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Image: Anne and Sophie Demonstrate Kung Fu in Foshan

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Image: Ancient Nan Feng Kiln

Image: Ancient Nan Feng Kiln, China's oldest working Dragon Kiln

Image: The actual Dragon Kiln

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Image: Locals usually take a nap after lunch

Image: China Bowls feature in Shiwan Park, Foshan

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Image: Christmas 2008 at Martinos

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Tourist Guides for China
Foshan Tourist Guide (March 2010)
Transportation
This page introduces transportation in Foshan:  佛山
Airport
Railway
Light Railway
Bus Stations
Other Coaches
Local Buses
Taxis
Ferries
Special Highlights:

Private Drivers
GZ airport
Getting to GZ
Getting to HK
International Flights

Foshan Airport 
Foshan Shati Airport is a small regional airport that reopened for public travel on 18th November 2009. It is the second home base for China United Airlines, and is expected to handle 1 million passengers each year. The airport does not operate international flights, but does service 20 major cities including: Beijing (Nanyuan Int'l), Hangzhou, Lianyungang, Sanya (Hainan Island), and Yulin. The airport code is FUO/ZGFS, although some web sources refer to it as ZCP which is incorrect.

During 2010 extra services will be introduced to ease air traffice at Guangzhou airport. To be added are daily services to Shanghai, Chongqing, and Guilin.

The airport is located to the Northwest of Foshan City in Nanhai District, and the only way there is by car. The Airport is very well signposted in both Chinese and English. China United Airlines, part owned by Shanghai Airways, operates Boeing 737-8Q8 and 757 aircraft.

There is absolutely no other information about this airport on the internet, but we will provide this as soon as anything becomes available. Foshan Airline inquiry office: 0757-82263555, 0757-82810531. Flights can be booked at any local travel agency, or online via a portal such as 9588.com

Railway
Foshan railway station is located north of the main bus station on North Wenchang Road. It enjoys convenient transportation as No.1, No.2, No.4, No.5, No.6, No.8, No.9 and No.10 buses will take you there. Just make sure you are headed North, and not in the other direction! The rail line linking Guangzhou with Zhanjiang runs through the city and connects Foshan to the nation railway network. In Foshan Railway Station, there are a lot of trains bounding for almost every city around China. Foshan Railway Station inquiry office: 0757-82710268, 0757-82810543.

The main rail link is to Guangzhou main train station, from where connecting trains run to every part of China. Direct trains from Foshan also go to Beijing, Shanghai, and there is one each day to Hong Kong each day - therefore this is also an International railway station and has Customs. Starting at the nearby City of Zhao Qing, this train only stops at Guangzhou East railway station, and runs around 2pm at present, or is that now 6pm? You better check yourself.

Our link for China Railways website is down, and only in Chinese anyway; but you can get an idea of what direct trains are available here at Travel China Guide.

You will see from this link that trains to Guangzhou are frequent and almost 24 hours, most taking about 30 minutes (Some 50 minutes). A very easy and relaxing way to travel when compared to the alternatives.

Light Railway
Foshan Light Railway is what you may know as: Metro, Underground, and Chinese outside of Guangdong call 'Subway'. Currently there is massive construction all over this area of Guangdong, which essentially expands the existing Guangzhou Metro lines to all corners of The Pearl River Delta. This is an astronomical undertaking, as the eventual project will also interlink via Panyu with Shenzhen (= Hong Kong).

Regards Foshan City, the project was completed in summer 2010, just in time for the Asia Games which Foshan is co-hosting with Guangzhou City.

The completion of this network has had major impact on Foshan City, and makes it a truly preferred location for business and leisure.

Guangzhou Metro Map - 2010 version includes Airport, Punyu, Canton Fair and Foshan line - In English and Chinese.

Foshan Main Bus Station
This is located North of the city on Feng Jiang North Road, and as well as serving all major Guangdong destinations directly; also connects via express coach directly to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport and Shenzhen (For Hong Kong). Hongyun Coach Station, is locally called 'Hong Wan'. Telephone:0757-82281287.

On the Google map this is where the Hongyun Hotel is located, and the area is also home to Foshan Computer City - which has three parts closely associated.

If you arrive at this bus station later at night, then please be aware that a local operator (Bully or Mafioso) controls all the taxi services on the rank outside, and will charge you exorbitant prices for places you do not want to go to. He will not accept metered fares from any foreigner (Or non-local Chinese), which I seem to recall is illegal in China.

