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China Master Transportation Thread

China Master Transportation Thread

Old Sep 21, 11, 4:12 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by jasonz9238 View Post

1. Are flight cancellations a common occurrence? I am booking my flights about 70 days out.
Don't sweat this point. IMO 70 days out is too far, but it really matters not.

2. Planning on taking the the G train from shanghai to beijing, is the 5 hr trip worth getting the 1st class seat over economy from your personal experience?
I don't think 1st is worth the premium over 2nd for a variety of reasons.

3. Just wondering if you guys have ever used a private driver in chengdu?
No experience myself, but I'll shoot you an email.

Last edited by moondog; Sep 21, 11 at 4:19 am
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Old Sep 21, 11, 9:31 pm
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Jiatong View Post
BTW, the BJ weather is golden now, abet cool at night.
Yeah, they throw a holiday celebrating fall, and the next day temperatures drop 20 degrees. I'm impressed.
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Old Sep 23, 11, 10:56 am
  #93  
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
Thanks for the tips and the PM Jiatong. I found out that my boss has borrowed a van and will be coming to pick me up himself -- very nice of him -- albeit completely unecessary. However, I think insisting on a no would probably be a no-no etiquette-wise.

Look forward to catching up once we're in BJ.

tb
Let's shoot for 10/8 somewhere in Chaoyang (for our proposed "do")... but, I might not be able to make it back until 10/9.
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Old Sep 23, 11, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Let's shoot for 10/8 somewhere in Chaoyang (for our proposed "do")... but, I might not be able to make it back until 10/9.
Would like to catch up then if possible. Has golden week ended by then? I remember that the first saturday after golden week last year I had my job interview, and the entire department had shown up...so hope I'll be free.

tb
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Old Sep 23, 11, 6:21 pm
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BJ do

Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Let's shoot for 10/8 somewhere in Chaoyang (for our proposed "do")... but, I might not be able to make it back until 10/9.
Sunday 10-9 can work for me, If Chaoyang, then anywhere close to a subway line 10 stop. ( maybe a blue frog burger ?)

-10-8 is a BJ maybe as i am returning from a Baidaihe 'golden' golf trip..And do not want to drive back on that crazy friday the 7th.
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Old Nov 4, 11, 12:58 am
  #96  
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Some recent experiences using Google Maps and Baidu maps for public transportation in China (specifically Chengdu).

In general the routes that Google/Baidu output are correct, but where the stations are located are not. My method was to first use Baidu, write down where I was going and what bus routes to take, then confirm with google as I have google maps on my phone. I ended up spending quite a bit of time walking around just to find where the stations really where. In general, just follow the route towards your destination and you'll eventually find a station where your bus stops.

So in general the routes were mostly correct (regarding bus numbers), but stations were not. Surprisingly baidu and google agreed almost 99% of the time on stations and routes.

Reading Chinese helps a ton of course as most stations have the bus stops all in Chinese.
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Old Dec 8, 11, 9:43 am
  #97  
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City Buses

Out of necessity due to both lack of cabs and lack of money, this year I have been using Beijing city buses and have been finding them quite a useful transport method when the subway doesn't go where I want to go, or when i just don't feel like being a gopher and heading underground. Have also used them on in other cities, even when I wasn't quite sure where I'd be ending up. (The hotel receptionist or concierge can advise visitors.)

Remember that it's not necessary to figure out the entire bus system. You only have to figure out the most critical routes from where you are living/staying, and where you most often like or want to go.

Even though subject to rush hour snarls as any other vehicle, at least when the empty taxis have all vanished, or refuse to pick you up, a bus will usually be coming by within 10-15 minutes and can at least get you closer to your destination (and out of the cold!). And for RMB 1 (or 0.4 with a Yikatong transport card for bus-subway), one of the best deals going in Beijing!
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Old Dec 9, 11, 1:59 am
  #98  
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In a sick way, I'm beginning to really warm up on the buses in China as well. I guess fighting to get on and off transportation is becoming habit. Now, getting me to do the bus from PVG to Puxi is something moondog will have to keep trying to convince me is worth doing...
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Old Dec 9, 11, 2:23 am
  #99  
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Pedicabs

Today is the second time in 3 days that I've given up on finding empty taxi in a tough location and have defaulted to a form of Beijing transportation that I've almost never used: the motorized cycle pedicabs. Both times from The PLACE shopping center on Dongdaqiao Lu to Worker's Stadium north gate, or Yashow Market on Gongti Bei Lu. Both times, at the very beginning of the afternoon rush hour, so even buses get mired in traffic in the bus lanes, while you are standing the entire time. It's waiting for the cross streets that kill ya. Since the pedicabs use the bicycle lanes, they often keep moving even when traffic on the main road is at a dead standstill. While the taxi is undeniably heated to toastiness, those waiting charges turn what's normally an RMB 11 or 12 ride into something closer to RMB 20. Might as well pay the pedicab driver the RMB 20 they want, and get there faster. With the front blanket down (an interesting experience in locomotion when you can't see anything), and if you are wearing long johns under your pants, + layers under your coat, hat, gloves and good socks, traveling in the cold in an unheated "vehicle" is bearable.

Last edited by jiejie; Dec 9, 11 at 2:34 am
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Old Dec 9, 11, 2:32 am
  #100  
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Another New Experience

First time for everything...today I managed to lose my Yikatong (public transportation stored value card). Used it on a bus around 2 pm and when looking for it to take a different bus after an errand about 30 minutes later...gone. Think I inadvertently dropped it out of my pocket when I exited the first bus and pulled my gloves back out of same pocket. Lost RMB 40+ including the card surrender value + the stored transportation value on it--worth 10 subway or 50 bus rides. Well, hopefully somebody needy found it and can make use of it. Since I rarely go around losing things, I was rather peeved. But it's such a necessity in Beijing these days, had to head to the closest subway station to get and charge up another one. Grrrrrrrrr.
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Old Dec 9, 11, 8:32 am
  #101  
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Originally Posted by mnredfox View Post
Some recent experiences using Google Maps and Baidu maps for public transportation in China (specifically Chengdu).

