxin Square near the East Train Station. (Metro 1 Guangzhou Dong Zhan.) (天河北路 233号中信广场). This plaza is more than a place to shop and eat. The plaza has great one-stop service to meet your banking, dry cleaning, grooming and transportation ticket needs.
- Friendship Store (广州友谊商店 yǒu-yí-shāng-diàn) 369 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路369号). 9:45AM-9:45PM. It is one of the oldest department stores targeting foreigners in Guangzhou. You will also find its branches in Zhengjia Plaza and Times Square on 28 Tianhe Beilu (天河北路28号).
- Wang Fu Jing (王府井百货 wáng-fǔ-jǐng) 40 Long Lin Xia Lu (农林下路40号). The famous department store in Beijing opened a branch in Guangzhou with the same name, featuring mid to high-end products.
- Onelink Plaza (万菱广场 wàn-líng-guǎng-chǎng) 39 Jie Fang Nan Lu (解放南路39号) – At first glance, this looks like a regular shopping mall but it is actually a wholesale market. Each shop usually sells just one type of product but the selection and variety of products is enormous, you'll find variations of products you won't find anywhere else. You can buy products such as arts and crafts, jewelery, sporting goods, toys, key chains, collectibles and gifts of all types. Many store and boutique owners from all over the world come here to buy their products wholesale. You will get the best prices if you buy in bulk (usually 20 or more). Most shop owners will not bargain unless you buy in bulk. However, if you only buy one or two items, the prices are usually cheaper than anywhere else since you are buying directly from the wholesaler.
- Pearl River dinner cruise (珠江夜游) Dashatou Pier (大沙头码头), Tianzi Pier (天字码头), and Xiti 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 per person.
- Chinese New Year/Spring Festival (春节 chūn-jié) occurs on first day of first lunar month, usually in January or February. This is a 15 day celebration and some districts can be quite deserted as many migrant workers return to their home provinces. The flower fair is popular during the days before New Year.
- Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 duān-wǔ-jié) on fifth day of fifth lunar month, usually in May or June. This festival commemorates the sacrifice of Qu Yuan (屈原), a famous poet who drowned himself in the river by way of making a statement against government corruption during the Warring States Period. The highlights are dragon boat racing along the Pearl River, and eating rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves (粽子).
- Mid-autumn Festival (中秋节 zhōng-qiū-jié) is on the 15th day of 8th lunar month, usually in Sept or Oct. Cantonese moon cakes are enjoyed during this holiday. Lian Xiang Lou and Tao Tao 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.
- Chinese Valentines Day (七夕 qī-xī) is on 7th day of 7th lunar month, usually in August or September. According to legend, a heavenly fairy Zhi Nu (织女) fell in love with a mortal farm boy Niu Lang (牛郎). It's forbidden of course, so as punishment, they are only allowed to meet once a year on this day. This is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day, but it is steadily losing its appeal among the locals, especially to the young.
- Winter Solstice (冬至) 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 (汤圆).
The Canton Fair
Twice a year, in Spring and Fall, Guangzhou hosts the China Import And Export Commodities Fair, also known as the Canton Fair. It has been running since 1957 and for many years was almost the only way foreign businesses could make contacts in China. It is still very important now. Anyone who is doing or wants to do business with China should consider visiting.
If you are going to the fair, book a hotel well in advance. Hotels tend to be booked and expensive during the Fair. China Hotel and Dongfang Hotel are probably the best places to stay if you can afford it. It is right across the street from one of the main exhibit halls. Many affordable hotels, including Oasis Hotel Guangzhou , provide free shuttle services to the main exhibit centers during the fair. Taxis may not be your best option since there are traffic controls in the exhibit areas.
The two main exhibit halls are the Pazhou Complex at 380 Yuejiang Zhong Lu (阅江中路380号) (Metro 2 Pa Zhou), and the old Liuhua Complex at 117 Liuhua Lu (流花路117号) (Metro 2 Yue Xiu Gong Yuan).
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 have also played a major role in the development and diversity of Cantonese cuisine, as it is often said that Cantonese people eat everything that swims except a submarine, everything that flies except an airplane, and everything with four legs except a table. However, despite the culinary achievements in the kitchen, the standards of hygiene still leave a lot to be desired, and so care should be taken in choosing restaurants and dishes. If in doubt, it is safer to avoid food containing meat, and fortunately Cantonese cuisine is famous for its vegetarian dishes.
- Liuhua Congee House(流花粥城), Renmin Bei Lu (人民北路903号流花湖公园)(In Liuhua Park. Metro 2, exit Yue Xiu Gong Yuan). +86 20 8668-0108 Open 24 hours. Excellent dim sum in beautiful surroundings.
