How it works:
- Scam 1: unofficial guides will try to sell you discounted tickets and tours. Tours are poor and they are incentivized to bring you to the factory shop as they get a commission.
- Scam 2: at the factory shop, there are defective “warriors” which fall apart easily if you touch them and you will be charged. Watch out for shopping scams at the street market as well.
- Scam 3: there are “farmers” who claim to have discovered the warriors. They claim to be rarely around but happen to be here today and are available to sign books/postcards and to take photos together for a fee.
- Scam 4: there are fake “buses 305” which will bring you on a shopping trip instead of to your destination.
- Scam 5: there are tout who offer to help you take a photo with the “warriors”. A fee is then demanded while holding your camera hostage.
- Scam 6: unofficial taxis.
Places to beware:
- Xi’an: The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses
What to do:
- Get an official guide and buy your tickets at the official booth, or engage a licensed, reputable operator:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) – also has many popular tours (e.g. Huangpu River, Mutianyu Great Wall, Xi’an Terracotta Army, etc).