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HONEST TAXI DRIVER IN BEIJING
if you're looking for an honest taxi driver once you get to beijing, get in touch with yao jun. when he took me to the beijing olympic stadium construction site, he actually shut the meter off and waited for me to finish taking pictures - without me telling him to do so. i expected him to leave once i got off but he just waited. when i was done, he took me to the other olympic venues and once again shut the meter off while waiting.
the next day, i asked him to pick me up from my hotel and bring me to the airport. needed to pass by an atm on the way and when we got to one, he shut down the meter again. what's more, he turned off the engine, locked the car and got down to wait near the atm where i could see him - so as not to make me worry that he'll race off with all my luggage in his taxi. what a nice guy!
posted a photo of his business card. once again, tell him miko from the philippines referred you. please give him my regards!
his car# is B-JO446. his mobile # is listed below.
Taxis - A Cheap Option, But Take Care Choosing
For a non-Chinese speaking foreigner using Taxis can (but don't necessarily have to be) be a bit of a challenge.
A few tips to help you.
Firstly, have the adress you want to get to written by your hotel staff in Chinese to show the taxi driver. This on the back of a hotel card with the Hotel's name in Chinese for your return trip.
Secondly, it will probably be a bit cheaper if you hail a cab from the street rather than get one from the batch of them waiting at your hotel. Vicky & I went by cab to le Petit Gourmand in Sanlitun then she packed me into a cab with Chinese instructions to the driver for my return journey & my return journey was 5 RMB cheaper. He hailed off the street while the first was from the hotel. Mind you I gave him a 5 RMB tip so it ended up- costing the same. lol!
Thirdly & I've been told by a few people over there (travellers) how important this one is otherwise you could pay considerably more than you should. Make sure you only get in a properly registered cab with the I.D. like the photo I've attached here. Enlarge this photo to see what I mean.
Getting back to the cost bit. That 5 RMB really didn't make much difference for just one trip, but if I'd been using taxis a lot during my week long stay then that saving on each trip would have made a difference.
I would suggest the Subway first if it gets you close enough to where you want to go. Howeve, I have no hesitation at all in recommending a taxi if the subway doesn't meed your needs. For the same 15 minute cab ride I took back to my hotel on the last morning I would have paid probably 5 or 6 times as much in Sydney & that is taking into account the exchange rate to Aussie dollars.
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Getting around in the rain in Beijing
Getting around Beijing by taxi or bus is normally easy. However, when it rains, it becomes a totally different proposition. Take very serious notice of this if you have a plane or train to catch, expecially if you have an unchangeable ticket!
Firstly, taxis can be enormously difficult to find in the rain. People joke about this in many cities (especially New York) but in Beijing it can take several hours to reach places that normally take just 15 minutes.
Secondly, many taxis will simply refuse to take on longer journeys, especially to the airport (if you are starting a long way from the start of the Airport Expressway). They also will refuse to go anywhere if it involves driving on the 3rd Ring Road which completely clogs up in the rain.
If heavy rain is forecast, it is better to plan to get to the station or airport three hours before check-in time if your ticket is unchangeable.
If anyone considers this melodramatic, note that my 22 minute commute home (16km) extends to 90 minutes when it is raining, occasionally takes 2 1/2 hours and once took me 5 hours (in light snow).
Fortunately rain and snow are quite rare in Beijing (perhaps only 20 days a year).
The Y files: Taxi!!!
The Y files, where Y stands for "yowza!".
Taxis in Beijing are plenty, cheap, comfortable and easy to use. Hail a taxi, get in and unless you speak Chinese, make it easier for everybody involved and have the name and/or address of your destination written in Chinese because none of the taxi drivers we dealt with speaks any English, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride through the chaotic streets of China. The Lonely Planet guide for Beijing has the names of the sights written in Chinese and that helped us a lot.
One funny anecdote I have is when going to Beijing North Railway station, we decided to get a cab from one of the subway stations but he didn't speak English and I don't speak Chinese but by hearing the locals I could put 2 and 2 together and managed to actually speak the name of the destination as well as I showed him where we wanted to go. However, I didn't get the pronunciation right because he didn't understand me and after a minute it sort of clicked for both of us and when he pronounced the name right, I nodded my head and said "yes!!!" and off we went.
The taxis have a machine that greets and says good bye to the passengers in English, sort of like "Welcome to Taxi Beijing...." and "thank you for using Taxi Beijing..."
Note that when crossing a toll booth, the passenger is expected to pay for the costs as s/he pays for the ride.
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Taxi tips at Beijing Zhan railway station
The taxi situation at Beijing Zhan (main) railways station is confusing, and the vast numbers of people make it more difficult than it should be. Quite frankly, it is a disgrace.
