Thieves, Salvador da Bahia
Salvador is a big city, with a lot of mininos da rua and poor people that can do robbery only to eat, so dress in simply way, without jewelery, wothes or precious thing, not a lot of money, but you can take cradit cards cause are not true money!
In the beaches don't leave your bags alone, a pair of shorts or snikers are expensive for a lot of people.
You have to respect the difference, you can travel, but the most of the people have only the money to eat!!!
Salvador, like many places in Brazil unfortunately, can be dangerous. While we were there I remember seeing police on almost every street corner where there were tourists. In a way this is good, but the fact that it is necessary is sad. Stay clear of the downtown area in Ciudade Alta at night -- as well as the elevator. Taxis at night from point to point is a great idea. We had no problems outside of downtown -- Pelourinho, Barra, Ondina felt good to be at night.
What ever you do, dont' walk home alone in Salvador Bahia, especially at night/early hours of the morning. Small gangs of thieves hang around waiting for easy (drunk) tourists to punch and rob. Take a taxi or walk with others. Even if they are strangers. They are very blatent. You have to remember there are no security cameras in places like this. All you have to depend on is the fat policeman who is not particulary interested in your passport and wallet getting stolen.
Salvador is picturesque, with very interesting afrobrazilian culture and the best souvenirs’ shopping in Brazil but it is dangerous. We were told by a policeman not to walk in the midday on a distance of 0.5km on the central street on the harbor, as an attack by thieves was possible. We were also told not to go to less touristic areas of the small old town and not to wonder around after 5 o’clock in the afternoon. All these made are stay to Salvador rather tiring…
I´m sniffing at the fact that this establishment is eligible to receive ten times ratings by VT staff.
I am mad as hell at this place and I´m warning all of you, stay away !!!! There is NO EXCUSE for what happened there and they probably do such things regularly, milking the tourist who mistakenly believes he's in a cheap place really near the Pelourinho ( near the Pelourinho is true...).
Before starting to walk around at Pelourinho I wanted to take a light snack, drink something and use the toilet.
So, there was nothing to complain about the snack, the orange juice or the toilet but when it was time to pay I handed my Visa to the guy, he passed it, typed all the info in and asked me to type my password number ( that's how it works here in Brazil ). I did, he turned the machine around, looked and looked and finally told me that it "hadn't worked"....
I thought "damn", they must have blocked my card for security reasons because all of a sudden I'm making "out of the ordinary" expenses in Bahia.... So I gave him my Mastercard, same procedure, same result, same lie.....
I really got upset and asked him what was going on, once is already too much, twice is impossible !!
He muttered it hadn't worked since no paper had been printed out.......
WHAT ????????? Did he check the machine if there's paper in there ?? Answer : "I don't know"..... (!!!)
So I yelled at him to check the paper and he finally did after hesitating more than he should ever have....
And there was no paper in the machine and I had gotten charged twice......
A mistake ?? I don't think so, there's only two options : Either the guy operating the credit card machine is with a very bad intention or he is sooooooo stupid that it's already criminal....
As I couldn't see my credit card statement right there, I left without saying another word and checked later in the hotel and the expense appeared on both the Visa and the MasterCard statements and it costed me a lot of time and hassles to have one of the expenses cancelled.
AGAIN, THERE IS NO EXCUSE...... SUCH A THING MUST NOT HAPPEN TO A TRAVELLER WHO BRINGS BUSINESS TO THE AREA. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT PATRONIZE THIS ALBERGUE DAS LARANJEIRAS.
And to the VT staff: why is the Monte Pascoal Praia Hotel not in your hotel list and why is such a thieving enterprise as this Albergue eligible for ten times the rating by you ???
At least I get a little satisfaction by whistle blowing the business policies of this place here. I hope I can warn a lot of people and prevent them from getting conned like they tried with me.....
I am a LOCAL born and raised and I DON'T recommend travelers to come to Salvador. Right now it is quite dangerous to travel here. Even during the day. There are very few policemen on the streets and they are NEVER around when you need them.
Check these pictures at the british Journal the DAILYMAIL in MAY of 2013. these pictures talk by themselves. And dont think these guys in the pictures wont go to the touristic spots. On the contrary, those are their preferred mug spots.