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10 days in China - itinerary help please

10 days in China - itinerary help please

Old Oct 29, 06, 8:08 am
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10 days in China - itinerary help please

I'm planning a trip using miles via Cathay Pacific. A stopover in Hong Kong on the way to Beijing is planned and then arrival in Beijing.

Based on other information read on FT, I'm thinking side trips to Xian and/or Shanghai are of interest to me.

Is this too much for 10 days? If too much, which city should I eliminate? Is there a recommended way to get from one place to another? Any other suggestions? Three of us are going so trying to keep within a reasonable budget too.
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Old Oct 29, 06, 8:22 am
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China ideas

Originally Posted by MileageAddict
I'm planning a trip using miles via Cathay Pacific. A stopover in Hong Kong on the way to Beijing is planned and then arrival in Beijing.

Based on other information read on FT, I'm thinking side trips to Xian and/or Shanghai are of interest to me.

Is this too much for 10 days? If too much, which city should I eliminate? Is there a recommended way to get from one place to another? Any other suggestions? Three of us are going so trying to keep within a reasonable budget too.
There is much to see. I have visited China for 15 years and recommend: min 3 full days in Beijing, full day in Xian, full day in Chengde (often missed but a great location, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengde ); 2 days Shanghai and possibly a visit to Hangzhou (3 hrs from Shanghai is also nice). Xian is obviously off beat but well worth the trip and I guess will need 3 days (1 to get there and back).

Good luck, email me if you want other comments

Richard
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Old Oct 29, 06, 12:06 pm
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China Advice from a recent traveller

In 10 days I would just do Hong Kong & Beijing. There is so much to do in Hong Kong that the time just flies by. We had planned to visit Macao but never found the time. In Beijing the traffic can be a killer and many of the sights are just plain huge. We spent a day doing Tiananmen, forbidden city, and shopping in the Wangfujing area. Another day at the Summer Palace and the Zoo. The Beijing Zoo was surprising - worth a visit. We spent another day on the Great Wall (Jinshanling to Simatai Hike), and then another day shopping (Ghost market and others). We still have plenty of things to do on a future trip to Beijing! The best meal we had in Bejing was Yunnan at South Silk Road on Hou Hai Lake.

It's really easy to get your China Visa in Hong Kong. I found this visa service after we used a more expensive one. The prices here are very competitive -- and much cheaper than any service in the USA.
HK Street

If you do add in Xi'an keep in mind that morning flights can be delayed due to morning fog (smog?) in Xi'an. The overnight train from Beijing may be a better choice so you don't waste time sitting in Beijing Capital Airport waiting for your flight to clear. The Z19 night train is recommended on Seat 61

If keeping your expenses low is really important -- fly in and out of Shenzhen rather than Hong Kong and buy your e-tickets online via elong.net or yoee.com (see threads on buying tickets in china) -- But don't lose the receipt. See moondog's note - e-tickets aren't as easy to use as they are here).

Last edited by doglover; Oct 29, 06 at 12:23 pm
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Old Nov 1, 06, 11:42 am
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In regards to visiting Xian, the overnight train with deluxe accommodations looks great. Leaving Beijing in the evening and arriving in Xian the next morning, would you suggest one full day in Xian with a return on the overnight train that evening or spend an extra night at a hotel in Xian and return on the overnight train the next evening?
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Old Nov 1, 06, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by MileageAddict
In regards to visiting Xian, the overnight train with deluxe accommodations looks great. Leaving Beijing in the evening and arriving in Xian the next morning, would you suggest one full day in Xian with a return on the overnight train that evening or spend an extra night at a hotel in Xian and return on the overnight train the next evening?
It depends on what you want to see in the area. There are other attractions around Xian and if you are in a hotel in good area, things to walk to and do.
If, on the othr hand, you only want to see the warriors, then 2-3 hours is plenty of time.

My only other comment is that the plane can be cheaper than the train and only takes 60-90 minutes. My wife and I paid ~$50 each one way, buying on Yoee.com at the suggested 5 days or so before the flight.
PM me if you have any questions.

Ed
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Old Nov 1, 06, 7:13 pm
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The Shanxxii History Musuem is a must see. The most amazing collection of Chinese historical artifacts I've ever seen.

I would do the Warriors first in the morning to avoid the worst of the crowds. Others have said the english speaking tour guides weren't worth it. We disagree completely. Ours was worth every penny.

