Crappy China Tour Company

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Published in


After 4 hours of the stunning Li River cruise, our boat arrived at Yangshuo. From the pier, we bought tickets to sit the tourist taxi ride to a bus station to meet up with our tour guide.

However, before we board the taxi, Jam came up with a brilliant idea. I think I have not mentioned about this before, and I am not too sure if I should mention it now, but what the heck!

You see, we have not paid our tour agent for the Li River Cruise yet. The tour package actually covers the Li River Cruise, tour guide to five popular tourist attractions in Yangshuo and the famous Impression Liu San Jie show.

Jam devilishly suggested that we abscond with the money and not pay them. I was excited with the idea. Why not? It would be fun! Haha!

For one thing, we did not tell them where we would be staying in Yangshuo. How would they find us? Secondly, they did not have our contact numbers how would they even begin to track us down?

If there is anyone to blame for this, they should blame themselves for their gross inefficiency. I could not help smiling (in an evil manner) thinking how we Malaysians managed to outsmart the cunning Chinese people! Muahaha!

And then it hit me. And it really hit me hard! Outsmart them? Who am I kidding?

We had brought all our luggage from Guilin to check in at a backpackers' hostel in Yangshuo. And guess where were our luggage? They were nicely placed in the tour bus that brought us to Mo Pang Pier for our Li River Cruise. Our luggage were in the hands of the tour company!

So much for running away! Looked like we were not even in the same league as the Chinese as far as playing cunning was concerned. Haha!

But wait, let me assure you that this story does not end here. They are not the winner and we are not the losers ... yet. More interesting developments will be revealed in future posts, so stick around to find out how the story goes, yes?

So with our "absconding" plan down the drain, we took the taxi ride to the bus station where our tour bus (and our luggage!) would be waiting for us.


The above is the view I took as I was riding on the taxi. Yes, it's no ordinary taxi as we were facing the back, not the front. And that's a similar taxi you see on the photo.

This is the interior of the taxi. Everyone was sitting facing the front except us in the last row which faced the back.


Oh, by the way, the taxi trip costs us 10 yuan per person.


Once we reached the bus station, we searched for our tour bus. Finding it, we went up the bus only to be told by the tour guide that the plan had changed and we were not visiting the five popular tourist attractions as agreed earlier.

I think we were really pissed off! How could they do that? Changing the itinerary to suit themselves? That's it! We would just take our luggage and leave! As for paying for the tour package, they could just forget it!

We were about to get our luggage when they made an abrupt U turn. We would now be going to the five tourists attractions as planned. Well, they should have stuck to the earlier plan but I was glad it was resolved.

Our first tourist spot was the Jian Shan Temple.


See anything funny with the above photo I captured at the Jian Shan Temple?

There is a person in blue pants on the stairs - he looks like he's wearing a huge black hat! Haha!

Seeing that this post is already too long, I shall reserve blogging about the Jian Shan Temple for my next post, so stay tuned!


(96) Comments

  1. Monica said...


    September 10, 2009 at 1:36 AM
  2. Monica said...

    oh we were conned by our tourist guide in Guangzhou before! >.<

    September 10, 2009 at 1:43 AM
  3. Monica said...

    LOL @ the person in blue pants! hahaha :-D

    September 10, 2009 at 1:48 AM
  4. Monica said...

    btw, how come yr luggage were in their hands??

    September 10, 2009 at 2:03 AM
  5. Ayie said...

    Wow Mon so early =)

    September 10, 2009 at 3:00 AM
  6. Ayie said...

    oh yes foong that man's wearing an oversized black chinese hat! lol

    September 10, 2009 at 3:25 AM
  7. Ayie said...

    It will be risky too to be away from your tour group so it was a tough choice to leave or not to. Good thing they resolved the tour issues.

    September 10, 2009 at 3:26 AM
  8. Ayie said...

    goodnight foong!

    September 10, 2009 at 3:26 AM
  9. Reanaclaire said...

    isey.. cannot outsmart them la, foong.. they r in this kind of biz, mana boleh kita lari? hahaa.. i have heard ppl advising us before going to china, be more alert esp when it comes to money too.. they are smart and shrewd at the same time..

    anyway, thanks for sharing this piece of info, at least i can keep that in mind when i go next time..

