You heard about the 100 RMB bill switching that takes place. How about getting over-charged more than 5 times the normal price ?
This took place on July 30, 2009. I left HKG and arrived at Guangzhou railway station. Immediately upon our arrival after crossing the gate at customs, a man presented himself as a taxi service. As it was pouring outside, I seized the opportunity and found it convenient.
On the way to his vehicle, he insisted to carry my luggage which I certainly found normal.
I made the biggest mistake of my life by first accepting this ride in a van (not a green taxi) despite I was warned to use only taxi with meters. When I got to this so-called taxi (van), another guy asked me to pay immediately which I did not find odd at that time as sometimes you can be in a situation where you pay for your travel expenses beforehand.
He asked for me RMB 280 ( a regular taxi would cost 50 RMB for the same trip) and asked me for another RMB 100 if I want to take the highway option. I refused and I took the RMB 280. Once I was inside the van, I made sure that I could opened the window (just in case) and I pretended calling someone on my mobile.
I arrived at the hotel safe and sound. I even gave 20 RMB as tips to the driver as he asked me for "tips"...This is one of the only english word he knew.
So lesson learned: Never never never get into this type of taxi service at the first exit of the railway station and instead go take a taxi at the official line up location...
(Yes I admitted that I was stupid (big time)and naive in my decision).
And by the way, do not count on the authority to crack down on such ops... there is no such thing in this part of China
If you can avoid Guangzhou, please do so as this city has (unless you are attending the Canton Fair) is full of Scammers, fake bills, fake goods, beggars and of course people like my filthy scum piece of garbage taxi driver
NB My wife and my daughter were travelling with me.
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.
ALWAYS RECONFIRM YOUR DOMESTIC (and Chines carriers' international) FLIGHTS !
If you are going to meet local guide, she/he usually asks to see tickets and she/he will reconfirm them. However if you are travelling alone without a local guide remember reconfirm tickets at least 2-3 days before flight. Use airline's ticket office or ticket office in your hotel.
I have made several domestic flights in China and every time at least one flight have been changed, cancelled etc. During my last trip flight from Guilin to Kunming was cancelled same morning and I was transferred to another flight.
I was walking on the Haizhu bridge and saw people watching down at the pearl river. I walked up and caught such a funny picture. A man was bathing himself in the water. Oh no, the water is yukky!! But he seemed to enjoy himself so much - maybe also knowing he had audience?
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.
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
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.
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...
If you are like myself, a Mandarin speaker, you might find it a bit difficult to move around in Guangzhou since Cantonese is much more widely spoken here. I have encountered a few occasion that we could not talk to each other due to the language issue.
Well, this is not really a big deal, but it is just annoying sometimes.
When I was in Guangzhou for the first time on business I was touring around an outdoor shopping market near the Holiday Inn. I was being careful and carrying my backpack on my front but I guess I wasn't careful enough. I felt a prick on my arm and ignored it at first thinking it was an insect but then a few minutes later I started feeling very light headed and almost drunk. I am very sure I was drugged so that I could be a better target to be robbed. Luckily I did have a travel companion who assisted me back to my hotel. I am a very independent female traveler and business women and have never felt as afraid for my life as I did in Guangzhou. This city is extremely crowded, polluted and the people for the most part dishonest and looking to rip you off. Be very careful when visiting this city and do NOT go alone!
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.
When I visited Guangzhou, I use travel agent to have sight seeing in Guangzhou. My Guide is very nice person. But when someone ask him about direction or things he explained (e.g. in museum) he never replied anything and keep silent. Then at the end of the tour, I ask him that is it common in Guangzhou that people will not reply anything when someone in need of help for direction or something else? He said, yes...it is common. Then I think to myself that, never expect help from someone when you are lost or in danger. Very mean country! So well prepare yourself before visiting Guangzhou or even China.
If you go in the summer, prepare for the heat. I've never sweated like I did in Guangzhou and I'm from Texas. Do like most locals and find a drink and a shady spot in one of the cities many large and well maintained parks.
The crime rate is fairly low in China. Theft is the most common crime affecting visitors and occurs most frequently in crowded public areas, such as hotel lobbies, bars, restaurants, and tourist and transportation sites.
Driving!! I believe that foreigners are not allowed to drive in China, but either way, you are best not to. This picture was taken outside of a tunnel...IN MARCH!!!
You have to click on it to understand why this is amazing....