By Huizhong Wu
If you’re looking for a beautiful, scenic historic town to visit for a weekend trip in Hunan, you may consider looking elsewhere.
Hunan province’s famous Fenghuang town is now charging admission. Once a free site, each visitor will now have to pay 148 yuan to gain entrance. The move has led to protests from tourists and local businesses, several of which have closed their stores to show their objection to the new fee, according to Sohu News.
Fenghuang town is home to pre-modern architecture and gives tourists a glimpse of a China rarely seen outside of books and historical dramas.
The decision to charge for tickets was supposedly intended to cut down on black market transactions and to control the disorder that reportedly marks the state of tourism in Fenghuang town, a local official told QQ Finance.
Netizens are not appreciate of the price hike, and ‘Fenghuang town’ began trending on Weibo soon after the news broke.
One Weibo user called the government “blood-sucking ghosts” for introducing the fee, saying this is consistent with the government’s desire to just “take money.”
Another user said of the price hike, “In the past, I really wanted to go but didn’t have a chance. Now, I don’t want to go at all!”
A hotel owner in the area told QQ Finance that since the price hike the number of guests has dropped by almost 25 percent.