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I will be going to visit China & Thailand. I depart from China, Zhangjiajie (Dayong airport) to Thailand, Chiang Mai. I will be having a stopover in Guangzhou Baiyun airport. This stop will be from 11h25 - 16h00, so this is a 4h35min stop.

Is there anything nearby which I could possibly go visit or anything and still make it back in time without stressing or isn't there anything to do or see in that timespan, because I will ofcourse have to get back on time to check in.

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    Too far to the city to be safe. (From memory it can take about an hour each way - I think it took us much of that by taxi). Someone may answer this specifically but failing that I'd look at Google maps. If it was me I'd take my camera out into the surrounding area. Always something new to see in China :-). – Russell McMahon Mar 19 '15 at 21:41
  • @RussellMcMahon What/where do you mean with "surrounding area"? – Lewis Mar 20 '15 at 6:13
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    My camera and I invariably find something interesting anywhere and everywhere. Not everyone is quite so interested. Fields, villages, country traffic, people anywhere... . Area around the airport - weeks of wandering potential :-). – Russell McMahon Mar 20 '15 at 11:07
  • @RussellMcMahon I must say I do like your style! I'm not a photographer or anything, but I can also enjoy these things and I do love pictures! – Lewis Mar 20 '15 at 11:39
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    Many places and similar. Several weeks working in Shenzhen with only time for wandering around Shenzhen. A day at a far from usual (by my usual standards) 'beach' "Laoshan Dreaming", and snippets only from 3 weeks in India – Russell McMahon Mar 20 '15 at 12:22
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I have been transiting once in Guangzhou (Canton) airport, and actually got to get out and see the city, because I missed my connection.

In China, depending on the time of the year (for me this was summer), flights can easily be delayed because of the weather and you can lose way more than just a couple hours because of that. I was supposed to transit to leave China as you will do and just going through security and customs/immigration can easily take 1 hour. This does not take in account the taxiing and going through the airport. Given its size (among the 20 busiest airports in the world), I doubt you can expect to spend less than 2 hours at the airport in total.

If you still would like an idea of what it takes going to see sights in Guangzhou, you can take the line 3 and according to Wikivoyage it would take easily 50 minutes to go in central Guangzhou.

In the end, you should better just hope you do not have any delay on your first leg, so that you don't miss your second flight, and if everything goes well you will just wait a bit longer at the airport. I think you will have to wait for another trip to visit Guangzhou.

  • Yes, I'll probably just have to see what happens with the delays and connection. But a few hours of rest probably won't harm me, although it would've been nice if there was something cool nearby. Thanks for the info, I also didn't know it was that big. – Lewis Mar 20 '15 at 6:16
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It is unlikely you will be able to do much in your stopover. Not only is it very busy, as described by @Vince, it is also enormous. If you are coming from domestic to international terminals you need to reckon on a half hour walk, using all walking aids available, to make the switch. Ticket desks and interchange desks are also extremely distantly located. The time of your transfer would in theory make it possible to do something, but as others have said the town is just too far away to be a really viable option.

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