At a glance
Guangzhou, the capital of Guang Dong province, is also known by its English name, Canton. Located on the southern part of the People's Republic of China, Guangzhou is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau, two of China's Special Administrative Regions. Guangzhou is also known as City of Flower, City of Rice Ear and City of Rams.
Covering an area of 7500 square kilometers and a permanent population of over 10 million, Guangzhou governs four old districts, six new districts and 2 country-level cities. Guangzhou forms part of the Pearl River Delta and the Pearl River flows through the city and into the South China Sea.
Guangzhou is the starting port of the ancient Chinese "Maritime Silk Road" which linked Southern China with India, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Guangzhou is also China's revolutionary cradle. Famous revolutionists such as Sun Yat Sen, Mao Ze Dong and Zhou En Lai have left their marks in Guangzhou. In 1982, Guangzhou was included in the list of 24 historical and cultural famous cities in China by the state council.
Guangzhou’s public transportation system is quite efficient. It includes a metro system which was opened in 1999, public bus service and taxis.
Operated by Guangzhou Metro Corporation, the 60 station system currently forms four lines – yellow, blue orange and green. Another three lines are currently being constructed while another four is being planned. Fares are determined by the distance travelled.
The cheapest way to move around Guangzhou is to use the public bus service. The bus service covers most areas in Guangzhou and fares range from only RMB 1 to RMB 2. There are also three tourist bus lines which pass through most tourist spots in the city.
Taxi is probably the most convenient way for tourist to get around. Taxi fare starts from RMB 7 for the first 2.3 kilometers and subsequently RMB 2.6 for each kilometer.
If you plan to stay for a while in Guangzhou, you are advised to get the multi-purpose Yang Cheng Tong card, which is similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card. This card can be used for most public transportation such as metro, bus, taxis and also at pay phones and vending machines.