    September 10, 2009 at 7:49 AM
  10. Cashmere said...

    Aaah.. Just when you think yo ucan outsmart them.. heheh! Well, don't ever leave your personal belongings with other people. You never know what will happen.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:01 AM
  11. levian said...

    haha, i don't believe you can outsmart them. i bet they are ready for that act since the very beginning. :D

    September 10, 2009 at 8:15 AM
  12. manglish said...

    ehhh u better dont do anything funny with the chinese ar....wen it comes to money har, dey will do anything.....ANYTHING!!!! :) glad u still manage to come back in one piece :)

    September 10, 2009 at 8:23 AM
  13. khengsiong said...

    Not paying the tour company? C'mon, don't tarnish the image of Malaysia. And more importantly, do not hurt the feeling of Chinese.

    You can file complaint or write to China's newspaper, but payment must be made.

    BTW, can't see the photos...

    September 10, 2009 at 8:28 AM
  14. lina said...

    foong so evil thinking of not paying!

    September 10, 2009 at 8:46 AM
  15. lina said...

    I got kena with a tour agent in China. Different itinerary on paper but they took us to other places (read: shops/medicine hall) not mentioned in the itinerary instead. (I think they got commission bringing tourists there)

    September 10, 2009 at 8:47 AM
  16. Ice said...

    Hi FoongPC, were you there with a tour the whole way through? I thought you were there to look-see with your friends alone, no tour guide whatsoever.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:54 AM
  17. fufu said...

    never ever try to con or do something back when you are travelling... likewise you will be conned back later and even worse... this is what traveller should not do!! well believe it or not :)

    erm... well i always like to read your travel story =p

    September 10, 2009 at 9:08 AM
  18. wenn said...

    b careful, my Chinese tourist guide didn't keep up to her promise..the cd that we bought only contained 2 days tour video instead of 4 days..cheated..

    September 10, 2009 at 9:10 AM
  19. Borneo Falcon said...

    You guys are "devils" Ha...Ha...

    September 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM
  20. HappySurfer said...

    Good that you still got to see the five attractions as scheduled earlier. As a tourist, I sure would hate it if the itinerary is changed.

    Best not to do anything funny in a foreign land.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:07 AM
  21. [SK] said...

    haha, and you thought you few musketeers would be able to con them back in revenge?? i supposed they must have lots of such experience that they now do every precaution you might never expect.. :D

    September 10, 2009 at 10:44 AM
  22. [SK] said...

    hmmm, that guy in blue pants with huge black hat.. was that you?? hahaha :D

    September 10, 2009 at 10:46 AM
  23. Jade said...

    I had to laugh at the genius plan which u sadly had to abolish:)

    September 10, 2009 at 10:47 AM
  24. [SK] said...

    i always think it's a lot better and safer if you know somebody locally to bring you around.. even tour guides are sometimes not trustworthy.. :)

    September 10, 2009 at 10:47 AM
  25. Donna said...

    Actually, I got 1 question to ask.. which is obviously not related to this post one..
    Are u a full time traveler? Hehehehhe…

    September 10, 2009 at 11:29 AM
  26. Che-Cheh said...

    No good to con people ma even though they're crappy. Hahaha Tell the rest of the story quick!

    September 10, 2009 at 11:45 AM
  27. Nick Phillips (15/03/1967 - 04/11/2022) said...

    I don't know but I've never trusted tour operators ...

    September 10, 2009 at 12:17 PM
  28. Anonymous guys so brave to want to try abscond with the tour money. Better don't play play with Chinese tour operators. They might rough up you guys.

    I heard tour operators in Vietnam are not reliable.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:27 PM
  29. Johnny Ong said...

    i like yr plan even tho it didn't work out haha

    September 10, 2009 at 6:24 PM
  30. Mariuca said...

