Ride a bicycle around Guangzhou
Guangzhou is a great city for riding a bicycle. We recommend picking up a share-bike on the Haizhu side of the Pearl river and then taking a leisurely ride along the river, exploring different areas as you go. There is a bicycle path on the pavement running for several kilometres along the river, so you can ride safely without worrying about cars.
Share-bikes are very very cheap and abundantly available in Guangzhou. This is a great way to spend a day, but you will need to set up your share-bike account, which might be more effort than it is worth if you only have a few hours. Alternatively, ask someone at your hotel for help renting one of the bicycles.
Catch a Ferry
You can get one of the best views of Guangzhou by going on the Pearl River ferry. There are numerous wharves along the river, which makes for a convenient way to explore different parts of Guangzhou. Ferry frequency varies by time of day, there are normally departures every 10 to 20 minutes. The costs is only RMB2 per adult. In the evening the service changes to more expensive dinner cruises.
Go shopping and exploring on Beijing Road
Beijing road is one of the main pedestrian walking streets in Guangzhou. The area itself has a history of more than 2000 years, and you can see excavations of ancient roads that are now covered by glass along Beijing road. This is a very popular street for Chinese domestic tourists. Today Beijing road is now primarily a commercial shopping street with a lot of eating options. Our recommendation is to explore some of the alleyways that will lead you to local areas and hidden markets. The best food will be found away from Beijing Road itself.
Outlet Shopping in Guangzhou
Sometimes we get tourists asking us where to go and buy fake clothing. This always amuses us, as locals are far more interested in buying authentic clothing. So called ‘fake markets’ exist for tourists only. There are great deals to be found on authentic brand name clothing in Guangzhou, and one such place to try is Wangou Outlets in Haizhu district (40 Qianjin Rd, JiangNan DaDao). Here you can find brands such as Levi’s, Adidas, Nike, Le Saunda, Samsonite, Cabbeen, The North Face and many more. In addition to shopping, there are several fantastic restaurants to be found here and a Carrefour supermarket.
If you prefer the least Chinese experience that you can have in Guangzhou, take a walk around Shamian Island. This small Island in Liwan district is full of historic buildings and tree lined streets from the European colonial era. It was also formerly the location of many consulates. Now Shamian Island is a popular place for domestic and foreign tourists and one of the few places in Guangzhou you will find English menus and help. It is also a very popular place for wedding photographs. A relaxing and possibility unexpected side to Guangzhou.
Explore Liwan District
Liwan is a fascinating part of Guangzhou. Walking the streets of Liwan, it will be more common to hear Cantonese being spoken than Mandarin. You will find some of the most famous restaurants in Guangzhou here as well as simple eateries with long histories, great street food and some weird eats for more adventurous travellers. Liwan is home to the well known Qingping herbal medicine markets, as well as the Huangsha seafood market. Strolling the alleyways you will find local life and great photo opportunities.
Shiangxiajiu Pedestrian Street is one of two well known pedestrian streets in Guangzhou (the other being Beijing Lu). The street is very popular with Chinese domestic tourists and good for some local shopping and buying snacks. Also along this road you can find the Guangzhou restaurant and Taotaoju restaurant.
Also in Liwan you can find the Liwan Plaza market for jade and semi-precious stones, as well as The Chen Clan Temple and the Hualin Temple.
Where to stay for a Guangzhou Layover?
The best hotel for a Guangzhou Layover will really depend on how long your layover is and your flight times. If you only have a short period of time, or your onward flight is early morning, you are best staying near the airport, one such option is the Pullman Baiyun Airport Hotel.
If you have a bit more time, we recommend you stay in the area that you would like to explore.
For Liwan District and the surrounding restaurants, the Holiday Inn Guangzhou Shifu is a great option with plenty to do and eat straight outside your hotel.
Alternatively for an option closer to Beijing Road, the Landmark Canton is located on the Pearl river, with several top restaurants nearby, as well as the ferry wharf and Beijing Road. From here it is also easy to cross the river and take a stroll or bicycle ride along the banks of the Pearl river.
Our best hotel tip is to avoid staying in Tianhe. Tianhe is in the commercial area of Guangzhou and is bland and cultureless. It resembles any similar area in large Chinese cities and will leave you unimpressed with Guangzhou. This is also where you will find most expats and the mandarin speaking Chinese (i.e. not true locals). If you spend your layover in Tianhe, then you have been to China, but you have not really seen Guangzhou.
