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roddy

The Beijing Tea Scam (and a few others)

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roddy

I'd love to know what the tea actually is - everyone seems to agree it's great. Perhaps they put Prozac in it so you feel happier about paying up . . .

To be honest you could probably easily run up a 600Y bill at a classy tea-house - however, if you don't know you're doing it, then it's still a scam.

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geraldc

Every country has it's own tourist scams. HK used to specialise in ripping off gullible shoppers.

In London it was the strip clubs in Soho where the hostesses made gullible customers buy them drinks, and then they'd get charged 100 pounds for a can of soft drinks. They worked on the principle that tourists are so embarrassed about going to strip clubs that they won't bother reporting it to the police. Now lap dancing clubs have gone legitimate, and they now make more money off lap dances...

I get confused by tea houses/ceremonies, the overfilling of the teapot just seems wasteful, I paid good money for the tea and I don't want it spilling out the top of the teapot :mrgreen:

Also if the really tea is picked by monkeys, why isn't it cheaper? Haven't they heard the phrase "pay peanuts, get monkeys"?

TBH, what does anyone know about tea anyway? If you like it, you like it. One of the few things that I'm requested to take back to HK and China by relatives are boxes of PG tips...as the English tea out there is so bad.

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adrianlondon

My favourite tea at the moment is osmanthus (gui hua) with ooling tea. Ten Ren sell a great one. More flowery than Jasmine.

I've got some monkey tea (from Singapore) and, although the leaves do look great, it tastes just like, well, standard "human tea".

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mrtoga

I have a general rule - when you arrive in a new city, get away from the train station area fast. Most of the scammers, be they restaurants, hotels or stores, are concentrated around the stations and major tourist attractions. Chinese people get scammed too, but not to the extent that foreigners do.

I got the police in when I went to Jilin once - in a greasy spoon near the station we (three of us) were charged over RMB100 for a few plates of jiaozi and the tea that is normally free. Their excuse? It was a public holiday so the prices had gone up. Now 100RMB is neither here nor there, but I particularly dislike being ripped off. I got the police in, they told me and my friends to "wait in the police station while they sorted it out". Ten mins later and the bill is a more realistic 20RMB. I can only imagine the conversation the dirty spoon owner had with the police guy......

You could say it was a waste of a half hour for 80RMB, but being seen as a walking pot of gold and taken advantage off really does get my goat! Sometimes in China you really have to be aggressive - it is not a place for the meek.

I have been done by the black taxi scam in Beijing though - 120RMB from airport to town centre. I put myself in a weak position by placing my rucksack in the boot (trunk) of the car. Hence I could not get out and walk away. Good tip - if on your own in an unfamiliar city with a fair bit of luggage always sit with your luggage in the back of the taxi.

I am sure we will have more stories on this thread.

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Shadowdh

MrToga thanks for the tip and how much should it be from airport to city center or BLCU for that matter...?? ta..

*edit* ok its amazing what the search function and a few spare minutes can do... here is some info I found re the taxi thing... (thanks Free1609)... http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/80-how-many-chinese-characters-are-there64&highlight=taxi

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mr.stinky

20 RMB for a few plates of jiaozi???? man, you wuz scammed!!!

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rose~

I saw a man being got by the art student scam here in SH, but I didn't know whether he would have been annoyed at my intereference so I just left him. Near where I work I see it every day so I could become a one-woman crusade against the scam but I don't know what would people's reaction be? Because they are rich tourists, it seems they are happy to buy some artwork...what would you do?

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Ferno

What do you mean?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Tourism_Rankings

looks like i was completely wrong :oops:

4th on the list... way above mexico lol

despite this:

In the last few years' date=' the Chinese government has negotiated a series of agreements with selected countries. These limit tourism to officially-approved tour groups, partly to give the host country protection against illegal migrants.

[/quote']

who (which countries? they most likkely wont be westerners.) visits China for tourism, and what do they do? How many of these are just going to Hainan? Anyone know?

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malinuo

Ferno, your quote is a little confusing, as it comes from a page you don't link to. It comes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_China. In context it is clear that it talks about Chinese travelling abroad. Until recently only Chinese from a few provinces were allowed to travel as tourists to Japan for example - and they always had to travel in groups, as is mentioned in the wikipedia article. Last year, in time for the World Exposition in Nagoya, the Japanese authorities allowed people from all China to come to Japan as tourists, but still only in groups, if I remember well. I'm sure other rich countries have similar deals.

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dougdu

Hello everyone,

Regarding the Painting scams, I was almost doped two times within two years; each occurring each year. This is my story:

1st year:

When I traveled to Beijing accompanied with my 2 American classmates, we were walking on a road and yapping away in English. Two attractive girls approached us and started with the light talk:

Hello, where are you from? Oh, you speak Chinese very well! Yes Yes, I understand.

Our teacher is a famous painter; would you like to see our paintings?

At that moment, my classmates and I shrugged in agreement and followed the two young girls upstairs into a little compartment room. There were paintings of birds, tigers, dragons, cranes, etc... all prompted on the wall. The girls and their teacher were starring at us, discreetly forcing us to pay for some. We walked out because the prices were outrageously expensive.

2nd year:

I am alone in Beijing because my principal told us to meet back at the Rondayview point at a specific time. When I stood there, resting near an intersection, 2 girls approached me and started introducing themselves and it all came down to the question. I knew what was going to happen, so I just played along with their scam.

"Do you like paintings?" One blabbed out,

"Yes, I like paintings. I bought some from your teacher. The guy with the glasses, right? He's strong and intelligent, right? Yes, I bought from him. He's very nice. Thanks."

