Guangzhou Travel Advice, Information and Directory

Health Care Accessing Money
Book Shops Visa Extensions
Internet Access Postal Services
Phone Services Tourist Information Centers
Airline Tickets Online Resources

Health, Doctors, Pharmacies in Guangzhou

There are plenty of pharmacies around Guangzhou and there shouldn’t be any trouble finding one (although communication at pharmacies can be difficult).

If you need medical attention your best bets are the Can-Am International Medical Center or the Eur-Am International Medical Center, both of which have English-speaking doctors.

Can-Am International Medical Center
Address: 368 Huanshi Dong Lu (inside Garden Tower), 5th Floor.
Tel: +86 (020) 8386 6988
Open: 9:00-18:00
Website: www.canamhealthcare.com
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去环市东路368号花园酒店花园大厦5楼, 谢谢。

Eur-Am International Medical Center
Address: 19 Huali Lu, Ocean Pearl Building, North Tower, 1st Floor
Tel: +86 (020) 3759 1168.
Open: 9:00-18:00
Website: www.eurammedicalcenter.com
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去华利路19号远洋明珠大厦北座首层, 谢谢。

Accessing Money in Guangzhou

ATMs that accept foreign cards are plentiful in Guangzhou and ATMs almost always have a choice between English or Chinese operating language. Occasionally you will encounter an ATM that doesn’t accept foreign cards, but you can always rely on Bank of China or ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) ATMs which are plentiful enough. Just look for the logo of your particular card (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, etc) on the ATM.

The Bank of China can always exchange money. The major branch in Guangzhou is quite easy to find, located at #197 Dongfeng Xi Lu.

Western Union Services are offered at many China Post outlets, including the ones listed under Post Offices and Courier Services (below).

Book Shops in Guangzhou

The Foreign Languages Bookstore is the best bet in central Guangzhou for English reading material. However, the massive Guangzhou Book Center also has a decent range of titles.

Guangzhou Foreign Languages Bookstore
As usual, this shop is mainly set up for Chinese wanting to learn English. However, it does stock the usual range of classics, travel books about Guangzhou and China, and maps.
Address: 111 Hequn Yi Ma Lu. Tel: (020) 8379 7198. Open: 9:00-16:30.

Guangzhou Book Center
This massive bookshop has a small selection of books in English as well as maps.
Address: 123 Tianhe Lu. Tel: (020) 3886 4808. Open: 9-21. Website: www.gzbookcenter.com

Visa Extensions in Guangzhou

The Public Security Bureau that handles visa extensions in Guangzhou is at #155 Jiefang Nan Lu (on the corner with Dade Lu). Subway: Haizhu Square. Tel: +86 (020) 9611 0110. Open: Mon-Fri 8:30-11:30; 14:30-17:00.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去解放南路155号, 谢谢。

Internet Access in Guangzhou

Internet Cafe, GuangzhouAll hotels and hostels in Guangzhou will have some form of internet access. Almost all hotels of 3 star or higher classification have in-room internet access (usually cable but occasionally wireless), which can be used if you’re traveling with a laptop. Many hotels provide this service for free while others charge anywhere from $5-$15 per day, depending on the hotel. Hotels will also have a business center with internet access as well as a printer.

Internet cafes are common in Guangzhou, however, most have no English signs to identify them. Internet cafe is ‘wangba’ in Chinese and luckily these characters are quite distinctive (网吧). Keep your eye out for those characters when seeking an internet cafe.

There is a conveniently located one at #90 Baohua Lu, 3rd Floor. To get there, take Exit ‘D’ from Changshou Lu subway station, go to the right, walk a few minutes and it’s on the left-hand side.

Post Offices and Courier Services in Guangzhou

The Chinese postal service is generally quite efficient. Postcards or letters sent from Guangzhou will usually take around 6 or 7 working days to reach North America, Europe or Australia. Parcels will take a bit longer. If you need things to be sent urgently then you can use one of the international courier services.

