Getting Around in a City
Taxi: Taxis are a convenient means of transportation in various cities in China, with fares ranging from 1 to 2 yuan per km. Simply raise your hand, and a taxi appears in no time. But you'd better choose a taxi with a business permit, and before you disembark from a taxi ride, ask the driver for a receipt.
Subway: Subways are another convenient means of transportation for those traveling in downtown. So far subways are available in four Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Tianjin.
Bicycle: There are bicycles for rent in some hotels in Beijing and some other tourist cities. Riding old-fashioned pedicabs for a tour of Beijing's hutongs and back alleys proves a unique tourist experience.
As a convenient means of transportation in Beijing, taxis are patrolling the streets or waiting at the airport, railway stations, hotels, and tourist destinations 24 hours a day.
Luxury sedan taxis cost 12 yuan for the first four kilometers and add 2 yuan per kilometer thereafter.
The common small sedan taxi, usually with red color , costs 10 yuan for the first 3 or 4 km kilometers and 1.2 to 1.6 yuan for each additional km. You can see the price at the window of door of taxi, 1.2/km or 1.6/km. A taximeter is fitted to each taxi to automatically computer and indicate the fare due.
It is wise to remind the driver to use the meter (da biao). Receipts are provided if requested. Few cabbies speak English so it is advisable to have destinations written out beforehand in Chinese. Average fare from the Capital International Airport to a downtown hotel is 80 yuan.
Public transport provides a cheap way to get around in Beijing. Buses (gonggong qiche) and electric buses (dianche), however, tend to be crowded most of the time. So always remember to avoid public transport in rush hour (6:30am-8:00am, 5:00pm-6:30pm).
Buses numbered between 1 and 100 are limited to travel within the city. For tourists, the most useful are No. 1, 4, 37, 52 and 57, which run along the Chan¡¯an Avenue, passing the China World, Jinglun and Jianguo Hotels, the Friendship Store and the Tian¡¯anmen Square. Fares for the above-mentioned five buses are just 1 yuan, for one stop or for the whole route.
Electric buses numbered in the 100s run inside the city. Riding bus No. 103, Sight-seers can enjoy the various landmarks of wangfujing (a commercial district), Wenjinjie (former Capital Library), the Forbidden City and the White Pagoda of the Beihai Park.
Buses numbered in the 200s provide only night services. And those in the 300s shuttle around the suburbs while those in the 400s and 900s go to the suburbs
Double decker buses offer travelers the chance to get a better view of our fast changing city.
Right now, there are some routes:
- Route One runs from the east to the west end of the Chang¡¯an Avenue (all drivers for this route are female);
- Route Two goes from the Qianmen Commercial District to Dongdan, the Yonghe Lamasery, the Chinese Ethnic Culture Part and the Asian Games Village;
- Route three starts from jijia Temple, passes the Grand View Garden, Jingsong, the Jingguang New World Center and the Agricultural Museum before ending at the Lufthansa Shopping Center;
- Route Four goes from the Beijing Zoo, to the Beijing Exhibition Center, the Yuetan Park, the Fuxing Overpass and the Qianmen Commercial District.
Mini bus (12- passenger xiaogonggong) is a choice between expensive taxis and crowded public transport in some area. Running regular services, the small vans guarantee each rider a seat even in rush hours and stop wherever you demand along the route. Fares vary from one to six yuan. Their routes match those of the large public buses.
There are two subway lines in Beijing, which cross each other at Fuxingmen Terminal where passengers can transit from one line to the other without going out of the station. Each terminal along the lines is a major mass transit center in the city of Beijing.
Trains are fast and convenient, but rush hours (7:00am-9:00am, 4:30pm-6:00pm) can be formidable.
There are two lines. One circles the city; the other extends out to the far western suburbs.
Rickshaws offer a unique ¡°Old China Experience¡± for overseas tourists. Found around big hotels and street corners in all seasons, rickshaws provide a more relaxed way to explore the city and especially its narrow zigzagging hutongs.
Although most rickshaw charges are reasonable bargaining with rickshaw pullers can turn out extra fun.