- Lian Xiang Lou(莲香楼), 67 Dishipu Lu (第十甫路67号)(''Metro 1, exit Chang Shou Lu''), +86 20 8181-1638. M-F 6:30AM-10PM, Sa-Su 6:30AM-11PM. Founded in 1889, Lian Xiang Lou is known for its tasty dim sum. Local cards only.
- Tao Tao Ju(陶陶居), ☎ +86 20 8138-9632. Tao Tao's speciality is the Cantonese moon cakes. .
- Chuan Guo Yan Yi, 140-148 Tiyu Dong Lu, Tien He District, ☎ +86 20 3887 9879. Food from Si Chuan province, the food from this restaurant is served hot pot style. Busy on Friday and Saturday nights. Popular with expats, though be warned, its food is spicy!
- Guangzhou Restaurant(广州酒家), ☎ +86 20 8138-0388. This Cantonese family restaurant has several branches all over the city. Other convenient locations include 20 Binjiang Xi Lu (滨江西路20号) and 112 Ti Yu Dong Lu(体育东路112号).
- Datong Restaurant(大同酒家), 63 Yanjiang Lu (沿江路63号), ☎ +86 20 8188-8988. This huge restaurant spans all the eight floors of the old building. The place has been around for a long time and is a favorite among locals.
- Wenji Restaurant(文记壹心鸡), 10 Xuanyuan Qiao (荔湾区宝华路旋源桥10号), ☎ +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.
- Baifu Restaurant(百福酒家), 112 Tiyu Dong Lu (体育东路112号百福广场三楼)(3/F, Baifu Plaz, Metro 1 Ti Yu Zhong Xin), ☎ +86 20 3880-8268.
- Pan Xi Restaurant (泮溪酒家), 151 Longjin Xi Lu (龙津西路151号) +86 020 8181-5718. This beautiful restaurant serves up dim sum among trickling streams and stunning architecture. Try one of their famous dumplings shaped like a rabbit's head.
- Shui Yun Tian(水云天), 38-42 Jinghui Lu (净慧路38-42号首层)(next to the Guangxiao Temple, Metro 1 Xi Men Kou), ☎ +86 20 8107-2463. 6:30AM-2:30PM, 4:30PM-9:30PM. Great buffet around noon.
- Cai Gen Xiang(菜根香), 167 Zhongshan 6 Lu (中山六路167号), ☎ +86 20 8334-4363. 6:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM.
- Fo Shi Jie(佛世界素食馆), Niu Nai Chang Jie (同福中路牛奶厂街二圣宫前2-8号)(by Tongfu Zhong Lu), ☎ +86 20 8424-3590. 7AM-9PM. Part of the profits from this humble Buddhist vegetarian restaurant is given to charity.
- Fo You Yuan(佛有缘素食馆), 12 Shi Lu Ji Zhongshan 8 Lu; 712 Shangjiu Lu (上九路712号), ☎ +86 20 8181-9188. 6:30AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM. Interesting and new vegetarian dishes.
- Cow and Bridge Thai Restaurant(牛桥泰菜), 2/F, Xiang Long Garden, 181 Tianhe Bei Lu (天河北路181号祥龙花园二楼), ☎ +86 20 8525-0821. This famous Thai restaurant offers many varities of Thai dishes. Ask for the more fiery version of your meal, if you're used to Thai cuisine, as the dishes are somewhat localized.
- Lan Kwai Fong(兰桂坊), 5 Shamian Nan Jie (沙面南街5号), ☎ +86 20 8121-6523. Good curries and polite service in this Shamian Island favorite. It is tourist friendly and menus are available in English.
- Banana Leaf(蕉叶西餐厅), 28 Tianhe Bei Lu (天河北路28号时代广场2楼)(2/F, Times Square), ☎ +86 20 3891-0728, . Traditional and established Thai restaurant chain in Guangzhou. They also have restaurants at GZTV Hotel (G/F, 8 Luhu Lu, +86 20 8359-7499) and World Trade Center (5/F, 371-375 Huanshi Dong Lu). (Metro 3 Lin He Xi)
- Vaastu, a date with India(雅仕度餐厅), ☎ +86-20-38258181, . Vaastu started operations in October 2008. The food is decent, but the location is way out of the way of most travellers, located in an apartment complex in Zhujing Xinchng (Pearl River New City).
- The Tandoor Asia International Hotel No.326, Section 1, Huan Shi Dong Lu, +86 20 6260 8999. Voted Best New Restaurant in Guangzhou and Shenzhen for 2008.
- The Italian Restaurant(小街风情意大利餐厅), 360 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路360号珠江大厦东座3楼)(3/F, East Tower, Zhujiang Building), ☎ +86 20 8386-3840. Open 10:30AM-2AM.. Despite the unimaginative name, this is the place to come, if you're craving Italian in Guangzhou. Pizzas, pastas and beer are on offer.
- The Mexican Restaurant. Just above the Italian Restaurant. Food is mediocre and a bit expensive.
