Travel Just Got Easier Thanks to My Beijing Taxi Cards!

4:00 am

Just because the Olympics are over doesn't mean that traveling to Beijing is too.

In fact, I'm glad I didn't go during the frenzy of the games. I want to enjoy the city as it is in its natural state, not it is bulging with TV crews and visitors from around the world.

But I'm still going to suck at Chinese, no matter when I go, so I'm grateful to have found Beijing Taxi Cards.

Intended I think to help tourists find their way around the city during the Olympics, it can be used year round.

They come in a host of languages and are beautifully designed.

Round-edged, palm-sized, colour-coded cards fit onto a ring and give you information about touring, eating and drinking, shopping, Olympic venues and helpful words. Each card has clear, colourful photos and a foldout map is also included.

It's funny because there are a ton of Chinese characters and then the whole thing is translated to the wildly simple "da dong," or Peking duck.

Yes, this is one phrase I am committing to memory.

There are many places I want to visit when I'm there - The Friendship Store, Wangfujing Street and The Place Shopping Center.

I can try and say the name by using the English phonetics or I can point to the picture or show a Beijing person the Chinese characters to help them show me the way. And you've got to know that this will be forever helpful in the cab, where many do not speak English at all. Just point and be on your way to Legation Quarter for a hot meal or 798 Art District.

In the meantime, I'm going to use my cards to try and learn some important words:

Coffee - ka fei
Red wine - hong pu-tao jo
Toilet - way-sheng jen
and Thank You -Shay Shay

I think that's a good start.

Get your Beijing Taxi Cards here.

More city cards are in development. I'll keep you posted.

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