Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Driving your own vehicle is not necessary. In fact, driving in Nanjing is rather difficult and dangerous – as the roads are packed with aggressive drivers and all the road signs are only in Chinese. Many employers provide their expats with a driver and vehicle. However, it is also easy to get around by taxi.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
If you already have a driver's license from your home country, you will need to obtain a Chinese driver's license by taking a series of tests (which do not actually involve driving). All of these are done at the Municipal Traffic Administration Bureau.
What side of the road do people drive on?
Vehicles drive on the right. Be sure to look both ways when crossing the road, as cyclists and moped riders do not always obey the general traffic rules.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
Most expats are put off by the crowded nature of public transport and the fact that many passengers tend to push. Taxis, therefore, are the overall favorite for expats. Fortunately, they are relatively inexpensive. It is sometimes difficult to get a taxi when it rains or during rush hour, so it is always advisable to find someone to assist you to call a taxi company.
An alternative is the Metro (subway system), which is clean, fast and well-run. Nanjing has one metro line with the second line opening in 2009.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
There are long-distance buses that go to popular out-of-town destinations. Further afield, people take the train. The train service in the area surrounding Nanjing has improved a great deal in recent years with the opening of the “bullet train”. The train is more comfortable, cleaner, and faster. If you have very little Chinese language ability, it will be very difficult to buy a train ticket at the Nanjing train station since all signage is in Chinese and train station employees’ language ability is very low. Other alternatives are to go to the international hotels such as the Sheraton Hotel at least 24 hours before your planned departure and they may assist you in reserving a long-distance bus ticket or train ticket.
They may charge a small fee for this service.
Contact Crown Nanjing to arrange basic language training to help you overcome such challenges.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
You should be wary of traffic conditions – especially during the first few weeks of your assignment. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have the habit of going where they want without looking. During walking, driving, or riding a bicycle, it is important to never assume someone has seen you and will take action to avoid colliding with you.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
You can buy a Nanjing Public Transportation Card from Metro stations and 24-hour shops. Train tickets are bought at the station itself or through agents.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.