If you stay in town for one night you will have time to scope out the walls of the old city. Not to mention experience some of the dirtiest air anywhere in the world.
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Old Nov 2, 06, 7:45 pm
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While FT is certainly a great source of information and tips, I assume you are also using one or two standard guides (Lonely Planet, etc). Depending on your interests (history?), you might maximize time in north China--Beijing, Xian, and I would second the Chengde recommendation. Tianjin (an easy day trip from Beijing) is also interesting in its way, and they've been cleaning up the old concession area (colonial district). Also Qingdao for the old German area by the water. As for Shanghai, after Hong Kong, it just isn't "necessary"--but if you like modern architecture, it shouldn't be missed. One night would be rushed, but if you are returning through HK anyway, it would sort-of be on the way.
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Old Nov 2, 06, 8:00 pm
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I'd save Xi'an for another trip. If you do a one- or two-day to Xi'an, and only see the terracotta warriors, you'll be missing a fascinating city with lots to do and see (and eat. ). You can easily do 10 days in Beijing alone. Splitting your time between Beijing and Hong Kong will give you a very full and interesting trip.
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Old Nov 6, 06, 2:16 pm
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I spent lots of time in the Mainland these couple of years. Actually as China is more likely a collection of small nations given its different caracteristics in different region, I would suggest that you have to ask you a question "what you want to see?" before choosing which city you are going to visit in limited period of time.

Hong Kong is the best place for people who are willing spend tons of money on shopping around. Food in HK is also the most tasteful (and safe to eat) according to Western standard. Beijing food is sometimes too oriental.

If you want to see how developed the nation is now, you should go to Shanghai.

Lots of guys are loving Qingdao, a coastal city in North China. The city used to be Germany colony. The whole western part of city looks quite like Klagenfurt of Austria. But eastern part of city where you can find great Japanese and French shopping mall, 8 sandy beeches and over 10 *****hotels alongside the road (just like Dubai, hoho), and one of the nation's most famous and also beautiful mountains is just miles away from the city centre.

Xian, a very old city with lots of heritage. If you like history, old stories, things like that, Xian will not let you down. But generally speaking, like most of other western cities in China, Xian looks very much out of date if you happen to fly to there from Shanghai or Hong Kong.

Hangzhou, Wu Xi, Suzhou, these three cities are geographically in the same region, just hours away from Shanghai. They are so nice and unique with different characteristics from other parts of the nation.

Kunming, the "spring city" is the capital of Yunnan province. The climate and city are just wonderful. Not very much historical things to talk about comparing Beijing or Xian.

Jiuzhaigou and Zhangjiajie, two national forest parks in middle-west of China. I recommend these two places to those guys have been to China for ages and sort of thinking that my above illustration is too naive.

Finally Beijing, where I am living. It's a place you cant cross off from your schedule by all means. Dont think that its just home to those mad communists and hundreds of ancient empires. Believe or not, its also home to almost a million of foreign blokes, like you and me. You could easily find pubs and clubs with hundreds and hundreds of white boys and girls. Crazy, isn't it?
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Old Nov 12, 06, 10:48 am
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Lots of helpful advice; thank you!

Originally Posted by maxwelltodbradley
I spent lots of time in the Mainland these couple of years. Actually as China is more likely a collection of small nations given its different caracteristics in different region, I would suggest that you have to ask you a question "what you want to see?" before choosing which city you are going to visit in limited period of time.

Hong Kong is the best place for people who are willing spend tons of money on shopping around. Food in HK is also the most tasteful (and safe to eat) according to Western standard. Beijing food is sometimes too oriental.

If you want to see how developed the nation is now, you should go to Shanghai.

Lots of guys are loving Qingdao, a coastal city in North China. The city used to be Germany colony. The whole western part of city looks quite like Klagenfurt of Austria. But eastern part of city where you can find great Japanese and French shopping mall, 8 sandy beeches and over 10 *****hotels alongside the road (just like Dubai, hoho), and one of the nation's most famous and also beautiful mountains is just miles away from the city centre.

Xian, a very old city with lots of heritage. If you like history, old stories, things like that, Xian will not let you down. But generally speaking, like most of other western cities in China, Xian looks very much out of date if you happen to fly to there from Shanghai or Hong Kong.

Hangzhou, Wu Xi, Suzhou, these three cities are geographically in the same region, just hours away from Shanghai. They are so nice and unique with different characteristics from other parts of the nation.

Kunming, the "spring city" is the capital of Yunnan province. The climate and city are just wonderful. Not very much historical things to talk about comparing Beijing or Xian.

Jiuzhaigou and Zhangjiajie, two national forest parks in middle-west of China. I recommend these two places to those guys have been to China for ages and sort of thinking that my above illustration is too naive.

Finally Beijing, where I am living. It's a place you cant cross off from your schedule by all means. Dont think that its just home to those mad communists and hundreds of ancient empires. Believe or not, its also home to almost a million of foreign blokes, like you and me. You could easily find pubs and clubs with hundreds and hundreds of white boys and girls. Crazy, isn't it?
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