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Guangzhou Travel Guide

Guangzhou Overview

Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong Province, is nicknamed the City of Goat. As a city of historic and cultural significance, Guangzhou has a history of 2,200 years of civilization, and was prominent in recent history. It is the largest industrial and commercial city and the largest important and export port in South China.

Guangzhou is located in the middle south of Guangdong Province, north of the Pearl River Delta. It lies close to the South China Sea, Hong Kong, and Macau. Zhujiang (The Pearl River), the third largest river of China, runs through Guangzhou and is navigable to the South China Sea. The city is part of the Pearl River Delta situated next to the Baiyun Mountain, which is locally referred to as ‘the lung of the city’. It enjoys a humid climate all year around, and flowers blossom in all four seasons, hence its another nickname "the City of Flowers". There are over 150 historical sites and places of interests in the city, plus various modern entertainment facilities. Here, the China Guangdong Export Commodities Fairs is held twice every year. Guangzhou is not only famous for foreign trade, but also one of China's historical and cultural tourist cities and a famous hometown of overseas Chinese. Beautiful scenery and comfortable climate make Guangzhou a great place to visit. There are many historical sites. And it is also the food and shopping paradise.

Three pillars industry such as automobile manufacture, petrochemical manufacture, electronics appliances manufacture, etc. realized ¥223.482 billion of industrial output value with a rise of 35.4% over the previous year. 7 products such as Liby detergent, Lonkey detergent, Doublefish table tennis goods, Wanli brand radial tyre, Hualing refrigerator, Wanbao refrigerator, Hengshan computer-controlled-tax fuel dispenser, etc. gained the title of 2004' China Top Brands, 28 products were awarded as Guangdong Province Top Brands. Till now, we have 17 China Top Brands and 102 Guangdong Province Top Brands.

Guangzhou Facts
Guangzhou History
Guangzhou Transportation
Guangzhou Climate & Weather
Best Time for Guangzhou Travel

Chinese name: 广州
Location: Southeast of China
Dialing code: (+86)020
Zip code: 510000
Official languages: Chinese
Currency: China Yuan (RMB¥)
Main attractions in Guangzhou: Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Western Han Nanyue King Tomb Museum, Western Han Nanyue King Tomb Museum, Shamian Island, etc.

Administration Distribution

Guangzhou City consists of Yuexiu Distric,t Liwan District, Haizhu District, Tianhe Distric, Baiyun District, Huangpu District, Panyu District, Huadu District, Nansha District, Zengcheng District and Conghua District (update in 2015).

Formerly known as Canton in the West, the city of Guangzhou has a history dating back roughly 2,200 years.

According to historical records, the city was built in 214BC and was known as Panyu firstly. Guangzhou became a part of China in the 3d century. B.C. Hindu and Arab merchants reached Guangzhou in the 10th century, and the city became the first Chinese port regularly visited by European traders.

As a major sea port, Guangzhou's history is full of color. In 786 the city was sacked by the Persians.

In 1511, Portugal secured a trade monopoly, but it was broken by the British in the late 17th century and in the 18th century, the French and Dutch were also admitted. 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. Trading, however, was restricted until the Treaty of Nanjing (1842) following the Opium War, which opened the city to foreign trade. In1842, the signing of the Treaty of Nanking, which made four other ports were added. Losing the exclusive privilege pushed Guangzhou to become more industrialized later.

Following a disturbance, French and British forces occupied Guangzhou in 1856. Later the island of Shamian was ceded to them for business and residential purposes, and this reclaimed sandbank with its broad avenues, gardens, and fine buildings was known for its beauty; it was restored to China in 1946.

In 1911, Guangzhou went through the revolutionary movement under Sun Yat-sen; the Republic of China was proclaimed there. From Guangzhou the Nationalist armies of Chiang Kai-shek marched northward in the 1920s to establish a government in Nanjing. In 1927, Guangzhou was briefly the seat of one of the earliest Communist communes in China. In late Oct., 1949, Guangzhou fell into the Communist armies, which signaled the Communist’s takeover of all China. Under the Communist government, Guangzhou was developed as an industrial center and a modern port, with a great trade to & from Hong Kong. nowadays, Guangzhou is metropolis in China and famous for foreign trade. Canton trade fair is the most famous event in Guangzhou, which attract tourists every year to visit China.

Option to get to Guangzhou is quite a lot, by air or train are the most convenient. With Guangdong province, taking bus to travel between cities is quite convenient.

As for internal transport in Guangzhou city, the most convenient means of transportation is by subway. One can reach almost every corner of the city by subway, to airport, to train stations. As traffic jams is common in Guangzhou, it is not recommended to travel in town by bus and taxi. 

There is only one international airport in Guangzhou: Baiyun International Airport. It has flight lines connecting most of cities in China, Southeast Asia, Middle Asia, Europe, America, Australia, and other areas. It is linear distance of 28 kilometers from the center of Guangzhou, Haizhu Square. The terminal building of it is divided into two parts: A District and B District. 
♦ A District serves for international flights and domestic flights except for Southern Airlines.
♦ B District serves for Southern Airlines. Passengers can leave from here direct upon arrival. No need to pass by the main terminal.

There are four train stations in the city: Guangzou Railway Station, Guangzou East Railway Station, Guangzou South Railway Station Guangzou North Railway Station.

