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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Cold shower on tropical visit

By Zheng Jinran and Huang Yiming (China Daily)

08:17, January 31, 2012

A worker puts up a notice saying "business closed" outside the Fulin Fishing Village Seafood restaurant in Sanya, Hainan province, on Sunday, after it was accused by tourists of overcharging customers. (Zhang Yu / Photo from China Daily)

SANYA, Hainan - Visitors chased the warm sunshine to Hainan province, the tropical resort island during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, but many came back in a bad mood after being overcharged and swindled.

A family of three had a meal at a street restaurant in Sanya, a major tourist destination in Hainan. Three ordinary dishes cost them 4,000 yuan ($630).

A man at the next table asked the restaurant owner what a fish cost. He was forced to pay more than 6,000 yuan for the fish, weighing about 5.5 kilograms, because the owner killed it to serve him even though he hadn't ordered it.

After the story was posted on Sina weibo, a popular micro-blogging website, on Saturday by Luo Di, a friend of the family's, thousands of netizens commented on it, claiming that they have had similar experiences in Hainan.

There are many tales of tourists to Hainan being cheated, especially in winter, when the sunshine attracts people from colder parts of China.

Wang Youdu, who worked in Hainan for three years, said non-locals always had to pay higher prices.

"The owners always did some trick with the scales. Once at a street stall in Sanya, I found my cell phone weighed 2 kilos on the scales."

He added that he was once pressured into having his fortune told and after being surrounded by seven people who made him pay more than 600 yuan for the service.

Ma Yili, an actress, said on Saturday on her weibo account that two of her assistants were asked to pay 800 yuan for two simple dishes this winter.

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