There are plenty of post offices around Guangzhou. A couple of convenient ones are #76 Dishipu Lu (Subway: Changshou Lu; Open 9:00-18:00) and on the Beijing Lu pedestrian mall (#284 Beijing Lu; Open 9:00-18:00). China Post also offers an Express Mail Service which is a cheaper alternative to using international courier companies (see the Post and Mail page for more information). In addition to postal services it is also possible to make Western Union transfers at these branches.

A number of international courier companies have offices in Guangzhou. With a courier service, a letter will take about three or four days to reach North America, Europe or Australasia and cost around $50 to send. Packages will cost more, depending on their weight.

TNT
Address: 232-236 Zhongshan Liu Lu, Yuexiu New Metropolis, East Building, 21st Floor
Tel: (020) 8316 2688
Website: www.tnt.com.cn/en/index.asp

DHL
Address: 403 Huanshi Dong Lu, Guangzhou International Electronic Tower, Room 1601-02
Tel: (020) 8732 4728
Website: www.cn.dhl.com/en.html

UPS
Address: 410-412 Dongfeng Zhong Lu, Jianlibao Tower, Room 1801-05
Tel: (020) 8348 6789
Website: www.ups.com/content/cn/en/index.jsx

Phone calls to and from Guangzhou

The international phone code of China is “86” and the area code of Guangzhou is “020”.

If you call to Guangzhou from abroad, you should dial the international access number (usually 00 or “+”), then the code for China “86”, then the code for Guangzhou without the ‘0’ (20), and then the 8-digit city number.

If you call to Guangzhou from inside China, then dial the full Guangzhou code (020), and then the 8-digit city number.

If you dial a Guangzhou number inside Guangzhou, just dial the 8-digit number, without any prefixes. Note that if you call a Guangzhou landline from a mobile phone while in Guangzhou, you should include the ‘020’ prefix.

For international calls, IP (Internet Phone) international calling cards can be bought at most small shops, newsstands and hotels in Guangzhou. Just look for a sign saying “IP”. A card with ¥100 credit actually sells for about ¥35 (some vendors will try to charge you ¥40). Rates vary depending on what country you’re calling, but a card with ¥100 credit will generally buy you about 20-25 minutes talking time when calling to the US, Europe or Australia.

If you plan to stay in Guangzhou for a longer period it is reasonably cheap to buy a SIM card with one of the local operators: China Mobile or China Unicom. A SIM card usually costs around ¥100-120 and generally includes ¥50 credit. You also pay more depending on how ‘lucky’ your phone number is. Average call charges are ¥0.6 per minute and ¥0.15 per SMS. Once you move outside the city where you bought the card you have to pay slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ charges.

If you already have a Chinese SIM card with one of these networks then it will also work in Guangzhou, though you will be charged slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ tariffs.

Tourist Information Center in Guangzhou

There are a few Tourist Information Center outlets around Guangzhou, including one on Jiefang Bei Lu, just south of the intersection with Liuhua Lu (Subway: Yuexiu Park). But they’re utterly useless and even if the staff speak English they’re not particularly helpful. The website of the Guangzhou Tourism Administration is decent though (see Online Resources below).

Buying Airline Tickets in Guangzhou

Airline tickets can be bought at the China Southern Airlines office at #181 Huanshi Xi Lu (Subway: Guangzhou Railway Station) or at any hotel or travel agency.

Guangzhou Online Resources

Urban Anatomy: This is the website to go to for restaurant and nightlife listings. They put out a monthly English-language magazine called That’s PRD, covering Guangzhou and the Pearl River Delta region, which is quite good.

Visit GZ: While the Tourist Information Centers in Guangzhou are awful, the website of the Guangzhou Tourism Administration has some good information, especially concerning sightseeing and dining.

Guangzhou International: The official website of the Guangzhou Municipality Government features Guangzhou news and many contacts that could be useful both for business travelers and tourists.