Taxi guidebooks assist travellers in China

11 Dec 2008

Business travellers unable to speak or read Chinese have a new set of helpful guides to get them around some of the country’s key business centres.

The Taxi Lingo Guides compiled by Kimberley Fayet Whiley are a simple and easy to use series of pocket books that list a comprehensive set of destinations, such as airports, restaurants, hotels and the like, in English, Simplified Chinese and in some cases phonetic pronunciations, to ease communication.

There are currently five guides available; Hong Kong and Macau, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing

As the name implies, the guides are primarily intended to assist communication with taxi drivers but their practical application is clearly wider, wherever travellers find themselves in need of direction.

The guide includes business associations, conference and exhibition centres, banks and useful emergency contacts such as police, clinics and hospitals.

Author Whiley said: “I realised how great it would be if we all had a ‘tool’ that would allow us to get off the plane and into a taxi in a place where the people do not speak English, and not have to worry about how to get to our destination.  After a flight, that added hassle is just too much. My book is aimed at solving this problem.”

There are plans to extend the series to destinations beyond China.

Taxi Lingo Guides are sold either individually or in three-boxed sets. Special wooden gift box sets containing all current titles can be customised as a corporate gift.

The books are currently in retail stores in Hongkong, selling at HK$60 or US$ 8 for individual items, with a bulk price depending on the volume ordered. Books can also be ordered online.

Kenny Coyle

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