A metro ride can cost between 3-6RMB depending on the distance you travel. The metro station and carriages are clean, have air conditioning, and security. To keep up with the outside world, they even support 4G connectivity and TV screens in the carriages to watch international sports.
Hire bikes are offered by a range of private companies that collectively have millions of bikes throughout the cities of China. Bike rentals cost 1-2RMB an hour with a deposit of roughly 200RMB when you join the app. Effectively you could join one company and have access to bikes in every city you visit. You just find a bike on the pavement, scan it’s QR code, it unlocks and you’re off on your adventure. The great benefit of these companies too is that you can leave them anywhere just by locking the bike to stop the service.
Didi is the western equivalent of Uber, with prices of this service varying on time of day and distance. The main benefits of this service are that the approximate cost is shown prior, and their pre-bookable feature allows you to plan for your early morning flights to the next city you’re visiting.
One way from Shanghai to Hong Kong can cost 800RMB, with flights to Qingdao, Beijing & Shenzhen costing 720RMB, 900RMB and 100RMB respectively. Domestic flights in China are not as cheap as traveling in Europe. Flying to other Asian countries can cost around 2,000 to 3,000RMB for a return trip. Be sure to book your flights early for national holidays and leave extra time for travelling to the airport.
Bullet trains are a great alternative to flying in China and offer reasonable prices. Hangzhou to Shanghai is 56RMB, Shanghai to Suzhou is 40RMB, Shenzhen to Xiamen is 180RMB and Shanghai to Beijing is 555RMB. Bullet trains not only travel 300km/hr, but are very clean, offer free hot water, operate toilets throughout, and are timely. Be sure to book trains one month in advance for national holidays and leave with plenty of time to spare, as train stations are very big.
Half of the local buses now are electric, meaning a ride anywhere in your city can cost around 2RMB. Add that up for one week of commuting for work, and you’ll spend 20RMB. Buses are great value too, as they offer air conditioning and like the metro systems, provide the opportunity to watch international sports.
Long distance coaches vary mostly on the arrival location. You can get coaches to any city you wish to visit, and to popular tourist spots such as the Great Wall or Huangshan Mountain. In Xi’an, there are free coaches that will take you to the Terracotta Warriors. Expect to pay above 100RMB to go to your destination with a journey time of more than three hours.
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