Nestled in the southeastern corner of China, in the province of Guandong, lies the city of Guangzhou. Guangzhou’s coastal location makes it an ideal port for international trading and transportation. It is China’s third largest city, with an estimated population of 13 million, and its proximity to Hong Kong and Macau has given Guangzhou the opportunity to become a hub of international business in China. Guangzhou is still a big source of China’s manufacturing industry, and because of this, the pollution can be especially bad here, especially when the breeze from the Pearl River slows down. The levels of pollution can be a shock for expatriates moving to Guangzhou and will vary from day to day, but escaping the confines of the city on the weekends is very easy, thanks to great transport links to the surrounding areas.
Guangzhou’s proximity to the equator means hot, wet summers which are very humid. For foreigners, the winters are a lot more manageable, as the summers can be very unforgiving to people who are not used to such high temperatures. Monsoon season runs from April right through to September, with rainfall at its highest from May to July. The rest of the year is a lot more dry, however, and temperatures rarely drop below 10°C through the winter, and even temperatures this low are very rare.
Guangzhou is split into ten main districts, with the three city center districts, Yuexiu, Liwan and Tianhe acting as hubs for business, shopping and entertainment, such as the Central Library, the Opera House and the Guangdong Museum. Expatriates moving to Guangzhou will find that these areas are very expensive to live in, and rental prices are very high. Fortunately, getting into the city center from the outskirts of the city is very easy in Guangzhou, so the outlying districts of Haizhu, Panyu and Baiyan are ideal locations for finding accommodation. Panyu is particularly popular for expatriates moving to the city. The further out from the city center you go, the more prices will drop, but do not expect the prices to be as cheap as in the west of China. This is due to the fact that Guangzhou is one of China’s most prosperous cities, and therefore it is a very desirable place for expats and Chinese people to reside.
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