If you take a tour from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, the bus will stop at many shopping places. The prices are items are over priced at these places.
Fun Alternatives: I have more fun leaving the shopping places and seeing what the locals had for sale. Sometimes the bus tour will try to stop you from going across the street to see what the locals have as the tour company makes a big commission at the store.
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It was presented to us as a home visit to a REAL Tibetan family, but it turned out to be a money churning tourist trap. Bus loads of tourists came in batches; given a scanty run thru on Tibetan culture with props that they claimed were genuine alter. Then batches of about 100+ tourists were crammed into a small room 20' x 30'. It was about 4* C outside but I was perspiring like in sauna in that small room choked with stale humid carbon dioxide exhaust - a a byproduct of human respiration as ventilation comprises two small windows and a door. No fan to pump in the much needed fresh air to the packed room. Contagious diseases would have a field day looking for hosts.
We were served some roasted millet grains and wine, followed by roasted lamb which was good. Then some run of the mill singing performs by nine of the brothers and sisters of the "family". If they were real siblings, then their mother must have been naughty s all of them looked different from one another. The performances were amateurish at best....more agonizing.....I left well before it completed half their show.
I have been in Jiuzhaigou 1987 more than 20 years ago. Tourism in this place was just beginning. We could enjoy the fantastic landscape with thousands of lakes and beautiful forests almost alone.
Now I have seen newest pics from Jiuzhaigou in autumn, with masses of people at the lakesides, big hotels and many busses. So, even though autumn is beautiful you should try to avoid the masses and visit in summer or spring. - less crowded..
Rare sheep kept in Jiuzhaigou area so be aware the restaurants or vendors selling beef/pork instead and charge for the mutton price.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to try roasted whole sheep in Jiuzhaigou, you have to always pay much more than you do in Songpan or other areas, not only for Jiuzhaigou being the renowned scenery spot,but for they having to purchase mutton from other areas.
Remember, quite difficult for you to bargain.
Fun Alternatives: Roasted beef tastes delicious as well!
The offer for free reflexology was well taken up and we were ushered into a big room where a good looking and sweet-voice lady talked about the medical benefits of their products. She introduced a master of qi-kong who would `treat' whoever is unwell or suffers from chronic sickness. A volunteer was selected and when qi-kong was applied, he confirmed that there was a kind of current going through his body. A full recovery is possible only if he buys some packets of the medicine at what we thought was exorbitant costs. The thought for total recovery and the high cost of medicine became competing desires but is the medicine really effective?
Unique Suggestions: Can the qi-kong really cure? Are the medicine efficacious. Be prepared to restrain yourself from buying if you have doubts....
You will come across alot of costume renter trying to rent you their costume and help you to take photos. If you are really into it, you can try but i dont think is worth the money therefore i didnt try it.
Generally, you will be led to Chuanzhu temple if you join in the trip organized by tourism agencies. The temple is beautiful and typical. You shall attend the interesting activities presided by the tibetan Lama, it's a good chance to taste the tibetan life. But you should take care of your purse, don't be impulsive when the other people persuade you do something additional. :)
Unique Suggestions: Use soft words to refuse it... don't show your interest...