I got hustled.
I was walking around killing time up near a bus station waiting for the bus to take me to Lijiang. A girl comes up and asks would I like to play with her. 21, slim, not bad looking. Why not, I thought.
She brings me up into an apartment building with a barely furnished room. Her English is not bad. she talks all the time. She is slow at getting down to business, insisting we take our time and my clothes off first .....
All the while, she has positioned her body between me and my backpack and one of her arms is - like a snake - gliding through a narrow opening into my pack, locating my money belt, opening it and extracting the money, then closing it again - all inside a packed bag still closed by straps. Of course, I can't see this happening, even though I am looking towards her. Her body position and skill is amazing.
I finally figure out that I am being scammed and expect a guy to charge in any minute and rob me so I say lets forget it. she simultaneously gets a call on her mobile and tells me she has to go. she then exits in a hurry and is gone in seconds.
I see my money belt partly showing, where it wasn't earlier and get a cold feeling in my stomach. yes, a quick check shows I have been fleeced. Thankfully she has left my passport and ATM card. Lucky me.
So guys, you have been warned.
p.s. If any of you get a chance, smash her face in for me please.
When I was in Dali, I saw many Bai ladies who tried to ask me to buy the handcrafts that they were selling. They held a few in their hands. If I didn't want what they were holding, they asked me to follow them to their shops. Once I started talking to them, they followed me wherever I went eventhough I told them I didn't want anything. I was followed for a few streets. I was extremely annoyed but them.
At the end, I tried to ignore them. I don't like to ignore people usually because I think it is rude. But in this case, the only solution is to pretend that the sellers don't exist. Just ignore them and move on to where you want to go.
In the Taoist Temple we were approached by an English speaking taoist (monk? Priest?) He showed us around and invited us to some rituals. Based on our horoscopes we were a good match - no news after 25 years of marriage. Our daughter would succeed in her studies and our son would become wealthy. We expected to pay, but he insisted at 300 yuan, showing a book with how much others had paid. We were clearly pressurized and resisted. In the end he threw in some free good luck wishes.
It is a nice guy, but stick to what you think it is worth.
This is the most annoying experience for travellers who are used to fixed pricing.
You only pay the full-priced ticket if you are already at the entrance of whatever it is.
For example, the return ticket for the ski-lift ride up Cang Shan may be RMB 80 but if you talk to the local guides (who pester you incessantly when you are having your meal), you may get them to sell you the ticket at RMB 35 including the taxi ride up to the ski-lift station.
How do they do it ? My guess is they are agents who get bulk discounts. So your "ticket" may not be the nicely printed coloured card, but a piece of invoice-like paper specifying how many people are in this "tour group".
Gosh, I had never seen so many spiders in my life!
Very common from Dali to Lijiang, they hang their webs from the electricity wires all along the roads.
I don't know if they are dangerous or not, but I wouldn't venture going cross-country in this region!