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Guangzhou

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in guangzhou

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Guangzhou (?? Gu?ngzh?u) is the capital of Guangdong Province in Southern China and has a population of over 6,000,000. It is the home of the world-renowned Cantonese cuisine.

guangzhou Travel Guide :

Guangzhou

Understand

Formerly known as Canton in the West, the city of Guangzhou has a history dating back around 2,500 years, and many of the inhabitants in the Chinatowns around the world can trace their ancestry back to this city.

Although the actual origins of the city are lost in the mists 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 214BCE and was known as Panyu (??). 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, while in 1711 the the British East India Company established a trading post there. 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, southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. As a result of the links with the Middle East, a mosque was established in the city in 627CE and a small muslim community continues to this day. Furthermore, since the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism was born in Guangzhou, taught the famous Platform Sutra there and established a monastery to the north of the city, Guangzhou has maintained a strong connection with this school of Buddhism.

Today, Guangzhou is recognized as one of China's most prosperous, liberal and cosmopolitan cities.

Guangzhou

Get in

Guangzhou

By plane

The New Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) is 28 km from downtown Guangzhou, and should not be confused with the former Baiyun Airport which was closed in 2004.

Additional Note: You can get to the airport from the City Center (???? to be more specific) for RMB110. In China, you can negotiate with the driver for the price to a specific place. You may want to start by calling RMB100 and if the driver declines the offer then you can raise the deal to RMB110. Do not accept the deal if it goes above RMB110.

Guangzhou

By train

Trains cover the 182 kilometers to Hong Kong in two to three hours. There are three choices on this route:

Guangzhou

By boat

There is a frequent ferry and hovercraft service from Hong Kong (Kowloon).

Guangzhou

Get around

Guangzhou MetroGuangzhou Metro
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Guangzhou Metro

Guangzhou has an efficient metro system, which covers much of the city center and is growing rapidly outward. The fare ranges from RMB2 to RMB9.

Website in English: http://www.gzmtr.com/en/

Guangzhou

See

Guangzhou

Landmarks

  • Guangxiao Temple - as it is believed that the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Hui Neng, trained here in the 7th Century, this temple 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.
  • Liurong Temple - 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.
  • The buildings and boulevards of the former British and French concession of Shamian Island have been beautifully renovated, creating an oasis of tranquillity in an otherwise bustling and hectic metropolis.
  • The Sun Yat-sen Memorial is an edifice dedicated to the founder of the Republic of China and local hero Dr.Sun Yat-sen. It was constructed in 1931 and is built on the original site of Sun Yat-sen's presidential office on Yuexiu Hill.
Guangzhou

Parks

  • Yuexiu Park - the largest urban park in China, is a lush green area that flows over acres of hills and includes several lakes, the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower (now home to the City Museum) and the Sculpture of the Five Rams, which is the symbol of Guangzhou.
  • Yuntai Garden
  • Huadu Square is a park-cum-recreation square located in the north part the city and near the government office buildings of Huadu District (???). 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 also an area of subtropical forest and ornamental flower beds.
Guangzhou

Learn

  • Chinese medicine and acupuncture at Guangzhou University of Traditional Medicine (http://www.acupuncture.edu/guangzhou/). This is one of the main universities for traditional medicine in China and attracts many overseas students.
Guangzhou

Buy

  • Zhengjia Plaza - the largest Western-style shopping mall in China.
  • Beijing Road - the main shopping thoroughfare. Most stores are open from 9AM to 10PM.
  • Shangxiajiu pedestrian street - great at night when the shops are lit up.
  • Wende Road - for antiques and artistic goods.
  • Xiguan Street - for antiques.
  • Teem Mall - large Western-style mall.
  • Liwan Plaza - good selection of crystal
Guangzhou

Do

Guangzhou

Eat

Traditional:

  • Panxi Restaurant at 151 Western Longjing Lu
  • Beiyuan Restaurant at 202 Xiaobei Lu
  • Lianxiang Lou at 67 Dishipu Jie
  • Taotao House at 20 Dishipu Jie.
  • Guangzhou Restaurant at 2 South Wenchang Lu Tel: 8138 0388
  • Nanguo Restaurant at 899 North Jiefang Lu
  • Datong Restaurant at 63 Western Yanjiang Lu Tel:8188 8988
  • Snacks: Baifu Guangchang, 112 Tiyu Road East Tel: 3880 8268
Guangzhou

