The best way to get to Shenyang is to fly into the Shenyang Taoxian International Airport (SHE).
You could also fly into Beijing International Airport and take a train from Beijing to Shenyang. This would, however, add several hours to your travel and you’d have to get from the airport to the train station with all of your luggage after a long flight.
As with most international airports, you have plenty of options for flights to Shenyang, and online services like Orbitz can help you easily book your travel if you simply enter your starting and ending destinations and dates for travel.
While actual airfares will vary depending on your exact dates of travel, you can expect to pay about $1,600 from the Twin Cities to Shenyang.
Once you arrive in Shenyang, someone from your host school will pick you up from the airport and take you to your accommodations.
Getting around in Shenyang is easy, with plenty of public transportation and great resources for tourists and expats.
The Shenyang Metro is quick, convenient and easy to figure out, since it only has two lines (though there are plans for an additional three lines in the future).
Current costs are:
- 8 stops or fewer: 2 RMB
- 9-12 stops: 3 RMB
- 13 or more stops: 4 RMB
Shenyang bus system is reliable and affordable. It costs 1-2 RMB to take a bus. Be sure to get a city bus and area map at a train station to get familiar with the bus routes and the layout of the town.
As you would in any new city, keep an eye on your belongings whenever riding the bus.
While Shenyang taxis are usually easy to get (unless it’s rush hour) they aren’t the cheapest option. If you do take a taxi, make sure your driver turns the meter on so you don’t get overcharged.
You should carry a map in Chinese so you can show the driver where you need to go. Only a few drivers speak English, but most drivers can find an address if it is written down in Chinese. You can also use your camera phone to take a photo or screenshot of your destination in Google Maps to show your driver.
Be aware of black taxis! They look like normal cars and though they are everywhere, they are not legal, as they don’t usually have meters and drivers may overcharge.
You might also consider buying a small used scooter or a bike. Scooters usually cost around 2000-3000 RMB ($325-500). Bikes are cheaper at 300-800 RMB ($50-130) for a new one. You will probably be able to sell a used scooter or bike for what you paid for it.
Traffic in Shenyang is hectic though, so be prepared for quick stops and swerves. In general, Shenyang traffic adheres to a set of unwritten rules that appear chaotic to an outsider. It would be wise to wait a couple weeks until you are used to the layout of the city and how people drive before you buy any sort of bike or scooter. Other students have done this in the past in Malaysia, Vietnam and China and found it to be the cheapest and most convenient option for getting around.