Top 5 things you need to know about Asia…
1. You must pre-arrange transportation from the airport to your hotel, or stand in a taxi line. Do not get into an automobile with anyone offering to help you skip the taxi line. Read story below to know why!!!
As soon as we landed in Beijing and I stepped foot onto International grounds, I headed to meet the Chinese toilet, and Jared went looking for a taxi. Now he hates lines, and was hesitating getting in an extremely long one!! He was quickly approached by a Chinese man who offered to drive us to our hotel. I knew nothing about this practice of taxi scammers at the airport, so willingly followed my husband, and our taxi driver to his car. I quickly learned though, that they may also take your money, your luggage, and not take you to your destination. Looking back Jared confirms he knew it was not a good idea to agree to the random Chinese Fake Taxi Driver. But… He didn’t want to wait in the line, and he knew he was much bigger than the Chinese man, so he decided to take a chance!!! Get out!!!! Did you just read that??????
He decided to take a chance with me, the girl who’s been afraid to do anything adventurous, and agreed to go to CHINA!!! I am not sure how he thought it was a good idea for the first thing he does overseas to be life threatening!!! He lead me through a parking garage with a random Chinese man to get in a random car!!! Bad Idea….. I want to live, I have 4 children who need their mother!!! And I get he is a big guy, but maybe the small guy has big friends, or big weapons!!!
So…. Not to worry, before we got to the Chinese mans car, 3 other men came running at us which caused our Fake Taxi Driver to throw our luggage in the street to block them, and run as fast as he could to try to get away from the men chasing him!!!! I didn’t even grasp what was happening until it was all over and Jared proceeded to explain to me how you are not supposed to go in random taxis…. We then headed to the taxi line which we used the rest of our trip, but damage was done!! In my own mind our fake taxi driver was kidnapped and beaten, and we barely escaped kidnapping ourselves. I have no idea what was behind the whole thing, gambling debts, or territory wars, but what I do know is that our fake taxi driver was not having a great day, and I nearly joined him!!!!
2. You need to have the address and phone number of your hotel written in their language upon arrival to your destination. Once you are at your hotel, they can give you a business card with the information printed on it. Take it with you everywhere you go so you can find your way back!
3. Download a Translator App. I prefer Google Translate because it can be used off line.
4. Make sure your phone will work. My phone carrier is Sprint. Before every trip I call them, turn on the International coverage, make sure all areas I will be in are noted. They Pro Rate me for the time I am there. I have an Apple device, my husband has a Samsung. He has a few more steps upon arrival to make his phone convert over, mine on the other hand switches effortlessly. I do not turn on the data, but rely on the wifi of the hotel. I do make sure texting, and phone calls work, so I can be reached by my kids anywhere I am. Check with your Carrier to see what will work best for you.
5. Carry Water and a snack. It is unsafe to drink the local water, or eat fruit that has been washed in it. Be Cautious and keep Healthy!