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Airport Transfers in Beijing and Hong Kong

Airport Transfers in Beijing and Hong Kong

Dec 10th, 2009, 07:33 AM
  #1  
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Airport Transfers in Beijing and Hong Kong

Can anyone recommend reliable/reasonably priced car service/limo companies for airport transfers in Beijing and Shanghai?
darnestown is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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Reliable and reasonably priced? There are none. You are far better simply to get into a taxi.

If money is no object, then all major hotels in both cities will send a car to collect you, and just how limo-ish the car is will depend on the hotel chosen. The Peninsula (in Beijing, and now probably in Shanghai, too, but I haven't checked) will send a custom-made stretch BMW or Rolls-Royce. Many others have Mercedes-Benz.

Peter N-H
PeterN_H is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Is it Beijing and Shanghai, or Beijing and Hong Kong?
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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rkkwan: The Peninsula Shanghai by the Bund was just opened in Oct., 2009
lxchiang is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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lxchiang - I am asking the OP. See the title of this thread?
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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Yes, it's my mistake.

I think regardless of whether the OP means Beijing and HK or Beijing and Shanghai, Peter H-N's answer applies to both.
lxchiang is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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But do not "just get into a taxi" ! Our first arrival into Beijing in September we almost did that for the short ride to a hotel 4 km from the airport. Although the bags were already in the trunk, before we got in I asked for a fare estimate. The driver said 300 RMB. Shocked, I said, on the meter? He said no, fixed price.

He was ticked when I said to give me my bags back. We walked back to the taxi "dispatcher" and I said, in sign language, that I wanted a taxi with meter to the hotel. That then happened and the fare was something like 21 or 22 RMB.

Always ensure you are on the meter ... that is pretty cheap.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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> But do not "just get into a taxi" !

This phrase is very obviously not a comprehensive guide to dealing with taxis. If it was, it would include the advice, "DON'T ask for a fare estimate as that is just asking for trouble. And NEVER suggest the meter is optional unless you are absolutely determined to be ripped off. The driver will start the meter just after pulling away, and if he doesn't (which is unusual these days even at the airport) insist he does, and that's the end of it."

Going only a short distance from the airport (anything closer than the northwest corner of the third ring road) is more likely to cause problems (especially if you set yourself up for them), since the driver may have been waiting up to three hours to get a fare. But even so can be achieved (as subsequently shown) if you don't invite trouble. With these nearer hotels it is much better to use the free shuttle services they provide. The OP, however, has given no indication he wants to stay way out from the city centre and near the airport, so this is not going to be a problem. Around ¥100 or so will see him as rapidly deposited as traffic permits at almost any city centre hotel.

Peter N-H
PeterN_H is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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darnestown, I believe from your other posts that you are going to Hong Kong this month. For a car service, I would recommend Park Lane, see http://www.hongkonglimo.com/html/shuttle.html. I think I have given this name to you before in response to a previous post you had on options for going to Shenzhen.

Your hotel would also be happy to provide transport, ask them for a quote if you are interested. Both the car service and the hotel will have a person waiting in the arrivals hall to escort you to the car and help with baggage, which can be a nice feature after a long flight.

Also, a taxi is certainly an easy option. It may actually be more expensive than a car service (but probably not the hotel’s car service), get a quote and compare; a taxi to the Conrad on Hong Kong Island will be in the range of HK$300-350 plus a small luggage charge and HK$75 in tunnel/bridge tolls. There is also the option of taking the Airport Express train and then a taxi or shuttle bus to your hotel. A car service, taxi and Airport Express all take roughly the same time: about 30 minutes. There are also public buses and also as shuttle buses which do routes to various hotels from the airport, these will take longer. It all depends on how much you want to pay and how easily and quickly you want to get to your hotel. See http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/a...airportex.html
for all the transport options from the airport.
Cicerone is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 10:24 PM
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If you decide on the Airport Express Train option and then a taxi to the Conrad, the Airport Express is HK$100 per person one way, and a taxi to the Conrad from the Hong Kong station at the end of the train ride will be about HK$20-25, plus perhaps a small luggage charge of HK$2 per bag, and will take about 5 minutes. You do not need to tip.

You can purchase tickets for the Airport Express at the airport, either just after baggage claim/customs where there is a ticket window after you exit a set of glass doors, or keep walking out the second set of glass doors into the main huge arrivals hall and look for the ticket desk there in the middle of the hall. The tracks themselves are on the opposite back wall of the arrival hall. There are also automated ticket machines by the tracks. You can use a credit card or cash; there are ATM machines near the tracks, look to the right before the ramp up onto the train platform. (For taxis, go to the left at the train platform and follow the signs leading down a ramp. The car service guys would be waiting for you in the arrival halls area with your name on a sign, but you can also find the cars after you come out of the second set of glass doors by turning right and going all the way to the end of the hall, past the MIX café on the left, into the small hallway and down the escalators on the right. )

There are options for tourists to purchase a combined ticket for the airport train with a general transportation card for unlimited use of the MTR (subway), see http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/airport_ex...ass_index.html for get details.
Cicerone is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 10:30 AM
  #11  
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Thanks to all for your advice and guidance. I was hoping to avoid the hassle of having to battle taxi drivers to use the meter or of having a hyer-active meter or any of the other scams taxi drivers throughout the world try to pull.

