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China / Hong Kong / Taipei Award Routing Help

China / Hong Kong / Taipei Award Routing Help

Old Sep 9, 18, 3:35 pm
  #1  
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China / Hong Kong / Taipei Award Routing Help

Hey --

Looking into booking a multi-city itinerary for myself and my girlfriend to China/Surrounding Region in Early-Mid February.

I am not asking anyone to figure out everything for me, I have a decent grasp on finding awards, booking through partners, etc however I am not an expert in how to leverage stop-overs or similarly advanced tactics to minimize spending that I would love to utilize if possible, in order to avoid spending on inter-China flights once I am there -
Dates are flexible, however my 30th Birthday is Feb. 8th and I would prefer to actually be somewhere to celebrate, rather than have extensive travel on that day if possible.

The cities I am looking to hit, in order of priority are Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, and Beijing (primarily to see the great wall). My home airport is SAN but generally for international travel I commute up to LAX to increase my carrier options, anywhere in the southern California area would be ok though.

I have done some preliminary research, and it seems that my best option is to break the trip into mainland china (Shanghai/Beijing), and 'other regions' (Hong Kong/Taipei) for lack of a better term, in order to avoid needing a multi-entry visa to the mainland.

Not class sensitive, especially being only 5-ish months away - biz class would be great but we can deal with economy if there are no 'saaver level' fares in Biz.

Current point stash includes 185k AA miles, 93k UR, 110 MR, 45k Alaska, and 230k Marriott that I'm willing to transfer to an airline if it helps.

I would really appreciate if anyone could help me figure out my best strategy here, or if anyone has done a similar trip in the past and has any tips I can use to either get this booked, or enjoy once I am there.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 9, 18, 5:42 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by BryanChristopher View Post
Looking into booking a multi-city itinerary for myself and my girlfriend to China/Surrounding Region in Early-Mid February.

I am not asking anyone to figure out everything for me, I have a decent grasp on finding awards, booking through partners, etc however I am not an expert in how to leverage stop-overs or similarly advanced tactics
<snip>
Current point stash includes 185k AA miles, 93k UR, 110 MR, 45k Alaska, and 230k Marriott that I'm willing to transfer to an airline if it helps.
As far as I am aware only AS allows stop overs on awards. Others are point to point.

Low cost carriers can get you around Asia. Or even a train from HKG up to Peking - Shanghai.

You do not say how long for but Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, and Beijing would take many weeks (not days)
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Old Sep 9, 18, 9:40 pm
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You can apply for, and are quite likely to receive, a ten year multi-entry visa for China.
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Old Sep 11, 18, 6:17 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by BryanChristopher View Post

The cities I am looking to hit, in order of priority are Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, and Beijing (primarily to see the great wall). My home airport is SAN but generally for international travel I commute up to LAX to increase my carrier options, anywhere in the southern California area would be ok though.
I suggest you consider removing Shanghai from consideration if your days are limited. SH is a better place to live than BJ, but its tourism value pales in comparison. Furthermore, February is likely to be cold and rainy here, whereas Beijing is just cold and dry, likely with fairly clear air.

Last edited by moondog; Sep 11, 18 at 6:41 am
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Old Sep 11, 18, 7:16 am
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Chinese New Year 2019...

Originally Posted by BryanChristopher View Post
...
Dates are flexible, however my 30th Birthday is Feb. 8th and I would prefer to actually be somewhere to celebrate, rather than have extensive travel on that day if possible.
And keep in mind Lunar New Year is Feb 5th, 2019 so make your special arrangement, if any, accordingly.
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Old Sep 11, 18, 10:43 am
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Travel dates are right around Lunar new year so it will be tough to find deals.

You can redeem your AS and AA miles for CX travel so that's where I will start... LAX-HKG.

Once in HKG, you can find rather cheap airfares with LCC or even legacy carriers to TPE and PVG (although Lunar new year thing may pose some challenges).

Suggested itinerary: LAX-HKG-PVG [high speed train] PEK-TPE-(HKG)-LAX

The return leg thru HKG is only if you are redeeming on CX. Otherwise you can find TPE-LAX fare separately from CI or BR. Don't forget CI also flies TPE-ONT so that's another option.
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Old Sep 11, 18, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by BryanChristopher View Post

The cities I am looking to hit, in order of priority are Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, and Beijing (primarily to see the great wall). My home airport is SAN but generally for international travel I commute up to LAX to increase my carrier options, anywhere in the southern California area would be ok though.

I have done some preliminary research, and it seems that my best option is to break the trip into mainland china (Shanghai/Beijing), and 'other regions' (Hong Kong/Taipei) for lack of a better term, in order to avoid needing a multi-entry visa to the mainland.
You wouldn't be able to do a Shanghai/Beijing tandem trip with either a visa or a transit, third country scenario ( LAX-PEK-HKG-PVG-USA). TWOV applies to and requires you not to leave the district/region you enter. I haven't been to Shanghai but Beijing and Hong Kong are wonderful cities to visit.
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Old Sep 11, 18, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
And keep in mind Lunar New Year is Feb 5th, 2019 so make your special arrangement, if any, accordingly.
Hotels in BJ and SH are dirt cheap during 春节.
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