I am arriving late to Guangzhou on a Tuesday evening on an international flight. I have free time until Thursday evening while getting over jet lag. I want to visit some sites on Wednesday or do a day trip from there. If I stay in Guangzhou, do you recommend I do a city tour or visit sites on my own? I don't speak Mandarin so wasn't sure how difficult it would be to go on own. Any recommended on day trips from Guangzhou?
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My suggestion is to do the tour in your own and at your own pace, Guangzhou is an easy city to navigate using a paper map or a VPN (if you have one) and google GPS. The metro System is excellent and the bus system slightly more challenging but pretty easy. Compared to western countries and city's Guangzhou is very safe. You should have some idea with regard to where you want to go. Guangzhou is not exactly littered with tourist attractions (in the city center) that might suite and probably more biased to shopping bargains. Sharmian Island is a great place to take a stroll and has a significant history. Computer City off Tian He (pronounced Her), is a great what to pick up low cost accessories and appreciate the scale of Chinese "commodity outlets" as are the clothing areas. For a relaxing evening try the Paddy Field in Hua Nan Lu (second floor), or maybe a perl river cruse. If you take a guided tour you will find you are stuck totally on someone else's agenda and schedules. If your only language is English you will be fine, Eastern Europe and South America are both more difficult language wise than Gunangzhou