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Natalie
Gilroy

Natalie from Gilroy asked

Should Non-Mandarin speaking Family of Five rent a car in Beijing?

We will be in Beijing for about a week. We are a family of 5 adults ranging in ages 18 to 50. We do not speak or read any Mandarin. My parents are used to driving in crazy roads. They have driven in Rio and Mexico City. However they do not know what it is like to drive in China. What should we do for transportation? Should we rent a car, hire a driver, or use the subway system? 

Beijing (China)   China

4 Answers
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answered by
Larry

Natalie:

You should be aware that your local drivers license will not be honored in China, so a car rental will only be possible if you get a provisional drivers license. I believe one can be obtained at the airport. You can google this subject and get more information


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Natalie
This is an important thing to keep in mind! Thank you so much for your feed back!
 
 
 
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answered first by
Carolann from Around The World

It is CRAZY!!! We've driven in some ridiculous driving conditions but we didn't even try in Beijing. Perhaps on the road it would have looked different, but from the sidewalk...not so much.

Having said that, the subway system was SUPER easy to use and cheap. It'll get you where you need to go and if you decide to head to The Great Wall, there are tour buses that will take you there and back.

The roads are congested and pretty nuts but if you like a challenge then it'll definitely offer one!

Side note: There's a train system direct from the airport into the city and though it took us a little bit to get our bearings at the start, it became easier to navigate pretty quickly.


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Natalie
Thank you so much! Your advice is very helpful! I think we will definitely follow your advice, and use public transit. :) We really appreciate it!
 
 
 
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answered by
Natalie from Shenzhen

you'll find the traffic to be terrible 


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answered by
Gina from Beijing

Car renting definitely could make your travel easier and more efficient.  However don't recommend unless you hire a local driver as well, considering the difficult road situation, rules about non-stop, non-parking, certain days not-allowed to drive based on the plate number... most of the time the rules are not shown on the street and difficult to follow.

BTW, I am a member of Airbnb, so if you are also looking for a place to stay in Beijing, please also check out:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4130983

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3355202

Thanks

Gina


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