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Old 09-04-2006, 08:13 AM   #1
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well, after 4 days in Shanghai I found some time to check up on travelpunk...here are some recent scams and hooks that I've noticed

tea scam: didn't happen to me but some buddies I met here was scammed 15,000 yuan ...people, often a group, will meet you up randomly on the street and ask to practice english with you. they will be friendly and invite you to tea. after ordering food and a "tea ceremony" they will claim they do not have money, and leave you with a bill and some cheaply made tea.

silk hook: this happens more often in guided tours. the tour will end up in a "silk factory" where they will show you demonstration of silk wear and how silk is spun. then you will be left to browse what they have around the showroom, often over priced and not entirely made of silk

temple scam: also happens in guided tours, where they lead the group to a temple, hype about the particular god or goddess that resides there, then they will offer to tell your fortune (this part is free), after you get your fortune they will offer advice to "light incense" to erase the bad luck, you'd think that the incense will cost around 5 yuan (about 20cents) but noooooooo, they're 150 yuan each (about $20 bucks!!!)

and....last but not least...watch out for your internet access area at your local hostel or hotel....aside from being overly priced (and yet I'm using it anyways...sigh) they are also likely to store your password and screen name...be sure you don't leave your id memorized on the computer and before clicking on any boxes ask what they mean if you don't understand them.

i'm looking to spend more time in china, and I will update as much as I can....travelpunk is a great site and i wish to contribute. I'm also open to any invitation from people who'd like to travel with me in china...i speak native lvl mandarin and english...very helpful as some of the friends i met here as found
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:46 PM   #2
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The tea scam happened to one of my groupmates just the other day (also in Shanghai), so do look out for them!

Well huahuafish, if you're ever thinking about swingin' by Nanjing, drop by the Uni here and say hello!
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Old 09-05-2006, 07:29 AM   #3
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Yea, the tea scam seems to have popped up in the last year or so...I would just leave a small amount and leave. 15,000 RMB? WTF? F that shyt..

The rest of the "scams" are pretty typical. Although, I wouldn't necessarily say they're "scams" - as basically they just include gift shops along the tour and the stuff there isn't necessarily bad crap. We've occasionally bought souvenirs there, although generally don't. Just learn to say no unless you really like something.

Overall though, China is full of very aggressive hawkers and scammers - so be prepared for that culture shock. Which doesn't mean every deal is a rip-off, just that everyone is highly competitive for your money. In fact, everything is so cheap there that everything is actually a pretty good deal...unless you just get exorbitantly scammed like with the tea scam.
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