Living in Guangzhou Pros and Cons

Living in Guangzhou Pros and Cons

Guangzhou is one of the liveliest places in China. The capital of the Guangdong province has been slowly evolving into the economic play field of the mainland and a site that is frequently visited by tourists and businessmen alike. For the foreigners and expats wanting to move here, we put together this living in Guangzhou pros and cons guide to help make a better decision. A lot of people from other nations come to visit; a lot of people inside China also come move to the city. Most of them are young people looking to begin their studies at college or looking to set roots in the city.

As it happens with such a big life decision, it’s always good to consider the living in Guangzhou pros and cons for making a move to such a unique city in China. By general rule, cities are tough places for survival, and if you don’t have a clear strategy about the things you have to do, the Guangzhou lifestyle will have you end up broke or living on really miserable conditions. The following is a collection of tips we have found online that can help you survive challenges of living in Guangzhou if you are planning to move there.

living in guangzhou pros and cons

The Pros of Living in Guangzhou

  • You would be moving to the Heart of Factory City

Guangzhou is the place where most of the import and export companies in Hong Kong base their sourcing operations. The city is near all the important south factories of China, and almost all of them are located in a very comfortable city environment. Given the extensive options for public transportation, it’s very easy to move around the place, even at rush hour. Since the manufacturing industry is also booming at the place, it’s easy to find work if you have the right credentials or the necessary experience and training.

  • There are lots of exciting and fun things to do

Guangzhou has many fun and interesting things to do. No matter if you are traveling as tourists or living for an extended period of time, there are many attractions in the city to enjoy. Visiting some special spots like the famous Canton Tower, climbing Baiyun mountain, going to Shamian Island, or exploring the Guangdong Museum just to name a few. The Guangzhou nightlife is also fun for foreigners as there is plenty of fun things to do at night.

  • It’s an Open Market for Everything You Want to Buy or Sell

As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of manufacturing operations in the city of Guangzhou. Most of these factories work non-stop to deliver a lot of goods in every conceivable market you can think of. Operators of every size look for the services of these companies to get their products made. The result is that it is much easier to find whatever you need in this city at much better prices than the ones you will be able to see in every other place of the planet.

Guangzhou is the best venue for small scale entrepreneurs either if they have an idea to develop a product or if they wish to create a drop shipping business without having to invest large amounts of money in inventory. The competition among manufacturers to offer an excellent product at low prices is very fierce, and most of these operators have done a lot to improve their operations and provide quality products. It’s the ultimate capitalist experience, and if you play your cards right, you can win big.

  • The Costs of Living is not as high as Places such as Hong Kong or Shenzhen

As already mentioned, Guangzhou is the capital of the Guangdong province, the 5th largest city in the mainland, but the one who carries the torch when it comes to productivity and business opportunities. The place is ripe for the picking for any entrepreneur with a modest budget. They can set their operation by leasing an apartment with only a few hundred dollars a month. There are multiple options to upscale your location as you earn more, or if you find better working opportunities. Since the city is very close to the sea, there is also excellent connectivity if you know your way around public transportation and the food is very cheap with many options to go around, you can solve all your meals on a single day with no more than 60 Yuan!

  • You will be Able to Visit the Canton Fair

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, let us begin by saying that the Canton Fair is probably the oldest trade show done in the word. Is the best place to visit right after coming out of the Global Sources Show that takes place in Hong Kong? The event takes places two times a year, and it lasts for almost a month. The fair is the best chance to create a network of vendors or suppliers for the products you want to sell or to meet the people who might manufacture what you want.

  • There is a Broad Access to Local Chinese Culture

Since Guangzhou is an ancient city, you can still see a lot of traces of the age-old culture that has dominated the region. The city is the heart and soul of the Canton era, and you can spend week’s just sightseeing places if that’s your thing. Even if you don’t know where to go, there are a lot of guide services that can take to the most famous outposts’ in the city so you can enjoy everything Guangzhou has to offer.

  • Since Guangzhou is the Capital of South China, All the Embassies are there

It doesn’t matter the country where you come from, almost every consulate you need can be found in Guangzhou since the city is the southern capital of the mainland. If you are a foreigner doing business you can get any documentation issued there in a matter of moments.

The Cons of Living in Guangzhou

Not everything is a bed of roses in this place. These are some of the most problematic issues we could find online from many people posting the challenges of living in Guangzhou.

  • Most of the People Speak Cantonese, Not Mandarin

We have already mentioned that Guangzhou is the still-beating heart of the old Canton era. That becomes truly noticeable when you notice that almost everyone in the place speaks Cantonese and not Mandarin. They don’t even have a basic understanding of English, so it is best to go prepared for it. Mandarin is the official language of the mainland, but it is still making its way too many regions in the country. It would be wise on your end to hire a translator if you are on business or hire a guide if you are a tourist.

  • The City Itself Feels Pretty Old

Almost all the tourists’ outposts in Guangzhou look fresh and renovated, but once you get past all the shine, you will notice that most of the place looks pretty ancient. If you are staying for business, chances are that you will have to settle for an old-looking apartment. This is probably the driving reason for the low costs of living in the city, and even with a lot of districts suffering from gentrification, it is happening at a languid pace. While this is listed on the cons, it can also be a positive thing. You get to enjoy the two faces of a city as it evolves into something new.

  • AirBnB in Guangzhou is Full of False Advertisers

AirBnB is fully functional in the region, but a lot of people post misleading offers with fake photos of rooms, apartments and other lodging options that look great at first sight, but they are not like advertised. The best advice we can offer on this regard is to arrive at a hotel for a couple of days and then moving to an AirBnB location after checking it out.


Whether you are visiting Guangzhou as tourists, or an expat wanting to live and work in the city full time, it’s a wonderful place to be. You will experience things here that you cannot see in any other city in the world. So there you have it! We hope these tidbits help you out in your adventure. This living in Guangzhou pros and cons guide hopefully helped to make your decision for moving there much easier. The Guangzhou lifestyle could be a challenging experience, but it certainly is a rewarding one.

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