I suggest Chenghai Lake (程海) located southeast of Lijiang. I've wanted to visit for some years, was held back partly by the long drive from Lijiang, around 3 hours. But a new road is supposed to open in Jan 2021 that will reduce the drive to roughly an hour. Which probably means an increase in tourism, so I want to get there this year. The lake is reportedly the fourth largest in Yunnan. There is some info about the area on the internet, but apparently no mention in the standard printed travel guides. Claim to fame: one of only three lakes in the world where Spirulina occurs naturally.
Wiklipedia entry (very short)
I went to Qujing on March 21 for a relative's birthday celebration. That evening tried to register at a Qujing hotel and was told they are not accepting foreigners at this time. They directed me to another hotel where the message was the same, no foreigners. I was told these hotels previously accepted foreigners. Fortunately was able to spend the night at my relative's place.
The next day before leaving the housing block, we were stopped by members of the local neighborhood watch committee who asked what the foreigner was doing and where he had been. My wife and step-son, both Chinese, had to fill out a questionnaire on their cell phones. To my surprise they didn't ask me any questions or request my passport. The whole operation took about 20 minutes and then we left for Kunming.
Here in Kunming, when I hopped on a local bus I showed my passport in lieu of snapping the QR code on my cell phone. The driver recorded the pp number in his log and asked where I was going. I said, "USA" thinking he wanted to know where I was from. He laughed and I realized he had asked what stop I would get off at. I told him and away we went.
To my surprise, several other passengers, all Chinese apparently, got on the bus and had their ID info written down on his paper log. Seems I'm not the only one who does not use WeChat or AliPay.
I wonder if and/or when China will require foreigners to have an account on their phone. No account-no visa.
My wife has a plastic card tied to her WeChat Pay account. She can use the card at an ATM to receive and deposit cash. Printed on the card is "Electronic Use Only". What does that mean exactly? It implies the card has limitations compared to a debit card. Can anyone clue me in?
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