- La Seine(塞纳河法国餐厅), 33 Qingbo Lu(G/F, Zinghai Concert Hall), ☎ +86 20 8735-2222. The best French restaurant in the city. Also, one of the most expensive restaurants.
Foreign fast food, ice cream and coffee chains are well established in Guangzhou. These include KFC (肯德基), Pizza Hut (必胜客), McDonald's (麦当劳), Starbucks (星巴克) and Häagen-Dazs (哈根达斯). All of these can be found in the Zhengjia Plaza (See "Shop").
Bars & Pubs
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.
For latest reviews of restaurants, bars and night clubs pick up a free copy of That's PRD , a monthly English publication. It is available at several hotels and lounges.
- C:Union, No.115, Shuiyin Rd., Chengshihui. Located to the left and behind a large bank and hotel, C:union is a great place to hear aytipical live music like reggae or classic rock. The bar has both an indoor section consisting of a dance floor and couches and an outdoor section with patio seating. Recently a new basement . C:Union has a wide beer selection and bartenders carefully measure all drinks out in plain view. Prices are extremely reasonable ranging from ¥25 for 1.5 pints of Tsing Toa to ¥50 for .75 pints of Chimay. Shots run ¥15 each. Early on the bar is populated mostly by locals, however as the night progresses the bar quickly fills with english speaking locals and expats. Recluses beware, patrons tend to be very friendly open to meeting new people. There is usually at least one english speaking bartender at each station.
- Overseas Chinese Village, next to Holiday Inn Guangzhou. This is a sort of bar street consisting of six or seven bars side by side, all two-storey buildings with a different theme on each floor. Prices are on the high side, costing about ¥40 for a small bottle of beer.
- Hill Bar, outside Baiyun Hotel and opposite Garden Hotel. Reasonable price for drinks (¥30 for a pint of beer, less at happy hour) Live band performance every evening.
- Tang Club, 1 Jianshe 6 Malu (建设六马路1号). This is one of the most expensive places to hang out in Guangzhou, featuring a live band that plays good old rock-and-roll as well as contemporary rock. This is the place to be seen. The crowd is a mixture of expats and local wannabes. A small bottle of beer costs ¥50.
- The Cave (墨西哥餐厅酒吧) 360 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路360号珠江大厦东侧) +86 020 8386-3660. Located at the basement on the end of the Zhu Jiang Building (珠江大厦) nearer to the Garden Hotel, this is a favourite expat hangout. The resident DJ spins a wide range of music, from pop to disco to trance. Exotic dance performances, i.e. live-python dance, start late on the dance floor. ¥30 for a standard drink.
- Gipsy King Bar (大篷车酒吧) 360 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路360号珠江大厦西地下). +86 020 8387-5177. Located on the opposite end of the Zhu Jiang Building from The Cave, this is an underground bar on a similar theme. Many local "working" girls sashay around, looking for a good time. There are individual dance performances at one corner of the bar, while group performances start on the main dance floor from 10PM. ¥30 for a standard drink.
- Hooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant, 2 Tian He Bei Lu, Ground Floor of the Bing Hua Hotel, Tian He District. Walking distance from Westin Hotel, Tian He. Closest pub to Grand Hyatt and Ritz Carlton. An authentic Irish pub with a focus on live music performances (rock, pop, folk and jazz) Serves up pub grub, Irish, Italian and fusion dishes--also bakes its own bread. Great rocking vibe from Th-Sa. Chill out and chat from Su-We in a cozy environment.
- Paddy Field Irish Pub & Restaurant, an Irish Pub in Guangzhou, round the back of Garden Hotel. Bar Street at Bai-E-Tan
- Sleeping Wood Cafe, a nice cozy restaurant pub next to the Holiday Inn with friendly, English speaking waiters and waitresses. Serves western food and all kinds of alcoholic drinks. One-for-one pint-sized Tsing Tao draft beer during happy hour (before 8PM). Good place to unwind and take it easy, especially in the open area. A drink costs ¥25-30. There's a separate branch along the Pearl River.
- Sky Bar, Serves Brazilian-style food and all kinds of drinks. Standard drinks start from ¥25.
- Lucy's (Cafe Bar) next to the White Swan Hotel, right by the Pearl River. Excellent western food and drinks for very reasonable prices. Very nice area in the open for al-fresco dining.
- Bai-E-Tan Bar Street (白鹅潭酒吧风情街) Changdi Street (长堤街)(Metro 1 Fang Cun). In the Fangcun area, across the river from White Swan Hotel. The street is packed with bars, but action is scarce until at least 10:30PM. It is recommended to have dinner in one of the nearby restaurants before heading out to the bars. Special promotions, such as a half dozen bottles of beer for ¥100, are common.
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, #102, 94 Tianhe Nan 1 Lu(Down from the south gate of Teem Plaza). 3PM-2AM.
