What places I can go on trips that last a day or two, from Guangzhou? Beside Zhuhai and Shenzhen, that is?
You can probably try Zhaoqing, Conghua, and Qingyuan. In Zhaoqing there is the Seven-Star Crags Park (Qixingyan Park), which is a lake with some nice-looking rocky peaks and karst caves. Another place in Zhaoqing is Dingshanhu Scenic Area, with great mountains and clear streams. Zhaoqing is about 100 kim west of Guangzhou and can be easily reached by train or coach.
Conghua is known for its warm springs, lakes and forest-covered mountains. It's a popular resort destination for residents and visitors of Guangzhou. Places to go to include Pishuiwan Warm Spring Resort, Liuxi River National Park, and Shimen National Forest Park. Conghua is about 75 km northeast of Guangzhou. connected with freeway.
Qingyuan is about 80 km north of Guangzhou. Here one can explore the green hills, underground rivers, and a few Buddhist temples. One can also going rafting or drifting down the local rivers. Freeway and rail connect Guangzhou and Qingyuan.
You can probably do a quik one-day tour of one of these places. Stay overnight would make it a more leisurely vacation of course.