According the Conde Nast, a travel magazine I read regularly and which I hold in high regard, Guangzhou is one of the least attractive cities for tourists AND locals. Voters expressed that it was mostly suitable for business and claimed it was too crowded.
First, yes, it is crowded. Which Chinese city isn’t? Using the metro can be a real pain but it can be just as stressful to use Tokyo or Berlin metro. Although perhaps the journey would involve a bit less pushing…
Second, I have never been to Shanghai so couldn’t possibly judge it but I have been to Beijing and Hong Kong and if I had to compare either with Guangzhou, I’d say that Guangzhou citizens were definitely more friendly and the city itself much more green and generally healthier than in the other two places.
I realize it’s not the same as being open to tourists, especially foreign ones and I must admit that the locals here can be a bit overwhelming with their finger-pointing and heads-turning but I try to keep in mind that most of them have come from the countryside and, most likely, have never seen a foreign person before.
Speaking to my colleagues revealed plenty more similar opinions to mine and despite being well aware of our city’s downsides, we were all in awe that Guangzhou came so high in this unfavourable ranking.
I think we shouldn’t be put off by these type of surveys as they can be very subjective and do not reflect the reality, at least not aspects of it.
If you wish to find out what the other unfriendliest or the most friendly cities were, click here.