- Tian Chang Di Jiu, 1 Zhengping Zhong Jie, Taojin Lu, ☎ +86 20 8358-1627.
- Chun Ya Yuan Teahouse, 19 Siyou Xin Ma Lu(4/F, Changcheng Hotel), ☎ +86 20 8761-2888 ext.6488. 7PM-1AM.
- Crystal Tea House, 6 Longkou Dong Lu, Tianhe(1/F, Yuan Yang Hotel), ☎ +86 20 8759-6988 ext.67. 10AM-2AM.
- Wong Chun Loong Herbal Tea. Several branches at 17 Wenchang Nan Lu, 109 Huagui Lu, 51 Dishipu Lu, 504 Xihua Lu, 859 Longjin Dong Lu, 25 Longjin Xi Lu, 142 to 144 Huanshi Xi Lu, 4-lst No.1 street, Xiwan Dong Lu, 320 Duobao Lu and 120 Shangjiu Lu.
- People's Cakes & Coffee, #102, 17 Jianshe 6 Ma Lu (建设六马路17号102房), ☎ +86 20 8376-6677. Enjoy cakes and coffee at this Western coffee shop run by Koreans. There is another branch at 98 Taojin Nan Lu (Tel. +86 20 8348-8085).
Starbucks is also gaining great popularity in Guangzhou. (To give some perspective, now in May 2007 there are 9 Starbucks. 4 years ago, there were none.) The benefit to many travelers is the free wireless internet. A newly opened one on Shamian Island (February 2007) is large, spacious, with plenty of comfortable furniture. Perfect way to relax away from the noise of Guangzhou. More popular locations are on Taojin Lu by the Guangzhou Friendship Store, and just across Huanshi Dong lu in the Peace World Plaza is a 2-storey location. It is across the street from the Garden Hotel. TIP: Pick up a brochure from the milk/sugar/spices bar that lists locations throughout Guangdong province (Guangzhou, Dongguan, Shenzhen). Addresses are written in English and Chinese and very handy for showing a taxi driver.
- Bin Jiang Hostel(滨江青年旅舍), 405 Yanjiang Dong Lu (大沙头沿江东路405号), ☎ +86 20 8383-4110. A little far from the center of the city, but the dorm bed rate is very inexpensive at around ¥60 per night (¥180 in Oct). Having your own room and shower will cost you ¥170. There is no close Metro access.
- City Youth Hostel(广州国际青年旅舍), ☎ +86 020 8666-6889. This youth hostel offers tiny single rooms for about ¥80 per night, ¥60 for members. Rates go up to ¥270 per night in Oct. Although it's located close to the train station, it does not provide the nicest environment.
- Guangzhou Riverside Youth Hostel, No.15 Changdi Street, Luju Road, Liwan 510370(Near Luju Road along Pearl River, Metro 1 Fangcun), ☎ +86 20 2239-2500, Fax. 0086 20 22392548, email@example.com, www.hihostels.com/dba/hostel024659.en.htm. Riverside Youth Hostel is very convenient and near to a number of establishments and attractions, including the Bank of China, metro station, restaurants, Pearl River, and shopping centers. It costs ¥178 for a double room.
- Guangdong Youth Hostel(广东省外事办招待所), 2 Shamian 4 Jie (沙面四街2号)(diagonally across the street from the landmark White Swan Hotel, Metro 1 Huang Sha), ☎ +86 20 8121-8298, www.gzyhostel.com. This hostel is clean, convenient and reasonably priced for Guangzhou. English is spoken. There are eight dormitory beds in each room, and it only costs ¥50 per bed. ¥200 for a private room. Ask for a double room on the fifth floor on the river side. It's probably the best quality/price ratio in town. There is a lounge with free computers and internet, TV, microwave oven, and refrigerator. It is probably the cheapest western-style accommodation in Guangzhou. Reservations are accepted and encouraged, since the hostel is usually at capacity. This hostel was featured on the Globe Trekker.
- Tielu Tong Tong Hotel, 101 Guangyuan Xi Lu. (Metro 2 Guangzhou HuoCheZhan) A few blocks down from the train station, this hotel has rooms for ¥100 for the first night and ¥80 for subsequent nights. The hotel includes hot water, toilet and air-conditioned. It's spacious, but noisy.
- Baiyun Hotel(白云宾馆), 367 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路367号)(across from Garden Hotel), ☎ +86 20 8333-3998, . Baiyun hotel is a member of Best Western hotel chain.
- Bing Hua Hotel--Hooley's Irish Pub(冰花酒店), 2 Tian He Bei Lu(2号冰花酒店首层(广州大道转角处), ☎ +86 20 8750 2888 - 3315/3300. This hotel is conveniently located at the gateway to Tian He and features one of the city's finest pubs in its' lobby. The Pub features a foreign chef.
