The Art of Getting Around in Beijing

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Beijing is huge and very spread out, much like most North American cities. Getting from point A to point B isn’t always easy: it’s hot and the streets are jam-packed.

Taxis are cheap and relatively straightforward if ou don’t mind the driver smoking in the car and if you can speak Mandarin, because there is no chance he will speak English. You used to be able to flag them just about anywhere, but I find they are harder to find now: the parking and pick up/drop off rules are tougher than before. Beside, you can get stuck in the traffic, like it happened to us on the way from the airport to the hotel.

The subway system is fast, reliable and cheap (tickets are only two yuan), although carts can be very crowded and there are few escalators so we had to carry the stroller up and down the stairs (yay, biceps workout!). Stops are announced in both Mandarin and English (probably a legacy of the 2008 Olympic Games) and trains are very clean compared to, let’s say, Paris.

Although I love riding bicycles, I wouldn’t try it in Beijing—being a pedestrian is challenging enough! Crossing streets invariably involves running across as cars typically speed up when they see people and red lights are just a suggestion to stop. I noticed not that many people bike anymore, people seem to like motorbikes best (and yes, they do ride on the sidewalk if they feel like it).

Parking Lot

Parking Lot

Cute Bike on Fuchengmen

Cute Bike on Fuchengmen

Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver

In a Taxi

In a Taxi

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

In a Taxi on ChangAn Jie Along Tiananmen Square

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

KFC Ad on Beijing's Subway

KFC Ad on Beijing’s Subway

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

Vending Machines in the Subway

Vending Machines in the Subway

Vending Machines in the Subway

Vending Machines in the Subway

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

Beijing's Subway

Beijing’s Subway

Bicycles in Qianmen

Bicycles in Qianmen

Bicycles in Fuchengmen

Bicycles in Fuchengmen

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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