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23 September 2006



I was wondering where the condescending tone in this article coming from?

Let’s step back first: is this really a rip off? Didn't taxi drivers give you the price before hand and you have the right to reject the offer?

Leaving the door open not only annoys people, but is dangerous as well. Just curious would you do the same in Sydney?

My suggestion is try to be courteous citizen first before demanding others to do the same.


Chris you are a horrible person. Ignorant and mean. You represent the worst and most ingorant people in Shanghai, whether you are Chinese or Foreign.


Boya, please pray for me to become the ideal knowledgeable and polite people that was in your mind. Everybody could become more polite and wiser. That's what I want too.

BTW, my post never uses strong attacking words such as "ignorant" and "worst" towards anybody. Your post sounds angrier and more attacking IMHO.


Chris, the taxi driver was clearly doing something that was criminal. price gouging, yet you defend him and attack the writer of this blog? Just because you didn't use harsh words does not mean your perspective does damage. Your sense of justice is obviously very flawed. And if you are this sensitive to words, I recommend you don't comment on blogs. I apologize, I think maybe you didn't get the meaning of the blog entry clearly: the taxi driver was not quoting the fair price, he was quoting an illlegal price, one set arbitrarily. He had stopped for them and refused entry to the taxi unless they paid his inflated price. This is against the regulations, if they stop for you they have to take you to your destination.


Since when do taxi drivers in Shanghai speak (any) English?


PeeVeeGee:Most of the Shanghai taxi drivers don't speak English including this one we mentioned. But I speak Mandarin - that helps.

Boya: Thanks for the support.

Chris: we were not condescending, but simply recorded an unpleasant encounter of ours to share with our readers to make people aware of this kind of things that could happen. So you don't need to wonder any more.

And maybe you should have read the story through before making any comment:

Firstly we didn't get ripped off at all because we didn't accept the ridiculous price that the first taxi driver offered.

Secondly the taxi we finally got in front of the Shangri-la hotel was supposed to operate normally - meaning: charge us according to the meter. But he whinged for not being able to charge us a premium price to our face in a very bad manner, which was very rude and unacceptable. That is against the taxi service standards.

And it is not just that, but also the fact that he knew that the behaviour he was about to exhibit was unacceptable (and would get him into trouble), so he turned his taxi driver's identity card around so that we couldn't record his details. That left him feeling free to 1). try to rip us off. 2) to be rude to us.

It wasn't dangrous to leave the car door open, because it was in a safe parking area in our complex.


I guess its about perspective. If you walk in thinking 'black taxi' .. well you'll get the 'royal' experience 'black taxi'-wise. I've never had that experience .. And we don't have a car in Shanghai.

Taxi experience elsewhere in the same time zone has the similar issue during the morning evening peaks, shift changing windows, fare transition windows (normal to midnight etc..).

The plus side are there so take your pick .. The taxi experince in SH has been positive to extreme positive for me.


I'm quite surprised to read about this. I don't take taxis very often in Shanghai and so far, I've never met any rude taxi drivers. The next time this happens, maybe you can just note down the car plate number and call the taxi company.


This has been going for quite a long while - particularly at the Pudong Super Brand Mall area.... at times like those, you'd have better luck getting on the subway..


Actually, I live in Central Shanghai, and have this rude behavior happen to me all the time. I have ended up having to go to the police station after a taxi driver sped off as I was holding the door handle. I couldn't let go immediately, and ended up damaging the door when I did since I was stumbling along. The taxi driver called the police, and I ended up in the station for two hours because I refused to pay. The police just wanted to settle it the simplest way by having the foreigner pay, and eventually they yelled at him for causing the trouble, but I had to argue a lot. It was kind of funny, once the taxi driver left and I thanked the police, the police that were so stern with me started to laugh and apologize to me...

It happened again a week later, I had a bag in my hand and the taxi driver asked me where I was going I said "I'll tell you in a minute...", He accelerated, but I managed to get in anyway. He then refused to take me to my destination and drove around for 10 mins before he gave up and took me where I needed to go.

Seriously this happens to me several times a week. Almost always at rush hour...The taxi drivers are looking for Chinese workers that look like they are heading home to the suburbs, and will be a big fare.

I understand why it has happened, the gas prices are cutting into taxi salaries, but the situation is ridiculous. And calling the taxi company has no effect. The drivers don't care, usually there is no real consequence for them. Plus, remember that it is in the companies best interest that the taxi drivers make as much money as possible, so they side with them. They will tell you something to calm you down, but they don't really censure the drivers.

My Shanghainese gf and I even called the police once when the taxi driver told us to get out after we told him our destination. Now what happened? The fat and dirty police officer got irritated with us for causing trouble and took his side immediately (probably didn't like seeing a laowai with a Chinese girl). A crowd formed and an old man said she should be ashamed of herself for being with a foreigner and treating the ppor taxi driver like this. He had not even heard the beginning of the argument. Now I am not saying all Shanghai police are like this, but this one sure was, his shirt was stained, he was really fat...

It's not only a foreigner thing either...Its happened to my gf when she was with her cousin and also to some Chinese friends.

Its horrible really. I don't expect it to get better anytime soon.

I also think its the beginning of class resentment. Being a taxi driver used to be a pretty good job. But their salaries have not kept up with the rest of the economy, taxis are artificially cheap, so the taxi drivers make themselves feel better by judging their customers and gouging them.

Sometimes, when a taxi driver asks me where I am from I will tell him I am Australian rather than American...Then I have had the opportunity on a number of occasions to have them tell me how my country is horrible and deserved to be bombed on 9-11.

Anyway, that's my rant. Cheers.


Hey Boya - I feel for you man!

I read recently that there has been no increase in the number of taxis for about year and that there are none planned for next year year (the Shanghai governments smart way of reducing traffic) so things are going to get worse for you and your taxi riding days!

Well, here in Sydney we have other taxi problems. I had to get a cab from Manly to the city the other morning - it was about 13km trip and it cost me A$41. Thats about 246RMB!! I see empty cabs all around the place - no wonder the Aussie cabbies are complaining that they are going broke - who can afford to catch one?

There must be a happy medium between Shanghai taxis and Sydney taxis somewhere.


I live in Singapore but work in Shanghai 3 weeks per month. The ability to get a taxi during shift changes or rain storms seems to be the same in either place. I have had only one bad experience with a black taxi and that was leaving the Maglev station. I ended up taking a black taxi because no others were available. I understood the price before the ride and agreed to it. Otherwise I would have found other transportation. That was in August but since then I have taken taxis from the station a few times and there is now a taxi stand with police recording all of the license plates of the taxis and monitoring the loading of the taxis. The last time I took a taxi from there was the middle of September so I don't know if it is still the same. I hope so.
I have also had a very good experience with a taxi. I was taking a taxi from a hotel to the Pudong Airport. I noticed about 5 minutes into the ride that the driver did not know how to get to the airport. I don't speak Mandarin but I managed to get him to pull over and I got in front and showed him which way to go. When we got to the aiport he told me that the trip was free. I didn't agree and paid him the normal 130 RMB that the trip usually cost. He was very appologetic and also happy that I paid him. I wish more of the taxi drivers were like that.


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