When you want to hire a taxi in Hainan, negotiate a set price first before getting into the taxi. Hainan taxi has meter, but we better not pay accordingly. Tourists, who don’t know Hainan well enough, may easily get driven around for a much longer ride than what it should be.
Comparing to other places in China, taxi in Hainan isn’t cheap. A 10-minute ride from the airport to the Kempinski Hotel costs RMB 50-60, while a 15-minute ride from the hotel to Sanya City Center costs only RMB 30-50. It all comes down to supply and demand, you see. Taxi fare to anywhere from the airport is expensive, regardless of the destination. The airport is loaded with ignorant tourists. If one tourist doesn’t take the drivers’ offer, there are still planes full of tourists who will.
For long distance destinations, it is probably better off hiring a taxi by the day, which costs only RMB 100. It is such a good deal because some of the sightseeing spots, shops, and restaurants give commission to the driver when he brings tourists there. In addition, the driver is free to pick up other customers when you are not using his service.
And probably because of the commission system, we have heard many stories from our friends and posts on forums about Hainan taxi scams, of the unpleasant experiences of being brought to places where the tourists didn’t request, of drivers getting all rude and ill-mannered when the tourists insisted not going into the shops that were suggested, etc, etc…
So to prevent all these from happening, once we got into a taxi, Yik and I would tell the driver that we were not interested in shopping and asked him to drive us to only the places we requested. This might not have stop the driver from selling us to visit some other shops and restaurants “near-by”, but at least we showed him that we were no dummies, which certainly helped set his expectation low and get him sell us not as hard.
There are taxi scams and tourists traps everywhere in the world. So don’t worry. We just need to be a bit more alert when traveling, so to save ourselves from many unpleasant experiences.
tuk-tuk drivers and taxi drivers, same same 😛 😈
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