China Southern Airlines (China Southern 304) operates direct flights from London Heathrow to Guangzhou on a daily basis. From the Heathrow Airport, as well as other major airports in the United Kingdom, indirect flights are available. Indirect flights are offered by Qatar Airways, Air France, Hainan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Emirates, Air China and THAI, among others.
Being a subtropical region, climate in Guangzhou is heavily influenced by the monsoon. The most tourist-friendly seasons being autumn and winter, the period that stretches from October to March. During this time, the weather remains mostly dry with the average temperature being 15 °C from January to March. October and November receive the most sunshine and the average count goes as far as 182 monthly sunshine hours. This is the perfect time for trekking and back-to-back sightseeing, hence the peak-season.
From April to September, Guangzhou is set to see spells of heavy rainfall and constant humidity. During this low-season, airlines offer discounted deals and holiday packages to boost tourism. Hotels and resorts offer reduced prices as well. Price-wise travellers need only put off their trip until April. The average rainfall exceeds the 280 mm benchmark in May but if tourists can bear with it then the cost factor will at least be in their favour. Guangzhou is a year round destination and monsoon only complements its beauties.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, having an IATA code CAN, is China's third busiest airport and the receiving airport for cheap flights to Guangzhou from the UK. It is a 30 minute drive to the city centre from this airport which is conveniently located at a distance of 32 kilometres from central Guangzhou. International airlines are currently using the Terminal 1 of the airport which is further divided into three sectors: the Main Terminal and two concourses designated as Area A and Area B. Passengers check into the Main Terminal where they wait and entertain themselves in restaurants and souvenir shops. Popular brand outlets have been introduced at the airport for further convenience of a diverse company.
Chimelong Paradise: An array of different experiences in one location, this large-scale amusement park is designed in line with the latest trends. There are countless rides, including different types of roller-coasters, installed in different sections of the park according to their respective themes. Thematically, the park is divided into Magic Town, Whirlwind Island, Screaming Zone, Happy Kingdom, Rainbow Bay, Water World and Phantom Zone. Each section adds a flavour of its own kind, each section being the materialization of someone’s fantasy. The Chinese circus is a major attraction. The food lounges offer a wide range of dining options, from fast-food to fine dining, and there are accommodation options available as well.
Baiyun Mountain: Definitely a good place for hiking, however, the majority visit for the cable car experience. Cable cars have strengthened the image of Baiyun Mountain as a popular tourist spot and an ever-increasing magnitude of visitors translates to positive feedback. Despite its recreational application, cable cars are used by the locals for transportation as well. The views from its hilltop are exhilarating.
Temple Of The Six Bunyan Trees: To foreigners, the pagoda style of architecture has always remained an enticing mystery. This Buddhist temple complex is a prominent religious site that has been around for centuries, built in 537 AD. There are guided tours to this temple that cater tourists and have them familiarize with several Buddhist traditions and cultures. Tourists will get firsthand experience of the daily activities of monks and rituals unique to the Chinese culture.
Museum Of The Mausoleum Of The Nanyue King: This is not recommended for history lovers only. Many first-time visitors find themselves intrigued by the history and persona of Zhao Mei and start their research there and then. The museum is built around the tomb of the said king of Han dynasty and houses rare artefacts of the royal heritage.
Guangxiao Temple: An ancient Buddhist temple that served as a hospitality house for travelling monks and pilgrims. Today, the temple complex is a major tourist attraction notable for its evergreen gardens and iron towers. Both the buildings and the statues show excellent craftsmanship. It remains a significant cultural heritage site in Guangzhou.
Shamian Island: This is a sandbank island that is an attraction in itself. The style of architecture varies from mainland Guangzhou and every street offers a view or two worthwhile. Anybody fond of statues and canopied streets must visit this island.
Guangzhou Metro: It is an underground rapid transit system that offers the maximum coverage of the city – 232 stations in total. At each station there are automated ticket vending machines that commuters put their money into (both cash and coins) and punch their target destination on the screen. The next screen brings the seating option, select the number of seats required and wait for the machine to drop your ticket (and change) in to the collection box below. Directions are given in English side by side other languages. There are a total of 13 lines and each line is colour-coded on official transit maps as well as on the screens. The service is operational from 6 in the morning to midnight.
Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit: The Guangzhou BRT employs high capacity, air-conditioned buses that cover major portions of the metropolitan. There are 26 BRT stations and there is a bus after every 10 seconds. The buses can be recognized from their orange colour and as there are no feeder routes strictly speaking, the buses operate even outside of the corridors. The BRT network is spread so as to make connections with the Guangzhou Metro on several stations. Commuters are required to purchase a smart card which is rechargeable.
Taxi: Taxi is a four seasons, tried and tested mode of transport that everyone is familiar with. When in doubt, just call a taxi. There are many ride-hailing apps available online and one can easily travel at one’s own pace. As always, taxis tend to be more expensive than average public transport but offer flexibility and comfort.