- Hotel Canton(广州大厦), 374 Beijing Lu (广州市北京路374号), ☎ +86 20 8318-9888, . This was once a glorious hotel, but it's now a bit outdated. However, it is superbly located in the northern end of Beijing Lu pedestrian shopping street. Metro station for both lines 1 and 2 is nearby for easy access. (From ¥390)
- Guangzhou Lido Hotel, No. 182, Beijing Road, Guangzhou, ☎ 86-20-83321988, . Guangzhou Lido Hotel is situated in the heart of downtown Guangzhou, Beijing Road Shopping Street.
- Guangdong Victory Hotel(广东胜利宾馆), 53 Shamian Bei Jie (沙面北街53号), . This rather upmarket hotel on Shamian Island offers good value rooms and nice service. English is spoken. The conceriege can help with transporation and tickets to events and attractions. There is also a recently renovated Annex building nearby, which offers more upscale rooms than the main building. (From ¥320)
- Kaying Hotel, 418 Huanshi East Road, Tianhe District, ☎ 86-21-61226688 Ext. 7800, . This hotel in Guangzhou is perfect for business executives, as it is located in the heart of the financial and business district. The hotel offers 339 rooms, 2 conference rooms, a hotpot restaurant, and a Western restaurant. Online reservations are accepted.
- Hotel Landmark(华厦大酒店), 8 Qiaoguang Lu, Haizhu Square (海珠广场侨光路8号), ☎ +86 20 8335-5988, .
- Novotel Baiyun Airport Guangzhou(广州诺富特白云机场大酒店), in the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport complex..
- Liuhua Hotel, 194 Huanshi Xi Lu(Across from main train station), ☎ +86 20 8666-8800.
- Guangzhou Hotel(广州宾馆), 2 Qiyi Lu, Haizhu Square (海珠广场起义路2号)(Metro 2, Hai Zhu Guang Chang), ☎ +86 20 8333-8168, .
- Asia International Hotel(亚洲国际大酒店), 326 Huangshi Dong Lu, Sec 1 (环市东路326号), ☎ +86 20 6128-8888, . This is one of a handful of hotels that feature separate bath and shower areas in a standard room. Internet access is free but slow. It also features Guangzhou's highest revolving restaurant on the top level.
- China Hotel(中国大酒店), ☎ +86 20 8666-6888, . This is a Marriott hotel in the heart of Downtown. Its ground level has direct access to Guangzhou Metro. (From ¥650)
- China Mayors Plaza(广州市长大厦), 189 Tianhe Bei Lu (天河北路189号), ☎ +86 20 8755-3838, . (From ¥600)
- Dong Fang Hotel(东方宾馆), ☎ +86 20 8666-9900, .
- Donlord International Hotel, No. 63 North Guangzhou Avenue, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, ☎ +86-20-87748999, . 288 guestrooms in different styles and room types. Guantang Chinese Restaurant specializes in top-grade Cantonese and Chaozhou dishes. Four Seasons Cafe provides French style food, music bar, red wines and champagnes in a charming environment.
- Garden Hotel(花园酒店), 368 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路368号), ☎ +86 20 8333-8989, . Indisputably the most recognizable hotel in the heart of the city. It has both standard hotel rooms as well as apartments and offices for rent. Deluxe rooms are clean but basic. Elite rooms are newly renovated and attractive. Excellent dinner buffet at the revolving restaurant on the top level. This hotel is also complemented with shops and boutiques selling brand name goods, an HSBC branch, a Bank of China branch, and a bus station serving express buses to the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, the Hong Kong International Airport and nearby cities such as Zhuhai.
- Guangdong International Hotel(广东国际大酒店), 339 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路339号), ☎ +86 20 8331-1888, .
- Han Feng International Hotel, Tianhe North Road, Tianhe District, . Located near Pazhou Complex, this hotel offers free broadband Internet, apart from generously furnished rooms and conference suites.
- Holiday Inn City Center Guangzhou(文化假日酒店), 28 Guangming Lu, Overseas Chinese Village, Huanshi Dong Lu(环市东路华侨新村光明路28号)(off Ouzhuang Intersection), ☎ +86 20 6128-6868, . Not exactly the newest, biggest or cheapest hotel around, but the Holiday Inn does offer a convenient location and excellent staff service, thanks in part to its association with the Intercontinental Hotels Group, which places great emphasis on customer service. Rooms are clean, have comfortable beds and pillows, and a good selection of TV channels. Internet access is stable but costs ¥100 a day. Priority Club platinum members get automatic upgrades to executive rooms (based on 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 Lu.
- Nan Yang Royal Hotel  11 Tianfu Road, Tianhe District. Five-star hotel offering 268 Victorian-inspired guestrooms with high speed Internet access and other contemporary amenities. Leisure and dining facilities are also available.
