guangzhou insider

Essential Apps

How do I Set-Up Wechat

WeChat is the essential App, and the main communication tool in China. As the process of setting up an new WeChat account for your travel to Guangzhou is better to understand visually, we made a Video for you explaining all steps. Habe a look at the Video below on how to install WeChat.

How do I Set-Up Alipay

Alipay is, besides WeChat the most important App in China. It can be used for payment, but also includes many services like hello bike which are shared bicycles. Below you will find a Video on how to set-up an account on Alipay.

How do I Set-Up Meituan

Meituan is another very powerful App. It is used to order anything you need, buy tickets in advance or even hotels and flights. This powerful App is only available in Chinese, however in the Video below we show you how to set-up an account and use the App.

Transportation in Guangzhou

How to call a Driver

There are two Apps, the first one being DiDi, that allows you to call DiDi drivers, which is similar to UBER. The App has an english version and is easy to use. Payment can be done by connecting either WeChat or Alipay.

The second option is to use the AMAP navigation App directly, which is comparable to Google Maps. You can also connect either Alipay or WeChat and then choose ride-haul in the mode of transportation to call a driver for the route.

How to Buy Metro Tickets

There are several options to buy metro tickets in Guangzhou without using the ticket machines, which come with advantages, that you do not need to buy a new ticket for each ride.

The first one is to use Alipay or the metro App. If you open Alipay you will see a menu item called “transportation”. Turn on the location access for Alipay and it will automatically open the Guangzhou metro app in Alipay itself. You can also download the metro app separately, if you do not use Alipay.

The last option are metro cards. Which start at 50 rmb and can be purchased at most 7/11. They are credit card size and can be swiped on the NFC field of each metro exit/entry and even busses.

How to Use Shared Bicycles

There are many companies offering shared bicycles, the most common one “Hello Bike” by Alipay, which again can be opened directly through Alipay. The other two big competitors are Meituan and DiDi, however we found it a bit more difficult to activate the shared bicycle option inside their Apps.

In terms of price you usually pay 1-3 rmb for 15 or 30 minutes depending on which one you are using. So it is very affordable.

Sport and Workout

How to Sign-Up for Races

There are 3 major organizer for endurance races in China. Two of them mainly offer half-marathon, marathon and trail runs. The third one offers Triathlon as well as bike races. Big races in and near Guangzhou are the Guangzhou marathon, the vertical marathon, several trail runs as well as the Foshan and Zhaoqing Triathon. Check our article explaining on how to sign-up for races in detail.

What are normal Gym Prices

There are various ranges for Gyms, most of them offer a huge discount if you buy a one year or two year membership, which is not suitable for travelers to Guangzhou. Prices per year start around 1000 RMB and can go up to 3000 RMB or even more. The two suitable options are 1. Hotel Gyms and second to use Meituan, where you often can buy a “trial membership” which is usually quite cheap and goes for a few days. starting from free to 150 RMB in our experience.

Are there group activities?

Yes there are many activities. In our Sports section we listed many places where people meet in our sport category, and many articles are about to follow. Sign-Up for our newsletter for special announcements or join expat groups on WeChat for events hosted by different groups.

Travel Essentials

How to take the Train

The train stations in Guangzhou are huge. Each of them looks like a small airport. This article will guide you through the process, and shows you how to buy tickets online yourself. The blog Postcards from Mimi made a extensive guide about train travelling in China in general. You can have a look at it. For tickets you can either use the official chinese app “12306” Or go with the easy option for buying train tickets on

How to Get a Sim Card

There area several options to go with. If you stay longer in China, the best way is to go to a China Unicom or China mobile store and buy a sim card that can be top up monthly as these are usually the cheapest option. If you are a traveler, you might consider services like which is a Hong Kong based mobile service provider. They offer travel sims, which according to users on reddit, surpass the Chinese firewall.

What are some Basic Phrases

The main language in China is Mandarin, and almost everyone in Guangzhou speaks it. However the local language is Cantonese, and this is what you will hear inside the old-town parts of Guangzhou. We are working on video and PDF courses for everyone to learn some essential Chinese phrases. In the meantime, my former Chinese teacher started a YouTube channel, which is worth having a look.

Contact us if you need further Guidance

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