The taxi stand is straight ahead of you as you come out of the arrivals door. There are no obvious signs for the taxi line, but it is by the escalator down to the Metro station. It can be difficult because many people jump over the railing so by the time you get to the front many taxis are already filled with passengers. If you are heading north from the station, the road layout means that all taxis from here have to turn south onto the second ring road until the next junction, then cross the highway and come back the same way. This is a ridiculous situation and adds to the cost.
If you are not too burdened with luggage, it is best to cross the footbridge to the other side and get a taxi at the roadside anywhere along the street here.
Ignore taxi touts at the station (even though the total disorganisation makes it very tempting) unless you speak very good Chinese, know how much the journey should cost you and are very confident.
The taxi situation at Beijing Zhan should be tackled immediately by the authorities as it is a terrible introduction to Beijing for visitors.
Taxi tips at Beijing Airport
The taxi situation at Beijing Airport is almost as bad as it is at Beijing Zhan railway station now.
The taxi sharks are particularly active at the international arrivals doors, so turn right and walk the length of the terminal concourse after you come out. It is crowded but easy enough, even with heavy luggage. When you come to the exit doorway for domestic arrivals, walk outside and get an official taxi.
Official taxis have a taxi sign on the roof, and on the dashboard on the passenger side is a placard with the drivers registration number. If this placard is missing then avoid it.
The driver should start the meter immediately and it will play a tinkly tune and there will be clicking as it starts. If the meter does not work, you do not have to pay. Don't get involved in arguments with the driver en-route. You could end up being dumped at the roadside in the middle of nowhere. Tackle it when you arrive!
At your destination and demand a fappiao (a receipt, which is generated by the meter). If the meter isn't working or hasn't been switched on you can refuse to pay, and if the driver threatens to call the police, encourage him to do so. At this point he will write a hand-written fappiao, but make sure he (or you) writes down the car registration and the driver registration before even getting your money out. If you are being helped by a doorman, ask him how much it should cost in a taxi (it will vary depending upon whether it is a 1.20, 1.60 or 2.00 taxi).
If the police do get involved, you will win the argument.
I have posted here before that the vast majority of Beijing taxi drivers are honest, friendly and likeable chaps (and a few ladies among them as well), but the worst rogues are attracted to the railways stations and the airport like moths to a lamp.
It is nothinbg to be worried about, but just be firm and be prudent!
Taxi Rides in and around Beijing
Taxi is one of the most easily accessible public transport in Beijing. It is fairly cheap compare to any other metropolitans. All taxis in Beijing are charging based on the reading on the meter. When you begin a journey, the meter will automatically reads 10RMB which is approximately US$1.25. There are 3 types of taxi in Beijing with different ratings based on the size of the car. They are of 1.20, 1.60 and 2.00 per km ratings.Moving around is easy by hopping to any of the 25,000 red taxis on the road.
Always carry a card from the hotel in the event you get lost in the city. Shown the car to the driver and ask him to bring you there. Most of the drivers are not able to speak in English with exception of a few that was specially trained lately for the games. A hotel card in Chinese will be very helpful.
Taxi ride from the airport to central of the city using a standard Citroen taxi will range around RMB 80 to RMB 100. In the past, I have heard of many visitors were conned into paying as much as US$300 to get into the city from the airport. This should not happened any more as strict rules applied on drivers found cheating will be prosecuted with long term banned. As most taxi drivers have to queue in line for hours to get a passenger from the airport, a small tips of RMB10 or RMB20 will make the day of any of these drivers especially if your journey is a short one (around Lido Hotel area).
You can also chartered a taxi/private own car for day trips to the Great Wall (which is around 40 to 1.5 hour drive from city) or just to move you around various locations like Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Pan Jia Yuan, Wang Fu Jing, etc. As long as it is within the city, most drivers are more than willing to let you charter their car for the day.
A typical 2 litre care (Passat, Bora, Hong Qi) will cost around RMB450 to RMB600 for an 8-hour day rental with chauffer. Each car can seat 4 comfortably. If you are sharing among 4, that is less than US$15 for a day.
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Take a taxi.
Taxis are by far the preferred way to get around Beijing, although buses seem to be readily available, but because of their size they easily get stuck in traffic whereas the taxis can squeeze in. If you are more daring ride a bicycle like alot of the population.
Things can get pretty interesting riding in the tiny taxis as they weave in and out of traffic. I saw an accident with a cyclist and a taxi.
Our hotel handed out cards to give to the driver that say in Chinese "I'm staying at..." so that they can know where to take you if you don't speak Chinese like most westerners.
Be careful though, taxi drivers can be sneaky like one that took us to San Litun street. He turned off his meter when we arrived and immediately said.."40rmb" when my buddy saw the meter and it read 10rmb, but I didn't feel like getting into a hassle so I paid the overage.