- Nanyang King's Gate Hotel, Tianhe District(near Baiyun Mountain), ☎ 86-20-61368888, . 5-star hotel with 468 air-conditioned rooms and modern comforts, which includes a bathroom with steam area and massage tub. Chinese and Western restaurants, lobby bar, conference hall, health club, and KTV.Best rates on official website start at CNY 333.36+.
- Oriental Resort(广州鸣泉居), 1068 Baiyun Dadao Nan (白云大道南1068号), ☎ +86 20 8663-2888, . The Oriental Resort is located on Baiyun Mountain. It's quiet and away from the city. (From ¥600)
- Raystar Hotel 95 Chepi Road, Tianhe District.( Located near Zhongshan Road)  This 4-star hotel offers free broadband Internet apart from generously furnished rooms and conference suites.
- The Westin Guangzhou, 6 Lin He Zhong Road · Tian He District · Guangzhou, Guangdong 510610 · China, ☎ 86 20 2886 6868, . The Westin is located right next to the Consular section of the US Consulate. It's also a short walk to the East Rail station for trains to Hong Kong. People with business at the Consulate, such as adopting parents or visa petitioners, would find it convenient to stay here if they want a luxury hotel right next to the Consulate. 448 rooms and suites.
- White Swan Hotel(白天鹅宾馆), 1 Shamian Nan Jie (沙面南街1号), ☎ +86 20 8188-6968, . (Metro 1 Huang Sha) Located on the banks of the Pearl River on the quiet Shamian Island, the White Swan is complimented by a charming park nearby where locals can be found doing Tai Chi along with various native dances. Surrounding the hotel are blocks of little shops run by locals willing to bargain. The White Swan offers a traditional Chinese restaurant and an American style restaurant to accommodate its visitors.(From ¥800)
While not a dangerous city, Guangzhou's crime rate is higher than the rest of China. Due to the enormous number of people from other mainland provinces flocking to Guangzhou in the hope of finding jobs (often unsuccessfully), the area surrounding the main train station has gained a notorious reputation for being chaotic, unsafe and rampant with petty crimes. Pickpockets are especially active here. In recent years, armed (large blades, knives, and such) robberies in the open and abductions which result in first degree murders have been on the rise in the city. Just bear in mind, when people become desperate, they will do anything to get what they want. If you are getting robbed, do not expect the crowd to help. And if they are armed, do not fight back. The best defense, as always, is common sense. Do not flash your valuables in public, do not wander around by yourself late at night and remain alert at all times. Use only official taxis and get advice from the government-run tourist office.
There has been increasing incidences of HIV positive men and women using infected syringes to threaten people for cash. Other tactics include walking across heavy traffic whilst carrying bags of goods and deliberately knocking them into nearby cars hoping to fool drivers and asking money for compensation.
Use caution at bars or night clubs. Foreigners have been targets for physical assaults in these venues. Attacks on foreigners have been provoked when someone is perceived to have made derogatory statements about China.
With its vast, ever-increasing population, there will always be people (mostly from out of town) who just seem to be hanging around. Those unaccustomed to this may feel intimidated, especially Westerners who get stared at a lot. However, please remember that rural Chinese are not used to seeing a "Gwai Lo" (a Westerner), so their stares are merely out of interest, and should not be taken as something rude or offensive. In this respect, it is important to be aware that three out of 10 people in Guangzhou are migrants from other provinces.
Traffic accident rates in Guangzhou (or China for that matter) are significantly higher than those of other countries. Use extra caution when crossing streets; use pedestrian bridges and tunnels whenever possible. Like everywhere else in China, cars do not yield to pedestrians. Instead, drivers automatically expect pedestrians to yield to them. So in most cases, they don't stop until it's too late.
Motorcycles (other than 3 wheeled vehicles for the handicapped) have been completely banned from Guangzhou's streets due to a previous rash of motorcycle based snatch and grab robberies and other safety issues.
Emergency numbers are: Police: 110; Fire: 119; Medical: 120; Traffic accident: 122.
- The area dialing code for Guangzhou is 020. From overseas, dial +86 20 XXXX-XXXX. Phone numbers are 8 digits.
- Tourism Administration of Guangzhou Municipality (广州市旅游局)  13-15/F, 140 Dong Feng Xi Road (东风西路140号13-15楼). Tel: +86 20 8107-8200.
