Driver with some english

Old Jul 31st, 2001, 04:27 AM
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Driver with some english

Any advice on how much a driver for the day should cost. What is the best way to get one who speaks some english.

Old Jul 31st, 2001, 05:26 AM
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Where ? ;~)
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 07:21 AM
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Old Aug 10th, 2001, 11:00 PM
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I was able to get my valet and bellhops at my hotel to negotiate for English speaking taxi drivers while I was there.
Old Aug 14th, 2001, 04:53 AM
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Old Aug 14th, 2001, 06:13 AM
Peter Neville-Hadley
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The prices quoted on that site are double what even the most casual negotiations with a cab ought to yield, and triple what they should cost, merely because the driver may have a little English. The only more expensive way to book a car would be via the transport desk of a five star hotel.

For the simple matter of getting from place to place, ask your hotel reception to write down destinations in Chinese characters (assuming your guide book is too lousy to have these already), and/or use a bilingual map, then write down waiting times on a piece of paper.

These people are mostly quite helpful, are currently in the middle of a campaign which is forcing them to attempt to learn 100 phrases of English (and they have an exam coming up in some cases), and really want to do business with you. There are approximately 67,500 cabs on Beijing's streets, and most of them are empty for most of the day. A one day hire is often very welcome.

The ones to avoid at all costs are the ones which hang around outside hotels, which approach you rather than vice versa, and with which your friendly bellhop negotiates for you, almost always to his personal profit.

However, unless you are planning a trip out of town, don't even bother with one day hires. Cabs are everywhere. Just remember to flag down passing cars and not take the ones waiting outside major tourist sites, railway stations, and big hotels. With the exception of a pre-negotiated one day hire or a trip out of town, the meter should always be started, and if there's any suggestion otherwise don't even argue--there's someone else more than happy to follow the rules coming along in a few seconds.

Peter N-H
Information about Travel in China


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