Cruise ships are likely to dock in Nansha Port, which is far from city center.
Use taxis or cruise provided transportation.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port.
Watch a destination video.
Guangzhou is a famous historical city. In ancient days, Guangzhou was the capital city for three Chinese dynasties: the Nan Yue (South Yue), the Nan Han (South Han) and the Nanming (South Ming). Thus it was put in the list of the 24 most famous historical cultural cities and became a tourist destination. You can not understand most Chinese cities deeply until you know their history. This is true of Guangzhou. Many historic sights: the Western Han Nanyue King's Tomb Museum, the Zhenhai Tower and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall tell you the 2,000-year history of Guangzhou.
To get around in the cities, one best uses a taxi or a van: They are very cheap and plentiful. Make sure you talk to the driver beforehand, to check his language skills.
An itinerary might be as follows:
Start your first visit with Western Han Dynasty Nanyue King Mausoleum Museum. The mausoleum is the showcase of Guangzhou with a history of over 2,000 years. Then move on to the Five-Ram Statue in Yuexiu Park. The sculpture of five rams is the symbol of Guangzhou. It is located in Yuexiu Park, the largest urban parkland in China.
After lunch, continue to visit the Temple of Six Banyan Trees. It is an ancient Buddhist temple originally built in 537, one of the four best Buddhist temples in Guangzhou. The temple features a 57.6 m high Flower Pagoda, the tallest old structure in the city. Then move on to the Qingping Market. Cantonese people are known to eat anything! To know all about this, come to this market - persimmons, scallops, seahorse, starfish, fungus etc. Any edible stuff that you can find here. It is also a great place to "People Watch".
Finally you might visit Shamian Island. Shamian was once home to the two concessions given to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing Dynasty government in the 19th century. Now it is a paradise in the busy city like Guangzhou. You won't see heavy traffic there. Houses there are from late 19th century and early 20th century.
There are roughly three groups of taxi drivers:
Touts: Stay away from them, you are about to pay a multiple of what
you should pay, walk a half a block and you will find a honest cabbies.
The mechanics: They have build their own taximeter, with all consequences.
The honest cabbie: As the Chinese government is clamping down on mistreatment of tourists, this group is in the far majority( >90%), in fact the more south you go in China, the more honest people get. Make sure they put the meter on, otherwise get out!
Important: If you buy a guide book for the town you are about to visit,
make sure it is of the latest edition available. This as the pace of
construction is enormous: what is here today, might not be there tomorrow!
Make sure the maps in your guide book have "english" as well as "chinese" characters, so you and the cabdriver can communicate by pointing at the map. Cabdrivers only speak chinese.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Every large tourist town has at least one or more shopping malls for westerners. Often the only place one can buy larger clothing sizes. Although these malls are fun, please be aware that almost everything is fake and that the bargaining is hard. The quickest way often is to show with bills in your hand, how much you are willing to pay and than walk on. If they than gesture you back finalize the deal. Always stay courteous.
Restaurants are often found in clusters in certain parts of the city, recognizable by very colorful decorations to attract customers. Stroll by and look for restaurants that are patronized by chinese families themselves. Most menu's have pictures of the items served. Seafood in general is kept alive in large tanks. Eating out in China is a feast, with very little etiquette, and in general rather noisy. Enjoy the fun! Only drink bottled water even use that if you have to brush your teeth. Use common precautions when eating out.
The Yuan (or Renminbi RMB).
Occasionally you will be given a counterfeit bill, mostly in a small denomination. Nothing you can do about it, just keep it as a souvenir.
Internet is very well adapted in China, in fact even the more modest hotels have almost all WiFi in their rooms and in the public areas you will find Internet stations. Often for free or at a very modest charge.
Emergency number China: 100
Hong Kong and Macao: 999
There seem not set opening hours for stores, it seems as long as there are customers they stay open.
Chinese New Year (about two weeks long) is the time when all the Chinese are traveling and transportation can be very hectic.
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