"To Buy or Not to Buy Tea" Hangzhou Tourist Trap Tip by lucincia
Hangzhou Tourist Traps: 5 reviews and 5 photos
If you use a group tour for Hangzhou, most likely you will end your trip at a "tea village". My wife and I call these last stops "Chinese version of Disney World", where after a day of sightseeing (or in WDW's case, a ride), they deposit you at a gift shop.
Unless you're a superb tea snob/expert, I would recommend saving your money and get tea elsewhere. Don't feel obligated to buy.
In our group we had 3 ladies from Hong Kong, a family of three from Taiwan, and my wife, my kid, and I from US. There was also a lady from Chicago. After the tea sales pitch, the sales person just sat there waiting for someone to buy tea. The Chicago lady bought some, but no one else did. We sat there in uncomfortable silence for several more minutes until we were "let go".
Be strong! Don't give into the sales pitch if you don't want to buy!
Unique Suggestions: Be strong. Know beforehand if you want to buy or not. Don't give into the sales pitch. Unless you're a superb tea snob/expert, you really cannot tell the difference between this tea and other high end teas elsewhere where you can buy them cheaper (and without such idiotic sales pressure). And, while there, enjoy the free tea! :)
Fun Alternatives: Still visit the tea villages. The scenary is great. But, avoid the sales pitch if you can.