Does China Southern offer free hotels for Guangzhou layovers?
Yes! China Southern does offer free hotels for eligible customers during a Guangzhou layover. You need to have a layover of between 8 - 48 hours and meet other China Southern layover criteria. Check with China Southern at the time of booking your ticket.
Mandarin is the official language of China, but Cantonese is the spoken language of locals in Guangzhou. English is rarely spoken except for in some hotels. If you are staying in cheaper hotels or catching taxis, please expect that people will not speak any English at all. We recommend that you have your hotel address and any other important information written down in Chinese prior to arriving.
Don’t forget, google and gmail are not accessible in Guangzhou unless you have a VPN connection. Alternatives such as Hotmail, Bing and Yahoo have no problem.
Guangzhou English Speaking Tour Guides
English speaking tour guides can be found in Guangzhou for your layover. China has strict rules regarding tour guide licensing, so please make sure whichever guide you choose is a licensed guide that has passed the Chinese tour guide exams and is authorised to escort English speaking tourists. Any foreign expats offering guide services are doing so illegally and are not licensed as China does not issue tour guide licenses to foreigners. Unfortunately even some of those great guides and tours listed on Tripadvisor are illegally operated - Tripadvisor will let anyone list.
Enjoy your Guangzhou stopover and feel free to contact us directly for layover food tours in amazing Guangzhou!
The Best Ways to Travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou
What is the best way to travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou - Here are the 4 best!
Where to find the Best Dim Sum in Guangzhou
In Guangzhou you are spoilt for choice when in comes to Dim Sum. With a mixture of both traditional and contemporary varieties, fresh ingredients and highly skilled chefs, you will find quality and diversity that far exceeds other cities.
Here is a list of our 5 favourite places for Yum Cha in Guangzhou!
HOW to get from Guangzhou Airport to downtown Guangzhou
Guangzhou Baiyun Airport is connected to downtown Guangzhou by Metro, bus, taxi and English hire car transfer. The best choice for you will largely depend on where in Guangzhou you are travelling to, the time of day, and how comfortable you are immersing yourself in the Chinese speaking world!With Guangzhou becoming the leading regional hub in Southern China (soon to overtake Hong Kong), there is an ever increasing number of business travellers, holidaymakers and people with layovers visiting Guangzhou, the culinary capital of China.MetroGuangzhou Baiyun airport is connected to the city via Metro Line 3. The Metro stations are located directed under the airport terminals, with Airport South being for Terminal 1 and Airport North for Terminal 2. The Guangzhou Metro is new, fast, clean and efficient. Travel time from Baiyun airport to Tiyu Xilu (Tianhe) is roughly 40 minutes. Fares vary depending on how far you are travelling, but will be around 7RMB.The Metro operates from 6am – 11pm (check at the Metro station for exact timing of the last service for that station), and ticketing machines have and English option.The Metro is definitely the cheapest way to travel between Guangzhou airport and the city. It is also the fastest way to Tianhe, and a good option during peak hour traffic from other parts of Guangzhou as well.If you are staying in other areas such as Liwan and Haizhu, you may still find the Metro to be a reliable option, however you will need to change lines, possibly multiple times, making the journey longer (1 hour or more).TaxiTaxi is a convenient option to travel between Guangzhou Airport and downtown Guangzhou outside peak hour traffic. There are official taxi queues located outside the airport arrival halls. Taxi fares will be around RMB150 depending on where in Guangzhou you are travelling to and traffic conditions. In addition to this, you are expected to pay for any road tolls. The journey time can expected to be around 40 minutes. This is a good option in the evenings and during the middle of the day. If you are travelling by taxi between downtown Guangzhou and the airport during morning rush hour, or in the evening between 4:30pm – 7:30pm we suggest you allow for extra time, as the traffic can be heavy. By law, taxis in Guangzhou must use the meter. In general most taxi drivers will adhere to this, however there are some that will try