Geographically, China is a very large country – a little bigger than the continental United States – and Chinese cities are sprawling metropolises with millions of residents. At first, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer size of your new hometown, but once you get your feet wet and understand how to get around, your new world becomes a lot more manageable.
Here are the top ways to travel in everyday life:
All cities with Disney English centers offer extensive rapid transit rail systems which crisscross the area. A trip on the metro is affordable – around 50 cents to $1 USD; provides a cultural immersion experience; and is sometimes the fastest way to get around. Traffic jams during peak travel times make city streets and highways hard to maneuver for cars, buses and scooters. Metro trains are large and run frequently.
Metro systems tend to close earlier than you would expect for large cities. If you need to find a way home after 11 p.m., then you may need to hire a taxi or book a ride-hailing service.
Top tip: Pre-load a stored value metro card that lets you tap in and out at metro turnstiles. The card provides easy access so you do not have to worry about buying a ticket for each journey. A metro card typically costs a couple of U.S. dollars initially, and it can be loaded (or “topped up”) as needed. These cards can also be used to pay for taxi fares and items at some convenience stores.
Similar to Uber and Lyft, DiDi is the most common ride-hailing service in China with both English and Chinese versions of the app available. Services like this offer a private driver to take you from point A to point B. Keep in mind, you are paying for convenience, which means this option is more expensive than a trip on the metro.
Safety tip: Always wear your seat belt!
Taxis are available throughout our six Disney English cities. Drivers do not accept credit cards, so have cash available. However, some electronic payments are accepted like stored value metro cards and Chinese e-payment services you can register for once you arrive in China.
Top tip: Most taxi drivers do not speak English, so have your destination written in Chinese in a large, easy-to-read font. And ask the driver to run the meter.
Safety tip: Always wear your seat belt and research the color of the official taxis in your city.
Chinese city streets are filled with bicycles! It’s a great way to get around, see the city and stay fit. Folding bikes are an inexpensive option, and many styles are readily available for purchase.
Top tip: Bike-sharing programs are common and convenient.
Safety tip: Always wear a sturdy helmet.
We hope these travel tips help you explore all the wonders in your new hometown!