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Security systems at subway

Toledo
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Security systems at subway

My husband and I (seniors who love to travel) will be traveling to China in April. We will be visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. I have been watching and reading this forum for what seems like months. I have read all of the travel guides available from our local library and have purchased the DK Eyewitness Guide. Our plan is navigate around to the various sights using the subway system and walking. I understand that cabs are inexpensive but would rather just avoid them if possible.

When we arrive in Beijing we plan to take the Airport Express to the Dongzhimen station and then take line 2 which has a stop near our hotel. We have a similiar plan for Shanghai and will use a shuttle bus in Xian. I recently read that Beijing and Shanghai have installed in the subways security system very much like those used at airports. These subway security systems are the reason for my question. We will each have a smal roller type suitcase that were checked for the overseas flight. Our luggage will contain things like curling iron (metal), mouthwash (liquid), etc. Will this present a problem with the subway security???

Beijing, China
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1. Re: Security systems at subway

If it doesn't present a problem with airport security, it shouldn't present a problem with subway security. Whilst I can understand your reluctance to use taxis, I wouldn't rule them out altogether. Coming by cab from the airport, for example, should be a comfortable door to door drive whereas going by subway will involve a fair bit of standing, walking and lugging bags about, and may take more time as well as effort.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: Security systems at subway

It is not like the airport. It is pretty light. Unless you have explosives or something like that, they don't care. Not the same restrictions as the airport.

Understand that when you arrive at Dongzhimen and need to switch to the subway, it is a very long walk. In addition during rush hour getting on the subway is a challenge, even without luggage.

Toledo
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3. Re: Security systems at subway

Thanks for the response. Perhaps we need to rethink our plan for getting from the airport to the hotel, Grand Mercure Xidan. Our flight is scheduled to arrive at 2:20 p.m and it will probably take an hour ot more to get our checked luggage and go through customs as well as hit the ATM for local currency. That puts us right at rush hour.

If we opt to us a cab to get to the hotel, is there a tourist information desk in the arrival hall that will write down the name & address of the hotel (in Chinese) for us to provide to the cab driver?

Beijing, China
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4. Re: Security systems at subway

It's probably best to email the hotel in advance to get the address or look it up on their website, if possible. With a bit of luck you should just miss the peak traffic.

Williamsburg...
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5. Re: Security systems at subway

There was a hotel information desk right before you exited the airport, that's where we went to have them write down our hotels name in characters. We got in line for the taxi, handed the driver the name and address they wrote down for us, and didn't have any problems.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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6. Re: Security systems at subway

I would feel it is risky to leave it to the travel desk at the airport. Better have a backup. If you can better print ahead of time from the hotel website. At least have the phone number handy so that they can call the hotel and ask directions.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Security systems at subway

Hope it helps-

First line is the hotel name, with the previous name in bracket. Second line is the address-- that looks like a very major road, so I am sure all cabbies will know.

北京西单美爵酒店(原马哥孛罗酒店)

宣武门内大街6号

Edited: 05 February 2010, 13:59
Toledo
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8. Re: Security systems at subway

Thanks everyone. Whoever thought that such a simple issue as getting from the airport to the hotel could be so complex. Let me explain the situation further:

1. The Grand Mercure Xidan Beijing website does not show the hotel's name in Chinese characters. However it does show the telephone number and if necessary I can have the cabbie call that to identify my destination.

2. Thank you Pojaya for including the Chinese characters in your post. However, for some strange reason my computer doesn't show these Chinese characters but instead shows little square boxes. I am wondering if this is just some quirky issue with my old computer. Later today I will go to our local library and look at this post to see if their computers show the Chinese characters. If so, I hope they can also print it for me.

Bottom Line is that I have decided that the issue is all part of an adventure that we are about to take and I am not going to let nerves/fear ruin the fun of adventure. I we had wanted easy, smooth and non challanging (no adventure) we would have signed on to a packaged tour. We love the planning & challange involved with DIY. So I will check the library's computer & hopefully get my hotel's name in Chinese. If that doesn't work upon arrival I'll try the hotel desk at the airport. And if that doesn't work I have the hotel's phone number to show the cabbie.

Camas, Washington
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9. Re: Security systems at subway

agree with the other posters is might be easier for you to take a taxi in beijing when you arrive, not that expensive. shanghai also. keep in mind that these are large cities and extremely crowded. as far as the hotel name, don't worry if you can't print it out in chinese. worst case scenario, write down the phone number, call when you get your cab and have the driver talk to the hotel staff for directions. i've done that before, very easy.

i do recommend taking the airport shuttle bus in xi'an because taxi drivers are not as likely to communicate well.

New York
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10. Re: Security systems at subway

2Goers,

The link below is an image of the Grand Mercure's business card. You can print it out and show it to the cab driver.

…sinohotel.com/images/…155240536.jpg

I used the sinohotel site for printouts of the names of the hotels on my China trip last fall. Hope this helps.