Guangzhou Transportation Guide  
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Guangzhou Transportation Guide

City Transportation

Guangzhou offers visitors a wide variety of choices for getting around, from the traditional bus or taxi to the subway, not to mention unlicensed motorcycles that whisk you through the city's sidestreets to avoid crowded roads. For those eager for some exercise, there's even rentable bikes. Public mass transportation may not take you to your exact destination so the best option would be to hire a taxi, although be warned that roads may be quite congested during rush hour.

Taxi drivers in Guangzhou are fairly honest; the problem for visitors is few of them speak English. To avoid difficulties, ask the hotel staff to write your destination in Chinese or take a map that you can use to pinpoint your destination. Don't forget to get the name of your hotel written in Chinese for the return trip.

The taxi flag down rate is 7 renminbi for the first 2 kilometers, but the rate for succeeding kilometers varies from operator to operator. The Jatta and Santana companies charge 2.60 renminbi per succeeding kilometer, while Xiali charges 2.20 renminbi per kilometer. Guangzhou taxis are required to use meters - complaints against recalcitrant cabbies can be lodged at tel. 8666-1314.

When you're downtown during the wee hours of the night, it's quite easy to get a cab. Wave your hand, and after a few moments a cab or two will be at your service, though on some small streets or at the city's outskirts it will take you a little longer to find a cab.

It's not recommended that foreigners drive their own cars, as the roads are congested and local traffic rules will differ from those back home. But if you get a friend to drive for you, you'll be happy to note that even if streets are always packed, you can always find parking near hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and office buildings. Parking lots of hotels, shopping centers and office buildings charge by the hour, while those of restaurants are free of charge if you eat dinner there. Parking fees are about 10 renminbi per hour, 20 renminbi per day, and 400 renminbi per month.

Going to Hong Kong

Your choice of transportation will depend on availability (especially during the trade fair when trains will be very busy), your budget, and where in Guangzhou you are staying. Trains run to Hong Kong from the East Train Station. Tickets can be bought at the station or at hotels, where a service charge will be tacked on to the basic fare. Note that fares will be higher during holidays and peak travel periods.

Another rail option is to take the fast train, or a bus, to Shenzhen. From there you can walk across the border and catch the KCR train into Hong Kong.

Buses leave for Hong Kong from many hotels. The trip takes around three hours. If you would rather travel in style, you can opt for limousines rented out by major hotels. If you hail a taxi, you'll have to negotiate a price. A good starting point is 500 renminbi. You shouldn't pay more than 600 renminbi.

If you want to take to the sky or the water, China Southern Airlines operates flights to Hong Kong. If you feel you're already spending too much time in airports, a comfortable option is the high-speed ferry that leaves from Huang Pu.

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