    Dat's why I don bother with all these tour agencies...if we book through one oso, we'd take the light n easy booking so not tied down to their agenda, which sometimes doesn't go acc to plan!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:27 PM
  31. Mariuca said...

    Wahhhhh naughty la u wan to cabut and skip the payment hahahha!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:28 PM
  32. Mariuca said...

    Btw thanks for the buzz2, dunno what's wrong but I only received that comment more than an hour after u sent it, by that time no more chop here huhuhuhuhuhuh! :(

    September 10, 2009 at 6:28 PM
  33. Mariuca said...

    Ehhh free and easy I meant hahaha!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:29 PM
  34. Mariuca said...

    Ohhh i didn't perasan the guy wearing the"huge hat" la until u mentioned funny and cute LOL!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:30 PM
  35. eastcoastlife said...

    Don't ever try your tricks in China, it's dangerous. You are in a foreign land. :P

    September 10, 2009 at 6:38 PM
  36. eastcoastlife said...

    Even when I got tricked, cheated or bullied, I can only blame myself and take it that I paid school fees to learn a lesson. :(

    September 10, 2009 at 6:40 PM
  37. eastcoastlife said...

    That's what those baddies would say to you when you confront them.... and they will say it with a smug look on their faces.
    What can I do? :(

    September 10, 2009 at 6:41 PM
  38. eastcoastlife said...

    I didn't see that taxi when I was in China. Looks fun. :)

    September 10, 2009 at 6:42 PM
  39. Tekkaus said...

    Wow! You and Jam are really bad huh! You guys shouldn't have done that. Bad boy! :(

    But then again! I would do that too! LOL :D Muahahaah

    September 10, 2009 at 8:18 PM
  40. Tekkaus said...

    Hahaha :D They had your luggages for ransom. Hmm..perhaps they have this experience before. So not they know how to deal with you guys. :P

    September 10, 2009 at 8:19 PM
  41. Tekkaus said...

    Wow...the taxi really looked weird Foong! looked like a golf cart? Ha :D Is it safe?

    September 10, 2009 at 8:20 PM
  42. Tekkaus said...

    Then again I think the travel agent is really bad. They are not trustworthy. At least now we know how bad these tour company are! Then we will be wiser when we choose one in the future! :)

    September 10, 2009 at 8:21 PM
  43. Mariuca said...

    LOL! I showed B the funny pic and he oso LOL @ the man in the big hat!

    September 10, 2009 at 9:07 PM
  44. jam said...

    The con part is indeed one of the highlights of our Guilin tour. I shall let you reveal the development of this whole thing in your upcoming posts!

    September 10, 2009 at 9:31 PM
  45. iamthewitch said...

    I am waiting anxiously for the second part of your story with the tour company. :P

    September 10, 2009 at 11:37 PM
  46. Merryn said...

    i dunno why, each time i am in china, sure kena con one way or the other. paling sure fire way to con is the loose change. always short one! when we find out, they'll just say they counted wrongly! blek..

    September 10, 2009 at 11:47 PM
  47. Faisal Admar said...

    haha foong, i can't wait to read what happen there... whether you managed to win back to make it one - one result :D

    hmm, i agree... they should stick to the plan and cancel at the very last minute like that is a heartache.

    i can't ride a taxi facing the back! it will give me great headache right away LOL. is it as crazy as tut tut in Thai?

    write about what happen after that asap ok?

    take care bro ;)

    September 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM
  48. HappySurfer said...

    Wei-wei, have you gone to China again?

    Quick, we are all set for the next installment..

    September 11, 2009 at 10:50 PM
  49. eastcoastlife said...

    Yah, what happened? Where's the next post?

    September 11, 2009 at 11:19 PM
  50. eastcoastlife said...

    Enjoy your weekend! :)

    September 11, 2009 at 11:20 PM
  51. foongpc said...

    Thanks everyone for your comments! Sorry not able to reply as I was extremely busy! Will reply to all comments when time permits. Thanks again! : )

    September 12, 2009 at 12:43 AM
  52. foongpc said...

    monica, how were you conned by your tourist guide in Guangzhou?