I also heard a rumor that some taxis are bugged, I'm not sure if this is true but I wouldn't test this out by saying something bad about China.
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After I had visited the Forbidden City, I left the complex via the Northern gate (Devine Military genius gate).
But from there it was difficult to grab a taxi, in order to return to my hotel.
And then it started to rain, not a little rain, but a lot of water, even too much water, as very soon all the streets were flooded.
And no taxi wanted to take us to the other side of the city. So the only thing we could do was to return towards the Tiananmen Square by foot. And that was quite a distance in these heavy rain showers.
So that is why I should advise that it is wise that you start your visit at the Forbidden City via the Northern gate, and like this after the visit you finish at the Tiananmen Square, close to the Subway station.
- Road Trip
Going to great wall by taxi!
If you are not travellig alone, sharing a taxi to great wall should be very convenient and time-saving.
I would recommend you to visit MU TIAN YU part which lies in the north of Beijing, about 1:20 minutes(one way) if no traffic.
This part has a fantastic panorama , less touristic , the ex president of Amercica Clinton has visited this part.
The rental fee for taxi should not exceed RMB500 for half day tour.
Taxis can be had cheaply, and are relatively easy to find.
Meter starts at 10 yuan, and is good for three km. Goes up from there in increments, which are stated on the passenger windows.
Taxi from the airport to downtown (Wangfujin) should run you 80 yuan: 70 for the drive, plus 10 for the highway fee.
You can hire drivers for the day, as well. Should cost you about 600 for the day.
The government has pushed all of the drivers to study English, because of the upcoming Olympics, so it should be relatively easy to comunicate with your drivers.
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Get around Beijijng by Taxi
It's very easy to hail a taxi anywhere in Beijing. And a taxi is the preferred transportation choice for most foreigners, because it isn't expensive and it is quite easy to hail one. The taxi charges 10RMB for the first tour within 4 or 5 kilometers and 1.2, 1.6 or 2RMB thereafter per kilo. The bridge and road tolls will be paid by passengers. For a journey that takes longer than 10 kilo or running after 23:00, the fares will be charged at 50% more. When in a taxi, make sure the meter is on. Before getting off, make sure you ask for a receipt (shou ju in Chinese) with the taxi's number on, in case of any complaint. Most drivers don't understand English, so write down your destination in Chinese beforehand. For taxi complaints, ring 68351150.
Taxis in Beijing
Taxis are pretty common (and very cheap, at least for western standards) in Beijing.
They are the most convenient way to travel around the city, and are everywhere, so you won't have much trouble finding one.
There are "official" taxis (the ones you should take), and "unofficial ones" (the ones you can take at your own risk).
You recognize the official taxis mostly because of their color: they are either red or blue. Unofficial ones are usually black.
Another important thing to note is that official taxis, unlike other places in the world, have different fares. For short trips this does not matter, but for longer trips, have a look at the fare: it is on the rear-back window, in a blue label. At the time of writing, fares were essentially two: 1.20 or 1.60 (how much you spend every km). Usually a 1.60 cab is a bit bigger than the 1.20, although this is not always true.
In all cases, the max people allowed are four.
Be careful that boots are not very large, so if you have bags (for instance going or coming from the airport) they might not fit, in which case the front seat will also be used as storage (-> max three persons).
There are three classes of taxi - each displaying their pricing scheme on a sticker in the window. The prices are Y1.2, Y1.6 and Y2 per kilometre and the amount you pay is relative to the comfort of the car. The cheapest are small and cramped, the more expensive have ample leg room and even seat belts! As usual, few drivers will speak English so it's useful to have a map with you to point at. All taxis are metered, and there is an added charge after midnight. If you want a bit of personal space then use a taxi, but in the chaotic daytime traffic it's often quicker (and much cheaper) to use the subway.
Taxis in Beijing
The easiest way to get around Beijing for a tourist is by taxi. Most taxis are painted red and are easy to spot. The starting fee for the taxis is 10 yuan. There are different rates for taxis: 1.20, 1.60, and 2.00 yuan per km. The rate is shown on a sticker on the side window. If you are on a budget and always are looking to ride with the 1.20, these taxis are the small, old, Chinese-made cars (Xiali). I'm not sure if all taxi drivers are able to speak English.
Taxi drivers do occasionally rip off tourists by selecting a longer route and therefore requiring you to pay more. Be careful and make sure you know where you are. Also, a lot of drivers refuse to take you if it is a short distance. And finally, you can't call for a taxi anywhere. There are a lot of places that taxis can't stop to pick up or drop off customers. They will just pass by you. For example, taxis may not stop on Tiananmen Square or any large, busy street. Go to a smaller street to call for a taxi.
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