Now that spring has sprung , it is time to address the inevitable weather forecast in Guangzhou. Rain. And lots of it. Rain until the next Year of the Rooster comes in 2029. Rain like in the Bradbury short story The Long Rain. Rain like on the planet Kamino in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Rain like in th… okay you get the point.
Don’t let your proverbial parade get rained on. Stay sane and enjoy the city with these indoor pursuits.
1. A Day at the Museum
You know that building that looks like a 3-D Tetris game in progress? Yeah, that’s the Guangdong Museum. It is unbelievably well curated and organized and the exhibits even have English translations. If you haven’t visited, it warrants a look.
If you don’t know much about a science book or the French you took, perhaps the InBev International Beer Museum is more your speed. The beer museum is just across the river from the Guangdong Museum, fittingly located near Party Pier. For RMB50, you can tour the museum which details the history of Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewing Company.
The museum itself can be seen in 15 minutes. It does not have near the content that, say, the Tsingtao Beer Museum does in Qingdao. However, the trick here is to bring a few friends and take advantage of the free beer served until 5pm for all guests who pay the RMB50 entrance fee.
READ MORE: 13 Fascinating Museums in Guangzhou
2. Read a Book
The city has two excellent reading spots, the New Page bookstore and the Guangzhou Library.
New Page is located just outside of Exit E at Tiyu Xilu, in the Guangzhou Books Center. They have reasonably priced books in English and in terms of selection, it is the closet approximation of the megabookstores like Barnes and Noble in the USA or Waterstones in the UK. They also have study guides for HSK tests, language books, books for young readers and seemingly every Lego set known to mankind for sale. If you want to sit on one of the leather couches and relax and read, you will need to buy a coffee or snack.
As a bonus: next door is an official Yamaha guitar shop where they let you play any of the instruments they have with no hassle. You can even play the intro to 'Stairway to Heaven' without getting harassed.
The Guangzhou Public Library is located just outside of Exit B2 the Zhujiang New Town Metro stop. Getting a library card there is a breeze, not that you need one to browse the millions of volumes the library has. On the second floor, you’ll find back issues of every popular Western magazine (Playboy excluded).
The eighth floor holds an excellent selection of English books. You can check out up to 15 books at a time if you have a library card. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the building and plenty of desks with Ethernet ports if you want to surf the net or get caught up on work or emails. The place gets packed as soon as it opens at 9am and it is closed on Wednesdays.
3. Leave the City
If the weather has you down, just skip town. Weekend and day trips from Guangzhou are nearly endless. That’s PRD even has a dedicated section, Daytripper, that shows you all the best places in the immediate vicinity that can provide a respite from Guangzhou. In just a few hours, you can go from the concrete jungle to the real jungle, from swimming through a sea of people to swimming in, well, just a plain ol’ sea. The kind with water your parents used to take you to in the before time, when there was no expat life in the big city. Here’s to hoping it is dry at the destination you choose to visit (unless you’re going swimming in the ocean, that will definitely be wet).
4. Catch a Movie
If you have been in China for more than 45 minutes you've probably downloaded WeChat wallet and can access Gewara and browse movie times and pay for tickets. Pretty nifty, eh? The app will tell you which theater is the closest. Bonus points if you find an establishment that serves buttered popcorn instead of the ubiquitous kettle corn seen in China.
5. Go on a Cheap (and Indoor) Date
Check out our guide on how to be a dashing date without breaking the bank in our ‘Bang for Your Buck,’ dating for the fiscally challenged article. You’ll want activities that keep you inside such as furniture shopping at Ikea or playing billiards.
6. Extreme Sports
Okay, so maybe extreme is a bit of an embellishment, but Guangzhou has a litany of options that allow you do fun activities both indoors and outside. Two top picks that will keep you dry are ice skating at the Zhengjia Ice Rink and laser tag.
[Images via Den of Geek, Guangdong Museum, Wikimedia Commons, Youtube, Business Insider]