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Guilin scam?

Melbourne,Australia
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867 posts
28 reviews
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Guilin scam?

I have just returned home from Guilin and want to warn people about a guy who approached us claiming to be a high school teacher. He began walking along with us chatting about where we were from and what we were planning on doing while in Guilin in fluent English. Realising something was not right we gave him the brush off before he got round to whatever his scam was.

Funnily enough I had the same experience in 2009 when in Guilin with my husband. The guy walked with us and directed us to the prince's palace. He seemed quite eager for us to go in, but as it was raining we decided not to. Maybe he gets commission!

Beijing, China
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5,000 posts
82 reviews
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1. Re: Guilin scam?

What was 'not right'? Was it the same man from 5 years ago?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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40,717 posts
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2. Re: Guilin scam?

There is actually a relatively large number of language schools in the Yangshuo area. Chinese from different parts of China go there to learn english as they have many opportunities to practice due to the large number of tourists (relative to the local population). On Sundays they have no class and are told to go out and talk to tourists on the street. My daughter was a teacher there in two occasions.

Shanghai, China
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2,237 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: Guilin scam?

Although Chinese are known to be shy towards foreigners, many approaches by Chinese who speak English are quite "over the top" from our point of view. How many times a Chinese called me "my friend" after talking to me for 2 minutes. Or asking "what do you earn per month?" after 3 minutes. We Westerners find this very intimidating as we surely would never say things like this or "I hope we can make friends" when having talked to someone for only 10 minutes. However most would not approach foreigners on the streets. Here in Shanghai 99,9% of the locals approaching you in English just want your money.

So two options: 1. yes, it was a scam and you will never know what it was about or 2. see above.

Chicago
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2,035 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: Guilin scam?

While it is important to be on guard for real scams, it is a shame to not interact with local people for fear of it. You lose an important part of the reason for visiting other cultures.

Melbourne,Australia
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867 posts
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5. Re: Guilin scam?

We do stop and chat with people and do enjoy this aspect of travelling. However this man was a little too pushy and a little too inquiring. Also his approach was more like that of someone trying to sell something. Generally when you get into conversation with people you are usually standing or sitting somewhere near someone, not walking along the street. As a teacher myself, I have spoken before with groups of language school students who it was obvious were seeking to practice their English conversation. The meeting I mentioned occurred on a Wednesday morning, when teachers would be at work!

6. Re: Guilin scam?

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