"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, March 08, 2013

50 tips for Backpackers travelling to China

"The four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics" - Christopher Hitchens


From EDMW:

28.不要去黄山让人“免费带路” 。(会极力鼓动你参加旅行团或推荐你住宾馆)
50.不要去太阳岛坐“热心人”介绍的船 (付两倍的船钱也看不到岛)

Its been 12yrs since i first take my backpack and travel to China alone.."

Turns out this list is all over China forums (About 55,100 Google results)

Someone: Summarised into 1 rule


Translation: "Don't go to China"

The thread is full of people complaining about China and complaining everyone is trying to rip you off.

So it's not just me!

Attempted translation from Yours Truly:

"1.Don't approach monks from Mt Emei (burning incense is burning money)
2. Do not approach taxis from Laoshan (in Qingdao, Shandong) (the incense money asked in donations is a lot)
3. Do not buy Jiuzhaigou Yak Meat (Beef that's sold for a heavenly life, much of it horse meat)
4. Do not buy jade treasures onboard the Three Gorges Cruise (because after the purchase you don't know what material they're made of)
5. Do not, at Xishuangbanna (in Yunnan), take part in the "chasing kin" game (the bridal is a "trap")
6. Do not, at Xi'an's Guan street, buy antiques (lots of fakes are mixed with the real goods)
7. Do not, at Dali's wholesale centre, buy supposed "old hometown" baubles (they're mostly fakes)
8. Do not, at Yangshuo's bars, waste your money (when you pay the bill you will find that the bill is shocking)
9. Do not provoke the natives of the Taishan area (there are many people on and at the foot of the mountain)
10. Do not look at Shaolin Monastery's "shortcuts"
11. Do not visit the 13 Ming Tombs' "***" jade shop (goods are of uneven quality)
12. Do not go to Hainan Island alone for a holiday
13. Do not ride horses on the steppes (it's easy to mount the horse but hard to dismount)
14. Do not, at Turpan (in Xinjiang), buy grapes (the prices are out of this world)
15. Do not, in Shenzhen's English Street, buy anything (they're mostly Shanzhai pirated knockoff products)
16. Do not go on daytrips to the Great Wall in Beijing (many only go to Shuiguan and not Badaling)
17. Do not, at Zhangjiajie (Hunan), stay in cheap hotels (they are not safe)
18. Do not, at the Jinggang mountains (Jiangxi/Hunan), give to "old quarter restoration" funds (it's a scam and it just enriches them)
19. Do not, at Hangzhou's recreation centre, waste money (the bill will stupefy you)
20. Do not, at Suzhou's tea houses, drink tea (it's expensive and the cakes are tasteless)
21. Do not, at Fengdu Ghost City, take a "free" picture (there's no such thing as a free lunch)
22. Do not, in the Southern Sea, take motorised boats (there are lots of [fee] disputes)
23. Do not, at Beidaihe (Qinhuangdao, Hebei), eat seafood (the live seafood is switched [?])
24. Do not, at Sanya (Hainan), approach peddlers (they were force you to buy their wares)
25. Do not, on guided tours to the Hulun Buir Grassland (Mongolia) eat a whole roast goat (it's expensive)
26. Do not, at Lushan (Jiangxi), get your own taxi to go up the mountain (those with price disputes don't have assurance [?])
27. Do not, on the roads of Huangshan City (Anhui), get on a taxi (they don't skip the list [?])
28. Do not, on Huangshan, let people "guide you for free" (they will strongly encourage to join a tour group or push a guesthouse on you)
29. Do not, along Qiandao Lake's (Hangzhou) jetties, eat fish from a stall (the taste is pedestrian)
30. Do not go see, around Leshan Giant Buddha (Sichuan), the paid attractions (Leshan's Giant Buddha can be seen from afar, don't waste money)
31. Do not, at Zhengzhou's (Henan) Yellow River Resort, ride horses.
32. Don't go to Hengshan for fortune telling
33. Don't follow a tour to Qinghai Lake (Qinghai)
34. Don't buy Shennongjia's (Hubei) local specialities
35. Do not, at Dunhuang's (Gansu) night market, eat 地摊饭 (Ditanfan - a type of rice)
36. Do not eat at Huaguoshan's (Jiangsu) seafood street
37. Do not follow a guide to see Along the River During the Qingming Festival
38. Do not, in Nanjing, go for a "free beauty treatment" (they do the first half for free then ask for money for the second half)
39. Do not, on the Bund in Shanghai, let people take your photos digitally
40. Do not buy "cheap tickets" to see Huangguoshu Waterfall
41. Do not follow a guide in Hong Kong to buy branded watches and treasures
42. Do not spend large sums of money in Macao's casinos (once you go you're done for)
43. Do not, in Weihai's Little Korea, buy anything without ruthless bargaining
44. Do not, at Lijiang (Yunnan), go to a sauna
45. Do not, at Wutaishan, burn incense at Wu Ye temple
46. Do not, in Ping Yao, touch the "fish washing" (Ed: I tried to find out what this was: most of the most relevant Google Images were of young girls. After that it was mostly pictures of fish)
47. Do not, at Wuyishan (Fujian), buy tea leaves
48. Do not, at Baiyangdian (Hebei), buy duck eggs
49. Do not, at Wuzhen (Zhejiang) let the Taoist priest "tell your fortune for free" (they will try and ward off evil luck [for money])
50. Do not, at Taiyangdao (Heilongjiang), let "friendly people" introduce boats to you (you will pay twice as much and not see the island)"
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