Who can blame the locals for selling or renting their houses and moving to villages outside Lijiang where live is cheaper and quieter for them? I would do the same. Unfortunately Lijiang has become an overpriced tourist place ruled by a greedy and ignorant tourist mafia. Official nationally licensed tour guides can usually enter all tourist sites within China for free, no matter how many "stars" these sites have - except in Lijiang where they are branded as "hei dao you" and banned from entering to the tourist sites. They either buy a ticket or hire a local Lijiang Guide. That is what I call protectionism in its purest form! Entrance fees are ridiculously high – service is not existent. Since a couple of months the Black Dragon Pool Park has no more water, and still they charge you 80 RMB to get in! However, it will be interesting to see for how long they can still play that game. Chinese are travelling more and more and start to understand what they can expect for their money. So far the average Chinese Tourist knows the price of a trip but not the value – hopefully that is going to change pretty soon and then Lijiang will be at the losing end – and rightly so. Furthermore destinations like Lijiang are already feeling the competition from Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand where prices are cheaper and the service better. However, having said all that I still like Lijiang! There are still many beautiful, quiet spots and villages around with no entrance fees and where you can all by yourself.
Record profits in 2011? hmmm...read the following article:
What frustrates me at Kunming Airport is the lost luggage issue: They lost my luggage twice on a flight to Kunming. On both occasions they gave me a call later on that the luggage has now arrived and I should pick it up at the airport..... Aren't they supposed to deliver it to your home....? I mean they did misplace it in the first place....Luckily so far Kunming airport was (until today) not too far away. I don't really look forward to drive out to the new airport evertime they misplace my luggage....I wonder how this issue is handled at other cities in China.
My excuse is always that I have to drive my car home. This is something most Chinese I hang out with understand.....try it - even if you do not have a car...
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I love that place! Their food selection is getting better and better. Today they had a great selection of different cheeses. Ok, I could not buy them all but the one I did buy was really delicious. There is also a choice of cold cuts, ham, bacon and imported steaks....Hope they can get more of these Christmas cookies! 5 Stars!
What happened to that place? Went there quite regularly in the past for their Amber Beer and a Burger. Went there last week again. The Amber they did not have available and the burger was – lets put it nice – disgusting! I ordered a Cheeseburger. After 30 Minutes I reminded the "waiter" about my "missing" Cheeseburger. Another 15 Minutes later I got a Burger with no Cheese but with cold fries and a huge leaf of lettuce almost the size of the plate. (Seems to me that the oversized leaf of lettuce was to camouflage the fact that there was no cheese available). The Burger went back to the kitchen. After one minute (!) I got the same burger with the same cold fries......but they added a scoop of deep-frozen kind of thing they call cheese on top......sorry guys- but never again. Not even for your life music or the Amber.
I love that place. But what is preventing them to have that delicius bread ready every day at about the same time? Seems to be different every day. Went there 4 times in a row and came back empty handed everytime.....(went to French Cafe instead). Yesterday I asked the girl WHEN the bread will be ready and she said she didn't now. There is a thing called A TELEPHONE where one could actually call the boss and ask..... I'll try one last time though.
Had lunch at the Cacao Mexican Restaurant the other day. I was pleasantly surprised! Friendly service (the Chinese staff even speaks a bit English), nice, big terrace with outdoor seating. Good atmosphere. The only drawback is that the food was a bit "boring". From Mexican Food one would expect a bit more "fire" and spices. They would need to "spice up" in order to attract the local crowd. But over all it was a pleasant experience and a place to go back.
I share Bernie's experience. Food at Rocco is up and down. I went there 3 times: First time was really good, 2nd time I had same experience with a poorly stuffed Calzone Pizza and the 3rd time the wine got poured all over the table and my trousers by the waiter......