China can be a wonderful place to visit especially when you’re meeting a special someone you first met through an Asian dating site. The downside, however, is that some of the foreigners are taken advantage of by opportunists. From the taxi rides to the places you’ll stay in, there are a lot of scams that you need to be aware of and this is exactly what this list is about: how to avoid getting scammed when visiting your gorgeous Chinese girlfriend for the first time:
1. Black Taxi
It’s not so much the color of the taxi as black taxis are private vehicles that illegally operate as taxi cabs in airports or in touristy places. What they do is convince you to hop inside their meter-less (or sometimes the meter is rigged) vehicle and take you anywhere you want to go. The catch? They’ll charge you twice or even three times as much as when you take a regular taxi. Solution? Take a taxi with a meter.
2. Do you speak English?
This is your cue to split. If a local asks you this question (in English, fluently), they will eventually have a sales pitch by the end of your conversation. It’s very common, again, in tourist attractions like Tianman Square. Solution? “I no speak English” in a German accent. Pretend not to speak English.
3. The Iconic Rickshaw
Of course, when you go somewhere for the first time, you might be tempted to do a lot of touristy stuff like riding a rickshaw. That’s great BUT most of the time, the “driver” will say he’ll charge rate A but what he really means is rate B. He’ll most likely pretend that you didn’t understand each other because of the language barrier. Solution? Avoid the urge to ride rickshaws if you do not want to get into a heated argument with a local.
4. Would you like some tea?
The good old teahouse scam. This may not happen to you since you’re meeting your special someone but it’s good that you’re informed all the same. Don’t be surprised if you were approached by a good-looking girl who speaks fluent English and invites you to tea. What these good-looking girls do is lure you to a tea house (or coffee shop) and then talk. Just talk, but the real surprise comes when the bill arrives. Solution? No matter how pretty the girl is, always say no.
5. This isn’t real!
This seldom happens but it still does happen from time to time. Sometimes, vendors or taxi drivers will claim that you passed them fake notes. How did this happen? You probably turned your head away for a bit which was an opportunity for them to switch your bills. The result is they get paid double. Solution? Make sure that both of you take a good look at the money that you hand over.
That’s about it for our list of possible scams when visiting China. Don’t worry though. The most likely scenario is that you’ll do a lot of touristy activities with the Chinese woman you’ve been dying to meet. She’ll make sure that both of you do not get scammed out of your money.