Transport To and From Guangzhou
Flying to Guangzhou
Guangzhou Baiyun Airport (广州白云国际机场)
Opened in 2004, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is an efficient and very modern air hub located about 30km north of central Guangzhou. The airport is also home to China Southern Airlines – one of China’s big three airlines – ensuring extensive domestic flight coverage. Domestically, 83 cities within China are served from Baiyun Airport, linking Guangzhou to every major destination in the country. International destinations serviced by the airport are also growing steadily. Airlines flying to Guangzhou include Air France, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airlines, Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, ANA and Korean Airlines. International routes from Guangzhou reach Western Europe, the USA, Australia and many destinations in Asia.
Below the departures floor is a level of restaurants, cafes and shops, all offering standard food for exorbitant prices. Wireless internet access (paid) is available at the airport.
Guangzhou Baiyun Airport Website: www.baiyunairport.com
Budget Airlines Flying to Guangzhou
Budget airline routes into Guangzhou are increasing. Currently Air Asia has daily services from Bangkok with prices as low as 1850 Thai Baht including taxes (around $53) not uncommon. Air Asia has two services each day from Kuala Lumpur at a standard price of around 350 Malaysian Ringgits including taxes ($100).
Meanwhile, Tiger Airways has daily flights from Singapore for around S$250 including taxes ($170) at the lower end of the price range, which actually isn’t particularly cheap.
Air Asia: www.airasia.com Tiger Airways: www.tigerairways.com
Transport to and from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport
By Subway: Baiyun Airport is linked to the city by subway. Trains to and from Baiyun Airport start running around 6am and finish around 11pm-11:30pm. Airport South station is on Subway Line 3, which has interchanges with Lines 1, 2, 5, and 8. These are the lines tourists are most likely to use.
By Airport bus: There are nine lines in operation on the Airport Express bus service with prices between ¥16 and ¥32 depending on the distance involved. Lines 1-3 and 5 are the most useful ones – see the schedules below.
Line 1: Airport to the China Southern office at Guangzhou Main Railway Station (Subway: Guangzhou Railway Station).
Buses on this line leave more frequently and run longer hours than on the other lines.
Departs: every 5-15 minutes. From the airport: From 7:00 until the last flight of the night has arrived. To the airport: From 5:00-23:00pm. Travel Time: About 45 minutes one way.
Line 2: Airport to Tianhe Guangyun Building.
This bus stops at the Garden Hotel (opposite the Guangzhou World Trade Center).
Departs: every 15-30 minutes. From the airport: From 7:00-22:30. To the airport: From 5:30-21:00. Travel Time: About 70 minutes one way.
Line 3: Airport to Fangcun bus station (Subway: Kengkou).
This bus stops at the Rosedale Hotel on its way from the airport.
Departs: every 30 minutes. From the airport: From 7:00-22:30. To the Airport: From 5:30-21:00. Travel Time: About 70 minutes one way.
Line 5: Airport to Guangzhou Globelink Hotel
This bus stops at the Dongfang Hotel, which is next to the China World Hotel and across the street from the Canton Fair exhibition center (Subway: Yuexiu Park).
Departs: Every 15 minutes. From the airport: 7:00-22:30. To the airport: 5:30-21:00. Travel Time: About 60 minutes one way.
Buses depart from right outside the arrivals hall. There are ‘Airport Express’ information counters at Arrivals to enquire about routes. Tickets should be purchased on the bus. Full schedules can be found on the Airport Express website.
Airport Express: Tel: +86 (21) 8612 2102. Website: www.kgkx.com.
By Taxi: There’s a taxi rank where queues are usually well enforced right outside the arrivals hall. You might get approached by a tout or two while waiting – don’t accept their offers. On the meter, a taxi to the city center will cost ¥100-¥130. The toll gate fee (¥15) is added to the fare on the meter.
Long Distance Buses from Guangzhou Airport
Long-distance buses leave regularly from right outside arrivals at Baiyun Airport to numerous surrounding cities. Buses depart from the airport to Zhuhai (¥80), Zhongshan (¥65), Foshan (¥30), Zhaoqing (¥65), Dongguan (¥50), Huizhou (¥80), Shenzhen (¥88) and several other destinations in the Pearl River Delta. Buses generally run from 8:30am to 9:30pm at a maximum interval of one hour. See the Airport Express website for full schedules.
Traveling to Guangzhou By Train
Guangzhou has two important train stations. Guangzhou East Train Station can be reached by the subway of the same name at the end of lines 1 and 3. Guangzhou Main Train Station also has its own eponymous subway station on Line 2. Be sure to check your ticket to see which station your train departs from.
Guangzhou East Train Station (火车东站) is a relatively calm and ordered place and is mainly concerned with trains to Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Bullet trains (‘D’ trains) to Shenzhen take about one hour and leave every half hour, while trains to Hong Kong take just under two hours and depart roughly once an hour. Guangzhou East Train Station is generally an easy place to buy tickets with shorter queues than you see elsewhere. It’s worthwhile buying tickets for journeys starting from the main train station here instead.
Guangzhou Main Train Station (广州火车站) is an enormous and chaotic transportation hub – the sea of people here can be overwhelming. Trains to most major destinations around China leave from here. Queues for tickets can be unbearable here. It’s easier to have your hotel organize them or to buy them at the East Train Station.
Guangzhou is linked to a stack of destinations in China by rail. Fast, quality, ‘T’ trains include the T100 to Shanghai (17 hours), the T16 to Beijing (21 hours; deluxe soft sleeper available), the T236 to Harbin (35 hours), the T38 to Guilin (11 hours) and the T264 to Xian (21 hours), which continues on to Lhasa (51 hours total). Slower ‘K’ trains include travel to destinations including Nanning (12 hours), Kunming, Chengdu and Nanjing.
Traveling to Guangzhou By Bus
Buses to and from Hong Kong leave from several major hotels including the Dong Fang, Garden and Landmark Canton hotels (see Accommodation section for locations). Buses leave roughly once an hour and the journey takes about 3.5 hours. Less regular buses to Hong Kong Airport and Macau also leave from these hotels. Buses from Hong Kong to Guangzhou depart from Hung Hom Station.
For other destinations, the two main long-distance bus stations are near Guangzhou Main Train Station, helping to make this area of the city even more chaotic. Liuhua Bus Station (流花汽车站), directly opposite the train station, is best for the very regular (every 15 minutes) buses to Shenzhen (two hours) and other local destinations. While the Guangdong Coach Station (广东省汽车站), just west of the train station, will get you to places like Guilin (13 hours) and Nanning (15 hours) as well as destinations around Guangdong Province.