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Tourists have more important things to do than wait two hours OR MORE for service at the Bank of China -- www.nationalradio.com - (photo)

 

Beijing's transportation system is excellent BUT at rush hour it can take as much as two hours to go from point to point as we experienced trying to reach the Birds Nest Stadium during mid day. -- www.nationalradio.com - (photo)

 

 

 

Travel Tips - AVOID THE BANK OF CHINA LIKE THE PLAGUE

 

 

IF YOU VALUE YOUR TIME - When a tourist spends thousands of dollars to travel to the other side of the world to visit a country to enjoy tourism sites the last thing in the world a tourist needs are problems. Anyone can obtain problems ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOR FREE so…. WHY PAY FOR PROBLEMS IN CHINA? The Bank of China's prevailing attitude is a minimum two hour wait is better spent for a tourist to wait for service than using that time to spend money visiting tourist sites. As we all know TIME CAN'T BE REPLACED

 

Friday December 30, 2011

THE BEIJING EXPERIENCE

We encountered a major problem with the Bank of China in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai. Simply put it takes a minimum two hour wait to for service. The irony being a tourist usually is trying to transfer or change money to spend in their country. You would think that a Chinese bank would consider it is better for a tourist to take their time spending money than waiting for it. It seems that The Bank of China has no respect for the value of a tourist's time which can't be replaced.

The problem surfaced in three of China's largest cities Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai. In each case we waited or were told before hand that there would be at least a two hour wait to be served. This is while many people that came and went were served while others waited, and waited and waited. The good news it The Bank of China treated the Chinese in the same manner apparently because they are poor or don't have BIG MONEY. That is a point that we will elaborate on in part two in our visit and experience in Shanghai with the help of a Chinese businessman.

After planning a trip to China the strategy was to visit the Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Warriors in Xian as well as riding their train of death the Bullet/Fast train. We missed the tragic accident the killed 40 people by one day. The Terracotta Warriors never happened due to time constraints.

The remainder of our time was to be spent visiting clubs that provided live music relevant to our background, avoid tourist spots and venture into the neighborhoods and get to know the real people of China. We preferred not to have a tourist's point of view. If we saw a foreigner we knew that we were in the wrong place. To accomplish our goal we needed money and hoped to spend it well with the right people, businesses and in the right pace. The Bank of China disrupted with those plans.

The manner in which the Bank of China cost us travel time and interrupted our agenda to visit the sites that we paid a lot of money and time in planning the trip six months prior to departure was the primary reason for lost opportunities and time that cannot be replaced.

Prior to our leaving we inquired at the Bank of China branch in Phnom Penh if they sold and accepted American Express Travelers checks. They didn't and also had no idea how their parent company in China did business. We then decided to use our debit and credit cards for money transfers.

In our travels in the region over the years in the region we could cash advance money by going to an area where a customer could sit down in making their transaction in private and not wait in the banking line to be serviced. Years ago we did wait in line at the Heng Seng Bank in Hong Kong but they were the most efficient and business like bank that we have ever dealt with. There was very little wait time.

In Thailand and Cambodia they have a separate area away from the banking lines where a customer can sit down and be privately serviced. The process is to show your passport, give them your card fill out a form wait for approval from your bank, take your money and then you're on your way with a smile. Thailand's Siam Bank has kiosks in shopping centers to accommodate customers. Thailand has the best system of service which is done efficiently with dignity and class and they have pride. This was not to be the case at the Bank of China.

In Beijing we only had to change US dollars into Yuan. Our hotel recommenced the Bank of China which was in walking distance in the university area. Upon arrival we took a number to be serviced. After quite some time and watching people come and go and receiving service we became suspicious. None of the staff spoke English. We spotted a foreigner who turned out to be from the United States. He was teaching English at one of the universities nearby and was paid in US dollars that he wanted to change to Yuan.

He tipped us on how they catered to the Chinese with big money and informed us that he had been waiting for nearly an hour. He had two tickets for service after another customer had given one of his two lower numbered tickets. He then gave us his highest number which was much lower than ours. Other Chinese that came into the bank after us took their numbers and waited as long was we did or more. The atmosphere was cold and tense. This was no way to begin a holiday.

The layout of the bank was in an L shape which didn't permit those waiting to see how those who came and went that were being serviced.

Then two friendly Korean students with Chinese heritage from Korea walked in and asked how long we had been waiting. She noted that she spoke fluent Chinese. We said nearly an hour and they went to the rep near the machine that dispensed the numbers. We asked what their conversation was about and they avoided answering the question.

One girl then told us to go to the window after a customer was helped. We said we had no ticket as high as those being called. They said never mind just go to the window. We did and as the rep behind the counter gulped we were reluctantly serviced. The girls were then scolded by the rep who they talked to. We thanked them, gave them our business card and never to saw or heard from them again.

That was the easy part. Our next experience was unreal as we tried to cash advance our money at the Bank of China in Nanjing and Shanghai.

TIP: AVOID THE BANK OF CHINA LIKE THE PLAGUE!

Part 2 - The next EXPERIENCE of COLD AND INDIFFERENT in NANJING & SHANGHAI - CHINESE MONEY TALKS WHILE TOURISTS WALK


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