The Canton Fair starts in 10 days, that is on April 15. I have recently noticed a problem at the airport so I would like to warn my clients about it.
Planes from Moscow arrive in the morning, planes from other cities arrive at a different time, but there is a constant problem at the Guangzhou airport: illegal taxi drivers and dealers standing between you and official taxi services. When you leave the terminal, do not pay attention to those who offer you a taxi. Here everything is organized at least in big cities. Not everyone respects standing in lines, but there are taxi lines anyway. Pass by barkers. At the exit from the terminal, you will see the line of taxi drivers and people—that’s what you need. They line up in front of exit A8. Local bouncers will try to “tear you out” of the line and resell you the official taxi service, but ignore them again. They offer the service at the prices from 250 to 500 yuans depending on your appearance. The trip to the city costs about 150 yuans. The line can be long, but it moves quickly.
That’s not all. When you sit in a taxi, some taxi drivers may offer you to go for 200 or 150 yuans though your trip should cost only 100–120 yuans. The difference is small, but you were standing in the official line so your fare should be metered. Point at the meter. The driver will tell you in Chinese that he was standing in line for 2 hours, but that’s not your problem, that’s his job. If you want, tip him for a good ride. If he starts muttering something in Chinese (maybe saying how greedy you are or something like that), you can point at his personal card in the taxi (there is his photo, name, assigned number, company name, and phone number on the card). Take a picture of that card—he will immediately turn on the meter. He won’t want to lose his job or be punished.
When I recently returned to Guangzhou, I faced the same problem. I live in China for more than 9 years, in Guangzhou for more than 8 years. I speak perfect Chinese, and I do not look like a would-be victim. But China is China. My plane has not landed at the airport in Guangzhou for a long time. I knew that there was such a mess only from my clients. But I felt it myself a few days ago. By the way, there will be foreign reckless guys who consider themselves the best and sit in a taxi without waiting. Do not worry about them. Just laugh at them as a police officer will force them out of the taxi and send them at the end of the line, which will be already longer. Just don’t be one of them, you’re a polite person. And please remember: Exit A8.