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Suggestion for Getting Around Cities for Newbies

Suggestion for Getting Around Cities for Newbies

Old Sep 18, 18, 9:13 pm
  #1  
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Suggestion for Getting Around Cities for Newbies

Although I have traveled to China many times, my Chinese is poor, and I have felt restricted by my inability to explore cities without a Chinese speaker. (Mainly relatives I have in Wuhan) Last year I figured out a workable solution for me. Take a picture of the address where I live (or a street crossing), and print out a picture or take a picture of where I am going to. (Say Walmart in Wuhan or a shopping center)

My experience has been that the cab drivers in Wuhan are both cheap and honest. Then flag down a cab, show them a picture of where I am going to, and then, on my end, I have some independence and don't have to bother friends or relatives. On return, have picture of where I am returning to, and again, I can flag a cab driver who doesn't need to speak English. Hope this helps some people.
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Old Sep 19, 18, 5:45 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by DaileyB View Post
Although I have traveled to China many times, my Chinese is poor, and I have felt restricted by my inability to explore cities without a Chinese speaker. (Mainly relatives I have in Wuhan) Last year I figured out a workable solution for me. Take a picture of the address where I live (or a street crossing), and print out a picture or take a picture of where I am going to. (Say Walmart in Wuhan or a shopping center)

My experience has been that the cab drivers in Wuhan are both cheap and honest. Then flag down a cab, show them a picture of where I am going to, and then, on my end, I have some independence and don't have to bother friends or relatives. On return, have picture of where I am returning to, and again, I can flag a cab driver who doesn't need to speak English. Hope this helps some people.
Your strategy seems good, but why not use Didi?
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Old Sep 19, 18, 6:53 pm
  #3  
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How do you take a picture of your destination? And so much of modern China looks so much the same.

With taxis my first suggestion would always be to hand him the phone number of your destination. Even if your Chinese is good you may not be able to tell him precisely how to get to a particular place.
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Old Sep 20, 18, 12:05 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Your strategy seems good, but why not use Didi?
FWIW Didi has English option and it seems to be very good with auto fill even in english locations. Another nice feature is it accepts US CC and when you use Express cars it is similar to Uber in that it just bills to the CC and no cash, Alipay or WeChatPay required.

I find the offline Google translator as well as the Baidu translator useful as well
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Old Sep 20, 18, 3:28 am
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I frequently employ this strategy, as long as it's places I go to often. I have a gallery of pics in my phone labeled 'Shenzhen Taxi'. Occasionally I need to embellish with a street name then get the nod of acknowledgement from the driver. DiDi is useful also, but in SZ I can usually grab a taxi much quicker than calling up a DiDi car, which can take around 10 minutes. DiDi drivers will call my number about 50% of the time, I find the younger drivers can detect that I'm using the English version of DiDi and will send messages instead of calling.

In addition to having pics, I will frequently use Baidu map app if I know the location, but not necessarily the name of where I am going. I show the taxi driver where using the app. Sometimes they even take my phone and use the navigation. Google maps app just doesn't work in this case. Yes some of the street names and info is in Chinese, but drivers are used to Baidu maps look and feel. Google maps is foreign to them.
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Old Sep 20, 18, 12:05 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
How do you take a picture of your destination? And so much of modern China looks so much the same.

.
I can go to the Internet and find the actual destination or something close (like a bank for instance) and print it. Or, I can simply take a picture of my computer screen on my phone and then show the picture to the cab driver. Have never used Didi before but will try it next time I visit China. Will say though that the cabs are very cheap and very easy to use at non-peak hours.
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Old Sep 22, 18, 8:56 am
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Well, Didi is just as cheap and you don't need to worry about being ripped off as the price is predetermined, the driver knows exactly where you are going, and it translates for you.
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