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"Taxis or the daily rollercoaster ride" China Transportation Tip by Shixitong

China Transportation: 266 reviews and 211 photos


When it comes to finding your way around big cities in China there is nothing as convenient as yer ol' cabbie. And they are cheap - between 8 and 10 RMB for the first 3 to 6 kilometers (depending on which city you are in) and a few cents for every other kilometer after that.
Finding a taxi is easy. In spite of increasing numbers of private car holders the majority of vehicles on the streets are still taxis. Just stand at the side of the road and wave at one of the numerous taxis passing by. The ones with a red signal behind the window on the passenger side (Chinese characters meaning Taxi) are free, those with passengers on board have switched off the light.
The tricky part starts when the taxi has stopped and the driver spits out his or her usual "qu nali" (where to?). Don't count on the Taxi driver speaking or even understanding English - or the English names of any location you would want to go to. If it is your very first time in China and you have never before been exposed to the Chinese languages don't even try to pronounce the address in Chinese. The easiest way is to present a business card to the driver with the addy and ideally directions in Chinese characters on it. Most hotels will assist you with writing down your desired destinations in Chinese - and don't forget to take the hotel's own card with you to find your way back as well.
Once on his way nothing can stop the cabbie. Nothing, not even red traffic lights, priority regulations or the occasional pedestrian, biker or construction worker on his path. Just close your eyes and relax, at least it's cheap... and the best part is - you get the adrenaline kick for free :)

Type: Car/Motor Home

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 10, 2005
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