However, he has gotten away with this for years - so what you do on exiting this bus station is walk left passed all the waiting taxis, and stopping at the adjoining road, hail a regular cab. At midday a foreigner I know also experienced this, and was quote Y30 RMB to take him to his hotel, whilst the meter charge later turned out to be Y8. Nightmare! And also a very bad experience if this is your first visit to Foshan, because the ordinary taxi drivers offer excellent services and are very trustworthy and secure. Apart from Le Cong International Exhibition Centre, this is the only place in Foshan where malpractice concerning taxis occurs.

Conversely, if you arrive at this bus station - either by bus or taxi, then you will be greeted by a buggery of Beggars. Begging is also illegal in China, but is very prevalent here. Being a Foreigner you are immediately their number 1 target, and this extends all the way to the doors of the bus station. What can I say? I do strongly object to my teeth and lips being hit repeatedly by a beggar's bowl from the open taxi window; whilst both my hands are full trying to pay the taxi driver his fare. They never bother me any more after what I did next ... but it should not have been necessary in the first place!

However, apart from the above this bus station is actually pretty good. What you need to know is that the ticket office is on your left, and the ticket office for the Guangzhou Airport Express coaches it at the extreme left in a separate area. These coaches run every 30 minutes in both directions (Obviously), and begin at 5am. The last one at night is at around 9.30pm, but please check this information yourself.

Entering the main ticket office you are faced with 12 ticket vendors, and for Shenzhen or special places you need numbers 11 or 12 on your right. They will default to speaking in Mandarin, but also speak Cantonese as their own local language. Do not expect anybody to speak English, although it does happen.

Exit this hall to your right (Towards the buildings centre), and there is an escalator in the middle of the next hall. This takes you up to Computer City. Just before it is the entrance to the waiting room, whilst the public toilets are located straight-on and then left a bit.

They have an X-ray machine here in front of the waiting room, and security may require you to pass your luggage though. Your ticket will have trap number, bus and seat number on it, but if you are headed for Shenzhen (Hong Kong), then know this is the very last gangway on your right. Once your coach is readied, it will be announced in both Mandarin and Cantonese - sorry, no English yet. The counter girl will swipe your ticket and allow you through. They only process one destination from one trap at any one time, so if you are unsure where to find the coach you want - simply follow someone else. You really need to know the Chinese Characters to use this effectively, although you will be very surprised also at just how many of the coach staff speak good English.

Boarding the coach you will sometimes be offered a free bottle of water, or can take one from the box inside the door (on entry only). Morning buses also come with a free daily newspaper in Chinese. Most coaches also offer 'Bus TV' (Copyright paid), which will either feature a Kung Fu film, or some romantic thingymagig - and don't expect these films to always start at the beginning either, although occasionally some do. Whilst seats are allocated, any bus that is not full allows you to move around to suit. It is very likely the seat spacing will be different on one side from the other - so if you are a large person such as myself, then pay attention, as the smaller spacing is a bit like an international airplane flight = where do I put my knees?

Other Foshan Bus Stations:
Foshan has 5 other bus stations, one of them being in what you think is Foshan, but is technically in Nanhai (Quite near Jusco). This goes to Guangzhou. The others are:

Zumiao Coach Station: Address No.2, Mentou Road, Chancheng District,Telephone:0757-82223535, Destination: Guangzhou Railway Station and No.8 Zhongshan Road Station of Guangzhou.

Dongfang Plaza Coach Station: Address No.87, East Jinhua Road, Chancheng District, Destination: The suburb areas and Guangzhou City.

Chengbei Coach Station: Address Zhanqian Road, on the west of Foshan Railway Station. Telephone: 0757-82810637. Destination: South Yuexiu Station of Guangzhou and Guangzhou Railway Station.

The 'Bright Green Bus' Station is located just South of Hongyun near the head of Si Zhi Road. This private operator runs coaches to the outskirts of Shunde Daliang (Stopping at Le Cong, and Long Jiang Town), and the other to San Shway via Dali. We think they have added a third bus route also, but not sure where that goes to as we just see it pass headed South with Chinese characters on the front.

Other Coaches
There are numerous other coaches run by privateers servicing all parts of China, and especially the further reaches of Guangdong and neighbouring Provinces. About 20% of these are 'sleeper' coaches, meaning you get a 'bed' large enough for a small Chinese persons body. If you use these, then you are expected to remove your shoes before settling down. They will provide a toilet (Smoke) break every couple of hours; and can take days to reach their destination - depending upon where that is.