    We left our luggage in the tour bus as we need to board the boat for the Li River Cruise and then return to the tour bus in Yangshuo after the cruise. We brought our luggage along because we need to check in to a hostel in Yangshuo.

    September 12, 2009 at 11:23 PM
  53. foongpc said...

    ayie, it's not risky to be away from our tour group as we can always go on our own. We signed up for this tour package as it is more convenient and cheaper than if we visit all those places on our own.

    September 12, 2009 at 11:26 PM
  54. foongpc said...

    reanaclaire, at first I also thought the same thing. The tour company surely had the experience and already knew how to prevent us from running away without paying. They couldn't be that stupid right? But to say more on this would spoil the surprise, so I would let you in on what happened next in future posts! : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:30 PM
  55. foongpc said...

    cashmere, we had no choice but to leave our luggage with the tour bus. We could not be taking all our luggage on board the Li River Cruise : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:31 PM
  56. foongpc said...

    levian, you think so? Well, I'll let you know whether we outsmart them in future posts! : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:33 PM
  57. Haha

    Wow !... just like a "007 adventure" in China... excitement with the suspenion... haha... Can I be the actor in the action?

    September 12, 2009 at 11:33 PM
  58. foongpc said...

    manglish, I am thankful we came back in one piece. Haha!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:33 PM
  59. foongpc said...

    khengsiong, thanks for the advice but that's too late now. Hehe. Why you can't see the photos?

    September 12, 2009 at 11:34 PM
  60. foongpc said...

    lina, eh where got evil? It's the tour company that is evil and we are just responding in the appropriate way.

    Oh, you also kena con? Ya lah, the tour agent earn commission - that's why I dislike following tour. Our 10 days in China is all on our own, except for this Li River Cruise and Yangshuo tourist attractions - we decided to sign up for the tour package as it's more convenient and cheaper than to visit these places on our own.

    September 12, 2009 at 11:37 PM
  61. foongpc said...

    ai shiang, yes we were on our own without any tour guide except for this Li River Cruise and Yangshuo tourist attractions - we found it more convenient and cheaper to go for the tour package.

    September 12, 2009 at 11:39 PM
  62. foongpc said...

    fufu, oh I definitely believe you! You will know why I believe you when I reveal what happened in future posts! Btw, glad that you like to read my travel stories : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:41 PM
  63. foongpc said...

    wenn, lots of stories abound on dishonest travel/tour agents!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:43 PM
  64. foongpc said...

    borneo falcon, muahaha! : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:44 PM
  65. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, yeah glad it was finally resolved and we got to see the 5 attractions. We didn't do anything funny in a foreign land, we just did not want to pay the tour company! Haha!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:45 PM
  66. foongpc said...

    SK, yeah they have lots of experience, but don't underestimate us 3 musketers! LOL!

    The blue pants guy with big hat is definitely not me. I was taking the photo, how could it be me? haha!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:47 PM
  67. foongpc said...

    jade, glad you had a good laugh! : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:47 PM
  68. foongpc said...

    SK, we were lucky to have some local people bringing us around in certain places : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:48 PM
  69. foongpc said...

    dolly, why you ask that? No I'm not full time traveler. You think I am so rich, no need to work is it? : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:49 PM
  70. foongpc said...

    che-cheh, why not? LOL!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:50 PM
  71. foongpc said...

    nick phillips, that's very wise of you! Never trust them : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:50 PM
  72. foongpc said...

    mei teng, brave? OK, I will take that as a compliment. Haha!

    Yes, at one point we were worried about be roughed up. Were we roughed up? Will reveal in future posts! : )

    So tour operators in Vietnam also not reliable? Well, guess it's better to travel without them! : )

    September 12, 2009 at 11:53 PM
  73. foongpc said...

    johnny ong, thanks for the support! haha!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:55 PM
  74. foongpc said...

    mariuca, it's nice to be naughty once in a while especially while on holidays! Haha!

    Lite and easy? Hahaha! Can't stop laughing lah! Free and easy becomes lite and easy? Listen to too much radio is it? LOL!

    I also don't like to follow tour. They always plan according to their own convenience and benefits. We as customers always get shortchanged.

