Tips for Getting Around & Taxi

Getting around in Guangzhou is quite easy and not as challenging as it was back in the late 90”s. Guangzhou also has a great number of street signs in English. It is easy to take a taxis, which are quite cheap. Now there are 6-lines of the Metro (subway) running. They are brand new and clean. But taxis are still the best way for tourists and foreigners to get around, as they take you right to your destination. A good map will do wonders if you are going to a landmark or hotel by subway. Maps can be picked up in most Hotels and book stores around Guangzhou. Make sure to pick a newer one and one with ENGLISH and CHINESE so that you can point to the location regardless of the language and someone can point you in the right direction.

Always bring your hotel address in both English and Chinese with you. It makes it so much easier if you get lost to just get in a taxi and have the driver take you to the address on the card. DO NOT give your card with your room information to the taxi driver. All the hotels have “Please Drive Me To” cards and “Return Cards” for your use. Go over your destination with the hotel before you leave and make sure they explain it to the taxi driver. Usually the bellboy will make sure the driver understands, and the taxi driver will take a sort of responsibility for you.

It is not unheard of for a taxi driver to give back fake money, especially if you are a tourist, as they get a lot of it passed to them. Generally, 10s, 20s and 50s are the easiest to pass undetected. When making payment with a 50 or 100 yuan note always keep an eye on the driver and your money. If not then there is a possibility that he will try to switch the note you gave him with a fake note then tell you that yours is no good and return the fake note to you.

If you have a problem with a taxi driver, there are two numbers you can take note of in order to file a complaint. One number is on the driver’s license card on the passenger side dashboard. It will have his picture and his ID number. The picture does not necessarily have to match that person?they sometimes lend out their ID cards.

This is the view from the back seat of a Guangzhou Taxi. As you can see on the Dashboard, you”ll find the Driver Qualification Certificate. On this certificate there will be a picture of the driver and his certification number.

The starting charge is ¥7 for the first 2.3 kilometers, or about 1.4 miles. After that is ¥2.6 for each kilometer. ¥2 fuel surcharge is now added. A few of them also accepts Yang Cheng Tong as payment.

The second set of numbers is located on the driver”s side rear door window. It is usually a stamped number on a blue and white colored decal.

If you do have a problem, make it a point to show the driver that you are writing down the numbers, and your problem will usually go away.

Rules about driving: In mainland China, driving is on the right side of the road and in Hong Kong it is on the left side of the road. If you are from the U.S., be careful in Hong Kong! Do not step out into the street until you have looked both ways? You do not want to look right when you should be looking left and vice versa. In Hong Kong, you will see double-decker buses and taxis roaring down the road very close to the pedestrians waiting to cross the street. This is especially evident on Nathan Road in Tsim Tsha Tsui. Do not get caught up in the “awe” of the city and forget where you are.

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