To Cicerone: I am following your advice regarding Park Lane Limo and have booked them for the transfer from the airport to the Conrad hotel. Their all-inclusive price is HKD 550. I was hoping to find similar services in Beijing and Shanghai as the hotel prices were exorbitant.
darnestown is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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There are effectively no difficulties with taxis at Beijing Airport other than those you might bring upon yourself, for instance by going with a tout who accosts you in the arrivals hall, rather than going to the taxi queue.

Better than nine times in you tell the marshal where you are going, and he tells the driver in Mandarin, you pull away, the meter goes down, and that's it. On arrival you pay what's on the meter plus the ¥10 Airport Expressway toll, plus a ¥1 surcharge just introduced the other week I believe, and no tip, and the total cost will be around ¥100 depending on time of day and hotel chosen.

Taxi queues are well-signposted within the airport terminals, and there are marshals to ensure proper queuing behaviour. It's always best to have with you the Chinese name of your destination, printed out from the hotel's web site, together with the phone number. If the driver's in doubt he'll just call for directions (and he won't charge you for that or expect a tip--it's normal practice).

Peter N-H
PeterN_H is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Should read, "better than nine times in ten"
PeterN_H is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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Apologies to all. I did mean Beijing and Shanghai. Hong Kong is all settled.

Thanks to PeterN_H...taxis seem like to way to go.

If anyone is still reading this, any advice on Shanghai (Honagio)would be appreciated.
darnestown is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 08:10 PM
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Presumably that's 'Hong Qiao'. That airport is only a short ride from the city centre, but Shanghai taxi drivers are more tricksy than those of Beijing (to all out of towners, not just foreigners), although their tricksiness mainly amounts to taking you a long way round.

In particular if you are staying on the Pudong side they love to ask whether you want bridge or tunnel. This used to make sense back in the days when there was a ¥15 toll on the tunnel (and taxis were cheaper than now), but the tunnel has long been free, and the 'bridge' answer may take you on a huge loop south, although there are newer intermediate bridges and tunnels now, too.

In China, when travelling solo in a taxi, you generally sit in the front seat, and there's no problem if one of a party of two does so, either. Simply print out the map from your hotel's web site and have that clearly in front of you so the driver knows you're paying attention. Google maps will also give you reliable directions, so print out the map from there, too. The route into town is pretty much straight east on an elevated expressway, and road signs are in English, so that's really about all the precaution you have to take, other than the basics: NEVER go with anyone who accosts you in the arrivals hall, but ALWAYS go to the rank. Have the characters for and phone number of your destination ready. Take a receipt when you leave the cab. Some hotels (as in Beijing) run free shuttle buses, so check on that as an alternative (the Rolls-Royces and BMWs were mentioned earlier only because you said 'limo').

Peter N-H
PeterN_H is offline  
Jan 18th, 2010, 04:46 PM
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We are just back from China and would like to summarize our experiences with taxis and airport transfers.

We utilized Park Lane Limo for the trip from the Hong Kong airport to the Park Lane Hotel in Admiralty. The service was good and the car well-appointed and comfortable. The cost was HKD 550. I decided to use the Limo service because I didn't want to hassle with typical taxi driver tricks or suffer in a cramped back seat after a 16 hour flight. As it turns out, I think my fears were unfounded. During our five days in Hong Kong, we made extensive use of taxis and never once had a problem with the drivers trying to rip us off. Furthermore, the taxis were quite comfortable with outstanding rear seat leg room. If I were to return to Hong Kong I would definitely use a taxi from the airport to the city.

In Beijing we planned to take a taxi from the airport to the Grand Hyatt. Upon arrival we were confronted with a 2 + hour wait for a taxi...there were hundreds, if not thousands of people waiting in the frigid air for a taxi. The airport train was not working and the terminal was extremely choatic. We were fortunate enough to stumble across a tourist office that was offering limo service for 400 RMG and we gladly accepted the offer. Taxis were very hard to find in Beijing and on one night we experienced an hour-long wait at the hotel. We were told the reason for the taxi shortage was a recent 8 inch snowfall and very low temperatures and that such shortages were uncommon. I would advise anyone going to Beijing in the winter to reserve a limo in advance from CTRIP or E-Long and to learn the metro routes.

In Shanghai we took a taxi from Hong Qiao to the Meridien near Peoples Square. The fare for the short ride was 50 RMG and we had had no problems. Our return flight was from the distant Pudong airport and we got one of the trickier drivers who took us on a round about route. The meter fare was 240 RMG but I just gave the driver the 180 RMG that the hotel (and others) said the fare should be. He didn't raise a stink and even offered a "Xie Xie". Apparently he knew was caught.
darnestown is offline  
Jan 18th, 2010, 05:24 PM
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> I would advise anyone going to Beijing in the winter to reserve a limo in advance from CTRIP or E-Long and to learn the metro routes.

In terms of giving general advice, this conclusion is not really justified by the premises. Beijing suffered record low temperatures and snowfall, and no general conclusions on travel can be drawn from this highly unusual situation. The snow is still at the sides of the road today, temperatures have been down as low as -14C in the last week, but everything, including the airport line, is operating normally, and the problem is more avoiding the city's 67,500 taxis (who are determined that you can't mean to walk anywhere at all) rather than finding one.

In general the advice remains as given, and taking a taxi in town (not as roomy as the Hong Kong ones, however) is the best option, usually involved only a short wait, and will cost a quarter of the limo price.

Peter N-H
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