There are plenty of taxis in the major cities – over 120,000 in all – and these can be hired for longer trips as well as shorter journeys.
There are taxi ranks at airports, bus and rail stations and in front of Friendship Stores and tourist hotels as well as at the major places for sightseeing.
Taxis can be booked at hotel reception desks or hailed in the street. You need to make allowance in the fare for the time spent waiting for the taxi to arrive.
You would be well advised to take with you the name of your destination and your hotel written, or preferably printed, in Chinese script to show to your taxi driver. In Beijing for example the best course is to carry a map of the city in both English and Chinese with where you wantto go marked by a cross.
If there is any doubt as to whether a taxi will be available to take you back from your destination you should ask the taxi to wait for you.
All taxis are equipped with meters. Fares are based on the comfort and type ofthe vehicle as well as on distance.
One alternative to taxis are the minibuses which run on certain routes in the bigger cities or to nearby tourist sites. These can be more expensive, especially for foreigners, who are expected to haggle, but are relatively problem-free.
In some places taxi services are replaced by rickshaws in the form of cycle-drawn or motorised pedicabs (see Rickshaws).