Finding your way around Changsha

Changsha is a city of around eight million people who each day travel from different parts of the city for work, schooling or personal reasons. You can expect to spend  around on average, 20 minutes on the road - depending on the distance you are going - using either the city bus or a meter taxi.

The meter taxis are readily available and will go pretty much anywhere you need to go. Although on days of heavy traffic, most drivers opt not to go to great distances or cross the bridge just to avoid the traffic. These taxis roam the streets day or night and the if the red light on the dashboard is on, it means that particular taxi is available to transport you to your destination. They are fairly cheap, with each trip costing around RMB 6/2KM and RMB 1.8/km beyond the initial 2 km. At night, (23:00 - 5:00 the next day), the pricing starts at RMB 7/2 km and an additional RMB 2.16/km beyond the initial 2 km.
Alternatively, there are the Didis, which are China's equivalent of the Uber. Much like an Uber, you need an app and an active account to make use of these.

Changsha has a fairly user-friendly bus system that operates around the city day or night. You have to figure out your route and which buses - buses and routes are allocated numbers - go there. Certain buses do not make use of certain stops even if they go past them. A single trip costs RMB 2 and is payable in cash or a preloaded card.

Another way to get around the city is through the metro, an underground train service that operates day or night. Around 650 000 people make use of the metro daily. As is the case with the bus, you have to figure out your routes as well as stations you will get on or get off at. Ther are currently two lines; the South to North Line, and the East to West Line. The latter line is the one you will likely use once you are settled in Changsha as a Vinston employee, depending of course on which side of the river you have been placed.

A more informal way to get around the city is riding humpback on a motorized scooter. There are millions of these on the roads and often go anywhere that is not of great distance. Price of the trip is often negotiable and the trip itself is quite refreshing. It is also the best way to beat traffic since their drivers often manoeuvre through stalled traffic, and will often ride on pavements. The great thing is that they are not speed accident prone as their highest speed is around 40km/h.

Changsha is a world class city with modern systems that make each day convenient for residents. There really is no better place to teach English when you are in China.

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