Beware of Guangzhou taxi scam
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.
Taxi Drivers outside the Airport
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.
Thieves, pickpocketers, etc.
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.
Common sense and caution crossing Canton streets
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.
- Family Travel
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.
Bring tissue paper with you wherever you go
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!
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.
I used the ATM's often because it was safer than carrying around a lot of cash on me but, one day while sitting in Starbucks, across the street was an ATM. I observed people making transactions on these machines and not taking their reciepts, then someone would come along, grab the reciept and put it in their pocket! Just be safe and cover up the keypad when typing in your PIN and always take your reciepts with you.
There is a lot of fake money here, if you ever pay with a 50 or 100 RMB bill then the chinese almost always check if it is real or not. But if the chiense do get stuck with the fake bills they will try and pond it off on you......soo be carefull and both times i got the fake money it was given to me by a taxi driver.
There are also many fake paper 1rmb bills but those noone checks, i always end up with them and no problem to give away.
- Budget Travel
Beggers near Tee Mall
Near Tee Mall there is a lot of Beggers, a lot of kids, like 3-10 year old just jump on to your legs and wont let go till you give them something. Also quite a few kids selling roses to couples and when they see foreigners thell walk after you forever, maybe just walk serperate
- Family Travel
Kids selling Roses
Many of the busy areas like Tee Mall, Bar streets and Garden hotel area have quite a few kids selling roses and mainy go after couples. They will follow you for a long time and its super annoying, so maybe dont walk together around them...
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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- Family Travel
Fake currency notes..................
This is very important to be careful. I personnely have this bad experience of fake currency note.
Some one gave me the fake currency of 100RMB which become very embarissing for me to cover up.......
Mainly the fake notes are more in 100RMB and 50RMB etc................
BE CAREFUL AND DO NOT RELY OR DEPEND ON ANY BODY IN ANY CASE..........
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Cell Phones for Sale
At the Metro stations and on the streets people will come up to you with phones. Some of them are fake phones but still will work, some of the phones will be real so just make sure. My friend bought one and the guy had the phone in his jacket, showed us that it worked and the cam aswell. Walked acouple more meters and he ended up selling him a toy phone. Quickly said to put away because of cops and the guy walked away. It would turn on and say low battery and just turn off, it ended up to be a toy phone with weights in side the frame.
- Budget Travel
Laptops for Sale
There is dudes on the Metro and at the metro stations that try and sell you laptops. I have heard of people buying them and the laptop working good, but also i have bought one for fairly cheap and got raped as the laptop was a fake. Many of them are fake so be carefull, but still some are good.
- Study Abroad
Attention to the taxi drivers from the airport
Before starting, make sure that he uses the meter. Don't accept if they propose you a price before hand. A taxi trip to Ramada Hotel, for instance has a normal price of 40 RMB. I have been asked by such a driver 150 RMB. Therefore I got off, went 50 meters towards right, and took another cab from the domestic terminal, paying the correct price this time.
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