to take advantage of foreigners seeking fixed price fares. If you encounter this, grab a different taxi or ask the police for assistance. You should assume that your taxi driver will not speak or read any English. Unless you are fluent in Cantonese or Mandarin, it is highly recommended that you have the name and address of your hotel written in Chinese. A contact telephone number can also be useful as there are literally hundreds of hotels in Guangzhou and your taxi driver is unlikely to know all of them.We get a lot of layover food tour clients asking us how to travel to the city, and we normally recommend that a Taxi or the Metro will be the easiest for them.Car Hailing AppsGuangzhou was Ubers most popular city ranked by the number of trips, until the Government forced Uber to stop its illegal operations in Guangzhou. There are however numerous legal car hailing apps that you can use in Guangzhou. Most of the apps are in Chinese only, making it challenging for non Chinese peaking travellers. Didi Chuxing (one of the biggest car hailing companies in China) has recently released an English version of their app. The app has an English interface as well as other bilingual functionality such as real time messaging translation to assist you communicating with your driver. There is also bilingual support available for customers via telephone and email. You can download the app from Google Play store.There is a specific parking lot at Guangzhou Airport dedicated to users of car hailing apps. At the time of writing it was P4 for Terminal 1. Follow the signs upon arriving as it is clearly marked.The cost to travel between Guangzhou Airport and downtown Guangzhou using Car Hailing Apps will be similar to taxis. Most apps will give you an estimate of the fare in advance. When we checked the Didi app at the time of writing it was estimating a fare of RMB101 to Haizhu Square in low traffic. As with taxis, you are expected to pay for any road tolls in addition to the fare.Again we recommend that you carry with you the hotel name, address and contact details in Chinese so as to minimise any issues.We personally normally use car hailing apps to travel between the airport and the city, unless there is heavy traffic in which case we use the Metro.Hire Car Transfer – English SpeakingEnglish speaking hire care transfers are also available. Such transfer sometimes use an English speaking driver, but normally would have a Chinese speaking driver and a translator. Prices start at around 400 RMB. This may be a good option for the most nervous of travellers, but otherwise it is really an unnecessary expense.BusThere are numerous express bus services transferring people between Guangzhou Baiyun airport and downtown Guangzhou. Fares vary but will be around 20-30 RMB. Despite being a cheap option, we would take the Metro any day over the bus as using the Metro is easier, more frequent and definitely will be faster during peak hour. If you prefer to go by road, then taxi or using a car hailing app will be more convenient.Some of the bus routes that are available include:No. 1Guangzhou Railway Station (Yuexiu district - not to be confused with Guangzhou East Train Station in Tianhe district). Transit time approximately 45 minutes to final stop.NO. 2AGarden Hotel, Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre, Guangzhou Zoo, TeeMall, TianHe Computer Centre. Transit time approximately 50 minutes.No. 3Fangcun Coach Station, Rosedale Hotel (Haizhu district near Chang Gang Metro Station). Transit time approximately 70 minutes.No. 5DongFang Hotel, Haizhu Square, Guangzhou Hilbin Hotel (Yuexiu district - Yuexiu South Road). Transit time approximately 60 minutes.No. 6Grandview Mall, Citic Plaza (Tianhe district). Transit time approximately 55 minutes.No. 9Guangzhou North Railway Station (Huadu district). Transit time approximately 50 minutesNo. 10Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre (Pazhou, Haizhu district), Canton Tower, Guangzhou Textile and Fabric Centre (near Sun Yat Sen University West Gate). Transit time approximately 60 minutes For some ideas of things to do in Guangzhou, check out our Guangzhou Layover Guide, or our Insiders Guide to Guangzhou. About Eating AdventuresEating Adventures offers half day walking food tours in Guangzhou. With Guangzhou being famous as having the best food in China, there is no better way to immerse yourself in Cantonese culture and cuisine than a food tour through the backstreets of Guangzhou. All tours are led by local licensed guides that are fluent in English (no expats).
