Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province and is one of the most important centres of foreign commerce as well as being the commercial gateway to southern China. Guangzhou is located at the north of the Pearl River Delta and has a population of 10 million. The city has a rail connection to Hong Kong. Neighboring cities include Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Hainan provinces as well as Macao. You will immediately notice the many high-rises, vehicles and people. One of the most modern and wealthiest cities in China, in fact Guangzhou's history goes back more than 2,000 years.
There are areas in Guangzhou where visitors can still witness traditional lifestyle – old people sitting and chatting over tea and old style family-run stores selling special items such as dried food and herbal medicine. Guangzhou was an Anglo-French concession after the Opium Wars and it has very European-influenced architecture and many areas in Guangzhou remind visitors of Paris or London with its tree-lined avenues and sculptures.
Getting Around Guangzhou
Baiyun International Airport - Baiyun International Airport is located about 28km from the city centre with an airport bus and taxi service to town.
Guangzhou’s Taxis - Demand for taxis can be high during rush hours such as from 08:00 to 09:00 and during lunch and dinner hours. Insist the driver turns the meter on before pulling away.
Guangzhou’s Bus - Guangzhou’s bus system offers relatively good and frequent service over its 200 plus bus routes. Buses in Guangzhou generally run from 06:00 to 22:00. It's worth buying a good map of the city to facilitate getting around on its bus system.
Guangzhou train station - Guangzhou train station is located on Renmin Lu, and the enormous new Guangzhou East train station is located five km to the east in Tianhe.
Guangzhou's subway - Guangzhou's subway is based on the cross-design subway network. There are mainly three lines for the moment covering a total of 44 stations and 57.48 km.
Weather & Climate
Guangzhou's climate is sub-tropical. The average year-round temperature is 22 degrees Centigrade.
August is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 28 degrees.
January is the coldest month, with an average of 13 degrees.
The rainy season falls between April and August. Average annual rainfall is 1,720 mm.
Good to Know
Humans lived in the region now occupied by Guangzhou as long ago as 5,000BC. Cantonese is one of the major dialect groups of the Chinese language. It is mainly spoken in parts of southern Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and by many overseas Chinese. If you love dim sum, you will love Cantonese Cuisine, famous for its taste, color, fragrance and presentation.
There are more that 500 kinds of fruits growing within the Guangzhou area. Famous species include Zengcheng's Gualu litchi, Huangdeng's pineapple, Luogang's sweet orange.
Don’t expect much help from taxi or bus drivers if you don’t speak any Mandarin or Cantonese. Most don’t speak English. It's best to have your destination written out in Chinese characters.