Girl: "How do you know our teacher?"

Me: "I was born in China and moved to America. Now I lived in China for 2 years. My father is an American, my mother is Chinese. I buy things from your teacher all the time. He's a very nice Beijing ren."

Girl: "Oh!”

The two girls were completely confused and walked away into another crowd. I think I've scamed them with their own scam.

I aplogize with my inane ramblings. :mrgreen:

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Lu

Dougdu: That's a great answer, I really should try that out next time :-)

Mrtoga and Shadowdh: Last time I paid I think Y90 for a black taxi ride from Wudaokou to the airport, I don't think I was ripped off. After all it's a long drive, and there's the airport highway toll. You could pay less than Y120, I guess, but not much less.

When coming from the airport, it's best to take an airport shuttle, not a taxi, to a stop not too far from you destination, and take a white cab from there. When going back to the airport, you can ask different black cabs for their prices and negotiate, that can be cheaper than taking a legal cab. But if you want to make sure you don't get ripped off, take a legal cab and make sure it uses the meter.

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roddy

90-120Y for an airport run is maybe a little high, but it's in the right ball-park. While it might sound confusing, many 'black' cab drivers are actually just decent folk doing a job (which admittedly they're not licensed to do), and they'll give you a reasonable or slightly high price. The problems are the guys who are effectively crooks and will demands hundreds of yuan over what it should be.

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mrtoga

The hotel I was going to was actually quite a bit closer to the airport than Wudaokou. The galling thing was that I was told to get into the black cab by a policeman at the airport when all the Chinese people were refusing to get in it.

I seem to remember doing the airport run for about 45 RMB from Wudaokou in a 1.6RMB taxi, so I cannot fathom why a black 2.0RMB taxi should be so expensive (I was initially quoted 160RMB without the driver providing a receipt).

Anyway, you live and learn, and as many people have mentioned the airport shuttles are just fine and go pretty regularly

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gougou
I was told to get into the black cab by a policeman at the airport
Be careful when using the term "black cab". What you are referring to seems to be a black-colored cab (having a license, I assume), while what other people are talking about is a cab operating without license.

But no matter who tells you to get into a RMB 2.00 cab, you can still refuse. Everytime I have arrived I have been waved over to one of the black-colored cabs by the clerks (I don't think there should be any policemen), but I took a 1.60 one every time.

I think airport to Wudaokou should be more than RMB 45, yet less than RMB 90.

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gato

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060521_1.htm

They drank a few cups of tea, ate a few pieces of pastry and watched the tea ceremony. The two of them sat there for an hour and a half. When they asked for the bill, the amount was 1,940 RMB. "I was very surprised at the time." Frank made an exaggerated expression. Still, in front of the girl, he had to take out his credit card and pay for the bill.

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mrtoga

"Be careful when using the term "black cab". What you are referring to seems to be a black-colored cab (having a license, I assume), while what other people are talking about is a cab operating without license."

Yes I meant a black coloured cab, which if I remember rightly was 2.50 or 2,80 per km. Anyway he pretended he didn't have a meter.....

Now I see there are a lot of 2.00 / km cabs in Beijing. They look exactly the same as the 1.60 / km ones. Anyone know the difference?

Finally, how do I use the quote function on here? For some reason I can't find it.

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gougou
Yes I meant a black coloured cab, which if I remember rightly was 2.50 or 2,80 per km. Anyway he pretended he didn't have a meter.....

Now I see there are a lot of 2.00 / km cabs in Beijing. They look exactly the same as the 1.60 / km ones. Anyone know the difference?

I have never seen a cab for more than RMB 2.00 per kilometer in Beijing. Currently, the prices are being raised, so many cabs that drove for 1.60 until recently now will set you back by 2 yuan per kilometer. The 1.20 ones are gone already, the 1.60's might follow suit soon...

The difference is purely in price, service is equally good or bad (depending on your point of view) no matter how much you pay.

The quote function can be found in the editor. Copy the portion you wish to quote into your reply, select it and press this button: quote.gif

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gato

I was told by a cabbie today that they started a rolling price increase to 2 yuan/km on 5/20, but the starting fare will remain at 10 yuan. It's related to the nationwide 10% gas price increase last week.

http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2006-05-28/05419046082s.shtml

5月20日起,北京市出租汽车租价调整为每公里2元,同时建立租价油价联动机制,6月30日全部完成对出租汽车计价器的调整工作。

http://www.grrb.com.cn/news/news_detail.asp?news_id=256195&type_id=77

5月24日起,全国成品油价格再次上调,汽油、柴油和航空煤油价格每吨提高500元。据悉,这是历次提高油价幅度最大的一次。

北京市93号汽油价格从每升4.65元调至5.09元,97号汽油价格从每升4.96元调至5.42元。

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roddy

Yeah, there's a lot of 2.00 cabs out there already, and unless you've got hawk-like vision you can't spot the difference between them and the 1.60's. Not sure how many 1.60's will be left, but when it was either 1.20 or 1.60 there were still a fair number of 1.20's around . . .

I've never seen a cab over 2.00Y, although I wouldn't be surprised if they're around. In the 1.20/1.60 days I got told that there was no such thing as a 2.00Y cab, but there were - you just only found them outside posh hotels, etc, they never cruised around for business. The system run by the transportation bureau (or whoever) goes up a lot higher - you sometimes see buses with a meter and 10.00Y (or whatever) sticker in the window.

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mrtoga

The one I was directed to at the airport was this posh jet black thing - looked more like a limo than a standard taxi. I haven't seen any of them since arriving in Beijing this time though.

At 2RMB per kilo I guess that airport journey is going to get more expensive now......

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