Guangzhou Warnings and Dangers
Whether Guangzhou, China, for the first time or returning once again, follow these tips in order to avoid dangerous situations.
When you take tours in Guangzhou, you’ll often end up at some sort of shopping center. This might be in an alley or something a bit more upscale, but either way you need to be equally careful while shopping. Some jewelry sellers may try to sell you fake items: Make sure you purchase only from a reputable source by using a small magnet to see if there is any attraction to the silver. If there is an, it’s metal and therefore fake. For pearls, ask if you can run a lighter under it: If they say no or it burns, it’s fake. Jade and other gems are a bit more difficult to identify unless you have experience, so ask the hotel or a trusted local which sellers are authentic.
To purchase alcohol, go where the locals go. Don’t shop in the tourist strips as you may purchase fake liquor. The bottles here break easily and the liquor is often cheaply made and passed off as something of a higher quality. Buying alcohol from larger supermarkets is usually safe.
Watch Out for Counterfeit Money
Counterfeit bills are common. If you receive money back from a taxi driver, restaurant or anywhere else, make sure know how to identify real or counterfeit bills. Often the fake bills are acquired by accident, and locals are willing to get rid of it by simply passing it off to a tourist, who isn’t likely to notice.
This can even happen at ATMs. Fake money can move from restaurants to banks and into circulation. There isn’t much you can do about it even if you do receive it from a bank (try to use an indoor ATM at a bank and maybe you’ll have a small chance of a refund). The money often feels different in your hands or the ink might be a bit off. If you suspect you have counterfeit money ask your hotel staff to check it: They deal with a good amount of counterfeit money and can help you identify it and tell the authorities.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to avoid in Guangzhou.