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July 02, 2008

Getting to the City

I remember passing through chaotic terminal 4 at Madrid’s Barajas Airport a few years back. The terminal was brand new at the time and was terribly confusing and inefficient, so I was expecting the same from Beijing’s brand new International terminal. Not so much. Everything is clearly marked and getting to the city from the airport is cheap and easy. I rode to the city in a prearranged shuttle bus -- a joy after 13 hours in the air -- but if you’re not so fortunate, taxis are cheap and plentiful.

Taxi dispatchers (such as Miss China below) will help pair you with a licensed cabbie to bring you to your hotel. There’s also a new airport metro line that will shuttle you from the airport to Dongzhimen in 16 minutes. Shanghai Daily reports that the trip will set you back a mere 25 yuan (currently about $3.65). Expect to pay about three times that much for an hour-long taxi ride to the city center.

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