Living the free life of Li
Updated: 2012-05-03 10:41
Most have heard of the saying the life of riley, but when it comes to one of China's best scenic spots, the life of Li is giving the Irish expression a run for its money.
Whilst most tourist attractions struggle for income, from May 1, Laojunshan scenic area in Henan province will allow all people surnamed Li to enter for free, China News Agency reported Wednesday.
Many tourists were unaware of the rule or did not bring certificates, so only hundreds enjoyed the free entitlement as of May 2, said Xu Lei, vice manager general of the spot.
The name Laojunshan originated from an ancient philosopher Li Er, or Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism who cultivated there.
"Laojunshan has special connection with Li, that's why we offered free tickets to people surnamed Li," said Xu Lei.
"It's a good way to promote the fame of the scenic spot and increase its adhesiveness with tourists. The measure is worth promoting, " wrote media critic Wu Qilun on his micro blog.
But some disagree, saying it's surname discrimination.
The site, with a ticket price of 80 yuan ($12.68), receives around 700,000 people annually. It has newly been credited with 5A title site, the top class of scenic spots in China.