- Consulate General of Australia in GuangzhouAdd: 12/F, Development Center, No.3 Lin Jiang Da Dao, Zhu Jiang New City (珠江新城临江大道3号发展中心12楼)Tel: +86 20 3814-0111
- Consulate General of Belgium in Guangzhou Add: Rm 1601-1602A, Citic Plaza, 233 Tie He Bei Road (天河北路233号中信广场1601-1602A室) Tel: +86 20 3877-2351/6
- Consulate General of Cambodia in Guangzhou Add: Rm 804-807, Garden Hotel, 368 Huan Shi Dong Road (环市东路368号花园大厦804-807室) Tel: +86 20 8384-9937
- Consulate General of Canada in Guangzhou Add: Suite 801, China Hotel Office Tower, Liu Hua Road (流花路中国大酒店商业大厦80) Tel: +86 20 8666-0569
- Consulate General of Cuba in Guangzhou Add: (珠江新城华明路13号华普广场东塔10/D室) Tel: +86 20 2238-2603
- Consulate General of Denmark in Guangzhou Add: Suite 1578, China Hotel Office Tower, Liu Hua Road (流花路中国大酒店商业大厦1578室) Tel: +86 20 8666-0795
- Consulate General of Finland in Guangzhou Add: Rm 3309B-12, Citic Plaza, 233 Tie He Bei Road (天河北路233号中信广场3309B-12室) Tel: +86 20 3877-0188
- Consulate General of France in Guangzhou Add: Rm 803 Guangdong International Hotel Main Tower, 339 Huan Shi Dong Road (广东国际大酒店主楼801-803室 ) Tel: +86 20 2829-2000
- Consulate General of Germany in Guangzhou Add: Rm 19/F, Guangdong International Hotel, 339 Huan Shi Dong Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店19楼) Tel: +86 20 8330-6533
- Consulate General of Indonesia in Guangzhou Add: Rm 1201-1223, West Building, Dong Fang Hotel, 120 Liu Hua Road (流花路120号东方宾馆西座2楼1201-1223室) Tel: +86 20 8601-8772
- Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou Add: Rm 5207-5208, Citic Plaza, 233 Tian He Bei Road (天河北路233号中信广场5207-5208室)Tel: +86 020 3877-0556/7/8/9
- Consulate General of Japan in Guangzhou Add: Garden Tower, 368 Huanshi Dong Lu (环市东路368号花园酒店1楼) Tel: +86 20 8334-3090
- Consulate General of Korea in Guangzhou Add: 18/F, Guangzhou International Commercial Centre West Tower, 122 Ti Yu Dong Road (体育东路羊城国际商贸中心西塔18楼) Tel: +86 20 3887-0555
- Consulate General of Malaysia in Guangzhou Add: Rm 1912-1918, Citic Plaza, 233 Tian He Bei Road (天河北路233号中信广场 1915-18室) Tel: +86 20 3877-0757
- Consulate General of Mexico in Guangzhou Add: Rm 1402-03, 183 Tian He Bei Road (天河北路183号大都会广场1401室) Tel: +86 20 2222-0980
- Consulate General of Netherlands in Guangzhou Add: Rm 905, Guangdong International Hotel, 339 Huan Shi Dong Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店主楼905室) Tel: +86 20 8330-2067
- Consulate General of New Zealand in Guangzhou Add: Rm 1160, China Hotel Office Tower, Liu Hua Road (流花路中国大酒店商业大厦1160室) Tel: +86 20 8667-0253
- Consulate General of Philippines in Guangzhou Add: Rm 709-711, Guangdong International Hotel, 339 Huan Shi Dong Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店710室) Tel: +86 20 8331-1461
- Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Guangzhou Add: 63 Shamian Dajie Guangzhou (沙面大街63号) Tel: +86 20 8121-9993/4
- Consulate General of Singapore in Guangzhou Add: Rm 2418, Citic Plaza, 233 Tian He Bei Road (天河北路233号中信广场2418室) Tel: +86 20 3891-2345
- Consulate General of Sweden in Guangzhou Add: Rm 1002B-1003, Citic Plaza, 233 Tian He Bei Road (广州市天河北路233号中信广场1002B-1003室) Tel: +86 20 3891-2383
- Consulate General of Switzerland in Guangzhou Add: 27/F, Grand Tower, 228 Tian He Road (天河区天河路228号广晟大厦27层) Tel: +86 20 3833-0450
- Consulate General of Thailand in Guangzhou Add: M07 Garden Hotel, 368 Huan Shi Dong Road (环市东路368号花园酒店2楼M07室) Tel: +86 20 8384-9937
- Consulate General of U.K .in Guangzhou Add: 7/F, Guangdong International Hotel, 339 Huan Shi Dong Road (环市东路339号广东国际大酒店二楼 ) Tel: +86 20 8314-3000
- Consulate General of U.S.A. in Guangzhou Add: 1 Shamian Nan Street, Shamian Island (沙面南街一号) Tel: +86 20 8121-8000
- U.S. Consulate, Guangzhou (美国驻广州总领事馆)  Note that the visa, passport and adoption sections of the Consulate have recently moved to 5th Floor Tian Yu Garden (Phase II) 136-146 Linhe Zhong Lu (林和中路136-146号天御花园二期5楼); Mailing address remains and other offices remain at: 1 Shamian Nan Jie, Guangzhou 510133. +86 20 8121-8000. This is the only U.S. Consulate in China that processes adoption visas. Over 7,000 were issued in 2005.