In general the routes that Google/Baidu output are correct, but where the stations are located are not. My method was to first use Baidu, write down where I was going and what bus routes to take, then confirm with google as I have google maps on my phone. I ended up spending quite a bit of time walking around just to find where the stations really where. In general, just follow the route towards your destination and you'll eventually find a station where your bus stops.

So in general the routes were mostly correct (regarding bus numbers), but stations were not. Surprisingly baidu and google agreed almost 99% of the time on stations and routes.

Reading Chinese helps a ton of course as most stations have the bus stops all in Chinese.
There are a number of apps for both iphone and android that will on the fly translate hanzi to english thru cell phone camera. Usefull for signage , menus, ettc.
here is one example:

http://betaspring.com/blog/2011/12/0...na-competition
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Old Dec 9, 11, 3:22 pm
  #102  
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
Today is the second time in 3 days that I've given up on finding empty taxi in a tough location and have defaulted to a form of Beijing transportation that I've almost never used: the motorized cycle pedicabs.
As most of the regulars in this forum know, I've been a staunch supporter of rickshaws and other 黑车 ever since I started that "Are BJ taxis on strike?" thread. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I advised the other ambassadors to devote a section to the OP of this post to such. IIRC, I was rebuffed on the grounds that simply mentioning this idea could put FTers at risk of being ripped off.

But, the thing is, battling with 15 other parties near "The Place" in -12 degree conditions kind of sucks, and I can afford to pay $4 for a service that should cost $2 (it is very cold in Beijing this week).
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Old Dec 9, 11, 4:59 pm
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I regularly use a few quieter bus lines in the Yangtze Delta cities where I know passengers are few and riding on them allows me to sidestep the long taxi queues at major railway stations. However, the tendency of some Chinese passengers to use buses while obviously and visibly sick plus the sardine can-like overcrowding is putting me off from most of them.

As for the pedicabs, will not use them for safety reasons. Have seen too many traffic accidents where they were one of the culprits.

Waiting for all those new subway lines to open in many second tier cities...
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Old Dec 9, 11, 7:07 pm
  #104  
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
As most of the regulars in this forum know, I've been a staunch supporter of rickshaws and other 黑车 ever since I started that "Are BJ taxis on strike?" thread. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I advised the other ambassadors to devote a section to the OP of this post to such. IIRC, I was rebuffed on the grounds that simply mentioning this idea could put FTers at risk of being ripped off.

But, the thing is, battling with 15 other parties near "The Place" in -12 degree conditions kind of sucks, and I can afford to pay $4 for a service that should cost $2 (it is very cold in Beijing this week).
Pedicab/rickshaws: On a per meter basis, they are probably one of the more expensive forms of transport, which given the situation (like waiting in the cold for a non-existant alternative), may not be an issue. However, as a form of mass transport, they are really not too useful as their practical distance/range is limited to a relatively short distance from their "base area." Nearly all pedicabs will work within a circumscribed area and as long as you need to journey within that area (usually not more than 1-2 km), they are a realistic option. Just get agreement on price before getting in the seat.

Hei Che (Illegal Taxis, Private Cars offering for-fee rides): I still feel these are best left to people who can speak Mandarin and who know where they are going and what they are doing. Most of us already know if we fit in that category. But too much opportunity for serious rip-offs and other mischief to recommend this to rookie visitors.


Originally Posted by mosburger View Post
I regularly use a few quieter bus lines in the Yangtze Delta cities where I know passengers are few and riding on them allows me to sidestep the long taxi queues at major railway stations. However, the tendency of some Chinese passengers to use buses while obviously and visibly sick plus the sardine can-like overcrowding is putting me off from most of them.

As for the pedicabs, will not use them for safety reasons. Have seen too many traffic accidents where they were one of the culprits.

Waiting for all those new subway lines to open in many second tier cities...
1) Yes, in many cities, not all bus lines are crowded. And if your travel pattern lets you make use of those lines, a plus. Some bus lines are only crowded during rush hours, so using buses at non-peak times might also work if you have flexible timing.

2) I agree about the sick passengers, you get this on subway also, but the very poor (and likely to have more serious illness like TB) generally stick to the buses where both options exist, due to lower price. In fact, I recommend that visitors with conditions that make it adviseable to stay out of crowds (such as compromised immunity), should stick to taxis and private cars.

3) I think pedicab safety depends on where you are. In Beijing, most of the areas the pedicabs haunt have either little motorized traffic or have the bicycle lanes which do offer some segregation. And in these areas, traffic is moving slowly due to congestion so accidents are not a huge concern. May not be the case in all cities though. And for those of us that routinely ride our own bicycles on city streets, pedicab safety is a relative concept.

4) Agree on subway. Though living with the current pain and disruption of construction, both locals and visitors could really use some new, inexpensive options in places like Hangzhou, Kunming, etc. And in Beijing, when long-anticipated Line 6 opens, it should take a lot of pressure off overburdened Line 1.

Last edited by jiejie; Dec 9, 11 at 7:14 pm
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Old Dec 9, 11, 9:07 pm
  #105  
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
But, the thing is, battling with 15 other parties near "The Place" in -12 degree conditions kind of sucks, and I can afford to pay $4 for a service that should cost $2 (it is very cold in Beijing this week).
Mr. Ji has to realize China is played out and bring some RMB and his lovely wife back to [email protected]:-)
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