However, most of the coaches are short or medium haul, and service the popular destinations nearby. Most will show a film, and only a few will have a toilet. As a generality; these coaches always stop at major road intersections - but in Foshan you should go to Foshan Avenue and wait at one of the bus lay by's. Some of the through coaches service districts of Foshan City proper, so if you are headed South, then get South on Foshan Avenue. North is the opposite of course. Once you learn the actual routes taken by these coaches, then you will often find they stop quite near to your apartment, especially around Dong Jian Century Plaza and Nanhai.

Local Buses
These look like city buses, are extremely frequent and nearly always full. You will need to know what bus number you need to catch, and which side of the road to be on. Otherwise they are very simple to use. Upon entering you will pay a fixed charge for any destination, which is currently Y2 RMB. If you use Foshan buses a lot, then invest in a swipe-card, which saves you around 30% of the fare.

Whichever payment method you use, at the top of the steps you will be faced with a machine. Either put your money in the slot, or swipe your card - making sure to hold it against the card reader a very long time, or until it goes 'Beep'. 3-seconds is about average for this. Get off at the doors in the middle of the bus. There are numerous bell-push you can alert the driver with, although some need a very hard press; and they normally make a 'Beep' when actioned correctly.

Expect most buses to begin around 7am, and finish before 8pm. Some prime routes run from 5am to 10pm. At night you will need to use Taxis.

Taxis
Taxi is the preferred method of transportation for most foreigners, as they charge on the meter + possibly a Y1 fuel surcharge (That appears to have been dropped recently). Taxis are heavily monitored, and by Law must charge you the meter price - unless you fix a deal (Sometimes useful for longer haul destinations, but not always cheaper then the meter). If you fix a deal, then expect to pay any toll charges as extra. All taxis give receipts for business purposes.

Old Foshan taxis are all VW Jetta's and pained maroon. New cabs are often Kia's and can be red of sometimes gold in colour. Green taxis usually come from Shunde, although some may be from Guangzhou. Any other colour is not a local cab, and probably from Guangzhou also.

You need to know that during rush hours (8-9am, and 5-7pm) all Foshan taxis are already full. Most taxi drivers work 12 hour shifts, and with a second driver the cab works 24/7. The changeover time is 7 o'clock, and impacts some time before this as the driver needs to refuel and also exchange with his partner. They also tend to have a 30-minute lunch break around 11am.

I highly recommend Foshan taxis for any foreigners or single girl, as they are in general extremely safe and reliable. You see the charge on the meter, and it is very easy to do. There are also a few female taxi drivers, which girls may prefer.

If you know where you want to be, but don't know how to say it, then simply give the driver a name card of somewhere close to your destination ... or here is a simple guide in Cantonese: 'Jin Jor' = left, 'Jin Yaow' = right, 'd'Zhik hoi' = straight on, and 'Hong Lop Dang' = traffic lights. 'Lido' means 'Here', whilst 'Gordo' means 'There'. That should do it!

Motorcycle Taxis
These can be excellent, but 90% will rip you off for double the regular taxi fare or more. Unless you know them well, don't bother.

Motor Tricycles are even worse, and will charge you 4 or 5 times the taxi fare. Virtually all of these are unlicensed, and owned by migrant workers looking for a fast buck. Occasionally you will find a genuine one, and then this becomes 'Fun'!

Ferries
In this short section I will refer to major ferry operators who supply Sea Cat as standard means of transport. These are large, high-speed, catamaran ferries that operate between various Foshan District ports and also Hong Kong and Macao. These things are pukka!

When travelling from Foshan the very best one is located in Shunde (Daliang), and with free minibus connections from Downtown Hotels (Foshan Hotel, Golden City Hotel, Carrianna Hotel, and somewhere outside CITS in Nanhai), which brings you directly to central Kowloon (China Ferry) within 2-hours. And no stress! They serve meals with waitress service, and things like coffee + show movies from the beginning. First Class is probably not worth the extra Y20, but if you have a party, then consider a private room (There should be two of them of different sizes).