Guangzhou Layover Guide | Things to do on a Guangzhou Layover
When it comes to choosing a layover city, Guangzhou is not at the top of many peoples list. But that is part of the appeal of why Guangzhou is a fantastic city for a stopover. Less famous than Shanghai and Beijing, Guangzhou is a living museum of authentic Cantonese culture, with fantastic food, picturesque alleyways, interesting local markets and great layover tours. Here is the Eating Adventures guide for the best way to spend a Guangzhou LayoverDo you have enough time to leave Guangzhou airport?The first thing to consider is if you even have enough time to leave the airport. You really need at least 7 hours to make it worthwhile leaving the airport. Whilst the downtown area is only 40 minutes by taxi from the airport in normal traffic, the biggest problem is actually getting out of the airport which sometimes can take a while. You should allow 2 hours from landing to getting to your hotel, and then depart your hotel around 3 hours prior to your onward flight. The traffic in Guangzhou is not too heavy, but it can be during peak hours in the evening, so beware.If you have flexibility, choose your flights so that you can spend a night or two in Guangzhou, you won’t regret it!Do you need a visa for a Guangzhou Layover?Citizens of 53 countries are allowed visa free entry for a 72 hour layover. This includes Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Singapore. To be eligible for this, you must be in possession of an onward international flight ticket as well as having a valid visa for your next destination. Visa free entry is only available if you are both entering and exiting via Guangzhou Baiyun Airport. Please check the exact rules with your local Chinese embassy prior to booking, as visa rules for China change frequently.How to get from Guangzhou airport to the city?Depending on where you are staying, either the Metro or a taxi will be the easiest way into the city. The Metro is clean and efficient, with a station directly under the airport. It is definitely the cheapest way into the city.If you are not staying on the Metro line, local taxis cost around RMB130 – RMB200 into the city. You are expected to pay for tolls separately, and there is an official taxi queue outside arrivals. Never take illegal taxis and remember that by law taxi drivers must switch on the meter.If you are travelling to the city by taxi, make sure you have the address for where you are going written in Chinese, and a contact telephone number for the hotel will be helpful. Guangzhou is a massive city with hundreds of hotels, so you cannot expect taxi drivers to know all of them.English speaking chauffer transfers are also available, but unless you have money to burn, this is not really necessary.You can find a more detailed post on how to get from Guangzhou airport to the city here.Things to do during a Guangzhou Layover?Eat the best food in China!!Guangzhou is famous for having the best food in China. This is where world famous Cantonese cuisine originates from, and the quality and diversity of local Cantonese cuisine is amazing and far exceeds neighbouring Hong Kong. As well as the best Cantonese cuisine in the world, you will find restaurants specialising in food from most provinces in China.Eating Adventures offers English speaking walking food tours in Guangzhou. This is definitely the easiest way to try some local delicacies and explore the backstreets of Guangzhou during a Guangzhou layover. Tours normally run for around 4 hours and will give you an insight into authentic local Cantonese culture and cuisine, whilst taking you off the beaten path. All tours are led by fully licensed guides. Tour timing may be able to be flexible to allow for your layover.If you don’t have the time for a food tour, Dim Sum is the one eating experience that you must do in Guangzhou. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to Dim Sum in Guangzhou, two of our favourites for the best dim sum in Guangzhou are Dim Do Dak and Guangzhou Restaurant.
The best Vegetarian Restaurants in Guangzhou
Are you a vegetarian or vegan but still want to try some authentic Cantonese food rather than eating a salad or Indian food in Guangzhou? Little do people know, although Cantonese cuisine is famous for its exotic ingredients, Cantonese are as serious when it comes to vegetarian cuisine and they excel in it. Chinese vegetarianism stemmed from its Buddhism roots. Whilst Monks and Nuns are vegetarians for the full year, people who believe in Buddhism has long practised eating vegetarian food only on the 1st and 15th day of the lunar month. They believe the desire to kill and eat animals brings negativity and having vegetarian meals on a regular basis will cleanse one’s soul and heart. There are over 100 vegetarian restaurants in Guangzhou. The Eating Adventures team has put