GuangZhou - China

Anyone ever been? Whats it like compared to Taipei? Pollution? Transport?

Any comments would be welcome!!

it has its ups and downs. There are places where its very clean and upscale but there are also places thats like the country side, filthy and behind like about a century. When it rains at night during night time in spring it is still warm. The air is pretty bad and people J walk all over the place. Scooters have no problem running you over without a thought. Night life and club life is definitely not as great as Taipei. You want to have some fun go to Shanghai but if you really want to go to a place in Canton, go to Shengzhen. That place is perfect for leisure or so I’ve heard. Shanghai definitely have the hottest girls tho.

Guangzhou is strange, dirty, crowded and if you listen to the locals, dangerous. It feels like the rest of China left it in its march forwards. Never really went looking for cultural treasures. The nightlife is limited, but present.

Shamian Dao, the old concession area is bizzarre. It’s packed with shops with only English signs selling baby clothes. I was stumped at first. More so when I went to the nearby White Swan Hotel and saw it full of westerners with Chinese babies. Finally I found out the White Swan Hotel, which is next to Shamian Dao, is where “tour groups” of American baby adopters stay. Apparently there is a US embassy nearby.

Taipei is way better.


Guangzhou is the one Chinese city where I’ve seen homeless drug addicts sleeping on the street. But it also has some of the best Chinese food in the world there.

On the transport front, taxis are cheap, as they are everywhere in China.
Don’t know how real the threat is, but people I met did advise caution in taxis. Still, I managed to fall alseep on the way back to the hotel one night without incident.

Canto food is crap I’m aftraid . . . but to each their own.


Thanks for your replies… i have an interview for a job in a British International School, so I will have to seriously consider it if they offer me the job. It sounds dirty and dangerous… but i think after the Taipei experience I can handle it. The pay and the expat package offered by the school will be excellent, so maybe that would make it seem sweeter! It is gonna be a tough call if they offer me this job… anyway, GuangZhou is only one and a half hours by train to hong kong, so on my holidays I could easily escape to a nice beach somewhere. And the longest term should only be around 7-8 weeks at the most… hhhmmmm, i will think about this carefully!!

I don’t think it’s that dangerous. Kinda like Taiwan, if you listen to the local folks, or watch the sensationalist TV news, you’d think it was a war zone full of crazed watermelon blade slashers.

Could be good. I did see one expat pub there, the Buddha Bar, which seemed to be mostly full of English teachers. Actually I was suprised how many English teachers I met in Guangzhou. All seemed pretty content with their lot.

Buddha Bar
Phone: 86 (20) 38847908
Address: Lin He Dong Lu/Hai Tang Ge (Ground Floor)
Tian He District
Guangzhou, China


GuangZhou, much like Shenzhen is modernising quickly, they both have pretty good MRT systems. If you are out in the boonys it will be pretty under developed (my wife says it is like Kaoshiung 20 years ago). However I would guess the school will be in the city.

Cost of living should be considerable lower, although ExPat types of food will cost you more (and you gotta check the sell by dates). Pretty sure Guangzhou has Walmart so you can do shopping there, lots of KFC and McDonalds too even Pizza Hut.

I think you can also catch the ferry to HK, I think 1hr. Believe you can also take it directly to the HKIA so you don’t even have to land in Hong Kong.

If you need a get away once in while a weekend in HK does the trick… also lets you stock up on all the essentials. As you mentioned it is also a good jumping off point to go further afield.

I’m currently in SZ, just got back from a factory visit out in the boonies of DongGuan.

Ohh and if you don’t like the stares stay away, you get a lot more people staring and more beggers trying to find creative ways to get you to part with your cash. :unamused:

this is great info, thanks again.

Underdeveloped? Some of the areas I saw looked like they had been bombed. Mile after mile after mile of filthy shacks - no running water, no electricity. Like the shanty towns of Latin America, but worse.
Of course, I don’t suppose you’d be teaching or living there.
The pollution is horrendous.
However, it’s quite interesting in some ways, and if you got paid well you could probably save more money than in Taipei.