A TripAdvisor survey of 54,000 travelers ranked Beijing as the second worst globally when it comes to the helpfulness of locals, the friendliness of taxi drivers and overall taxi service (followed by Moscow, which triumphantly took last place in all three categories).
The city that ranked highest for best overall experience was Tokyo, which found a place among the top 10 in 13 of 16 categories in the survey. Probably not great news for China’s capital.
Other high ranking cities included Singapore, the number one place to travel solo comfortably, and Dubai, first for shopping and hotels.
Punta Cana managed to rank impressively low across the board and Mumbai ranked last place when it came to street cleanliness, ease of getting around and for overall experience.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, visitors to Beijing probably aren’t super shocked about TripAdvisor’s findings:
Never mind the relatively simple problem of a taxi shortage, which many global cities face. Most people living in the city would have a horror story or three of taxi drivers who tamper with meters (or “forget” to turn them on so they end up charging passengers more at the end) to fleece unsuspecting tourists.
It’s common fare to find drivers who refuse to drop passengers at requested stops, just because it’s more convenient for the driver to stop elsewhere. Such drivers have been known to bark at passengers: “Just walk!” Local expatriate-friendly magazines often include tips to beware of taxi scams.
Neither is it hard to imagine an unhelpful Beijing local, though in part this might be a linguistic gap. Tourists not armed with rudimentary Chinese or a guide might find it difficult to get anyone to stop to help with directions. And it’s easy to imagine people being shocked by public behaviors in Beijing: Queuing isn’t exactly a Chinese thing, even in the swankiest of Beijing shopping districts, while spitting in public definitely is.