Guangzou Railway Station
This train station serves for Guangzhou-Shenzhen railway, Beijing-Guangzhou Railway, Guangzhou-Sanshui Railway, and the interchange station of Metro Line 2 and Metro Line 5. It is the main train station in the city and the largest in south of China.
♦ Add: Shixi Road, Yuexiu District
♦ How to get there: take Metro Line 2 or 5

Guangzou East Railway Station
This train station serves for Guangzhou-Shenzhen, Guangzhou-Hong Kong, Guangzhou-Shantou and other rails to east of China.
♦ Add: Linhe West Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
♦ Tel: 020-61346222
♦ How to get: take Metro Line 1 and North Extension Line of Metro Line 3

Guangzhou South Railway Station
It is the main station serving for departure and arrival of intercity rapid rail transit trains within Guangdong province.
♦ Add: Shibi Village, Zhongcun Town, Panyu District, Guangzhou.
♦ Tel: 020-95105688
♦ How to get: take Metro Line 2

Guangzhou North Railway Station
♦ Add: Xinhua Ave., Huadu District, Guangzhou
♦ Tel: 020-86832288

There are many bus stations in Guangzhou, including Guangzhou Bus Terminal, Yuexiu South Bus Station, Guangzhou Tianhe Bus Terminal, Nanpu Bus Terminal, Guangzhou Guangyuan Bus Terminal. There are many buses leaving for different cities within Guangdong province and other places from those stations.

Guangzhou Bus Terminal
There are more than 100 buses departing and arriving in this station every day. buses here leave for The Pearl River Delta Region, and Hainan, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Hubei, Guizhou Provinces.
♦ Add: 158 Huanshi West Rd., Guangzhou
♦ Tel: 020-86684259
♦ How to get: take Metro Line 2 and 5.

Yuexiu South Bus Station
Buses here mainly leaves for cities in Guangxi, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Shannxi provinces.
♦ Address: 2 Dongyuanheng, Yuxiu, Guangzhou
♦ Tel: 020-83833949

Guangzhou Tianhe Bus Terminal
Buses here leaves for different cities in Pearl River Delta Region, Fujian, Zhejiang, and other places.
♦ Tel: 020-37085070
♦ How to get: take Metro Line 3

Guangzhou weather is generally warm and humid, featuring high temperature, abundant rainfall and sufficient sunshine. Guangzhou has a long Summer with frequent thunderstorm. The Summer  temperature can reach 39deg.C in July, consequently, heat exhaustion is a potential hazard for tourists. Winter in Guangzhou is short, with little frost.  The lowest temperature is in January when the average temperature is 12° C.  The all-year average temperature is 20 to 22deg.C, making Guangzhou an ideal destination for traveling.

The annual precipitation is 1982 millimeters.

October and November are the best months to visit Guangzhou. Alternatively, April and May are also good months.

Climate Data Table for Guangzhou

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
17.62 18.31 21.4 25.1 28.6 31.1 32.3 32.1 31.2 28.2 23.6 20.6
9.4 11.3 14.6 18.5 22.1 24.1 25.2 25.5 23.6 20.2 15.5 11.7
Rainfall (mm) 41.6 70.6 85.6 201.3 283.2 275.6 233.8 227.1 166.6 87.3 36.2 32.9
Days of rainfall 7.7 11.1 12.4 17.2 18.5 18 16.1 15.2 13.1 12.4 6.1 5.6

Best time to visit Guangzhou is in Spring (March to mid-May) and autumn (October to September). In spring, it is flower season in the city, you can see a variety of flowers in parks or surrounding villages. Autumn is the best time to do shopping, as many shops offer large discount for consumers. And the weather is fine with cool temperature and less rain.

What should be packed

In Spring days: for travel in March, April and May, you need to be aware of the plums rains which will last for a rather long time, humidifying the air and making it hard to dry clothes naturally, so take more clothes with you for changing.  March to May is a rainy season, while the high rainfall period is during May and June. You'd better take your sweater and light clothes at this season. The Spring China Import and Export Fair is held in April.

Summer is really not recommended, because the wet and sizzling weather makes it easy to suffer from heat exhaustion. The weather is very humid and hot in Summer, so bring breathable fabrics, 100% cotton clothing is a good choice. Shorts and T-shirts are suitable almost anywhere since locals here are quite casual in their outfit.  Always take napkins with you and water to drink since you’ll perspire freely. Under the hot sun and cloudless sky, the umbrella is a godsend for both women and men. It's common to see men carry umbrella here, simply because the weather here is very hot in Summer. Sun glasses, sun hat, sandals or any open toes shoes are recommended.

Autumn days (September to December) are mainly sunny, cool and wet. The good weather of Autumn often lasts to November and December; which is the best travel time. With the cool and comfortable weather, you will discover that Guangzhou is a shopping paradise with superior quality and attractive prices.

In Winter, December to March is a little chilly but slacks and sweaters are enough for this season. Although the climate is moderate in Guangzhou, the solar radiation is quite great, so it is recommended to make good preparation for sunburn prevention. The winter in Guangdong, quite different from the northern part of China, is a sea of flowers. It is an excellent time for flower-lovers to visit.

Try to Avoid domestic travel seasons

Try to plan your Guangzhou tour to avoid the peak holidays. Because they are popular with Chinese tourists, Guangzhou attractions become more crowded in these periods.

The most crowded seasons in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07). Spring Festival and the National Day golden week are the most crowded time for travelling.

Canton Fair period is another high season for travelers. Canton Fair is held twice a year with the spring canton fair from mid-April to the beginning May and the autumn canton fair from mid-October to the beginning November.

Guangzhou Tours & Tings to Do