Before my Yunnan (雲南) trip, I did some research online and decided to book a room for at least the first night of our trip.
There are 700+ guesthouses in Lijiang Old Town (雲南古城), with room price ranging from 30 rmb to 400+ rmb (this is the range for regular season, prices can get doubled during the national holiday season in October). With such a large pool to choose from, it could be difficult, especially when one has no idea of the living standard there. For example, an 80 rmb room in Huangyao (黄姚) could be very nice; yet, a room that costs the same in Shanghai could be unacceptably crappy.
But luckily, I found some helpful websites that have given me some useful information when I was making the decision. And here are two of them.
Sorry to those who can’t read Chinese, for both of the websites are in Chinese only.
Besides the seemingly-quite-reliable reviews given by previous customers, I especially like how both websites have posted many photos of the guesthouses.
Comparing the two, 中国古镇网 is much better developed, with a large database of guesthouses of not only Lijiang or Yunnan alone, but of 50+ other old towns in China. 阿溢灿, in contrast, is like a baby, with information and reviews of guesthouses of Lijiang and Shuhe (束河) only. But I like how it categorizes the guesthouses in different price ranges, making it easier to compare different guesthouses in the same price range.