- Consulate General of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Guangzhou Add: 2/F Building B north, Landmark Canton Hotel, 8 Qiao Guang Road, Haizhu Square (侨光路8号华厦大酒店B座2楼) Tel: +86 20 8330-5911
- Internet cafes are common in major Chinese cities, though are often the target of government crackdowns. Popular ones in Guangzhou include:
- Worldwide Network on Jiangsu Lu
- the more up-market Sparkice in Central Plaza on Huai Hai Zhong Lu
- China Mayors Plaza (市长大厦). 189 Tianhe Bei Lu (天河北路189号)
- Budget Internet Cafe on Fuzhou Lu.
- Police: The Public Security Bureau Exit-Entry Administration Division is located at 155 Jiefang Nan Lu (解放南路155号) Tel: +86 20 8311-5808 (Monday to Friday 8:50-11:30AM, 2:30-5PM.) You can get your visa extension done here if needed.
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 also accept exchanges from your local currencies to RMB. Your passport is required for this service. However, they do not change it back to your local currencies.
- Bank of China (中国银行)  There is a branch inside Garden Hotel. ATM is available on the ground floor of White Swan Hotel, and over 100 locations in Guangzhou. Their ATMs are the best bet for using foreign cards.
- Bank of America  Rm 2506, 555 Renmin Zhong Lu. +86-20 8130-0888. The bank has alliance with China Construction Bank.
- Citi  Unit 101, Fortune Plaza No. 118 TiYu East Road Tian He district. +86-20-38981688. This bank has a full service branch, foreign currency exchange services, and a 24 hour International ATM Service.
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 all 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/dry clean shops sprinkled throughout neighborhoods. An average load should cost no more than ¥40 (couple pair of bottoms, one or two skirts/shorts, 6 or so tops). If you are doing sheets and blankets, they should charge no more then ¥10 for a blanket, ¥30 for a comforter. Dry-cleaning a sweater is about ¥8.
Guangzhou Television (GZTV)  has an English channel, offering entertainment and cultural programs. There are two English channels from Hong Kong, "Pearl" and "ATV World", available in most hotels, offer a great selection of prime time shows from US and UK.
Places of worship
All the religious sites listed in the See section are open to worshippers.
- Christian: Guangzhou International Christian Fellowship  holds weekly service on Sundays at 10AM for expats from around the world in English. You must show your travel documents to enter since residents are not allowed there due to local laws. The meeting location is Star Hotel (景星酒店) near the East Train Station. Phone: 1366 234 6904. Hotel Address: 89 Linhe Xi Lu (林和西路89号). (Metro 1 Dong Zhan)
Guangzhou has several branches of Total Fitness. One of the locations is at the 8th floor of Zhengjie Plaza (正佳广场). The Guangzhou Marriott (China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel) has a complete new gym (Dec. 2008) with brand new Star Trac equipment, a swimming pool, tennis court, sauna and steam. The hotel is easy accessible from the subway
- Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital is near the Garden Hotel. 106 Zhong Shan Er Lu. +86 20 8382-7812, +86 20 2062-2031.
- Kaiyi International Dental Care  Ice Flower Hotel, 2 Tianhe Bei Lu. +86 20 3886-4821, +86 20 3387-4278.
- Post Office - There is a post office on Shamian (Shamian 3 Jie 沙面三街) 9AM-5PM, closed on Sunday.
- DHL - There is a branch in Garden Hotel.
- UPS 1121 Guangyuan Zhong Lu, +86 20 8657-9898.
English to Chinese; Chinese to English ; oral and writing. Call Voice in China: 40071-60072
- Visit the peach orchards and canals at nearby Xiazhou.
- Yuanxuan Taoist Temple includes three Taoist temples in one complex: Sanqing Temple, Taihe Temple and Yuanchen Temple. Sanqing Temple 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 Hua Du Downtown. (Admission ¥2)
- The dwellings of overseas Chinese from the early 20th century in Kaiping (开平).
- Foshan (佛山) is only an hour away from Guangzhou. Famous for its Ancestry Temple (祖庙), it is also the home to legendary Wong Fei Hong, a martial art master.
- 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.
- Shenzhen (深圳) is a new city on the borders of Hong Kong, one of the first special economic zones set up in China. Check out theme parks such as Windows of the World, The China Folk Culture Villages and Splendid China. Frequent buses and trains are available (Tickets around ¥60 - ¥80). The trip will take 1 to 2 hours. Make sure you have your passport while traveling to Shenzhen, they check it when you enter Shenzhen, although you are still in Guangdong, China.
- Zhuhai (珠海) is another special economic zone to the south, at the border with Macau. You can get a bus ride from any of the major bus stations in the city.