I just got back from Beijing two days ago and noticed many taxi drivers are trying to keep the change after payment. They simply act dumb or pretend not to understand you. I had to be forceful to get them to give me my money. They will try to keep any amount. I gave one driver 100RMB for a 45RMB ride and he wanted to keep the change!
Unique Suggestions: There is no tipping for taxi rides in China!!!
Fun Alternatives: You should bring smaller bills so that you can give the driver the exact amount.
After sightseeing at the Imperial Palace, I know from the map we had that our hotel is near the place and within a walking distance as we are in not in a hurry.
We asked the traffic man for direction for sure, when pedicab people offer their services. To help them earn a little, and an endorsement from the traffic man, we agreed in what they said CYN3. So we goes, and we change drivers, and they tried to convince to have a separate pedicab with my wife. I refused, and we cruise away from the main street to the alleys. The driver kept saying it is only 2 minutes. Then we stopped and told us to walk to our hotel, again for just 2 minutes. Another guy in a motorbike came and talked with driver. And the usual scam of charging us CYN300 instead, showing us a laminated price signage.
With presence of mind, I ran in the middle of a busier street trying to draw attention asking my wife to follow. They still followed us, so we cross the streets where a lot of taxi drivers are waiting passengers in front of a hotel. They spoke in Chinese, and it did not help us, so we enter the hotel, and asked for help from the staff, and they did. THANK GOD.
Unique Suggestions: Don't ride a pedicab. Take a taxi.
Fun Alternatives: The Chinese authorities should get rid of these scams.
Try and avoid taxis that are more than willing to offer you a ride from the airport to your hotel - they often overcharge and demand extra fees. If you need to take a taxi, get one from the official stand in front of the airport, left.
The three wheel rickshaws/bikes/etc are a complete ripoff. Avoid the 1Y charge to get into the Forbidden City. They will take you a long about way and charge you an extreme amount. Same goes for the rides to your hotel. Not sure why but no taxi would take me so I elected to use one of the 3 wheel jobs after negotiating a price. On arrival the price was long gone and a large arguement ensued. Avoid at all costs, it could cost you 20x what a taxi would.
Unique Suggestions: Find a taxi and be patient. Whatever you do avoid the 3 wheel money pits
Rickshaw drivers tried to rip me off twice, first time by claiming he was to be paid in american dollars instead of the local currency Yuan. The second time I dealt with this before we left and agreed on the price in Yuan before we left. When we arrived at the hetel he anted to charge us double as ther were two of us in the rickshaw and he saidthe price was just for one
Unique Suggestions: Always get a price before you leave. Always get it in local currency, and always find out if it is per person.
Fun Alternatives: taxiis if possible, just make sure they turn the meter on when you get in or walking
Bicycle rickshaw in Tiananmen Square. Offered to take two of us for a certain amount in RMB. When we got there he demanded the same figure in Dollars! I was very lucky to be with a Chinese companion who was both reasonably fluent in Manderin and very tough-minded! When the guy wouldn't accept her protestations that a figure had been agreed in RMB, she blew her top at him and launched into a pavement diatribe which I think included 'you are a disgrace to the Chinese race, you let all us Chinese down' and 'I am now going to ask this passer-by where the nearest police station is'.... Needless to say, the guy slunk away very quickly...
But, seriously, this was a one-off occurence. See my report on Tianjin for the more positive side.
If you ever decide to take the taxi, be aware that the driver could try to fix the meter so he can charge you more for the fare. I have heard of a few incidents when Taxi drivers have tried that trick on tourists in China. Since most of the signs will be in chinese characters they know that you'll be more focused on finding your way around town and therefore vulnerable to trickery.
I went with a Chinese Malaysian friend who despite the southern accent speak mandarin quite well. But we were cheated on taxi fare. The amount requested upon arrival was different from the amount thought to be agreed. So be careful.
Using a taxi in Beijing is very cheap, but be careful they can also cheat you or if they don't understand where you wanna go they might just take you somewhere and ask you to pay...sometimes I felt that drivers didn't even know how to read the map....best way is to write down the place you wanna go in chinese or ask somebody to do it
There are a few type of taxi in Beijing, dont choose the red one, which they always not familiar of beijing road, or pretend to be not familiar with the road... they will keep on going around the place..
Unique Suggestions: If you face the this problem, just tell them off by saying, yesterday im only paying $$$, why today so expensive?.... and treaten them you will report to police.. then they will accept whatever price you tell them..
BUT DONT DO THIS ON OTHER PURPOSE..
Our experience at Beijing Station
- First, there is no line. Just a large mob of people waiting.
- Second, there are constantly hustlers asking if you want a taxi. Theses people are not taxi drivers!! Instead, they charge ridiculous amounts (100 - 250 RMB), to take you to the front of the line. They take your money and you still have to pay the taxi fare to you destination.
Unique Suggestions: Our advice is to not even attempt to catch a taxi from the main Beijing Railway Station. Instead, use the subway system, or cross the road and try to flag a taxi away from the station.
Lookout for people "brokering" taxi services. They are not licenced taxis and you will pay too much. Real taxis have state issued plaques attached to the cars. Ask to airport personel where to catch a licenced taxi. I payed $45 for a ride from the airport the the hotel downtown. I later rented a taxi for the entire day for $20 through the hotel.
Fun Alternatives: Real taxis have state issued plaques attached to the cars and will show the fare class. Ask to airport personel where to catch a licenced taxi. I payed $45 for a ride from the airport the the hotel downtown. I later rented a taxi for the entire day for $20 through the hotel.