Archive for the ‘Beijing Tourist Traps’ Category

Beggars and panhandlers in Beijing

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
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Begging is not banned in Beijing though it is not encouraged. Beggars in Beijing are commonly found in public places such as street corners, underpasses, malls, popular tourist spots, where they request money using cups, boxes or hats to collect the donations.
85% beggars in Beijing are professional beggars, only 15% are really poor men. In professional begging, using a child for panhandling is quite popular. It is said professional beggars are the members of a kind of beggars’organization, a large, complicated organism.  
Beijing local government has provided homeless shelters on a voluteer basis for the homeless and beggars, which is aimed at reducing any survival need for begging. But most of the professional beggars are not willing to use the homeless shelters. The reason is very simple – they make more money outside on the streets, even richer than an office worker. Their motto is “it is easier to beg for it than to earn it”.
So it is unfare for those who are truly poor and in the need of help from others because people find it hard to distinguish the fake beggars from the poor, the visibly handicapped, or the blind . It is these fake beggars who have taken advantage of people’s kindness. When coming across true beggars, most of the people would take no notice of them due to the fact that people are afraid of being fooled.
To give or not give is a frequent question on our mind when we meet beggars on the streets. My advice is that if not sure whether the beggars are true or not, you just ignore them. At least, not giving beggars money discourages them to remain on the street begging otherwise they have good reason not to look for a job. If you feel the beggars are really poor and in need of help, you are advised to give them something to eat instead of money. If you really want to donate to help the poor, you are recommneded to give more to organisations like Red Cross in Beijing China. They have checkable accounts on the work they do with the money they collect.
You are strongly advised not to give any money to child beggars. Some child beggars may be linked to the adult beggars ( parent-child relationship), but some child beggars are said to be stolen from some parts of China and made into physically handicapped child beggars in order to easily beg more money from passers-bys. If you give money to child beggars, you may have the risk of getting a swarm of them.
You may find some beggars with unsightly deformities cruising around on the streets, which make you feel very sick. In my opinion, it is a blackmail. They should be banned in a capital city like Beijing.
Finally I also feel sorry for those fake beggars. If they have a decent job, why begging? In begging, they have no personal dignity. Though sometimes we are unhappy with their deceptive panhandling, I still feel sorry for them.
Have a happy travel in Beijing!
Beijing Rescue Centers ( refuges for homeless and beggars) in 16 districts and 2 counties in Beijing:
1.Dongcheng District Rescue Center
  Tel: 64043861,64043689 
  Add: Wudaoying Hutong 81, Dongcheng District
  Zip Code  100007
2.Xicheng District Rescue center
 Tel: 62210944、62219884 
 Add: Gaojin Hutong 16, Xineidajie, Xicheng District
 Zip Code: 100035
3.Chongwen District Rescue Center
  Tel: 67160805、67165292
  Add: Waitaoyuan Dongli 6, Chengwen Disrict
  Zip Code:100075
4.Xuanwu District Rescue Center
 Tel: 63464201、63329190 
 Add: Xiaohongmiaojia 11, Guangwai, Xuanwu District
 Zip Code:100055
5.Chaoyang District Rescue Center
  Tel: 84333463 
  Add: Jinzhandajie 8, Chaoyang District )
 Zip Code: 100018
6.Haidian District Rescue Center
 Tel: 82774128、82774171 
 Add:  Siyiqu, Tangjiaxilingcun, Dongbeixiang, Haidian District
 Zip Code: 100094
7.Fengtai District Rescue Center
  Tel: 83884107 
  Add: Dahuichanglu 88, Fengtai District
Zip Code: 100074
8.Shijingshan District Rescue Center
 Tel: 88912274、88912274/2283 
 Add: Beixingannancha 149, Shijingshan
 Zip Code: 100041
9.Daxing District Rescue Center
 Tel: 80234938 
 Add: Backyard of Andingzhen Almshouse Daxing District
 Zip Code: 102607
10.Tongzhou District Rescue center
 Tel: 89597911、69547433 
 Add: Welfare Centwe of Yongshui Township, Tongzhou District
 Zip Code: 101100
11.Shuiyi District Rescue Center
 Tel: 69471156、69445221、81483948 
 Add: Nanfaxin Township, Shuiyi District
 Zip Code: 101302
12.Changping District Rescue Center
 Tel: 69779744、69742386 
 Add: The former home for the aged in Nankou, Changping District
 Zip: 102202
13. Huairou District Rescue Center
 Tel: 60697046 
 Add: The Home for the aged in Miaochengzhen, Huairou District
 Zip Code: 101400
14.Mentougou District Rescue Center
 Tel: 69842174、61891128 
 Add: Zhongmensi Dajie, Longquan Home for the Aged, Mentougou District
 Zip Code: 102300
15.Fangshan District Rescue Center
 Tel: 69374371 
 Add: Liangxiang Xilu 10, Fangshan District
 Zip Code: 102488
16. Miyun County Rescue Center
 Tel: 6904274、69042744 
 Add: Rescue Section of Civil Affairs Bureau in Miyun District
 Zip Code: 101500
17.Yanqing County Rescue Center
 Tel: 69184119 
 Add: Guancheng Home for the Aged, Yanqing County
 Zip code: 102100
18.Pinggu District Rescue Center
 Tel: 69960316 
 Add: Fuqian Xijie 8, Pinggu District
 Zip Code: 101200

