Tourist Traps in Beijing, Tour Scams
Beijing is the capital city of China, and there’s a variety of things to see and do. With the wide range of activities also comes a few tour scams that you should be aware of in order to make sure your trip goes smoothly.
A Few Common Scams to Watch Out For
The Beijing Capital International Travel Agency has been reported as a scam by many travelers. You may be promised a ride on a new tour bus with a friendly, English-speaking driver, however, travelers have reported that they were actually picked up on an old bus with a driver that wasn’t fluent in English.
The China Dragon Travel Company is another company to avoid. This company starts off by providing decent service on the first day, but as time goes on, the driver and the company begin to become more difficult to work with. It’s advised to go directly through your local partner in the city and not to strictly rely on your country’s agent, as you may experience issues that can be avoided.
The Beijing Youth Travel is a tour company that offers tours of the Great Wall of China, although, this company isn’t recommended. Many people have reported that this company requests additional amounts of money while you’re being transported on the bus, and some people have even reported that the drivers have made subtle threats or insulting comments to passengers who refuse to pay the additional charges. It’s highly recommended to check that any tour company you select is registered as an established company with a physical office, as this helps you avoid many common scams.
Money Exchange Scams
Money exchange scams are prevalent in Beijing, and Nan Chizi street is one of the more well-known areas for currency scams. One of the more popular scams on this street involves people who direct you to a particular store when you’re looking to exchange smaller bills into the larger, red 100 Mao bills. The scammers will request that you swipe your credit card through a machine in exchange for paper currency, however, this is a common method that thieves use to steal credit card numbers. If you decline to use the credit card machine, the store worker may offer to take your smaller bills and give you fake currency. The best way to avoid this scam is to only use ATMs, banks, and hotels to get paper currency. Avoid going to local stores in the city to exchange your bills, and you should be able to easily avoid this scam.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tour scams in Beijing.