Guangzhou Walking Tour and Long Layover

How to Select a Good Tour Guide

A lot of the trips we’ve taken while stationed in South Korea have involved a long or longer than usual layover. One such layover, we spent more than 20 hours in Guangzhou China. Honestly, I hadn’t heard much about the city except that it is an industrial capital known for iconic architecture, being a major port city, and horrible air pollution. We flew to Guangzhou for a long layover to Bali, booking a Guangzhou Walking Tour and Long Layover and dim sum with a tour guide named Yuan on viator.com.

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Guangzhou Walking Tour & Long Layover 

Guangzhou was not on our bucket list. We stopped there on our way to Bali. The plane ticket on China Southern includes a hotel and meal voucher. After deciding that we shouldn’t waste the opportunity, I booked a half-day walking tour with viator.com to see the city. The tour included the markets and architecture. As well as a view of the city by water with a dim sum dinner.

You already know I love long layovers. I just booked my trip to Italy this summer by way of Istanbul. And one of my favorite long layovers was to Kuala Lumpur. Read all about it here.

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China Southern Airlines & The Pullman Hotel

If you fly with China Southern (for example) to Bali (for example). And have a long layover in Guangzhou China (for example). The airlines will pay to put you in a nice hotel overnight.

We actually booked a hotel on our own– the Guangzhou #Pullman. If you are ever visiting, you should definitely check into it. The hotel is gorgeous and is one of the hotels the airlines use If you fly first class (which we didn’t).

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Our Accommodations

We booked a room in the executive wing. It includes a private lounge and other perks like breakfast and an extra late checkout. You could spend the whole day in the lounges, private spaces, roof deck, sauna, pool, restaurants, etc, etc. It’s a great deal for $100. On that, I don’t regret it for a second.

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The Tour of the City

We walked from the meeting place on the Pearl River to the western architecture of Shamian Island to Liuhua Lake Park. It is the largest park in downtown Guangzhou. We walked through popular shopping areas. Got a chance to see a few temples and the newly constructed performing arts center over to Yuexiu Park. There are remnants of the old city wall and gate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Love Walking Tours

 

And along the way, we saw seamstresses, cabinetry makers, and food stalls. Loud chirps echoed in the bird and herb markets. We saw people at play, rest, and everything in between. And it was a great opportunity to see everyday life in Guangzhou.

 

 

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Tour Length

 

The tour lasted a little over 4 hours and ended with lunch in a popular dim sum restaurant in the old quarter. Guangzhou as formerly known as Canton and is considered the home of Cantonese food, so food tours are very popular excursions in the city. In addition, there are more restaurants per capita in Guangzhou than any other city in China.

 

 

Better Than a Guidebook

 

Long layovers provide a chance to see things you might otherwise never see. And I’ve become a big fan of neighborhood walking tours because they add a dimension to your trip you can’t get from a guidebook. Walking tours with a local is the closest thing to living like a local for a few hours and may end up being a highlight of your entire trip.

 

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Comments

  1. Nicki

    The name of the young guide in the picture who conducts the walking tour in Guangzhou is Janvi. I did the same route with you. Janvi knows an impressive amount about the history of Guangzhou, we only wish we had more time.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Yes, that’s his name. He was a lot of fun and like you, I wish I had a little more time to explore the shopping.

  2. Angel

    The hotel sounds amazing, with great amenities!

    I wish you safe travels, and give a “thank you” to your husband or me, for his efforts to keep our country safe. I truly appreciate him for his service. ❤✌

  3. Laura

    It sounds like you had a nice time. I’m not that keen on airlines like China Southern etc so I’ve not been to this part of China.

  4. Leo T. Ly

    My wife’s family is from Guangzhou and I visited that city twice. My favourite thing to do when I visit any cities in Asia is to check out the local fruit market. I love fresh tropical fruits.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Oh wow. I love the markets too– especially in Asia because you really get exposed to frats you’ve never seen before.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I still can’t believe I went there sometimes. It is a beautiful– if not HOTTT place to experience the traditions, do some exploring or just layback and do nothing at all.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I feel ya, but now I seek them out now because they offer so much flexibility and value to traveling.

  5. Elizabeth O.

    This is really nice. I’ve never been to Guanzhou before and walking is a great way to get to know a city. I think this is time well spent.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I agree Karen. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity. Its been a wonderful experience these past two years.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      You are right. We already had China visas. Helps take the sting off that ten year visa we had to purchase for our Great Wall adventure.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      It has been a real pleasure getting to know you. I hope you keep practicing your English and please stay in touch with me.

  6. Kim

    Did you go shopping there? Guangzhou is a great place to look for bargains! Wish I could go & visit the places you went to next time!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      We weren’t there long enough to do any real shopping. We shopped for a couple souvenirs though. However, I have shopped in other places around Chine– and you’re right– the shopping is amazing.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thanks Terri– China is REAL different, but in a way that that makes you “comfortable” with being out of your comfort zone.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Dinesh, I didn’t notice any where Yuan took us. I definitely didn’t see any other black people during our tour or even at the airport.

  7. Nikki Leigh

    Such a beautiful hotel that you stayed in. I’ve heard about Guangzhou prior to your post only because my jewelry store ships direct from there. It’s on my bucket list of cities to visit in order to get the cheaper prices on my products.
    I bet that tour was amazing. I can’t wait to visit China myself.

  8. Erin

    I love the way you made the best out of your long layover! I probably would have stayed close to the airport, too scared to get lost! LOL

    BTW – I enjoyed looking at the photos in the image carousel! So pretty!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Hi Erin, I totally understand that. But if you get a great map, directions and a plan you can venture form the airport with as little as a few free hours. I had a 7-hr layover in Italy and was able to go into town, tour it and enjoy lunch and a glass of wine with a couple hours to spare.

  9. Hannah Marie

    This is a great idea for long layovers, walking tour! The hotel looks like a nice place, love the photos!

  10. Sofia

    As someone who is so looking forward to visit Asia I loved every single word and photo!
    Loved the Thai chi man photo btw 🙂 Thanks for sharing

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Long layovers provide a chance to see things you might otherwise never see. Walking tours with a local are the closest thing to living like a local for a few hours and may end up being a highlight of your entire trip. The tour lasted a little over 4 hours and ended with lunch in a popular dim sum restaurant in the old quarter.

  11. David Elliott

    Thats awesome that you were able to take a trip into China. I have been there once, although not the city you were in. I really loved the people and the food. Although the weather there was difficult and some of the hotels I was in did not have air conditioning running in the main lobby, only in the rooms themselves, which created it’s own problems.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I heard ya. Some of the people on the plane stayed at a hotel without air conditioning. We chose to upgrade from the airline hotel– for $99 you can’t beat it. I hoe to get back again soon. Our Visa is for 10 years.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Not surprisingly the food is different from what you get at your local Chinese restaurant. But a real experience you’ll never forget.

  12. Heidi

    That brings back memories! I spent four months in China about 20 years ago. Guangzhou was the closest big city. I only got there once, but it was a great experience. Glad you got to see it!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Long layovers provide a chance to see things you might otherwise never see. Walking tours with a local are the closest thing to living like a local for a few hours and may end up being a highlight of your entire trip. The tour lasted a little over 4 hours and ended with lunch in a popular dim sum restaurant in the old quarter.

  13. duffelbagspouse

    Long layovers provide a chance to see things you might otherwise never see. Walking tours with a local are the closest thing to living like a local for a few hours and may end up being a highlight of your entire trip. The tour lasted a little over 4 hours and ended with lunch in a popular dim sum restaurant in the old quarter.

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