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China Domestic Flights Schedule

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During the last few years, China has modernized its domestic air, train, and highway systems to meet the influx and demands of foreign travelers. There has been a vast improvement in ease of travel throughout the country. Virtually all of China is linked by one of the new domestic airlines since the deregulation of the national carrier system, and the creation of these new regional carriers has greatly improved domestic airline service. Modernization of the airlines and airport facilities is a boon for travelers, creating a more efficient and competitive airline system. New Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, and Airbus aircraft are used on most routes within the country. Some routes are heavily trafficked, so it is wise to book as far in advance as possible. All flights are non-smoking.

Travel by rail might be an enjoyable and inexpensive way to see China's countryside. The station is often crowded and chaotic. There is little English sign in stations or on trains. You usually need to buy tickets in advance. Don't waste time trying to buy tickets at train station, there will be long lines. Have you travel agent reserve tickets for you, you will be charged for a fee, yet it well worth the hassles.

Travelers who lack the time to cover vast distances by train can still get a delightful taste of rail travel by journeying on popular short-distance routes from Shanghai to the nearby cities of Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing, or Hangzhou; or from Beijing to Tianjin. Amenities have been added to first-class train travel (known as "soft seat"), including comfortable waiting lounges at some train stations. Tardy travelers should note that the trains are consistently punctual.

New freeway systems have been built (and many more are under construction), making it easy to travel around and explore the metropolitan areas of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong quickly and inexpensively. Traffic is quite light on some highways.

Metered taxis are readily available at all hotels and shopping districts, and are permitted to stop at your signal. Travelers may find it convenient to hire a taxi for a whole or half-day, but be sure to agree on a price first. Some taxi drivers speak English, but most don't. Always take along written directions and a map to point to the location of your destination). A ride costs approximately 2.00 Yuan (US$0.25) per kilometer.

Beijing and Shanghai have modern subways for fast travel around the cities. If you're in a hurry, this is the way to go. Signs and schedules are in both Chinese & English. A subway ride costs 2.00 yuan (US$0.25) and transfers between lines are free.

If you prefer a slower pace, bicycles are available to rent at hotels in many cities in China. Bicycling is an excellent way to see the countryside and get the maximum smiles per mile.

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