Whether you’ve got some time to travel around China, or you just need to get from A to B, our transport guide will help.
Local travel in China – subway train
Many major cities in China have an efficient underground train network. Many are also currently being built.
The underground is a great way of getting around, and for a small fee (which differs between cities) it’s a super-cheap option. This is good news for ESL teachers on a shoestring budget.
Subway stations can get packed, especially around peak hour. Travel outside the morning and early evening rush times if you can.
Local travel in China – taxi and ridesharing
Always try to get a registered taxi with a working meter rather than a private car acting as a taxi. Unless of course it’s a legitimate ridesharing company like Uber or Didi Chuxing, which are now legal in cities all across China.
Local travel in China – bus
Because China has a lot of people, it has a lot of buses. And they’re cheap! For one or two kuai, you can get from A to B in no time. It's another cheap option for English teachers on a budget.
Traffic in China can be insane, so hold on tight as the driver navigates their way through.
Regional travel in China – bullet train
The best and cheapest way of getting around this enormous country is by bullet train. Most cities – even the smaller ones you’ve probably never heard of – are connected to the extensive bullet train network.
If you’re unfamiliar with the local transport of the city you’re going to, it can be confusing to get a bus from the train station into town. So take a taxi or rideshare from the train station.
Make sure you have the address of where you need to go written in Chinese characters, which you can show the driver as you hop in the car.
Regional travel in China – airplane
Domestic travel in China isn’t cheap. If you’re traveling on a budget, we don’t recommend it – bullet trains are way cheaper.
However, because of distance, sometimes you’ll have to fly domestically. For example, a trip from Shanghai to Urumqi, in Xinjiang province, is best taken in the air.
No matter which mode of transport you choose while teaching English in China, always be safe and look after your personal belongings.