You can book these from the hotel providers only, or use the details below:

Shunde Port
Address: Desheng Dong Road, Shunde District, Foshan City
Details of Passenger liners: Departure time from Hong Kong: 07:30, 08:30, 10:45, 13:30, 15:20, 18:00; from Shunde: 08:30,
10:00, 11:00, 15:00, 17:30, 20:20
Ship Passage: CNY180
Voyage Duration: Two hours

Gao Ming and He Shan
Details of Passenger liners: Departure time from Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui): 08:20; from Gaoming Port: 15:30, from He Shan 16:00
Ship Passage: CNY220
Voyage Duration: 3 hours from Gaoming; Two and a half hours from He Shan

This ferry also calls at He Shan (Hoksan), and has a dedicated coach connection with Zhao Qing). The number for Hoksan Port is: 0757 8820284

Pingzhou Port

Address: No.1, Yong'an Road, Nanhai District, Foshan City
Details of Passenger liners: Departure time from Hong Kong: 07:00, 13:30; from Pingzhou Port: 09:45, 16:00
Ship Passage: Price not known, but in keeping with above
Voyage Duration: About two and a half hours
Note: This port does not currently offer ferry services to Hong Kong, but it used to, and may do so again.
All these ferries are operated by CKS company, who also services other routes within Guangdong.

Special Highlights:

Private Drivers
Private drivers are very good and reliable in general. They are ideal for both business and sightseeing, plus airport transfers. Vehicles can be anything, and we found the best for our purposes was a lovely young guy who owned a large and roomy PSV. His number is: 13679817421. For other options please contact Candy tel: 13690450116 and she will be pleased to help you in excellent English. Expect to pay around Y300 for half a day, and Y500 for a full day. This may increase if you are travelling a long way. A standard airport trip is Y250 for collection, and Y220 for going to Guangzhou Airport.

International Flights
There are only 2 fully international airports in this region: Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Allow 1 hour to reach Guangzhou airport, although the trip is usually around 45 minutes. In a private car you could probably reach Hong Kong airport in 3 hours, but this is seldom an option. Otherwise you will need to use the ferry (Recommended) or catch a coach. Public transport tends to operate only between 7 am and 6pm, so check your flight times and be prepared to stay overnight in Hong Kong as necessary. Macao also has an international airport, but this has limited worldwide coverage.

Guangzhou Airport
This is called Baiyun airport and opened in 2005. It is located a long way North of Guangzhou city, but has dedicated expressway and planned metro link. Most information you need is listed above, so I will add a note for arrivals only.

You will arrive at terminal Two, where there are ATM machines and a bureau de change upstairs to your left. Exiting the hall you are allowed to smoke anywhere outside. You will be greeted by a long line of taxis looking for your fair. There standard charge is Y500! This is very expensive, considering a private driver or local taxi will charge half this fare. The immediate pavement outside has about 10 bus stops along it, and nearly all of these go to various parts of Guangzhou, and one goes to Shunde Daliang. Near the far end is a coach that goes to Foshan and runs every 30 minutes. The fare us around Y35, which is very reasonable.

Getting to Guangzhou
There are many ways of getting to Guangzhou, and most people use the express coaches which are frequent and offer good service. You need to be aware that like New York, Guangzhou is a very large city; so you need to know which part you are going to. There are dozens of bus stations in Guangzhou! Many of these coaches will only go to the outskirts of Guangzhou, dropping you at KengKou, which is the second to last stop on the Guangzhou metro line. This can be very convenient and the cost to central Guangzhou on this line is about Y5. The is a map of Guangzhou metro line here

Getting to Hong Kong
The best way to travel is by ferry, which is extremely relaxing, professional, and takes you into the very heart of Kowloon. Another option is via train, which again is a great way to travel. Most people take a coach, which can be OK, or a nightmare! The main destinations are: Prince Edward and Tsim Shar Tsui in Kowloon; Airport (Lantau Island); Central and Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. All involve getting off the coach at the border, passing through both sets of Customs, and getting back on the same or a different coach for the final leg. One of these crossing has the Customs separated by a couple of miles, so you get an extra ride on the connecting coach and a very long queue (Again). Some find it easier to simply travel to Shenzhen and walk across the border at Lo Wu, then catching the KCR light railway into Hong Kong.

Reaching Foshan from Hong Kong is fine during the day, but the easy crossings all start winding down around 6pm. Even the coaches finish around 7pm, so the only way is KCR to Lo Wu, and a connecting coach from the integrated transport hub onwards to Foshan. The last coach leaves here around 9.30 pm from trap 41 (Or is it 42?), located on the outside overlooking the pedestrian plaza. It is set at a diagonal angle (Unusual). Otherwise you are either stuck in Shenzhen, or can travel to Guangzhou.

This information is as supplied by China Expats and our friends, as dated 10th July 2010, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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