together this list of some of the best vegetarian restaurants on offer in Guangzhou.Chan Yi Tea House and Vegetarian Restaurant 禅意茶素Next to Xiao Gang Park main gate on Qian Jing Road, Haizhu District海珠区前进路晓港公园正门旁边020-8440 0079 “Chan Yi” means Zen Buddhism. The restaurant is set next to the tranquil Xiao Gang Park. Once you step inside, you will instantly forget that you are in the middle of a mega city with a population of 13 million. Their dishes are created based on the Zen Buddhism principles and hence there is a strong emphasis on nature, healthy and cleansing. Their menu covers dim sum, soups with different health remedies, some traditional vegetarian dishes as well as very creative dishes. Run by the well-rated Bing Sheng Group, it is not surprised that everything is done to perfection and the food is simply divine.Recommended dishes –Chinese yam and bamboo fungus in Maggie sauce – Thinly sliced yam and bamboo fungus are deep-fried and sprinkled with Maggie sauce, red and green pepper strips. Simply delicious.Salt and pepper mushrooms – Mushrooms are cut into long strips, coated with a thin batter before deep-frying. They are so crunchy and a bit spicy yet taste so clean and healthy.Sweet and sour mushrooms – This tastes better than the meat version and the sauce is great to go with rice. Fo Shi Jie Vegetarian Restaurant 佛世界素食馆2-8 Niu Nai Chang Street, Tong Fu Middle Road, Haizhu District海珠区同福中路牛奶厂街二圣宫前2-8号020-8424 4376This down to earth vegetarian restaurant has a very long history. The building was once housed by a group of Chinese nuns before converted into a five storey restaurant. On every 1st and 15th day of the lunar month, the place is packed with local patrons. Ground floor is a canteen style hall which pumps out cheap vegetarian dishes for local elderly people. Upstairs serve exquisite dim sum in the mornings and amazing main dishes in the evening. The price is very reasonable too.Some of the popular dishes include crispy fish in sweet and sour sauce, bean curd roll, vegetarian goose meat and vegetarian Char Siu. Despite their names, they are all made from vegetables but even the biggest meat-eater would not complain about the food. In order to keep the food interesting, the chefs have created some vegetarian dishes where the texture resembles meat. Most of these are made from food with high gluten content. So the vegetarian Buddhists do not have to worry about the temptation of meat!Shui Mu Sheng Vegetarian Restaurant 水木苼蔬食料理Room 405, 4/F, Dongshan Jinxuan Modern City, 6 Nonglin Down Road, Yuexiu District越秀区农林下路东山锦轩现代城4楼405室（东山口地铁站C出口）020-2988 0336This is an upmarket vegetarian restaurant located in Yuexiu district. The two owners have had strong interests in vegetarian cuisine since they were young. The careful combination of ingredients give the dishes a complexity of flavours and textures. The award-winning interior has a bird cage theme which is the final touch for a really memorable meal.Signature dishes –Mushrooms wrapped in vegetarian bacon – Bacon? Did I read wrong? No. These vegetarian bacon has the same texture as real bacon! The mushrooms are slowly pan-fried to ensure the juice is kept inside. Bean curd roll with seaweed, white raddish and other green vegetables.Golden lotus root slices stuffed with taro – The lotus root is crispy with the soft taro that melts in the month. Other vegetarian restaurants worth mentioning:Tian Shui Delicate Vegetarian Cuisine 天水精致素食料理Dong Fang Hong Creative Park, 313 Gong Ye Middle Road, Haizhu District海珠区工业大道中313号东方红创意园里（纸厂对面）13580470717This restaurant changes its menu every month and only uses ingredients in season and has a strong emphasis on presentation.Su Le Yun Hai 素乐云海87 Liurong Road, next to Liurong Temple六蓉路87号，六榕寺旁020-83521495The owner is determined to excel in vegetarian cuisine and over two years he slowly closed down his chain of seafood restaurants to concentrate his efforts on Su Le Yun Hai inside the famous Liu Rong Temple. Since the restaurant locates within the temple, it is under the strict supervision of the Head Monks there making sure all ingredients meet the criteria of “no killing”.Yi Xing Vegetarian Restaurant 怡新素食4/F, 161 Lin He West Road, Tian He District天河区林和西路161号中泰国际广场四楼020-3831 0703This restaurant specialises in soy based dishes. The menu lists for each dish the ingredients, heath remedies and nutritious values.Su He Jing Su Vegetarian Restaurant素和敬素食餐厅3/F Guang Lian Building, 750 Dong Feng Dong Road, Yuexiu District越秀区东风东路750号广联大厦3楼020-8761 8853Want to try something different? How about Thai-styled vegetarian hotpot? Vegetarian tom yum and vegetarian satay soups would definitely satisfy your taste buds.If you are open to carnivorous options, you can also always join one of our great Guangzhou Food Tours, Hong Kong Food Tours or Shanghai Food Tours. Some tours in Hong Kong can be customised for vegetarians!
