We put using the subway off. We should have started using the subway from day one, it would have saved us from walking miles and miles and miles. Seriously, pretty positive we walked a marathon every single day 🙂
Anyway, we finally decided to take a chance and try the subway out and realized it is very user friendly and if we go back to Beijing we will certainly use it from day one.
For starters, everything is in English… so you don’t have to memorize characters. It is also color coded which is very easy to use.
All you do is get a card from the counter, put a 20 yuan deposit down, pay 20 Yuan and get to riding. SOOOOO easy. If you need to reload it, you just use the machine, click reload (yes they have English as an option) and be on your way.
The only tip I can really recommend is that every major station has 4 points, one for each corner of the road. Make sure you know which on you need, it makes a huge difference.
Also make sure you have your passport on you, we went through a few security check points and had to show our passports. I am not sure if this is a regular thing in Beijing but I can assure you we had to show our passports more than once while in China, so while I am an advocate for leaving your passport locked up and safe 90% of the time, China is a place where you should keep your passport on you.
Also rush hour is jammed, like the whole city of Beijing is on the subway I swear so make sure you are ready to face those crowds.
When I go back to China I will utilize the subway a lot because while I enjoyed walking around Beijing I ended up loosing a toe nail from all of the walking so next time I will use the subway, it is not hard. I promise.
Oh one last thing, take a picture of your stop just you remember the name, I confused a lot of stops. It was not a big deal as I obviously made it back every night but this will make your life much easier.
Have you used the Beijing subway? What did you think?