    Funny right the man in blue pants wearing a huge black hat? Glad B found it funny too! Haha!

    Will buzz buzz you again next time! : )

    September 13, 2009 at 12:04 AM
  75. foongpc said...

    eastcoastlife, thanks for the advice! But it's too late now! Haha!

    I think that type of taxi can only be found transporting passengers from the Yangshuo pier to the bus station. I also never see such taxis in any other places we visited.

    September 13, 2009 at 12:07 AM
  76. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, you would do like us too? OK, you've passed our test and you can join us for our next travel! Haha!

    I'm sure the tour company had lots of experience and it would be impossible for us to outsmart them. Then again, maybe not...haha!

    The taxi looked unique but it's perfectly safe. Unless of course, if the driver drives like a mad man. Luckily he didn't do a "tuk tuk" like in Bangkok - we would surely be flung out of our seats!: )

    September 13, 2009 at 12:12 AM
  77. foongpc said...

    jam, thanks for not revealing it and giving me the honour. Haha! : )

    September 13, 2009 at 12:13 AM
  78. foongpc said...

    iamthewitch, ooh! Don't be too anxious! It may take several posts! : )

    September 13, 2009 at 12:14 AM
  79. foongpc said...

    merryn, luckily so far I did not experience people in China cheating me on the loose change. Or maybe I didn't count properly! Kena cheated also don't know! Haha!

    September 13, 2009 at 12:16 AM
  80. foongpc said...

    anonymous, huh? Don't understand your language, sorry! : )

    September 13, 2009 at 12:17 AM
  81. foongpc said...

    faisal, why would riding the taxi facing backwards give you a headache? You must always face the front? Luckily I don't have this problem! Won't want a headache during my travels!

    The taxi driver drives "nicely" and does not speed like those Bangkok 'tuk tuk' drivers, so it was not that fun! Haha!

    September 13, 2009 at 12:21 AM
  82. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, yeah gone to China and back again! Haha! Next installment already up but sorry, not much development to the story yet! : )

    September 13, 2009 at 12:23 AM
  83. foongpc said...

    eastcoastlife, nothing happened, just went to China and back like happysurfer said. LOL! A good weekend to you! : )

    September 13, 2009 at 12:24 AM
  84. Jean said...

    the architecture was great!

    September 13, 2009 at 8:56 PM
  85. Ken Wooi said...

    i'd be angry too.. simply change the plans.. grrr...

    and the last pic.. a chicken? lol..

    September 14, 2009 at 1:10 AM
  86. foongpc said...

    SJ, what architecture? Are you commenting on the next post? : )

    September 14, 2009 at 1:31 AM
  87. foongpc said...

    kenwooi, what chicken? Where? I see no chicken!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:32 AM
  88. MiChi said...

    the taxi look like tok-tok in thailand.... btw, the tok-tok in thailand all are made in china... hahaha

    September 14, 2009 at 1:41 PM
  89. ladyviral said...

    Far worse chanigng the itinerary without telling you people!

    And everyone was expecting to see those attractions! One of their gimmicks to earn more money?

    September 15, 2009 at 12:42 PM
  90. foongpc said...

    michi, ooh really? The Thailand's tok tok all made in China? Interesting!

    Well, the difference is the driver. The driver for this taxi drives in a sane, human way. The tok tok driver in Thailand drives like mad man! LOL!

    September 15, 2009 at 8:50 PM
  91. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, yeah, we were so angry when they changed the itinerary. Luckily they changed their mind after that! : )

    September 15, 2009 at 8:51 PM
  92. bluedreamer27 said...

    the place looks good, i think china is a very interesting place to visit

    September 17, 2009 at 2:01 PM
  93. foongpc said...

    bluedreamer27, yes China is a very interesting place to visit! But I would like to visit Philippines! Can you be my tour guide there? : )

    September 18, 2009 at 12:34 AM
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  96. Koh Kian Fai said...

    :O not visiting the 5 famous in the place and bring u to visit this temple? lol sien lo liddis?

    January 14, 2012 at 4:18 PM