WEIRD FOOD TO EAT IN GUANGZHOU
Guangzhou may be the ultimate travel destination for those of you seeking to expand your culinary horizons with unusual exotic food. Weird food, does not necessarily mean bugs and strange furry animals. The people of Guangzhou have a love for food, and there is a huge diversity of fresh produce available. A simple trip to the market in Guangzhou can present a wide range of fresh food that would be more than enough for an episode of Bizarre Foods. Chickens with black meat, goose eggs, pigeons, scorpions, crocodiles, more varieties of mushrooms than you have ever seen before, and that is before you check out the seafood. Any of you that are lucky enough to visit Guangzhou can see these exotic wonders and a lot more on our Guangzhou Food Tours.Our focus in this list is bizzare or unusual foods that are readily accessible to try in Guangzhou, the things that are part of everyday life for local Cantonese people. Remember, what is weird to you, is normal to us!Weird Foods of Guangzhou - No 1. Black Chicken (Wu Gai)In English this chicken is called a Silkie. They have beautiful soft white feathers, and amazingly black meat and bones. If you go to a market in Guangzhou, you will see the black meat on display at any chicken stall. The meat is commonly used to make chicken soup and is has been prized for its medicinal qualities in China for hundreds of years. The soup is a clear soup boiled with goji berries, dried yam, dried orange peel and ginger.Another unusual fact about this chicken is that is has 5 toes instead of 4 toes like most other chickens.In addition to chicken soup, the eggs from Silkie's are blue / black colour, fragrant and delicious. They run at about double to cost of normal chicken eggs.Black chicken is so common that we will not recommend an individual restaurant. Almost every neighbourhood has a soup shop that will sell Wu Gai soup. Most large restaurants will also serve the soup. Ask your concierge for a suggestion, or any Cantonese local!Weird Foods of Guangzhou No 2 - Scorpion If you are reading this, you have probably already come across the common images of people selling scorpion skewers in Beijings night markets. Unlike in Beijing, this is not a tourist novelty. In Guangzhou if you go to most wet markets, you can find someone selling a variety of different scorpions. In Chinese medicine, scorpions are known for their detoxification purpose. It is often used to treat arthritis. Normally used in soups, locals think male scorpions with small bellies and thick legs are the best. If you are interested in trying some scorpion soup, there is a 35 year old restaurant called Dun Ping Huang on Tong Fu Dong Road, Haizhu. They specialise in slow cooked soups and serve a wide variety of medicinal soups including scorpion soup, cow penis soup and turtle soup. Weird Foods of Guangzhou No 3 - Goose EggsGoose eggs, exotic, delicious and sure to give you high cholesterol. One of the more tame exotic foods that you can try in Guangzhou, these jumbo eggs are around 3 times the size of a normal chicken egg, and at least double the price per gram of a chicken egg. We like our goose eggs pan fried and have it as a common breakfast treat. You probably won't find this on many restaurant menu's, but you can buy it at any wet market. Goose eggs are high in protein content and full of minerals and vitamins. It is said to help improve one’s memory. Weird Foods of Guangzhou No 4 - PigeonThere is a Chinese proverb that one pigeon is worth nine chickens. Pigeon is a delicious treat available in many restaurants across Guangzhou and also fresh in all wet markets. Common ways to eat pigeon are roasted, similar to duck or goose, or in a soup or hot pot. The meat is darker than chicken, more like duck, flavoursome but not fatty. There is not much meat on a pigeon, so either order a few to share, or have it as part of your main meal. Pigeon soup is particularly delicious. Where to try it?You can try good roast pigeon all over Guangzhou, ask a Cantonese concierge for a recommendation. For pigeon soup, my favourite is from a small restaurant in Liwan district. Nothing fancy, but authentic and delicious.Wang jin ge on Jiang Yi Road, Haizhu specialises in pigeon and is one of our favourite restaurants. You can have your pigeons cooked in four different ways plus treat yourself with one of their medicinal pigeon hotpots. Weird Foods of Guangzhou No 5 - DonkeyDonkey is not a Cantonese speciality, but it is available in Guangzhou. Originating from Northern China, Donkey can be prepared in a variety of ways. Hot pot is one of the most common. The meat is similar to beef, but with a more subtle flavour and is considered a delicacy. If you are living in Guangzhou, you can buy fresh donkey meat in Liwan near the Lamb wholesalers. There is a Chinese saying “There is dragon meat in heaven and there is donkey meat on earth.” It is meant to be excellent for people with bad back.Weird Foods of Guangzhou No 6 - Geoduck Geoduck (pronounced Goo-ey-duck) its the largest burrowing clam in the world. They originate from the west coast of Canada and the USA and are sold live in markets across Guangzhou, as well as neighbouring Hong Kong. Geoducks take 6 years to reach maturity and can live for an amazing 140 years, although life expectancy is considerably shorter for those in Guangzhou Restaurants! A single Geoduck can weigh around 1.5 pounds.Lots of high end seafood restaurants in Guangzhou will have live Geoduck on display. Alternatively for the very freshest and widest choice, head to the Huang Sha Seafood markets and be amazed. Expect to pay around 300 RMB per kilo for this rare delicacy. The best way to prepare geoduck is to quickly boil them in hot water then dip into ice cold water. Sprinkle with shallot, ginger and chilli, drizzle with soy and cooked oil.
