Passport / Visa
Guangzhou is one of the Chinese cities that supports the 72-hour transit visa on arrival program, which means that selected nationalities (all citizens of the European Union, as well as several other countries including Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Japan, Macedonia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine, and United States) are eligible for a transit visa on arrival via the Xi'an Xianyang International Airport. For more extended stays, the visa must be pre-arranged in advance, so consult your local embassy for details.
You must have your passport at all times, and all hotels will insist on seeing it for check-in. It is now mandatory to present your passport when buying train tickets; you will also need it for using internet cafes that accept foreigners.
The Chinese government requires that your passport must be valid for at least six months after the expiry date of your visa when entering the country. You will need at least one entire blank page in your passport for the visa.
Take an ID card with your photo in case you lose your passport and make photocopies of your passport: your embassy may need these before issuing a new one in case of loss. You must report the damage to the local Public Security Bureau (PSB), who will issue you with a 'Statement of Loss of Passport'.
Long-stay visitors should register their passport with their nation's embassy.
Due to the Internet policy of China, certain websites and applications are not accessible from the mainland, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google and more. Travellers are recommended to buy a VPN service in order to connect to these sites and apps.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Guangzhou is during autumn, from September to November. This is when the weather and average temperatures are at their most pleasant.
Baiyun International Airport opened in August 2004 and is located 28 kilometres from the city centre. Flights connect to nearly 100 domestic cities and numerous international destinations.
There are bunches of express bus taking you to the main destinations in the city. The buses depart from arrival area.
Metro is another option to travel to the Guangzhou from the airport. The metro station Airport South is located directly below the terminal building. You will see the Metro signs when arriving at the arrival hall. The Metro Line 3 runs every day of the week from 6:10 AM to 11:00 PM with an interval of 7 minutes and 30 seconds. You can buy your ticket either from automatic ticket vending machines (only coins are accepted) or the Metro Customer Service Center. The metro is a convenient way to travel downtown at a reasonable price.
Taxi ranks are located in both A and B arrival areas. At the A arrival, it is set outside the gate A8. At the B arrival, it is set outside the gate B6. You should only use a legitimate Chinese taxi driver and not just follow anyone who is offering. The taxi drivers will be waiting on the line at the taxi ranks and make sure the driver uses the meter. Also, have your destination address written in Chinese to show to the driver for most of them don't speak English.
Address: Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou
Guangzhou's metro opened in 1999 and is rapidly expanding. Several lines are operating, and they run very frequently, making it an easy way to transport to different destinations. The single-ticket is only valid on the day when you buy it. The ticket can be purchased on the ticket vending machines at the Metro stations (they only accept CNY5, CNY10 and the coins of CNY0.5 (5 Jiao) and CNY1 (1 Yuan). There is also the Guangzhou Transportation Smart Card, and it is widely used on bus, ferryboat and metro.
Buses might not be the most comfortable way to move around, but they are certainly the cheapest. There are four bus transportation hubs in Guangzhou: Railway Station Bus Terminal, Tianpingjia Bus Terminal, Zhongshan Balu (Zhongshan 8 Road) Bus Terminal and East Railway Station Bus Terminal. Mostly the buses run from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. There are also night buses that operate from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
The ferries are convenient, comfortable and quick and they play a significant role in the local public system. Twelve waterbus lines are running along the channels between the piers in the city, to be more precise, there are 26 piers scattered along the Pearl River. This is a popular way to travel around the city. The ferries run from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM and the Transportation Smart Card can be used when taking the boat.
Taxis are cheap, quick and convenient. There are more than 80 taxi companies in the city, so you can easily get hold of a taxi, although it can be hard during peak hours.
Each taxi company has its own colour. For example, Guangjun taxis are yellow, the GZ Transport Group drive dark red cabs, and Baiyun taxis are in sky blue. Small taxi companies operate green and golden coloured taxis. To get one easier, you can go to one of the taxi stands. These taxi stop boards are mostly located close to the bus station boards, and many of the large departments and shopping malls have a special stop for taxi passengers.
Always use a legitimate taxi driver, and make sure the taxi has a meter and a taxi company logo on the car.
You can also use taxi cab hailing service with WeChat or Alipay (like the Chinese version of Uber).
You can easily find a pharmacy in Guangzhou as they are scattered around the whole city.
Guangzhou CanAm International Medical Center is a medical centre with more than 200 medications, both prescribed medications and over-the-counter drugs.
Address: 5/F Garden Tower, No.368 Huanshi Dong Lu, Guangzhou
Phone: +86 20 8386 6988
Post offices are generally open from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM and there are plenty of them scattered around the city.
Address: 8 Tianhe Er Road, Tianhe District, Gunagzhou
Phone: +86 20 8757 6676
Country code: +86
Area code: 20
220V, 50 Hz three-pin plugs