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Shennongjia sucks

I woke up early in the morning and watched some random English TV until it was time for breakfast. There was some delicious pumpkin soup with homemade dumplings and salty hard boiled eggs. I took a minibus up to the entrance of Yazikou, the only part of the park that is relegated to foreigners.

At first, I got dropped off too far in, and I didn't have a ticket, so I had to walk back 1 km to buy one. Already irritated, I wasn't expecting the insane entrance fee of 300 yuan, plus 80 yuan for the shuttle bus. That's three times the price listed in the Lonely Planet! The manager explained to me that this ticket was good for five days and I couldn't buy a day pass, even though, as a foreigner I was only allowed access to 1/6 of the park.

Reluctantly, I bought the ticket and I was escorted to the back of the building (which was empty) to give my fingerprint. I refused and they didn't give me any other option of getting into the park without it.

So, let me get this straight, you want to charge me three times the price I was expecting, to see less of the park than everyone else, ad then you want to treat me like a criminal who might sell their ticket to someone else before its used up? Nope. Give me my money back, please. I'm leavin this insane tourist trap!

While it could have been fun to hike around the park for a week (I had a cheap hotel roo mand free meals) there just wasn't enough to keep a foreigner busy for that long! What a scam.

The manager said he understood and gave me back my money. He also offered to pay the 10 yuan for the bus back to my hotel. I didn't argue.

When I got back, my clothes were still soaked and I was invited to lunch even after I had checked out.

I asked my next host, Judy, if I could come over early and she said no problem! After four buses and eight hours, I was back in the city and even being chauffered to her house by her father.

We picked up some fruit and yogurt and chatted away all night. When Judy's mom came home, she immediately whipped up some Jingzhou style soup and deep fried lotus root. It was already 10 p.m., but she was so happy to have a guest that it didn't matter, I guess.

Judy is an interpretation student on her way to grad school in the fall. We planned to do my laundry and go to the museum in the morning.

Eating lunch

Eating lunch

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China

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