Hiring a car in Guangzhou Airport
There are car rental options available at the airport, but it is far easier to hire a car through your hotel, or online and in advance. If you book through your hotel they can often help you book a driver as well, which for many is an attractive option.
You can also use our handy car hire search tool to book the car you want in advance. Most of the cars you can hire in China will be typical 4 or 5 door sedans. However, most companies will also offer a hatchback option if you want a smaller car. If you carry a foreign license, you are only allowed to drive with an automatic transmission in China.
Leaving Guangzhou Airport
Follow the Airport Road to the Airport Expressway (S41), and then continue on this road to the Liwan District. From here you can then take the DongFeng Road West exit, drive along Dongfeng Road to House Road in the Yuexiu District.
If you have to return your hired vehicle with a full tank, there are filling stations on the S41 where you can replenish your petrol.
Driving in Guangzhou
China, and the city of Guangzhou is one of the largest cities in China, with a population of over 8 million people. As a result, traffic is very heavy, and many people opt to hire a driver, along with a car.
The road infrastructure in China may also be poorer than what you are used to, and the driving style in the country can be fairly forceful, so we recommend that if you do choose to drive in this country, that you feel confident enough to do so.
To drive in China, you must apply for a temporary license. If you have a driving license from your own country, you do not have to take tests, but you do need to attend lessons to learn Chinese road safety regulations. It is recommended that you get an International Driving Permit (IDP) as this helps to legitimize your license when you are abroad. Please make sure you carry your IDP, passport and license with you when you are driving in China.
What can you see and do in Guangzhou?
Sitting on the banks of the Pearl River, this frenetic and vibrant city in South China has a lot to offer its visitors. Get to know the Guangzhou by strolling down Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street in the Liwan District, it is part of the old town of Xiguan and is lined with hundreds of eateries and shops, both traditional and modern. Buy some gifts for friends and family back home, or simply try the world-famous cuisine of the Guangdong province.
Then learn a little of the city’s history by delving into its past. Visit the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, a complex made up of 19 buildings and six courtyards which give an insight into the complexity of traditional Chinese architecture. Or take a trip to Shamian Island and see for yourself the imprint that colonialism made on this part of China, as there are lots of buildings that inhabit the Neoclassical, Baroque and Gothic architecture of the Europeans.
If you’re tired of touring the big city, then head to Baiyun ‘White Cloud’ Mountain, a forest covered peak set within a summer resort made up of a series of scenic areas where city dwellers can get back to nature. Considered to be one of the most beautiful parts of the larger Guangzhou area, this is a must-see.
When the day is up, make for the banks of the river when the sun goes down, and watch the skyline come to life from the shoreline, or hop on a boat tour and sail down the Pearl.
Please note all information is current as of November 2015.