China series: On Public Transportation

The Beijing subway is notoriously crowded. (Yes, even at three in the afternoon on a Sunday.) The majority of the stops don't have escalators and good luck trying to find an elevator. China's public transport is hopeless for those wheelchair or even crutches bound.

Taxis are cheaper in cities other than Beijing where fares start at 10 yuan at go up by 2 yuan a unit (I believe by kilometers). There won't be a place to buckle your seatbelt and extremely few drivers speak English. It will be a slightly crazy ride since almost no one obeys traffic laws and horns are normal sounds. In fact, ambulance sirens are disregarded more than taxi horns.

Bus quality varies though fares are usually one yuan. In some cities, they won't come to a complete stop. General operating procedure is to get on in the front and exit in the middle. There is no such thing as a fire code so the buses can be so full you can't move to get off.

Trains are generally half an hour late and filled with people. Hard seats may be the best price but it also means people can pack around you. Sleepers are decent though it helps to take a sleeping aid if you really want to sleep.

There are bicycle ride things called "tuk-tuks" but the seats are small. However, they are authentic.

While queueing might be commonplace in the airport, never expect it on public transportation. There is nothing wrong with elbowing because you will be elbowed in return.

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