Hire a Taxi? Avoid Rainy Friday

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I waited one hour to get a taxi after I arrived in Hong Qiao Airport around 6:00 PM today. Wendy was waiting for me at Metro tower and waited for me to “help” her out because it was almost impossible to hire a taxi there. Whenever the rain meets Friday in Shanghai, quit the idea of hiring a taxi at rush hour. It is almost impossible. Check the long line of people waiting for taxi at an airport. Some first time visitor coming to Shanghai to say: “Hey, people in Shanghai are so patient. How can they bear waiting for taxi for hours eveyrday?”

Seeking for Shanghai Questions

I am back from Beijing. Recently, I feel not as good as I was in fullfilling the mission of this website – to help foreigners, expats, and people outside China to learn more about Shanghai, plan their trip better and to survive in this city better.

As everyone knows, my focus shifted in the recent months, especially after I join eBay. Last three days was wonderful, except that I skipped sleep for the first day (actually I slept two hours), and skipped breakfast and lunch for the second day. But it worth it.

I need your help to send me more questions about Shanghai. Let me help to answer so to help more people.

21 thoughts on “Hire a Taxi? Avoid Rainy Friday

  1. Mr.Wamg,i am very glad to visit ur blog.i know you had a talk in our school-shufe.edu.cn,but i didn’t listen to you.i heard you have talked with wangyi from ccw for a long time.wish you can success!

  2. Sure, here is a question for you. Is it worth it if you are starting to neglect your personal heath and sacrifice your family life in order to have a full time job, maintain a couple of Weblog, and have a lots of social activities?

  3. ILH It is a matter of choice! can you see JS have lived a balanced life for both of his work and family. the kind of life style everybody in Shanghai is hoping for. I am sure he does not need you to tell him what to do.


  4. What is the matter with you, Stephen? I did not tell JS to do anything. He needs some questions. I had one. It is a question that he needs to answer. Not You! I have never met Mr. JS Wang before. I only can imagine what kind of life he is living in, balanced or not, by reading his Blog. This is the first time I read that he slept 2 hours for the night and skipped meals. Mr. Wang is a wise man. He knows my intention.

  5. I have one for you, Jian Shuo. Over the past few years, we have been entertaining more and more people from other countries at our home. I love being able to share a nice meal and some interesting conversation with people who often arrive as strangers and leave as friends. My question is about what you, as a well-traveled person yourself now, may have observed and feel about the manner in which people greet each other in different countries. I realized (belatedly) recently, that I had immediately greeted someone with whom I had corresponded extensively, and for whom I felt instincive and certain affection, but who I had not actually met previously in person, by giving them a hug. Only afterwards, did it occur to me that this might well have made them uncomfortable if it was not a cultural norm in their home country. While talking about this later with visitors from the Netherlands, they said that in their country it is customary to exchange several kisses on the cheek upon first meeting someone, but they would not do that here in the US as it is such an unexpected way to greet someone here. Your thoughts?

    Yikes! I just got rejected due to “questionable content” which seems to be the first three letters of my name. Let’s try this instead…

  6. It is very true that it seems impossible to get a cab during a raining day in Shanghai. You really have to agressive when trying to get the cab. It may seem crazy, but it is true.

  7. Yesterday on my way back from Cebit-Asia, I got stuck in a terrible traffic when I got off the subway station. I was trying to get on a cab but there were none. I tried the bus, it was peanut-bread-butter-jam-packed. What a horrible experience for second night in Shanghai.

  8. About the taxi line at Hongqiao.

    If there’s a long line, but it’s not raining, you can take any bus to get out of the airport, then hail a cab on the street. That’ll save you the queue.

    If you’re not concerned about being totally honest, you can also walk towards the McDonald’s, and then turn left. You’ll hit the downramp where taxis that drop off passengers at Departures are exiting the airport. Many of them will be happy to pick you up from the side of the road.


  9. JianShuo,

    Do not stop writing on this site, I just discovered your site last month, and I have been telling all my friends and family members about your blog, because I enjoyed reading it. I think you just need a good night rest, then you will feel refreshed.

    As far as questions regarding Shanghai City, we have one for you: What do you think about the Sun Qiao area? Have you visited there before? Is it really going to be developed as it planned?

    By the way, from your write up about Marriott in Shanghai, I see you took a picture from Marriott hotel looking out, and our place is happen to be included in your photo, we never have such good shot of it ourself (thanks for the good job.)

    I used to work at Santa Clara Marriott hotel, California. I agreed with you that Marriott is not that well known in China. Mr. Marriott will thank you for explaining why.

    How did the May 15th meeting go at Starbucks? We wish we were there.


  10. I once stayed at Shanghai. I found the taxi drivers very nice and very friendly, but it didn’t rain then. Why don’t they like the rain?

  11. Fortunately I can walk home from work, taking about 30min. In the rain it’s not a very fun walk but there’s no alternative.

    One Friday evening I wanted to meet some friends- it was raining a bit but not much. I waited almost 2 hours for a taxi in a few places before giving up and going back home- there were people standing on almost every corner trying to find a taxi and people were getting quite desperate, running after taxis or jumping in front of others.

    I lived in Bangkok before and when it rains the taxis can be difficult to find, but nowhere near as difficult as here. The taxis there are nicer (new Corollas) and cheaper, despite similar price of gasoline. Somehow they still manage to make a profit, so not sure why there often seems to be a shortage here.

  12. I was in Nanjing over the weekend and got lucky- it didn’t rain there :-)

    My experience from 2 years Shanghai- if it starts raining unexpectedly on a weekend night/ busy night with events in town/ holiday night… there seems to be only a couple options:

    1) Take the subway.

    2) Take a bus and plan a long time for the trip.

    3) What I’d do: drop your plans, go back home and have a quiet evening with a good wine and a book or DVD. This will save you a lot of stress, wet trousers, anger and poss. fights with other people.

  13. JS, here is a question for living standard in Shanghai. How much will the electricity costs if the air conditioner is kept running all night long?

    I have read your related articles, which are very explicit and helpful to gain an idea of average living standards. However, about monthly utility, you siad it was very cheap but did not mention how much. The electricity we use every month (home appliances and heating /cooling) is costly ~$120 for my 2-bedroom apartment in US. Wonder if it is also true in shanghai.

  14. Hey JS,

    Tell me about getting a cab on Friday. I actually had the experience once on 29th April, which was a Friday right, but the next day was a working day for everybody, so I thought it could be easy.

    On the intersection on Yan’an Lu/Zhengning Lu, it took me over one hour from 8:15 to 9:15 pm to get a cab.

    I was in my fabulous outfit but wasn’t being that fab after the bloody rain and long waiting!… LOL.



  15. problem is not only with raining Fridays, it’s with all Fridays and all raining days, snowing days… just more serious on raining Fridays… thanks God that we have not much snow here…

    I take taxi to go to work and back home everyday, it’s really annoying sometimes have to stand long long time along the street waiting for an empty one.

    Never dare to leave office before 19:00, as there will be no taxi unless I’m extremely lucky.

    My boss, one expat, chose to lease the apartment close to the office in walking distance, so, no problem anymore.

  16. Taxis are always difficult to get anywhere in Shanghai if it is raining. Also at rush hour they are hard to find in the downtown area,

  17. Love your blog as I’m coming to Shanghai and China for the first time and want to know what to expect. Will maps with English characters be easily available at big hotels? Are there tourist information centers like here in Melbourne?

  18. one can have comfort and luxury as you roam around the areas near Seattle or travel to and from Kirkland, Bellevue or Redmond airport and hotels without burning a hole in your pocket.

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