Traps exist everywhere in the world, more or less. These article is for your reference when travel in China.
Horseriding Trap in Bashang Grassland(坝上草原)
Located in Northwest of Hebei Province and south edge of Inner Mongolia Plateau, Bashang Grassland features lush vegetation and exuberant forest which qualify it as an ideal summer resort and top photography site. The discovery of relics of Zhongdu,Yuan dynasty’s capital here attracts more tourists from worldwide.
First, ignore the local people who offer you hotels with attractive low price. These hotels usually are in poor conditions, have no business licenses and are unsafe.
Second, when driving along this grassland, you will find many places are enclosed by barriers. When you enter some area, someone will pop up and told you this area is not allowed to enter and you have to pay.
Third, do not ride the horses unless you negotiate the price clearly and settle down a satisfying tour route first, or you will end up with paying high for sitting on horseback for several hours aimlessly. The trick is especially rampant near No Three Junmachang, Hongshan(红山第三军马场). They will charge you 40RMB/h as horseriding fee. The trick is that they won’t let you ride the horse for the real sense unless you pay them the fee of 1.5hour first. Cherish the hope to experience the real riding in the beautiful grassland, you won’t hesitate to pay them. But these locals will just allow you to ride for short distance. After that, they will walk the horse slowly and tour you around aimlessly. You will find seven hours have passed before you return to the departing site, and you have to pay them several hundreds of RMB. In some part of Inner Mongolia, it is the same story. So keep in mind, talk about price and make out a good route first if you want to ride horse.
Trap in Potala Palace
You will find taxi, food and hotel’s price here are twice that of capital city in inner China. The minimum taxi fee here is 60RMB. The entry fee of Potala Palace is raised from 100RMB to 300RMB during peak seasons and only 2300 entry tickets will be sold each day. It is no allowed to take photos inside for the sake of protection, but if you pay enough, you can take photos as you wise. In Tibet, do not buy things in booths along the road. The wide Tibetan antelope’s horn or yak’s skull and furs are usually fake.
Trap in Emei Mountain
If you happen to be a pious Buddhist, well, here is tip for you when tour Emei. Sometimes, the guide will tell you that you are lucky enough to meet the kaiguang Grand Ceremony which is alleged can bring you good luck and fortune. The ritual resembles baptism in some way. If you believe in them, they will guide you to pay a Buddha from Sichuan Buddha Association( which is claimed to be a charity organization) with 500RMB per person and pray before it. In the end, the monks will drip some “holly water” in your head. That is all. You will be charged for several hundred or thousands of RMB just for a pray and several drops of water.
Trap in Jiu Zhai Gou, Sichuan Province
Maybe you have heard a lot of Jiu Zhai Gou, a place with enchanting natural scenery especially in Autumn. The Admission fee of it is 220RMB and you have to pay 90RMB for the vehicle fee. Inside of Jiu Zhai Gou, there are many locals invite you to take photos with their horses or yaks. They told you it just costs 5RMB, but after you had the picture taken, it will rise to 30RMB immediately. You will be invited to taste the beef also for free. If you failed to resist the temptation and have a bite, someone will laugh at you that you are poor and take advantage of them. Most people will buy the beef for the sake of save face despite it is four times expensive than that in Chengdu(beef there is 22RMB/kg). You can see many Tibet handicrafts inside also. Be aware that many are fake products churned out outside of Tibet. For instance, the acclaimed Yak vest is usually made of pigskin in Haining, Zhejiang Province. The so-called Yak scarf is made of chemical fiber and is made in Yiwu, Zhejiang province. The Tibet Silver bracelet is made of copper and steel instead.
Trap in Turpan, Xinjiang
Xinjiang is famous for grapes, cantaloupe and pears. Turpan in Xinjiang features most diversified and top quality grapes which are also very expensive. (In Urumqi, the most expensive grape is 30RMB/KG, while in Turpan, the cheapest is 50RMB/KG.) If you want to have a meal in Turpan’s Putaogou(Literally means Grape lowland,葡萄沟) which is 11KM northeast of Turpan downtown and stretches 8km from south to north and 2km wide from east to west. You will be shocked by the price: a plate of lamp will cost 120RMB and a plate of vegetable will charge 30RMB.