Beware of People (Eagerly) Befriending Tourists
I have heard of businessmen being victimized by the so-called 'Ativan Gang'. Their modus operandi involves somebody (usually a woman) befriending a visiting businessman and offering him a drink. Next time the visitor knew, he's alone somewhere (usually in a hotel room) with all his belongings/valuables gone!
I'm not saying this to scare people but please be aware of this. If somebody approaches you who looks suspicious or looks too good to be true, maybe he or she is a crook...
Inquirer article: http://www.inq7.net/met/2002/jun/14/met_1-1.htm
I have to point out that we, generally as a people, are very hospitable to visitors. And like other people, there are bad elements in our society who want to take advantage of other people.
Unique Suggestions: Stay away from them... Tell them you're not interested.
Fun Alternatives: If you know a local. Stick with your host...
Taxis in Manila, Philippines
When using taxis in the Philippines, is be careful which taxis you take. when our friends did not arrive to pick us up from Manila airport, we hailed a taxi, forgetting which kind were recommended ( and not able to recognise them anyway). Before we jumped in, some kind of police came rushing over, handed us a card and said "ring this number if you have any problems." The parting words of them were, "Good luck Ma'am.) Sure enough the taxi driver tried to con us by firstly requesting the card and then pitching us a hard luck story. Also we got a hotel taxi to take us to a shopping centre, and then picked up a cab to get back. On arrival at the hotel, the asked price was 3 times what we had paid for the hotel taxi. We gave the equivalent of the cost of the hotel taxi, then got out and ran inside.
Another trap is when the driver of your conveyance, be it taxi or horse and buggy, picks up one of his relatives and tries to stand over the passengers for extra money.
Unique Suggestions: Get up-to-date information on which taxis are recommended by reliable travel sites and learn how to recognise them.
Fun Alternatives: Use a shuttle bus if one is available and will go to your accommodation.
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