Hong Kong Tourist Traps
Cautions & Precautions
Above: notice posted in every taxi
advising passengers of the standardized charges of taxis.
Don't drink the water...
... the water in the harbor, that is! If even Batman decided not to take a dip with his bulletproof suit on, you know it's dangerous. Joking aside, a gulp or two won't kill you. But we won't tell you what's in it. (Water off the tap is supposed to be
ok, but few locals do that. They boil it first. After all, the
quality highly depends on the pipes it passes through.)
out for how much the taxi-driver charges you.
There are some taxi drivers in sheep's clothing.
They either trick the meter, go the long way, or cover
up the decimal point of the fare on the meter.
The safe thing is to know how much it should cost (the
per km charge, toll charges, and luggage charge are all
posted in every taxi, and a chart of approximate fares
is posted at the airport).
Get a receipt from the driver also. If they can't or won't
give you one, copy down the licence number and the driver's
name (shown on the dashboard). But then just a small percentage
of the taxi-drivers are wolves. (Getting a receipt is
always a good practice any way just in case you leave
Stairs in Hong
Kong could be hazardous. Most of them have steps
not as high as those found in North America. So don't let your
mind go into neutral when going down or even up the stairs.
I am serious!
picked by pickpockets
Always keep an eye on your belongings. They even work in teams,
sometimes even involving a vehicle to suddenly stop in front
of you while someone else does the lifting! I have also known
an unsuspecting tourist shopping in a store who set his backpack
down to try on some jeans and afterwards his wallet was missing!
Remember: their hands are faster than your eyes!
Electronics Scams This
is probably the biggest tourist trap here that many have fallen
prey. Many of the shops on Nathan
Road in Kowloon selling electronic products don't display
the prices on the items. Many tourists have been scammed or
cheated. One ploy is to give you an unbelievably good price,
then after they have your money, they say they are out of stock,
offering you another item but at an outrageous price. Some tourists
have said that even calling the police did not help.
Money exchange If you can avoid it, don't do it at the airport. You'll usually get a better deal elsewhere.
when doing anything with a rickshaw Even taking
a picture in, with, at, or even OF a rickshaw
will cost you money! So settle on the price with the driver
BEFORE you click that camera!
There is no fixed price on the ride or a picture, but it is
said that a picture costs HK$10 to $HK20 (US$1.25 - US$2.50).
But then nowadays you probably don't have much a problem because
you would be lucky to find even one rickshaw operator. (2008.12.30)
Look both ways
before crossing a street
you are from a country where the traffic goes on the right side,
you'll want to pay special attention to this since in Hong
Kong when it comes to traffic, left is right and right is wrong!
Besides, pedestrians don't necessarily have the right of way
- at least many drivers think that.
Tissue and Windbreaker
A lot of indoor places and vehicles can be very cold
with the air conditioning at full blast (even in winter), so
take along a windbreaker. Some
restaurants don't provide napkins. Have a pack of tissue handy.
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Easy on pocket book hotel prices:
Check the Bill
Check your bill at the restaurant after a meal - especially
at a dim
sum restaurant. Though it does not happen a whole
lot, sometimes a 'mistake' is made and you're charged
an extra dish or for an extra person for tea.
Street FoodAvoid buying
cooked food from hawkers pushing a little cart.
| water | food | taxi
driver | pictpocket | rickshaw
| electronics |
street crossing | stairs