Taking a taxi is not as expensive in China as in many Western countries. For example, in Beijing, the 起步价 [qǐ bù jià] （starting price） for a taxi ride is around 14 yuan, and then 2.3 yuan per kilometer. So whenever you want to go somewhere, you can choose to take a taxi.
In this lesson we will learn some taxi related words and how to give directions to the driver.
Taxi in Chinese is 出租车 [chū zū chē] or 的士 [dī shì]. So, to “take a taxi” is 打车 [dǎ chē] or 打的 [dǎ dī].
There are surely taxis here at the airport. Let's take a taxi back.
There are very few taxis in this area. It will be very difficult if you want one.
There are mainly three methods for finding a taxi. The simplest way is to wave your hand when a taxi passes by in the street. If it’s a 空车 [kōng chē]（empty car）, it will stop for you. If there are no taxis passing by where you are, you can call the taxi company and ask for a taxi, but this requires that you know the phone number for the taxi company. If you don’t have the phone number close by, you may also use a taxi app to book a taxi. Some of the popular taxi booking apps in China are: 滴滴出行, 快的打车, and 优步Uber.
Now that you've entered the taxi, you have to let the 出租车司机[chū zū chē sī jī]（taxi driver）where you want to go. In big cities like Beijng, Shanghai etc, some taxi driver may speak a little bit of English. In a lot of cities, however, they cannot, so this next sentence is important.
Driver, I want to go to Wudong Road.
师傅 is a respectful way of addressing a skilled worker. “我要去+place” is used to say where you want to go. Not so difficult, right? Here are some common places you might want to go.
If the driver knows the way, your work is done here. But in a lot of big cities, sometimes even the driver does not know how to get everywhere. In that case, the driver may ask you:
I'm sorry, I am not familiar with that area. Can you show me the way when we are nearby?
If you know how to get there, you can respond like this:
That's ok, I know the way. I'll give you directions. Take a left here... Then right... Go straight... Stop here.
左转/右转 [zuó zhuǎn / yòu zhuǎn] are often used to give directions, and you may also use 拐 [guǎi] instead of 转 — 左拐/右拐 [zuó guǎi / yòu guǎi]. You can also put “往 [wǎng]” in front of these words — 往左（拐）/ 往右（拐） [wǎng zuó guǎi / wǎng yòu guǎi].
The meaning of 往 [wǎng] is similar to the English ”towards”.
If you don’t know the way, you can reply like this:
I'm sorry, I don't know how to go there either. Can you use the car navigator?
I'm sorry, I just got here. I'm not too familiar around here. How about I go get a different taxi.
Now you can communicate with the taxi driver! Enjoy your trip in China!