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Taxi Survival Skills
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It would be very difficult to find a foreigner in Beijing who hasn't used the taxi system, so our five top pieces of advice for the non-Chinese speakers are: Try to know where you are going -- a map or a card with your destination is extremely helpful to your driver. Carry small change -- your driver may not be able to change a 100-yuan note. Sit in the front seat to make hand gestures more visible. Zuo guai is a left turn, you guai right. Say ting xia to stop. Ask for your receipt by saying fa piao. Taxis come in three per-kilometer rates: the cheap 1.60 yuan vehicles and the luxurious 2.00 yuan limousines. You are within your rights to select any vehicle you wish from a rank -- unlike in many Western countries, you are not compelled to take the taxi at the front. 

((Beijing.gov.cn October 15, 2006)

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