Guangzhou Layover Guide | Things to do on a Guangzhou Layover
When it comes to choosing a layover city, Guangzhou is not at the top of many peoples list. But that is part of the appeal of why Guangzhou is a fantastic city for a stopover. Less famous than Shanghai and Beijing, Guangzhou is a living museum of authentic Cantonese culture, with fantastic food, picturesque alleyways, interesting local markets and great layover tours. Here is the Eating Adventures guide for the best way to spend a Guangzhou Layover
Do you have enough time to leave Guangzhou airport?
The first thing to consider is if you even have enough time to leave the airport. You really need at least 7 hours to make it worthwhile leaving the airport. Whilst the downtown area is only 40 minutes by taxi from the airport in normal traffic, the biggest problem is actually getting out of the airport which sometimes can take a while. You should allow 2 hours from landing to getting to your hotel, and then depart your hotel around 3 hours prior to your onward flight. The traffic in Guangzhou is not too heavy, but it can be during peak hours in the evening, so beware.
If you have flexibility, choose your flights so that you can spend a night or two in Guangzhou, you won’t regret it!
Do you need a visa for a Guangzhou Layover?
Citizens of 53 countries are allowed visa free entry for a 72 hour layover. This includes Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Singapore. To be eligible for this, you must be in possession of an onward international flight ticket as well as having a valid visa for your next destination. Visa free entry is only available if you are both entering and exiting via Guangzhou Baiyun Airport. Please check the exact rules with your local Chinese embassy prior to booking, as visa rules for China change frequently.
How to get from Guangzhou airport to the city?
Depending on where you are staying, either the Metro or a taxi will be the easiest way into the city. The Metro is clean and efficient, with a station directly under the airport. It is definitely the cheapest way into the city.
If you are not staying on the Metro line, local taxis cost around RMB130 – RMB200 into the city. You are expected to pay for tolls separately, and there is an official taxi queue outside arrivals. Never take illegal taxis and remember that by law taxi drivers must switch on the meter.
If you are travelling to the city by taxi, make sure you have the address for where you are going written in Chinese, and a contact telephone number for the hotel will be helpful. Guangzhou is a massive city with hundreds of hotels, so you cannot expect taxi drivers to know all of them.
English speaking chauffer transfers are also available, but unless you have money to burn, this is not really necessary.
You can find a more detailed post on how to get from Guangzhou airport to the city here.
Things to do during a Guangzhou Layover?
Eat the best food in China!!
Guangzhou is famous for having the best food in China. This is where world famous Cantonese cuisine originates from, and the quality and diversity of local Cantonese cuisine is amazing and far exceeds neighbouring Hong Kong. As well as the best Cantonese cuisine in the world, you will find restaurants specialising in food from most provinces in China.
Eating Adventures offers English speaking walking food tours in Guangzhou. This is definitely the easiest way to try some local delicacies and explore the backstreets of Guangzhou during a Guangzhou layover. Tours normally run for around 4 hours and will give you an insight into authentic local Cantonese culture and cuisine, whilst taking you off the beaten path. All tours are led by fully licensed guides. Tour timing may be able to be flexible to allow for your layover.
If you don’t have the time for a food tour, Dim Sum is the one eating experience that you must do in Guangzhou. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to Dim Sum in Guangzhou, two of our favourites for the best dim sum in Guangzhou are Dim Do Dak and Guangzhou Restaurant.