17 costly tourist scams you'll encounter in Asia

17 costly tourist scams you'll encounter in Asia

Tourists scams are unavoidable when travelling overseas, and at times they can even turn into a costly affair.

This is what travel blogger Yassine Laaroussi learnt when he was travelling around Asia during a six-month trip.

He said: "Some locals are friendly and very helpful, (but) some just see you as a pile of cash walking."

To help fellow travellers, Mr Laaroussi shared 17 costly scams he encountered during his journey on Lifehack.org.

In Shanghai, Mr Laaroussi walked into a tea house scam after he was approached by a group of girls apparently pretending to be university students.

The girls invited him to a tea house where he got to sample a variety of tea. He was later pressured into buying his favourite and when the bill came, it showed an extravagant amount.

He said such scams will cost you "not less than 700 RMB (S$150)".

Another common way tourists get cheated is by hailing a cab. According to Mr Laaroussi, you should never catch a taxi in a touristy area.

These cabbies won't use the metre and will offer you a fixed price which is overstated by at least double of the normal rate.

Other times, there will be drivers who use modified metres which run faster or they will take a longer route which they call "shortcuts" to jack up the fare.

To avoid such dishonest cabbies, he suggested travellers should get an idea how much the fare should be before hopping into a taxi.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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