Prepare to get ripped off in Kunming!

Written by Jul 5, 2013 07:50
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Kunming – Stone Forest (June / 2013)

Very nice place to see, but way over priced! Here is the deal. We used a “so called” reputable hotel travel agent, in which you can get tickets to various parks. Since only my wife and daughter are Chinese, according to this agency (which is one of the largest in China), told us that there is a China requirement that as we are foreign travelers, you must have a English speaking guide, otherwise they will receive huge fines.

Normally, the price for the park tour is ¥240 from this agency, but since we are foreign, the price will be ¥280, which included the hotel pick-up, bus to the Stone Forrest, lunch, and park entrance fees. In the morning we were met by a travel guide that could not speak any English, and were taken to the bus which was more than several blocks away. We then paid another travel guide and he gave us a “scribbled receipt” on a scrap piece of paper, and got on the bus, and the guide that picked us up at the hotel disappeared. We met yet another guide for the trip could not even speak a word of English either. My daughter asked where is the English speaking guide, which was no-where to be found?

While on this 1 hour bus ride, my wife found out that everyone else on the bus, since they are Chinese only paid ¥100 for the same trip. Yes, the same bus, same lunch, same park entrance fee. My wife asked about the English speaking guide again, and they told her you would have to pay another ¥300. We had confronted the guide, the agency about this, and they pretended to be unaware of any of this. And wondered how we found out about the rest of the people on tour only paying ¥100 for the same exact service. Well … duh! Both my wife and daughter speak fluent Chinese, and it comes down to it that they got caught, ripping off the foreign travelers. Our original plan was to take a bus from the terminal for ¥40, and then paying the park entrance fee of ¥175, but we figured, since this “so called” honest tour would pick us up at the hotel, include the bus, lunch, park fees and English tour guide, let’s pay the extra amount. Having to pay extra for an English speaking guide is fine, but we paid three times more than everyone else on the bus and received the exact same service. That is just dishonest, deceptive, and unscrupulous.

I’m writing this to let everyone know the real deal, and if this would was in the USA, the lawyers would be all over it, in the news, and flagged with discrimination. I did file a complaint with the China Tourism Agency to let them know what is going on. Waiting to hear back.


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Comments (4)


Aug 26, 2013 20:27 Reply

Mr.ROBIN said:

The nearest airport is Tongren Airport. It's a small airport and there is no airport shuttle bus. Besides, there are just a few airlines that leave for big cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Guiyang. If you land at Tongren Airport, you should take a taxi to the Tongren Railway Station. Then walk two minutes to the Tongren North Bus Station on the other side of the railway station. There you can take regular bus to Fenghuang. The bus departs every 1 hour.

If you don't fly to Tongren Airport, you may fly to Zhangjiajie first. Then you can take bus or train to Fenghuang. If you choose train, take taxi to Zhangjiajie Railway Station (just around 4 kilometers from the airport) and then take train to Jishou (around two hours). Then take bus from Jishou to Fenghuang. It takes around one hour by bus.

If you choose to take bus, then take a taxi to Zhangjiajie Bus Station. There are two buses for Fenghuang. They depart at 08:30 and 14:30.


Aug 25, 2013 16:45 Reply

DOFR said:

I am from Malaysia and planning to go to Fenghuang Ancient Town. Where is the nearest airport to fly to and get me to this ancient town by train or bus? When is the best time to go?Thank you.


Aug 10, 2013 20:34 Reply


Your mistake was using an agent. The number one rule in China is NEVER use an agent for anything or you are guaranteed to get ripped off.


Jul 10, 2013 23:31 Reply

EMBUN said:

There is always price tearing in China; foreigners pay 45% to 100% more. Hotel price tearing is prohibited in China; however, they keep doing those bad practises. These deceptise practises encourage corruption. Mainland China is not Singapore or Hong Kong. I just came back from Fenghuang, Hunan province. To visit Fenghuang city you must pay 148 yuan and the city is dirty; what the monies are used for? You know the answer.

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