In China, when there is a subway, use it.

Believe me when I say to avoid driving in Beijing—or taking a taxi—unless it is midnight and the city is slumbering. Beijing is one of the worst cities in the world to drive in.

For example, we’ve been stuck in Beijing traffic breathing toxic fumes and watching the taxi’s meter adding numbers when we could have walked faster for free.

The other choice is Beijing’s subway system built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (and still growing), which we prefer. It’s fast and efficient, but wear a money belt because it can become sardine-can crowded—perfect for pickpockets. I don’t even wear my backpack on my back. I wear it on my chest where I can see it.

Beijing Subway Map

Guangzhou (once known as Canton by the West) subway map

Shanghai Subway Map

Information about getting around in Xian

Last time we were in Xian, the subway system was still under construction. Several lines are open for business and fifteen are planned.

According to Michael Wurth’s Blog, Xian was boring and “very” hot. Wurth talks about renting a tandem bike and riding it on the wide, ancient Xian city wall claiming to make the ride in under 4 minutes, which is surprising since the wall runs about 17 kilometers.  That’s some really fast peddling. And yea, there are pickpockets but every major city in the world has them—like New York.

Personally, when we were on Xian’s wall, I enjoyed the experience but we were on foot and visited in the Fall and the weather was perfect.  If you want to visit China, plan for the Fall or Spring and avoid China’s national holidays when it seems like everyone is traveling.

Discover Visiting Xian


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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