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Guangzhou by Underground
Guangzhou's subway system is cheap, clean, and (unlike Beijing's) reasonably efficient. Divided into six lines that span both sides of the Pearl River, most of the areas of interest to casual visitors are found on Lines 1 or 2 (the red and yellow lines on the maps).
The terminus of Line 1 is Guangzhoudongzhan, or Guangzhou East Train Station, which is where trains leave for Hong Kong. This area is also the heart of the Tianhe, Guangzhou's financial district. Gongyuanqian is the interchange for Lines 1 and 2. The most interesting temples and shrines are within walking distance of stations along Line 1, with signs in English pointing the way.
Ask your hotel concierge to give you an English subway map. For walking-tour-friendly neighborhoods, we recommend Dongshankou Station. This is a lovely little area with plenty of shopping opportunities. Tree-lined streets just off the avenue are filled with enclosed gardens and old houses with traditional architecture. The area surrounding the Linhex Station is the most modern part of the city. This is a good neighborhood to walk in with your head tilted skyward.
Of course, if you really want to continue on an anti-car trip, get off at Gongyuanqian Station (where Lines 1 and 2 intersect) and walk to the Beijing Road Pedestrian Mall: the hip, trendy, and car-free heart of young consumerism in Guangzhou.
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