Land use and land cover change is a major issue in global environment change,and is especially significant in rapidly developing regions in the world. With its economicdevelopment, population growth, and urbanization, Guangzhou, a major metropolitan inSouth China, have experienced a dramatic land use and land cover (LULC) change over thepast 30 years. Fast LULC change have resulted in degradation of its ecosystems andaffected adversely the environment. It is urgently needed to monitor its LULC changes andto analyses the consequences of these changes in order to provide information for policy-makers to support sustainable development. This study employed two Landsat TM/ETM images in the dry season to detect LULC patterns in 1998 and 2003, and to examine LULCchanges during the period from 1998 to 2003. The type, rate, and pattern of the changesamong five counties of Guangzhou Municipality were analyzed in details by post-classification method. LULC conversion matrix was produced for each county in order toexplore and explain the urban expansion and cropland loss, the most significant types ofLULC change. Land use conversion matrixes of five counties were discussed respectivelyin order to explore and explain the inherence of land use change. The results showed thaturban expansion in these five counties kept an even rate of increase, while substantialamount of cropland vanished during the period. It is also noted that the conversion between cropland and orchard land was intensive. Forest land became the main source of new croplands.