Another taxi altercation in Hong Kong

I wish I didn’t have to write about this crap anymore but this situation keeps repeating itself no matter how well I handle it. What I really wish is to obliterate these experiences from my life so I don’t have to feel so unnecessarily frustrated and angry sometimes… but I’m afraid that might have to take leaving HK to happen.

Something is horrendously wrong with the attitudes of Hong Kong taxi drivers, and this time around you can’t blame me anymore because I was perfectly calm and collected in this situation unlike the last time when I got dragged on the street by a horrible little monster of a taxi driver.

Yesterday I arrive from Macau at Sheung Wan and get in a taxi at the queue. As soon as I say “Caine Road” to which he lets out an angry huff I knew this would be trouble. We drive all the way to Caine Road and I’m FaceTiming my high school girlfriends on my phone. I open my wallet and I only had a HK$500 note in it. I’m already thinking, shit…


We drive all the way to Caine Road and I’m FaceTiming my high school girlfriends on my phone. I open my wallet and I only had a HK$500 note in it. I’m already thinking, shit…

Of course he didn’t have change. He completely loses the plot and screams at me that I should have told him that I only had HK$500 in my wallet. What, that’s my responsibility?! They only have one f*cking job in the world and he can’t even prepare change? Isn’t that a normal situation in a cab, client pays, cab driver gives change? Especially since he’s queuing up in the Macau Ferry Terminal, many people would have just withdrawn money from the bank coming from Macau.

So he starts screaming his head off that I should call my family or friends to come down and pay him with change. Seriously? Like I would bother my cousins to come down because what, we all owe it to him to give him the exact change? The bloody nerve of these people.

I tell him, “look I’m going to 7-11 to get change okay.”


I ignore him and get out, walk to 7-11. He of course follows me screaming abuse at the top of his lungs. At least he didn’t grab me this time. My friends on FaceTime were all appalled and I kept apologizing at this point to them.

He’s screaming at me following me all the way to 7-11 where I buy a bottle of water and get change. I go to him and ask him, “sorry how much was that?”


So I have to go back to the taxi and check the meter. Hand him a 50 note (it was 42) and didn’t bother getting change. I then walk away, hoping against hope that some part of him is ashamed at his scum-like behaviour.

Again, I wonder if he would act as aggressively if I were not a small, young girl. But I am sick and tired of being bullied and abused – the biggest detractor from my HK experience has been the horrific and disgusting attitude of many locals here who scream and snap at you for no reason, because they’re really just nasty to the bone. I may come off like too much of an opinionated and argumentative person but I actually try to treat everyone with respect and courtesy. I just don’t allow people to give me shit.

Try living your day to day life normally and then throw in unavoidable encounters with despicable people at every turn whether it’s checking something out at the supermarket or getting a ride home when your feet are tired.. I mean, I mostly walk or take the MTR/UBER everywhere and try to insulate myself from nasty people by keeping a nice circle of friends but they still manage to pierce through that bubble with their foulness…

Finally, I wish I took a photo of his license/plate but I was too busy talking to my friends to remember otherwise I would have reported him.

What would you do if you found yourself in a similar situation? Would you find it difficult to stay calm in the face of someone screaming abuse in your face even if you’ve done nothing wrong?

18 thoughts on “Another taxi altercation in Hong Kong

  1. Ray H says:

    That’s awful, I didn’t know it was so bad in HK! What an asshole. Seriously, fuck that guy.

    In the mainland we only have 100 notes, because if there were bigger bills they would be forged. That’s good I guess.

    In first-tier cities I’ve only had decent experiences with taxis, but in smaller towns scams are the big problem. Seems modern Hong Kong unfortunately has a problem with rude drivers…


    • Yeni R says:

      Rude is one thing, but verbally and physically attacking you is another, and unfortunately that also happens, it’s not a one-off happening, it happens to a lot, especially to women.. .wtf


  2. The Monching says:

    I’ve read a few articles or two about the generally nasty attitude of taxi drivers there. But apparently, HK isn’t only the place with such a problem; even here in the Philippines, stories of taxi drivers robbing (and at times, killing) their passengers are rife.


  3. pigsdrinkwineinhk says:

    Next time just leave without paying, I have done it numerous times already. No change for a $1000 note? not my fault, sucker.

    HK taxis need a rdue awakening. It’s beginning to resemble Macau where they only take fares if you agree to a one time fee vs letting the meter dictate the amount.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeni R says:

      Last time I left without paying the taxi driver ran after me, dragged me down the street, took my bag away from me until the police arrived and told me they would arrest me if I didn’t pay up. Trust me, I want to teach them a lesson but it’s a lose-lose situation for me.


  4. Rupert Ramiro says:

    For someone who lived in Hong Kong for 4 Years now and has grasped the local language , you gotta acknowledge how they talk. That’s the street-style of talking when you go off to Kowloon. You’d be surprised that those locals also got the chills when they hear us Filipino talk in our own mother tongue , a.k.a tagalog.


    • Yeni R says:

      It’s not just the talking it’s the horrible attitude. I had a really nice taxi driver yesterday who was polite and professional. So it IS possible to be a decent human being…


  5. Joe says:


    I’ve just come across your blogs while looking for information about Tai Mo Shan. Had a read through a few and they’re great. I moved to Hong Kong in July after spending two years in minland China (Xi’an and then Shenzhen) and so far I’m loving it. I had been here quite a lot beforehand though. This particular post struck a bit of a bit of a cord with me because I’ve actually had two major incidents with taxi drivers since moving here and one involved the police.

    The first time was a taxi from Central to Tin Shui Wai (where I live) at around 2am. I told the taxi driver I had no cash, but would get some out when we got to Tin Shui Wai at the 7/11 next to my apartment complex. He said it was ok. On the way back I drifted off to sleep (it’s pretty far!) and was woken up by him hitting me and dragging me out of the taxi. He was shouting at me to pay him. I tried to calm him down and told him I needed to go over to the 7/11 like I’d said and he wouldn’t let me leave the area. I didn’t want to run to 7/11 because he’d think I was trying to run away without paying. Anyway, he called the police who came and I explained the situation and they were very rude at first and didn’t believe me. Eventually the escorted me (can you believe that?) to 7/11 to get some cash back and pay the guy. I told them I wasn’t happy with how I’d been treated but they didn’t care.

    The next time, I was coming back to Tin Shui Wai from Mong Kok at around 11pm and I also didn’t have any change when got back (just a $500 because I didn’t want the same problem as before) and the driver went crazy at me when I tried to pay him.

    It’s a shame because I’ve had a lot of trouble even finding a taxi that will pick me up at times. I know I live far away from the city, but they’re not supposed to decline a passenger and at the end of the day, it’s their job.

    Just thought I’d add my bit haha. I see from your recent posts on HKfiles that you have come back to Hong Kong. I hope you enjoy it here this time!!


    • Yeni R says:

      These guys are such assholes and the police take their side every time which gives fuels their nastiness because they know they can get away with it !!! This is one of the biggest things that really put me off Hong Kong. Not back full time but not looking forward to being back ugh.

      Happy to hear you’re loving HK a anyway haha


  6. nickmilnes says:

    While physical and verbal abuse is seldom justified, least of all against a non-agressor, it is clearly stated on board Hong Kong taxis that drivers are only obliged to provide change for a $100 note.


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