On 27.12.2012, I took a bus from my hotel to the Tianhe Coach Station. The Coach Station has a metro station on metro line 3 as well. It was a rush morning, so I did not take much detail of the station. Basically this Coach Station serves coaches traveling within Guangdong Province.
I took a coach from Guangzhou to Zhaoqing 肇庆。
Departure Time: 8:30am ; Arrival Time: 9:15am
Fare: RMB 53
In Chinese: 天河客运站， tian he ke yun zhan
While walking along the Pearl River, I saw the local waiting a boat to cross the river between the two wharfs, Sheng Zong Wharf 省总码头 and Sheng Zong Wharf 省总码头. It costs RMB1 to take a boat to cross the river. It was fun to do that as you can see the beautiful lights of those bridges as well.
If you want to cruise the Pearl River, it won't cost much to do that. The price will be RMB 38 on first floor , RMB48 on the second floor, and RMB68 on a VIP coach. It comes with free bottled water and some refreshment. There are many booths along the river to sell tickets for the cruise.
BRT or Bus Rapid Transit is quite established in the city of Guangzhou. I have been many cities in China and Taiwan. I think Guangzhou has the most advance BRT systems in the Chinese city. It is basically using the road exclusively for the BRT bus, so that buses can avoid traffic jams in the city. In Guangzhou, the roads are built together with bus-stop stations that are guarded like a metro station or subway. The BRT Station usually link with metro stations and bicycle rentals are available.
Check out the Guangzhou BRT website to learn more
Guangzhou East Railway Station is also known as Oriental Railway Station on the map. This railway station is located in Tianhe district, which is the modern and the center part of Guangzhou. It is built on the straight line with the Tianhe Sport Center, Huacheng Plaza, Haixinsha Park, and the Canton Tower.
The Railway station has modern facilities like restaurants, clean toilets, convenience shops, luggage storage, ATM, and customer service counter. It has an immigration checkpoint as there is a direct train from Hong Kong depart and arrive from this railway station.
There is a main city bus station on the north side of the railway station that allow you to catch a city bus to your destination.
The metro station is located on the north of the railway station. It links two metro lines, Line 1 link to the west side of the city, and Line 3 link to the south side of the city.
This is an ideal place to look for your accommodation nearby the station as it is nearby major attractions in Guangzhou.
On 25.12.2012 I arrived this Railway Station from Yonding Railway Station at 7:30 am. I took bus B20 at the bus station to my hotel.
In Chinese: 广州东站， guang zhou dong zhan.
There are 6 Airport Express Shuttle Bus available in Guangzhou to bring you to and from Baiyun International Airport to designated locations.
The routes map is available on the Baiyun International Airport website.
Fare is 20 RMB/pax and the last bus (Route 5) leaves the Airport at about 20 mins after midnight. Route 6 leaves the Airport about 10 mins after midnight and goes to Tianhe Bus Station. There a hotel next to the bus station which is the Tianhe Dasha.
Route 1 could well be the last bus and will wait until all flight for the day has landed and cleared custom and immigration.
Affordable and better option for large group of more than 5 persons.
There are plenty of taxis outside the Arrival Hall of the Baiyun International Airport. The taxi bay is beside the Airport Express Bus Bay. Makes decision to either take Express Bus or taxi easier.
The metered fare should be around 95 RMB to 120 RMB pending which location you are heading to and to which the fares on the website are on the higher end of the estimates. I paid something like 110-120 RMB (including highway toll charges) to Tianhe Area. No extra charges for taxi services after midnight.
Some taxis have a bigger boot area and allows for more luggages. They are visibly distinct and could be spotted fairly easily.
Most drivers are familiar with hotels around Guangzhou and should not have a problem getting you there.
However, there are new drivers too. On my last leg to the Airport, the inexperienced driver wasn't sure how to get there and make an earlier exit on the Airport Expressway. That expressway leads right up to the Airport and terminates there.
I Googled and found no Hertz/Avis rent a car service. I then Googled the Chinese websites and found some websites regarding rent-a-car in Guangzhou but they ask for DEPOSIT RMB6000-15000 depending on the cost of the cars, which is not a good idea, so we gave up this rent-a-car plan. But anyway, if you still want to rent a car, go to the Chinese websites, you pay deposits and they charge RMB160-RMB500 per day.
Kowloon Canton Rail (KCR) train will go several times a day between Guangzhou East Railway station and Hung Hom station in Hong Kong. East railway station is easily reached by metro and the station is new, shiny and clean. You can buy the tickets from the ground floor (or from your hotel or any travel agency in the city) and you enter the waiting hall from the second floor. There are a lot of signs in English, so there's no chance of getting lost. The station really resembles more an airport than a traditional train station with passport control, customs and tax free shops.
Trains are not very cheap (one way about 180 RMB), but they're convenient and rather new. They will sell some food and beer in the train. There's not much difference between first and second class, no reason to put your money on the first class ticket. KTT trains are newer than the Chinese trains, but both are okay.
If you want to get to Hong Kong cheaper, you can take a local train to Shenzen, walk over the border and take a local train to Hung Hom.
Check the link for a timetable:
We were informed by a travelling companion that it is better to hire a red cab than other taxis as these are the local people and tend to be more reliable. We are not so sure. What we did find out was that the trips to and from the airport were the most hair raising especially on the expressways with one taxi driver doing 140kmh!! The other difficulty we had was once we got to the airport taxi drivers wanting to include the toll fare in the final price. (In Guangzhou two tolls to go through.)
If you come from other two major city in Guangdong area, please simply take train. It is much faster to take trian than bus, even though the ticket is a bit more expensive than that. The CRH China Railway Highspeed offers a comfortable and fast trip. It takes less than one hour to arrive Guangzhou from Shenzhen, and about two hours from Hong Kong.
I took the overnight train (No. T38) from Guangzhou's main train station to Guilin which took about 11 hours. I decided to take comfy soft class which cost RMB383 but it was well worth it. The train left on time at 19:50 and not soon after boarding I took myself off to get something to eat in the buffet car where I got talking to some western tourists. The train arrived in Guilin on time at about 06:45.
I have spent much time in China and have an idea about the trains there.
Buying a ticket at a ticket office shouldn't be a problem as most of them speak english to a degree. They are located all around and the signs are also in english. I take it your flying into Beijing? There should be a ticket office at the airport. There are a few types of seats you can buy, hard, soft and sleeping depending on the length of the trip. DONT buy hard as it's very uncomfortable and crowded and the prices are very cheap. Ask your travel agent for help on prebooking a seat and timetabes. Also i would recomend a telephone card for your travels there as its a bit difficult to call around and expensive to call outside of China. Tried a few that weren't that great but found that at 2 steps connect.com has one of the best rates and connections. Well hope this helps and have a great trip, it's a fantastic place to visit.
The public transportation here is mostly metro and buses. However, seeing the long queue to buy metro ticket from the automat I think using the bus, even if there is traffic is not such a bad idea after all.
Buses are cheap but make sure you have your running shoes on to catch one!. Hundreds of buses arrive a the bus stop several at the same time and it is a free for all to jump on one. Dont expect a seat, they are crowded to overflowing so grow your arms and hold on! An experience not to be missed.
It is very difficult to get a taxi in this very crowded city, and once you finally get one, I had to explain the drive how to drive to my hotel, after all, I was already 6 hours in the city and he lives here all his life ;-)
But the good thing, no matter how far or how long it takes, it will always be cheap compare to the prices I’m used to ;-)
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