Team Thermo-Fisher: Traveling in China

This is Team Thermo Fisher reporting from China.  Today, we share about how we get around in China, within Shanghai and other cities.

We’ve been here nearly two weeks, and have travel using most forms of transportation.  The country offers a staggering amount of options for travel – from the ultra-modern trains with magnetic levitation to the simplest pedestrian option.

First Stop: Pudong International Airport

Like many international travelers, we arrived at Pudong, thoroughly modern airport with soaring steel beams and cavernous departure halls.  ATMs are available at the Departure level, mostly from Bank of Communications, which will allow you get money from most debit and credit cards.  Typical fees are about US$5 per transaction.  Warning: checking your bank balance will also cost US$5!

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Next Stop: Road Transport

Taxis are relatively cheap and probably the easiest way to travel.  Hint: get your hotel’s name written in Chinese so the taxi driver knows where to take you.  A ride from Pudong airport to our hotel (east of the river) was between RMB100-200.  The taxis sometimes don’t have their air conditioning turned on, so you may have to ask the driver (you’ll have to figure out how!).  Taxis are metered by law.

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Walking on the roads is a whole new adventure. Motorbikes and bicycles don’t stop for the red lights.  Cars don’t stop for pedestrians.  Rule of thumb is to look in all directions before you cross any road.

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Pudong has nice sidewalks and separate bicycle lanes.  There are numerous gardens and landscaped walks, and the one I used most often ran along Lantian Road between Zaozhuang and Yunshan.  Just nice for a run in the morning (or some fishing).

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On Public Transport

In the crowded cities of China, sometimes the fastest way around is on the subway.  In the past ten years or so, many of the cities have opened new metros that now carry millions of commuters through its subterranean routes.  In Wuhan and Shanghai, we often used the subways to avoid jammed roads.

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By Foot

Walking is often a necessity, and in the 96 degree (F) humidity, not always welcome.  In Wuhan, our taxi dropped us off about 0.5 mile from a client’s office.  This was about 2pm in the afternoon in the 97F heat, and an uphill climb.

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To be continued….

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