Pickpockets in Beijing

Friday, July 9th, 2010
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Plan your Beijing travel? Be vigilant about pickpockets! Pickpockets, like croaches, die hard. The thieves in Beijing are no exception like every large city in the world. The most endangered places are public bus lines, subways, airport, popular tourist spots and shopping centers as well. These crowded places are where pickpockets often cruise around.
Tourists both domestic and international are the main targets and preys of the local pickpockets. Unfamiliar with the new surroundings, tourists are hard to concentrate their attention to looking after their belongings.
These pickpockets usually work in teams. Some of them are in charge of stealing the money or the valubales, while the others are arranged to keep you busy and distract your concentration. Very often you become a victim of being sandwiched by these two group of thieves in good team work.
Though fortunately the local police are often there on these crowded places in civic disguise, you have to take care of yourself in most cases due to the fact that Beijing is so huge and the police don’t have sufficient man power to have total surveilance in these endangered places.
There is a special anti-pickpocket brigade at Beijing Security Bureau. These plainclothes police are scattered at such pickpocket favored places as train stations, public bus stops and touristy spots. In the past 5 years approxi 22,000 thieves have been arrested in Beijing.
If you are picked, or you find other being picked, or you have pickpocket clues, you are encouraged to call the anti-pickpocket hotline 110 or 64011327. If you find you are not in the good position to call the hotline in case you will be endangered, you are kindly reminded to send a text message to the anti-pickpoket hotline mobile – 13911991234. They will be on the spot within 20 minutes.
Again anti-pockpocket hotline:
Tel: 64011327
Cellphone: 13911991234
Happy Travel in Beijing! 

A pickpocket is being arrested by a plainclothes police ( from )

Taxi driver detained for fake meter

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
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One piece of news that catches my eyes today is about a taxi driver surnamed Zhang detained for fake meter. One passenger surnamed Wang took a taxi home. At result, he paid double the price for his frequent taxi ride from Beijing Capital Airport to home.
Later he reported the case to the police station at the airport. The police detained Zhang. Zhang confessed that he usually uses a real meter in the daytime, changing to a fake one at night to “make extra money.” The fake meter looks very much like a real one which he bought at RMB 1000. The fake can be controlled by a remote control to change the fare information on the sly.
It is said that fixed or fake metere are an open secret. The taxi drivers at Beijing Capital Airport are more likely to have a fake meter since many of the passengers are unfamiliar with the roads in Beijing.
The taxi drivers equipped with fake meters will be sacked or punished according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. Passengers can make complaints to the commission or taxi companies if if they have the taxi’s license plate number and receipt (fapiao).
The Beijing Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision says that a real meter has a seal of authenticity on its body and passengers should keep close eyes on it.
Actually it is quite difficult to discern the real from the fake since they look much alike. It is important to know the rough distance for your taxi ride and the estmated taxi fare beforehand.
For more taxi tips, please check Beijing Taxi for more information.

A fake meter manipulated by a remote control ( from