6. False lamas in the Old Town
If you see lamas who wander about in the Old Town of Lijiang (popular destination included in packages of China tour deals) begging from people, please ignore them, because they are not real lamas or monks. They are professional beggars. Real monks or lamas will not ask money from people.
7. Riding a horse to the top of Yulong Snow Mountain
Someone persuaded me that there was another route to the top of Yulong Snow Mountain, I could enjoy different scene and there was no tickets. Coz I had traveled there twice before, I entered in the trap.Finally I paid 3 times of money, didn't get to the point they promised, even there was no official insurance or receipt. If there was any accident......
Fun Alternatives: So, don't believe them, go to the right place, buy the ticket.Don't let others, such as your driver, guide to help you, buy the ticket of horse riding by youself.
8. Fake Yak Meat
Most restaurants that serve Naxi food will offer Yak Meat in their menu. One of the locals told us that most of these are actually just regular beef but they call it Yak meat to be able to charge higher prices. We tried it once and it was indeed not something you'd like to have again, and yes, it was expensive! (almost 8 usd per dish so that's high for local standards).
Fun Alternatives: just order veggie, it's gotta be safer ;-)
9. Beware of the 'wedding trap'!
If you go to the Dongba Kingdom and are in the section wherein they introduce the local Dongba culture, make sure you don't join the so-called "Traditional Dongba Wedding". Although it's interesting and fun in general, they would ask you to make some 'contribution' in the end. We ended up giving 200 rmb in total which is sooo not worth it. We should have just said no when they tried to convince us to join the 'Wedding ceremony'.
Unique Suggestions: Just hold on to your wallet and just play dumb. It's not really mandatory to give any particular amount anyway.
10. The NO. 7 Bus you SHOULD take!!!
Yes, so this is the one to get..the larger size..and not the small mini van I showed you a picture of just before this. This bus will cost you just 8 RMB(Chinese currency converter ). I guess it wont take you around the place like the mini van would have, but we would have had to pay for extra things once we were there anyway with or without the mini van around, so i strongly suggest you tske this cheaper bus..no-one here to cheat you!
11. Shopping in Lijiang, bargain! bargain! bargain!
You'll be swarmed around with too many stuff. The lovely wax printed cloth, handprinted T-shirts, local necklaces, bracelets etc. But remember, you either bargain, buy and never look at the price elsewhere or you compare the prices in 5 different stores before you buy! Sometimes, the price difference will be 10 times, it's still cheap though!
12. Ancient Naxi capital learns new tricks
Bai Sha is around 1 hour's cycle from Lijiang and was the former capital of the Naxi kingdom until Kublai Kahn had other plans for it in the 13th century. To be honest, I'm stuck between listing it as a tourist trap, an off the beaten path tip or an absolute must see... it's a bit of everything.
Its historical importance and traditional feel are not to be underestimated. However upon our arrival, clearly a quiet day for the Naxi capital, we noticed ancient white-brearded men drop their mah jong pieces and scuttle to a table to play the congenial hosts. At the same time the womenfolk stopped their gossipping in a corner and ushered us in to visit the impressive murals housed within the complex.
We paid our entry, then were "encouraged" to pay again for a short burst of traditional music played on a collection of ancient instruments, and then fleeced once more by the women, who meanwhile, were dancing, hand in hand, a repetitive step to the left and again to the right.
Unique Suggestions: Bai Sha is a feature of many trips out of Lijiang and of many organised tours of northern Yunnan (top tourist destination for best tours of China). It is worth the visit, but certainly not worth paying out for an expensive organised tour.
Should you be a very lucky person, Dr Ho will surely accost you too. He will encourage you to visit his clinic, under the sign of "Taoist physician in the Jade \mountains of Lijiang".
Fun Alternatives: You should anticipate the 3-stage entrance fee (none of the main features is optional), enjoy the traditional mural, smile encouragingly during the impromptu concert and clap politley at the dancing. I managed to take my leave politely without visiting Dr Ho's clinic.
Then get back on your bike and head off into the wilds, towards the foot of the mountains and see some truly traditional Naxi villages.
If you visit Lijiang for your China travel packages, you should know the above.
Lijiang Tourist Traps You Should Avoid II