Beijing

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Beijing Money-Saving Tips

Chinese Characters

Few Beijing taxi drivers speak English, so have your concierge write your day's destinations (and your hotel address) down in Chinese characters.

Barter hard

Beijingers love to barter, so be prepared to haggle in markets. Always offer 20 percent of the first quoted price (i.e. if quoted RMB100, suggest RMB20); if the stall-holder refuses to budge, walk away - you'll be surprised how effective this can be as a bargaining tool.

Subway saver

Beijing's notorious traffic jams are getting worse, and even short distances can take a long time by cab. Beijing's rapidly extending subway network offers a cheap, quick alternative route to many city destinations. www.bjsubway.com/ens/index.html

Art fraud

Be wary of English-speaking 'art students' offering to escort you to their art exhibition. This is a time-worn trap that results in high-pressure sales tactics once you enter the 'gallery.'

Check your temper

Even in the most trying circumstances, remain calm and courteous, as losing your temper and shouting at the person you are dealing with is viewed as improper, and may make the situation worse.

Further reading

"Foreign Babes in Beijing" by Rachel DeWoskin describes the life of an American woman who became a ‘90s Chinese soap star. American journalist Michael Meyer's "The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed" intelligently documents the human and cultural costs of the capital's quest for modernity.

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