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Grape Valley: The Worst Tourist Attraction in China, or the World?

August 28, 2010

I’m standing next to mild mannered Bryan, in front of a “pond” that I’ve mentally renamed malaria puddle, when he says “this is the worst tourist attraction ever”.  Ummm, yes.

malaria puddle

 

Alternate names for Grape Valley, supplied by various members of our party:

  • Grape World
  • Grape Disney
  • Rape Valley, You WILL Feel Violated

 Amazingly, it’s also one of the most expensive attractions I visited in China.  It’s like a bunch of genius grape farmers got together and said how do we get a bunch of dumb tourists to hand over a bunch of money?  They should do an MBA case study on the place, like how to make something out of nothing, or how to get people to pay you to see nothing.

There are lots of grapes.  You walk down a long staircase, flanked with grape vines on trellises.  At the bottom there is the aforementioned malaria puddle and a “music museum” which is one guy playing a stringed instrument.  They sell grape juice and raisins.  Dozens of Chinese tourists are picking the grapes, taking pictures of each other picking the grapes, taking pictures of me eating grapes, etc.  Also amazingly, apparently you are not allowed to pick the grapes and the fine is about $10US which our guide paid at the end.  Everyone was picking and eating.  What’s the point of the place if it’s not all-you-can-eat?

grapes!

12 varieties of raisins!

a grape drying enclosure! AKA Grape Temple

The highlight of the place is the unintentionally hilarious signage.

Cherish Grass sign

Honor and Shame sign

Take note of the third Shame: “Shame attracting tourists in a cheating and deceiving way”.  Technically we weren’t cheated or deceived, so why do I feel like such a chump?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2010 1:19 pm

    Shame: Barbarizing in talking. So don’t talk to me while your cutting my hair.

    Grape post, Sariah. You cracked me up.

    • August 29, 2010 10:23 am

      Thanks Nancy. The Honor and Shame sign is really a classic. I was laughing so much in the place I felt like I was going a little senile.

      • Ian permalink
        August 30, 2010 4:02 pm

        No souvenirs? how about a magnet?
        At least you had a good laugh!

  2. August 31, 2010 7:42 am

    Ian – does a bag of “top quality” raisins – there are at least 4 grade’s I’ll have you know – count as a souvenir?

  3. December 3, 2010 9:47 am

    well, there are so many tourist attractions that you find on asia and europe. i would really love to travel a lot ,”

    • December 4, 2010 11:01 pm

      Valeria,
      Absolutely there are many tourist attractions in Asia. I hope you do get to travel, for me it has been a wonderful experience. I’ve greatly enjoyed most places, but Grape Valley really takes the cake for me as least favorite.

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