Monday, November 24, 2014

Subway in Beijing

If you know you’re going to be staying in Beijing for a week or two and will definitely be travelling all over the city, getting a subway card is the most economical option. There’s a down payment of roughly $10 to get the card itself and you top up with the amount you’d like to use for travel.  The money you pay to get the card is refundable whenever you are ready to leave Beijing.

Please note that the card services at train stations DO NOT offer the refund for this card. However, any other normal subway stops will offer the refund back on these cards.

This is the easiest way to travel around Beijing and each trip from memory only cost us under a dollar each way. The trains are very frequent and run on time. It also saves you time waiting in the queue to buy a paper ticket each time you travel, and if you know the population of China, or just in Beijing itself, it can take a loooong time! The card can easily be topped up but unless you have a Chinese bank card you can only do this at their service kiosks rather than at one of their machines.

The one annoying thing is when buying the card it is helpful to have someone who can speak Mandarin or Cantonese because finding a kiosk server who can speak English is very rare. Sometimes you will be lucky enough to meet a friendly local standing in line behind you who is bilingual and will help you out. However, when refilling your card you can get away with either sign language, basic English or just handing over your card with the correct amount you want to add.

Just download a subway map of Beijing when you get free Wi-Fi at your accommodation and you’re good to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment