Guangzhou - Essential Information

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 longer stays, a visa must be pre-arranged in advance, so consult your local embassy for details. You must have bring 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 loss 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.
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Baiyun International Airport opened in August 2004 and is located 28 kilometres from the city center. 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 with a reasonable price. Taxi ranks are located in both A and B arrival areas. At the A arrival, it is set outside the gate of A8. At the B arrival, it is set outside the gate of B6. You should only use a legitimate Chinese taxi driver and not just follow anyone who is offering. The legitimate taxi driver 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 the driver.
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Public Transport

Metro Guangzhou's metro opened in 1999 and is rapidly expanding. There are several lines operating and they run very frequent, making it an easy way to transport to different destinations. There are different tickets depending on your needs while tourists mostly use single-trip ticket. The single-ticket is only valid on the day when you buy it. The ticket can be bought on the ticket vending machines at the Metro stations (they only accepts 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. Bus Buses might not be the most comfortable way to move around, but they are certainly the cheapest and many of them have air-conditioning. 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 nigh buses that operates from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Ferries The ferries are convenient, comfortable and quick and they play a significant role in the local public system. There are 12 waterbus lines running along the channels between the piers in the city, to be more exactly, there are 26 piers scattered along the Pearl River. This is a very 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.
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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 color. 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 the green and golden colored 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 special stop for taxi passengers. Always use a legitimate taxi driver, make sure the taxi has a meter and a taxi company logo on the car.
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