flyboysp From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 740 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5491 times:
A friend of mine is embarking on his first solo trip overseas and he is getting a bit nervous about it, so i'm trying to help him out. His flight arrives in CAN at 5.55am next Wednesday. His connecting flight CDG with AF does not depart until 11.35pm the same day, leaving him with a 17 hour 40 minute stop over.
Is there anything in the airport or nearby that would do well to keep him occupied or is he better off heading into the city? If he is better off in the city, what is the best way for him to get there and for him to do?
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3556 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5439 times:
Does he have a visa to leave the airport? If you can go into the city, there isn't an awful lot to do given the size of the city. There are plenty of great Cantonese restaurants to eat at. Shamian Island is quite a nice place to chill out for a few hours. Check out http://wikitravel.org/en/Guangzhou
If he doesnt have a visa, bring a very good book as CAN is BORING! especially for 17 hours! Airside airports are not terribly good, and are overpriced. Shopping is also poor.
Akiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 808 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5425 times:
This topic is being discussed extensively over at FlyerTalk, so allow me to give a few points from the discussion over there:
*CAN is supposedly experimenting with airside transfers which do not involve going through passport control. I'm not sure how that experiment has gone, or if it's still ongoing, but if it is, don't count on your friend leaving the airport.
*I'm not sure if a 17-hour layover is possible in CAN. According to Timatic, transit through China is permitted within 24 hours or, in the case of CAN, within the same day. I don't know how immigration in CAN will apply this rule: when I transited through CAN, I did it within an hour because my flight was delayed and I was connecting to an AF flight to CDG as well.
CAN is interesting as a city, but as mentioned earlier, it is sparse as to sites of interest (there's the Guanyin, the Shishi Cathedral and the new TV tower, but that's about it unless your friend speaks Chinese). I can suggest taking a train over to Shenzhen or Zhuhai (both an hour away by high-speed train), but i'll leave that up to him to decide.
CAN is a fair bit outside of the city of Guangzhou. Being his first solo trip, I have my doubts whether or not he will be up for getting in a cab, driving to some place in the city, going to a restaurant, etc, all in Mandarin (or Cantonese for that matter). CAN is actually a nice place to spot, if your friend is into that. Otherwise he can just pay for a lounge and crash there for a few hours.
Although Guangzhou has actually changed a lot and has become a very nice city in the last 10 years, it's not quite a touristy place to go to and there are few major attractions like you would have in Beijing or Shanghai.
tennis69 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 408 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4820 times:
If he has a visa to enter China he can take the Metro from CAN to anywhere in Guangzhou for 8 RMB. It's only 20 minutes to Guangzhou East Railway station and from there he can get to Shenzhen or Zhuhai or even go into Hong Kong (he'll need a multi entry visa for this).
SIA747Megatop From Singapore, joined Apr 2012, 379 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4720 times:
Your friend might just be in time for Guangzhou's most prestigious sporting event, the annual watching-paint-dry tournament. Only kidding of course, whilst being a very nice and developed industrial city (one of my favourites in China), as Coal mentioned, there isn't much in the way of tourism there.
"I do not yet know of a man who became a leader as a result of having undergone a leadership course." - Lee Kuan Yew