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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Guangzhou

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Guangzhou each year. The main ones are listed below:

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

January/February: Spring Festival (Chinese New Year, national holiday)

As China is still largely a rural country, Chinese New Year celebrations are exceedingly important. In ancient times the start of the festival marked the beginning of the new season for planting crops, the ideal moment to pray for a good harvest. For three days, celebrations involve merrymaking and entertainment of many kinds, both at home with family members and outside in the streets: firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and demons, fireworks, etc.

February/March – Fifteenth day of the first lunar month : Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Jie, national)

Colourful paper lanterns line the streets of Shanghai and throughout China on this day. Children and adults parade through the city carrying long bamboo poles hung with smaller lanterns. This festival officially ends Chinese New Year celebrations.

May 1 : Labour Day (national holiday)

August – Seventh day of the seventh lunar month: Double Seventh Festival (Qixi, national)

Also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day, this romantic festival has been celebrated in China for centuries. Traditionally, this was the day when young, single women prayed for skill in needlework in order to attract a husband and bear children. The name of the festival refers to the seventh daughter of the Jade Emperor, a weaving maid, who was only allowed by her father to see her beloved, a lowly cowherd, once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Gifts of bouquets of flowers or chocolates, special dates, romantic dinners, and dance parties are among the celebrations during this day, highly anticipated by all single people in Guangzhou.

September/October – Fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month: Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiu Jie, national)

Also known as the Moon Festival, this is the day in the year when the moon is particularly round and bright, a symbol of unity and familial happiness. The main feature of this traditional festival is the sharing of cakes with family and friends.

October 1: National Day (Guoqing Jie, national holiday)

Commemorates the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, proclaimed by Mao Zedong. Festivities are held throughout the city, including fireworks, military parades, concerts and dance parties.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Guangzhou

Guangzhou has a humid, subtropical monsoon climate. Humidity levels in the city are often quite high. Winters are mild, with abundant rain. Summers are hot and muggy, with the potential for typhoons from June to September.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 10/50 18/64 43/1.7 Not the best period to go
February 11/52 18/64 65/2.6 Not the best period to go
March 15/59 22/72 85/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
April 19/66 25/77 182/7.2 Good period to go Good period to go
May 23/73 23/73 283/11.1 Good period to go Good period to go
June 24/75 31/88 258/10.2 Good period to go Good period to go
July 25/77 33/91 228/9.0 Not the best period to go
August 25/77 33/91 221/8.7 Not the best period to go
September 24/75 31/88 172/6.8 Not the best period to go
October 20/68 28/82 79/3.1 Not the best period to go
November 16/61 24/75 42/1.7 Not the best period to go
December 11/52 20/68 23/0.9 Not the best period to go
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Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

The Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is located about 28 kilometres (17 miles) north of Guangzhou.

  • One terminal
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Guangzhou and back:
  • By car
    • A six-lane expressway connects the airport directly to the city.
    • The airport offers both short-term parking (CNY 20 for 25–30 minutes) and long-term parking (CNY 20 for 2 hours, plus CNY 5 for each additional hour).
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By rail
    • Line 3 of the Guangzhou Metro links the airport to the centre of the city; a single ride costs CNY 8.
  • By bus
    • Six bus lines (1, 2A, 2B, 3, 4 and 11) connect the airport to the city, running every 15 to 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Travel time is about 50 minutes, with fares ranging from CNY 13 to CNY 22.
  • By shuttle bus
    • Nine express shuttle bus lines (5, 6A, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, 9 and 10) also connect the airport to the city, running from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Travel time is about 50 minutes, with fares ranging from CNY 20 to CNY 36.
  • By taxi
    • Official taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport. Travel time is about 45 minutes and the fare ranges from CNY 100 to CNY 145 (plus CNY 15 for tolls).
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +86 (0)20 3606 6999
  • Website: www.gbiac.net

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GETTING AROUND Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a large and growing metropolis. Long known for rampant urbanization and gigantic traffic jams, today it is a city transformed. Guangzhou has a public transport system the equal of those in other leading international destinations. The construction of a modern underground rail network and the development of a more liveable urban environment have made getting around the city a rather pleasant experience.

By rail

The Guangzhou Metro is a convenient way to get around and covers the entire length and breadth of the city. Line 1, which runs from east to west, and Line 2, which runs from north to south, intersect in the centre of the city and are certainly the most useful ones for visitors. Fares range from CNY 2 to CNY 12.

By bus

Buses are a practical and inexpensive way to discover the city. About 8,000 buses operate in the city every day, from 5 a.m. to midnight. Only a portion of them are air-conditioned. The fare is about CNY 2.

By taxi

Guangzhou has more than 16,000 taxis! Although this may sound impressive, demand is also very high, especially at rush hour. The initial rate (flag-down fare) is around CNY 7, plus about CNY 3 for each additional kilometre (0.6 miles).

By car

The international driver's license is not valid in China. Foreigners who wish to drive in China must hold a valid Chinese driver's license.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Guangzhou, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Guangzhou Tourist Board

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Intersection of Zhongshan Liu and Renmin (Yuexiu District) - Guangzhou
  • Telephone: +86 (0)20 86666666
  • Website: www.visitgz.com

China travel guide

The official website of the China National Tourist Office (CNTO), maintained by its New York office, provides a wealth of information on Guangzhou.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY).

1 CHF = 7,07 CNY

1 CNY = 0,14 CHF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Guangzhou counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before you travel. If you are under medical treatment, it is recommended to carry sufficient prescribed medicine.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to China. However, obtaining a booster vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio is recommended.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

It is strongly advised to drink water from sealed bottles.

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Administrative formalities

Citizens or nationals of all but a handful of countries must be in possession of a visa to enter China, regardless of the length of their stay.

For further information on visa requirements, contact the Chinese consulate general closest to your place of residence.

www.fmprc.gov.cn

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Guangzhou, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Chinese phrases that will make your stay in Guangzhou a little easier:

Hello / Good morning: Nĭ hăo

Good afternoon / Good evening: Wănshang hăo

Goodbye / See you soon: Zàijiàn

Yes: Shì

No:

No, thank you: Bù le xièxie

Thank you very much: Fēicháng xièxie

I don't understand: Wǒ bù dǒng.

Could you repeat that: Qǐng zài shuō yíbiàn?

Please: Qǐng

What time is it: Xiàn zài jĭ diăn le?

Excuse me: Duìbuqĭ

Airport: Jīchăng

Train station: Huǒ chē zhàn

Taxi: Chūzūchē

Hotel: Bīnguăn

Hospital: Yīyuàn

Bank: Yínháng

Telephone: Diànhuà

I'm (…): Wǒ shì (…).

I'm looking for (…): Wǒ zhăo (…).

How much is this?: Zhè duōshăo qián?

Do you have (…)?: Yǒu méiyǒu (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Wǒ zài nǎ li kě yǐ zhǎo dào (…)?

Where can I buy (…)?: Wǒ zài na li kě yǐ mǎi dào (…)?

I'd like (…): Wǒ xiǎng (…).

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Good to know

00 86
+ phone number without the (0)
6 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
There is no Daylight Savings Time in China

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
Tipping is not expected in Guangzhou's restaurants and cafés. On the other hand, it is quite common to thank tour guides and drivers by offering a small gratuity. Of course, the amount you choose to give is entirely up to you.

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