It’s no secret that vaping is making a come-up in The People’s Republic. Guangzhou in particular, being located so close to Shenzhen (where most of the world’s vaporizers are manufactured), has seen a literal ‘vaper boom,’ with new shops popping up on what seems like a weekly basis.
But as with many things in China, popularity and demand all too often lead to fakes – and the vape industry is no different. Since this hobby requires inhaling something (vapor) into your lungs, it seems prudent to ensure you are buying products from as reputable a source as possible – hence this list.
We should add that the following five vape shops are simply our favorites, but we understand Guangzhou is a big place and there are likely dozens of other great alternatives. So, if you don’t see your favorite vape hangout included below, sound off in the comment section at the bottom of this post and we will be sure to check it out!
Located a short stroll from IKEA and the Guangzhou East Railway Station, this Guangzhou vape shop is without a doubt one of our favorites. Owned and managed by a team of passionate and knowledgeable expat vapers, Aspire Vapina is an official Aspire vaporizer retailer and boasts an impressive selection of vaporizers, juices (all imported from America) and parts, to modify or ‘trick out’ your vape, at affordable prices.
Staff speak English, Chinese and Spanish, so don’t be afraid to pop in and learn more – you can’t say the language barrier held you back. Proprietor Christian Ong is also offering any visitor to the shop who can beat him at Chinese chess a “special prize.”
By far the friendliest vape shop (and experience center) we’ve had a chance to visit in Guangzhou, Vape Club offers a decent selection of imported vape juices and mods, in addition to newly released models from hip domestic brands like Vape Kungfu.
Twenty-something founder Fei Xiang will invite you in, offer you a drink and delve into conversation (he’ll speak English as best he can). If you’re looking for a place to hang out, chat vapes and learn about the latest gadgets on the market, Vape Club is the place. It’s about a five-minute walk from Lazy Guys, set among a small cluster of shops off of Taojin Bei Lu.
One of the first to sell vape products in Guangzhou circa 2015, Vape Show has since opened a number of small shops across the city, with two about a five-minute walk south of (behind) Grandview and Parc Central malls. Vape juices feature mostly imported US labels, while a variety of name-brand APVs and mods are available, priced anywhere from a couple hundred renminbi to a few thousand (the latter primarily targeting wealthy Chinese collectors).
According to one store manager we talk to, Vape Show plans to open a massive 400-square-meter ‘vape experience’ lounge in Guangzhou this October, offering vapers a new haunt in which to test juices, mods and more before purchasing.
4. CYO Vape
Located on the first floor of Grandview Mall, this vape ‘shop’ is more of a mid-mall booth than a store, but it has some cool stuff nonetheless. CYO Vape hosts a decent selection of imported vape juices, ranging in price from RMB60 (10ml) to around RMB180 (30ml) – depending on your preferred brand, and sells a limited selection of vaporizers.
5. Banker Vape
This shop is definitely worth a gander if you're a vaper living in the Taojin-Ouzhuang area. Stocking a decent selection of imported juices, Banker Vape is located behind the Guangzhou International Electronics Tower (perhaps most notable for Inside Club, located on its ground floor) and is hailed on Dianping for its friendly and knowledgeable staff.
READ MORE: The Rise of Vaping in Tobacco-Hooked China
[Images via Aspire Vapina, Jocelyn Richards, Matthew Bossons]
For more handy guides to living in Guangzhou, click here.