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If you're a foreigner and don't speak the language well, make sure you go in a group if you ever take a cab from the Guangzhou airport (or anywhere in Guangzhou for that matter). A lot of these guys are out to take advantage of foreigners whenever they can. So try to stay in a group of 3 if you can. They usually don't dare to try anything when you're in a bigger group. I've even heard of horror stories of people getting kidnapped and had their organs taken (Yes, organs as in kidneys, heart, etc). This is extremely rare but its always better to be safe than sorry.
Written Dec 27, 2007
With the year coming to an end and Chinese New Year approaching, there may be an increase in crime rates in GZ, as like many other countries.
A close friend of mine had her handphone snatched while she was using her handphone in a taxi at Ti Yu Dong Lu. The man apparently opened the taxi door and tried to snatch her handphone but she was fast to pull the handphone back with her both hands. The man then fled away. This was not the only time such cases happened even in the city of GZ. My husband witnessed a motorbike snatch of handphone from a lady using her handphone along the street at Ti Yu Dong Lu and my husband's colleague had his laptop snatched by a motorist in Bai Yun area too. (Yes, even though motorbikes been banned in GZ)
So it is always good to be cautious and have awareness of the surrounding we are at.
1) Lock the taxi doors when we take a cab.
2) Try not to use handphones along the streets as we become easy preys since we most likely be preoccupied in our tel conversations. If we have to answer the call or make an urgent call, find a nearby place like, standing with a wall behind you, so that people cannot snatch from your back.
3) Motobikes been banned in GZ. So, if you can still hear the sound of motobikes near you, be alert! Of course, it may be those motorbikes for the handicapped, which are still permitted in GZ. But it's better to be more careful.
Updated Oct 15, 2007
Phone: Police: 110
Your best bet of having a hassle free ride in Guangzhou is to choose a yellow cab. I had taken many rides on yellow cabs and did not encounter any unpleasant incidents such as dishonest acts or rude attitude. I believe the reason is that the yellow cab company operator do not take in out-of-state drivers. They must be Guangzhou natives before they can be selected to rent and operate the taxi from the company. Any complaints by customers would be channelled to the company for investigation. It could mean dismissal from driving.
The case of other taxis are quite different. These cabs are usually driven by non-Guangzhou natives who are direct owners of the cabs. Because they have paid a hefty sum for their cabs, they tend to be overly aggressive in fighting for business and sometimes resorting to underhanded tactics to gain more.
Written Sep 21, 2007
I hailed a taxi from Landmark Hotel Canton going to Baiyun Airport. On reaching the airport, the driver claimed the fare was RMB120. I paid using a RMB100 note and a RMB20 note. Just as quickly, the driver handed me back a RMB100 note and told me that he cannot accept the note as it was snipped in the corner. I distinctly noted that I had given him an older note but the one he returned to me was fairly new. As I was in a hurry to check-in, I reluctantly gave him another RMB100 in exchange. My concern that the RMB100 note was a fake one was proven when I showed the note to a cashier in the cafe terminal. She remarked that it was a remarkable counterfeit piece. So anyone who is taking a cab in Guangzhou and possibly any other cities in China, do be very careful of this scam. I made a mistake of not sitting in the front passenger seat beside the driver. This gave him ample time to fish out a fake note to exchange for a genuine piece.
Written Sep 17, 2007
We were outside the Guangzhou Airport at night, looking for a taxi, when we were faced with a swarm of men offering amazing rates and fast "delivery". My parents were quite trusting of them, so they selected a taxi and started packing our possessions in it. After a while, we got into the taxi and it started driving away. Suddenly, we noticed that the taxi was driving farther and farther away from where we wanted to be. My dad started calling his brother, who told him that we were nowhere near the hotel we were to stay at. When we began confronting the taxi driver, he was very evasive. Every few minutes, he would call someone else while speaking in a dialect that we could not understand. Finally, my father made him pull over to ask for directions, then drive us to the right hotel. We alerted the police- so the lesson is, make sure you are riding in a taxi owned by a reputable company.