Budget

Vegetarian:

  • Cai Gen Xiang, 167 Zhong Shan Liu Lu. Open: 6.30AM-2.30PM, 5PM-9PM. Tel:8334 4363
  • Fu Shi Jie, Niu Nai Chang Jie, Tong Fu Zhong Lu. Open: 7AM-9PM. Tel:8424 3590
  • Fu You Yuan, 12 Shi Lu Ji Zhong Shan Ba Lu. Open: 6.30AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM. Tel:8181 9188
Guangzhou

Mid range

Guangzhou

Splurge

Guangzhou

Drink

Tea houses:

  • Simple Love Tea Shop, 102 No.94, Tian He Nan Yi Lu. Open: 3pm-2am
  • Tian Chang Di Jiu, No.1 Zheng Ping Zhong Jie, Tao Jin Rd. Tel: 83581627
  • Chun Ya Yuan Teahouse, 4/F, Changcheng Hotel, No.19, Si You Xin Ma Lu. Tel:87612888 ext 6488 Business hour: 7pm-1am
  • Crystal Tea House, 1/F, Yuan Yang Hotel, No.6, Long Kou Dong Lu, Tianhe. Tel: 87596988 Ext.67 Business hour:10am-2am
  • Wong Chun Loong Herbal Tea, 1. No.17, Wen Chang Nan Lu, 2. NO.109, Hua Gui Lu, 3. No.51, Di Shi Pu Lu, 4. NO.504, Xi Hua Lu, 5. No.859, Long Jin Dong Lu, 6. 14 Ji Xin Street, Zhong Shan Ba Lu, 7. 25, long Jin Xi lu, 8. 142 to 144, Huan Shi Xi Lu, 9. 4-lst, No.1 street, Xi Wan Dong Lu, 10. 320, Duo Bao Lu, 11. 120, Shang Jiu Lu
Guangzhou

Sleep

Guangzhou

Budget

  • The Youth Hostel, No. 2, Fourth Street, on Shamian Island, diagonally across the street from the landmark White Swan Hotel is clean, convenient and reasonably priced for GZ. English is spoken. There are only 8 dorm beds, RMB50 per night, and hotel type rooms which should probably be the cheapest western-style accommodation in Guangzhou. Tel:8121-8298, reservations accepted.
Guangzhou

Mid range

  • Hotel Landmark, Qiao Guang Road, Haizhu Square. Tel:83355988
  • China Mayors Plaza, 189 Tian He Bei Road. Tel:87553838
Guangzhou

Splurge

  • White Swan, 1 Southern Street, Shanmian Island. Tel:81886968
Guangzhou

Get out

  • The Baiyun (White Cloud) Mountains are a great place to relax and enjoy a day among lush, rolling hills. They also offer great views over Guangzhou city.
  • Visit the peach orchards and canals at nearby Xinjiao.
  • Yuanxuan Taoist Temple - 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.
Guangzhou

Stay safe

The city is generally safe, but due to the enormous amount of people from other mainland provinces flocking to Guangzhou in the hope of finding jobs (often unsucessfully) the area around the main train station has gained a not undeserved reputation for being chaotic and less safe than other areas in the city.

With its vast population, there are always a number of people (often from out of town) who seem to be just hanging around in major Chinese cities. Those unaccustomed to this can feel intimidated, especially as many of these people will stare at a Westerner. However, please remember that rural Chinese are not used to seeing a 'Lao Wai'(a Westerner), so their stares are merely out of interest, and should not be taken as something rude or offensive. In China one should always keep personal belongings close at hand and be aware of fake touts. Use only official taxis and get advice from the government-run tourist office.

Guangzhou

Contact

  • The area dialling code for Guangzhou is 20.
  • Tourist Offices are located at 180 Huanshi Xilu (West Road), Guangzhou East Railway Station and Dashatou Pier.
  • Internet cafes are common in major Chinese cities, though are often the target of government crackdowns. Here are some popular ones in Guangzhou: Worldwide Network on Jiang Su Road, the more up-market Sparkice in Central Plaza on Huai Hai Zhong Road, China Mayors Plaza 189 Tian He Bei Road and Budget Internet Cafe on Fuzhou Road.



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