Taking a Taxi in China

Getting around in the large cities is often very difficult unless you are on a tour either private or group.  You may have some spare time and want to visit some site that isn’t on your tour.  There are buses and subways but both of these are always crowded and few service people speak any English.  The best way actually is a TAXI which we have always considered a bit expensive.  In China they are very reasonable.  In the central area one can take a taxi for about $2 to $4 U.S.  Longer rides to the suburbs can run about $10 to $15.  Each is metered and the meter is actually built into the dashboard like a radio.  There is one drawback.  Taxi drivers seldom if ever speak English.  In my 26 years and over 60 trips I have only found two drivers that spoke English.  If you want to go some place, take some note paper in the hotel and write down where you want to go.  Then have someone at the front desk write it down in Chinese which you can hand to the driver.  Remember to take some hotel cards with you to give to a driver so you can also get back to the hotel.  Some hotels furnish cards with a list of sites written both in English and Chinese for you.  If you want to get a taxi while on the street, raise your hand as if to wave Goodbye which is the sign for a taxi to stop for you.  Raising your index finger is a “no-no”.  For more information on getting around, let me hear from you at   email:  interlak@eskimo.comOld-and-New-Chinapanda