Datong Tourist Scams, Tourist Traps in Datong

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The earliest caved carved, incarnation of both Buddha and the first emperor of Bei Wei Dynasty – also representative of Yungang Caves

Plan your Datong Tour? Known as the “City of the Coal”, Datong is one of the 24 famous historical and cultural cities in China due to its ever prosperous history. It is generally a very safe place for tourists. However, on your Datong Trip, there are several tourist scams that visitors should be aware of. Always be careful with what you do and with who you can trust.  

Super-cheap Tours Scam
In Datong, you may often encounter some cheap tours offerred to you when you arriving there. They will take you to shopping places and force you to buy a lot of things which you don’t want to buy, and you may spend more time at these places than at the places that you have intended to visit. What’s more, the services are not very good: dirty bus, bad lunch, for example. You should find a standard tour agency to start your tour in Datong.
“Black” Taxis
“Black” taxis can be found all over China, and Datong is not an exception. You may encounter them in sometimes when you need a taxi, including the train station, the city center, or around attractions. The drivers will approach you and asking “where are you going”. They will not only overcharge you but there have been reports of tourists taken out into the middle of nowhere where several of the black taxi driver’s friends showed up and took all of the tourists belongings. Don”t even talk to these people.
Attractions Shrinkage
Most of the visitors are the first time to many scenic spots in Datong, so they are not familiar with the traveling routes. The tour guide cuts off some content of the tours furtively to save money. They just introduce the attractions to visitors while the bus is driving. Visitors should write the travel plan and the visiting time in contrast in advance with the tour agent, so that they can safeguard the rights and interests of themselves.
Pickpockets always can be found in the major tourist sites of China, Datong is also included. Always keep your eyes on your bags, and carry your wallets in a front pocket or a pocket inside your coat, especially in the late evening alone. This is one scam where a true tour guide is very helpful, as thieves will not target tourists with a tour guide that knows how to turn them in to the police.
Expensive Souvenirs
There are always many stalls which selling souvenirs in a ridiculous high price inside some scenic spots, Yanmenguan Pass, Yungang Grottoes, for example. These vendors always sell souvenirs to visitors, especially to foreign visitors who don’t speak Chinese. Just don’t buy them inside these scenic spots. If you want to buy some souvenirs of Datong, you can go to the markets there.
Child Beggars
Some children will beg for money, sometimes even grabbing onto your legs until you pay them some money in Datong. There are reports that these children may have been kidnapped from other places specifically to be used for begging purposes. If you give money to child beggars, you may have the risk of getting a swarm of them. Just avoid those child beggars.
Tourist Groups Becoming Together
For some tourist agents, sometimes they don’t have enough visitors and can’t make a group. So they transfer these visitors to other agents without telling the visitors. Visitors can’t enjoy comfortable service during their tour. The best way to avoid this kind of thing, visitors should make it clearly before setting off and take good care of their contrast

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