Written Jul 7, 2007
Make sure you stay with your group, if alone try to hook up with a buddy or make it look like your with another group of people. Thieves are everywhere and blend in with the local people, they know already you are tourist no matter how well you blend in, they can tell from your clothing, posture, speech, and the way you carry yourself, etc.
The pick pocket thieves work in pairs, groups, etc and will try to separate you from your group by cutting in and creating distance between you and your group. They will follow you for a long ways, another clue that they are a thief watching you. They will stop when you stop, but they will be a few stalls away pretending to browse. They will follow you into stores and come up very close pretending they are shopping for the same items as you. This is especially so on those busy market streets.
Others will come up to you and try to whisper in your ear whatever they are selling, maybe even touch you by the arm to pull you the direction they want you to go. I found this a problem in the City of Guangzhou, even though there is lots of public security officers around, but this was not the case local villages. Don't keep your cash all in one spot, carry your backpack in the front if you have to take one, don't bother to count your money from the atm, just stuff it in your pocket quickly and leave immediately.
Use ATM's that have security guards if possible and go when it is daylight. Be extra cautious on those packed buses. Read this website extensively before going over, you will learn lots. I was lucky that in 6 weeks I made it through without a problem, my brother had his backpack open on the crowded shuttlebus at the airport upon arrival. Recommend you put those small combo locks on your back packs and carry it in front. I found plenty of great advise here on this site for everything.
Updated Jul 5, 2007
As with any other large city in China, (or throughout the world for that matter) one should use caution when crossing the streets of Guangzhou.
Not all crosswalks have "Walk" and "Don't Walk" signals, so you must use your eyes and your own discretion. Yet even when a "Walk" signal exists and gives you the green light, you still have to be wary of vehicles making right turns. Never assume that pedestrians have the right of way anywhere in Guangzhou.
Recently Guangzhou banned motorcycles from downtown streets. This was done in response to the high number of crimes committed by motorcycle bandits who snatched purses in drive-by muggings.
Updated May 16, 2007
Phone: Medical Emergency (English) 120
When we got out of the east train station we were hijaked by lots of people that asked us for taxi. We said yes, they took or bags and went for a car. These men were nicely dressed. Then before we left, i asked them for the price, and they said 350 RMB. I said no, and took my bygs with me. Then the bargaining started, and they asked us "what hotel?" i said wich, and he asked me for the number, i shoved it to him, and he pretended to type that into his phone. Problem for him was that i am tall. So i saw what was happening. He were only ***ting us.
Then he said 330 RMB, i said no. And walked away. After excactely 5 meters, some other guys came, and the process started over again. But now we got it down to 80 RMB, still way to much, since the papers we recived from the hotel said about 40 RMB. But then i just wanted to get to the hotel. We got in the car, wich now was a real taxi. But as soon as we got in, they looked the doors,and wanted the money then.
Of course i said now, and after an short argument he realised that he did not get anyway and started driving. We got to the hotel safe and sound, but it was not a good start on the stay in the city.
If this was like this because of the trade fair, or it is normal, i don't know anything about. But we took a lot of taxi the rest of the stay, and it was cheap and mostly good service from the rest. But beware at the train station.
Written Nov 20, 2006
The most precious commodity is to have a roll of toilet paper with you wherever you travel in China.
It is appalling that in the finer restaurants and yes, even the hospitals, toilet papers are not provided.
Don't get caught in an embarrassing situation inside a bathroom with nothing but stacks of $100 rmb bills to
address the situation, be forewarned!
Written Jul 16, 2006
If you come to GZ from HK by the express train, which mean you arrive at the east railway station. Make sure you have prepared RMB(mainland local money) befor hand. There is NO foreign exchange counter at the station, NOT like that at the airport.
Written Jun 22, 2006
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