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Tourist Traps You Should Know in Yangshuo

When visiting Yangshuo for your China vacation deals, the following traps should be avoided.

1. Model for photo

When leaving the boats, tourists are attracted by the presence of a man, with two cormorants, waiting to get photographed. If he gets it, he will ask you for some money.

It’s a ridiculous amount, so you better assume that you will pay him, don’t do it from distance and compose your picture as you like.

2. The Cormorant Guy

The famed Cormorant guy, a staple of the area for years, still stands to await China vacation packagesfor a paid photo.

Kid gets face cleaned, Cormorant guy looks on.

Unique Suggestions: I don’t want to take away his livelihood, but do you really need a head-on photo of a guy with birds? If so, he’s happy to help. If not, or if you don’t believe in paying for photos, there’s always the hip shot.

3. Budda Cave

What a piece of sh**!!!

Spent 128RMB (equal to $16) per person and were completely disappointed.

It was a very dangerous place:

- slippery (especially in those flip floppers that were given to us instead of our hiking shoes - STUPID!!!),

- very narrow (I mean I`m a slim girl and I had troubles crawling through those tunnels),

- dark (not that there is anything to see really, but still),

- hot and humid (people with athma and other breathing problems can be in trouble),

- dirty (you`ll see what I mean after the tour is over).

If, for some unknown reason, you`ll still decide to go there, make sure you:

- do not put that slippery flip floppers on (you can slip and hurt yourself);

- dress appropriately (may be have a pair of shorts and a t-shirt - for cave and then change clothes);

- do not take your backpack (I did and regretted big time - it was extremely hard to carry it through, not to mention how dirty that thing was after we got out);

- are not scared of the close spaces (I was not and still felt uncomfortable).

Oh, yeah, there will be a guy with a camera ahead of you, who`ll be taking rather annoying and endless photos how you crawl through the narrow tunnels. 15RMB (~$2) for a picture if you decide to buy it later.

Fun Alternatives: The alternative to ALL their caves, Banyan Tree, etc would be just bicycling in the country side. I sure enjoyed it much more for my    popular China travel package.

4. Li River Show

There is nothing to describe really. It was just bad. Big idea, bad execution. The result - we left before it ended and so did many other people. Basically this is what I remember - hundreds of people running with bands, fire torches. Little girls singing for ages on the stage. There were many people performing on that show, but it was a mess, not thought through.

Payed 160RMB ($20) per peson and still sat pretty far from the stage.

You also pay 2RMB per person (one way) for a shuttle, which picks you up at the end of the West Street and brings to the show and then back.

Fun Alternatives: Just do not go, it`s a waste of money.

5. West Street

Everything on West Street is a tourist trap. That’s OK if you want banana pancakes, toga parties and souvenirs. However it’s not China. All of the restaurants and bars are more expensive than where the Chinese people go. You must bargain very hard for everything here, these people are professionals. At the time of my visit (10/05) the Chinese government was trying to keep the restaurants and shops from being on the sidewalks. One day it was OK, the next day it wasn’t. So streetside dining may be a thing of the past.

Unique Suggestions: Enjoy yourself and bargain hard. Remember you can find a hotel, restaurant, clothing, etc. much less expensively a couple of blocks away.

6. Souvenirs are more expensive

Prices of souvenirs in Yangshuo are generally higher compared to other parts of Guilin. Due to high influx of backpackers and tourists disembarking from boat cruise for shopping, prices have been pushed up a little. Remember to bargain or you still can purchase the souvenir that you like from other parts of Guilin.

Eg: Mini Osmanthus Flower wine costs 15RMB (unit for Chinese currency) in Yangshuo and RMB10 only in Guilin downtwon.

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