Taxis Tours – Kunming, Yunnan Province, China


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Taxis are quite plentiful in Kunming - over 6000 taxis roam the city streets.  Taking a taxi is rather affordable for the Western traveler, especially because distances are manageable within the city.  Kunming boasts one of the cheapest airport taxi rides in China for this reason.  Therefore, taxis are often the most convenient way to get around Kunming.  However, they are not exactly the most comfortable ride - the cars are usually over 10 years old with worn out seats.  Still, taxis are much faster and cleaner than public city buses.

The fare for a regular-size taxi begins at 8 RMB for the first three kilometers and increases by 1.8 RMB for each additional kilometer.  Fares also increase while sitting in traffic, so taking taxis during rush hour may cost a bit more if there is excessive traffic.  After 10 pm when public city buses stop running, fares increases by 20 percent.

The flag-fall of a mini taxi is 7 RMB for the first three kilometers and increases by 1.6 RMB for every kilometer thereafter.  Fares also go up after 10 pm as with the regular size cabs.

Note:  Most taxis in Kunming are now charging a 1 RMB "fuel surcharge" that is proudly displayed on the passenger-side dash of every taxi.  This extra charge is probably legitimate, but one can often avoid the extra fee by paying with exact change on short distances (although paying the extra 1 RMB might be worth it to those who prefer to avoid confrontations).  Also, inside each taxi is a distinctive animal image that identifies taxi ownership.  Keep the image in mind in case you leave something behind (or get in the habit of always asking for a receipt as the receipt will include the taxi’s ID).

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