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Beijing, Xian and Shanghai in October
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# 1
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fruitpie
Old 31-07-2006, 11:39 AM
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Default Beijing, Xian and Shanghai in October

Hi All

Off to China in October - any tips appreciated as we only have 9 days to do a whirl wind tour of the major attractions. Beijing 3 nights, Xian 2 nights and Shanghai 4 nights. Cheers.
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# 2
Voyager2002
Old 31-07-2006, 12:12 PM
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First tip: cut out at least one of those cities. Otherwise it will be intensely frustrating, spending time travelling with no time for sight-seeing when there.

Second tip: try to spend some time out in the countryside. Maybe you could go from Beijing to a distant and rural section of the great wall.

I hope that you are planning internal travel by train. Hard sleeper is fine -- a good way to meet friendly people, and of course saves a night's hotel bill. If you fly, you waste a lot of time travelling to/from airports and hanging around there. But make sure that your train journeys are reserved as far in advance as possible.

Do make sure that you have Nationwide cards in order to get access to your money: they work in the ATMs at Beijing's airport, and many other places. No need for an airport taxi -- the shuttle bus from the airport is very convenient and affordable.
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# 3
fruitpie
Old 31-07-2006, 12:27 PM
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Hi Voyager

Thanks for the quick reply.... all booked I'm afraid - so can not change anything. Understand totally about time travelling and distance, but annual leave from work dictate time !

A quick taster in each city, and hopefully return next year with more time available.

What do you recommend for Beijing ? We have an all day tour booked to take us to the wall and Ming Tombs - is it worth going to the Tombs - I have just read somewhere that its boring and not worth a visit ? Cheers
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# 4
ianfao
Old 31-07-2006, 1:52 PM
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The tombs are quite dull. make sure you go to Tianeman Square and The Forbidden City. Are you still doing 4 nights in Shanghai? I would have had an extra night in Xian and Beijing and 2 nights in Shanghai. Xian is an excellent city to explore. Make sure you go to the muslim quarter and also walk around the wall of the city.
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# 5
fruitpie
Old 31-07-2006, 6:46 PM
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Hi Ianfao

Thanks for your input.. 3 nights Beijing. 2 nights Xian and 4 Shanghai.

Of course like Voyager2002 says - its travelling time in between cities. We arrive at 09.30 in Beijing, and so will check in at the hotel and then straight out again.

Been trying to find info regarding the Ming Tombs - it does look a bit un-interesting/dull ! Any further tips ? Cheers Mate.
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# 6
black-saturn
Old 31-07-2006, 6:52 PM
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I've gor no advice to give but just wanted to say hope you have a great time
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# 7
carly
Old 31-07-2006, 7:08 PM
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The forbidden city is a Must! Try to get to a less commercial part of the Great Wall if you can. Terracotta Army is amazing at Xian. Have a look at "Travelsphere's " tour brochures online. They go to all the tourist hotspots. the summer palace was good too. I really cant remember all the places we went too. It all went by in a blur! Can't wait to go back and do it all at our own speed.
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# 8
Dasnookster
Old 31-07-2006, 7:10 PM
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I did a ten day tour a number of years ago now, went to Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Guilin. Had an excellent time and the length of time in each place was not a problem at all. Of course if you have no time limits extra time everywhere would be ideal, but as you have time constraints - as I did - its great to see different areas of a country, plus the fact that everything is so different from the UK that everywhere you go - even when you are travelling, there are many many things see.

We went to the Terracotta Warriors and found that quite interesting.

One word of warning, I tried to take a photograph of an old lady sitting at the side of the road shelling nuts and she went absolutely beserk and chased me, throwing handfuls of shells at me!!!! Apparently some Chinese people feel that you are stealing their soul by taking photographs of them!!! I laughed later, but it quite shook me at the time.
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# 9
ianfao
Old 31-07-2006, 7:36 PM
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Hello again. In Beijing also go to the Temple of Heaven. It is best to go early in the morning ie around 8am as you will also see all the oldies doing their Tai Chi exercises and it is absoloutely fascinating to see. If time allows try and go out to the Summer Palace.

I wouldn't worry too much about the zoo unless it has changed greatly since I went. If they haven't all been pulled down to make way for skyscrapers do a tour of the Hutongs which are the old style housing areas. Also the bell tower and drum tower are interesting and give great views of Beijing.

If yo ugo to the markets make sure you haggle and haggle hard. Whatever price they start at make sure you go very low and then meet about half way. Walk away and they will call you back I promise.

In Xian make sure you have the noodles they are so tasty. Also watch them being made it is very impressive.

My other top tip would be to make sure when you are in restaurants do not eat the food with your chopsticks by placing them directly into the food. Spoon the food out of the dish into your bowl. If you are sat at a table with a lot of people all dipping their chopsticks into the food and then into their mouths and then back into the food, well need I say more!!

You will have a fantastic time and remember that China is not a holiday it is an experience and you will need a holiday when you get home.
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# 10
jen_jen
Old 31-07-2006, 8:28 PM
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hey, im doing this tour in January so will you let me know how it goes and what is a must and what is a dont do. im going with travelscope, if you are too let me know if they are any good. enjoy

on another post someone suggested the opera and ballroom dancing in the squares - hopefully they will return with more info
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# 11
fruitpie
Old 31-07-2006, 8:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black-saturn
I've gor no advice to give but just wanted to say hope you have a great time
Thanks Black Saturn... can hardly wait to go now...
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# 12
fruitpie
Old 31-07-2006, 8:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carly
The forbidden city is a Must! Try to get to a less commercial part of the Great Wall if you can. Terracotta Army is amazing at Xian. Have a look at "Travelsphere's " tour brochures online. They go to all the tourist hotspots. the summer palace was good too. I really cant remember all the places we went too. It all went by in a blur! Can't wait to go back and do it all at our own speed.
Hi Carly

Thanks for that..

so many places to see in the world and not enough time or money ..... although through Martin's site - we are saving loads ... so China maybe next year too.
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# 13
nearlyrich
Old 31-07-2006, 9:06 PM
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My OH fancies China for a holiday, is there a particular time of year that is better or worse to go there?
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# 14
tulip1
Old 31-07-2006, 9:38 PM
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Hi we are off to China in September with Kuoni doing a 9 day escourted tour, Beijing 3 nights, 2 nights Chengde, 2 nights Xian, 2 nights Shanghai then on to Sanya for 3 nights - the relaxing bit- finishing off in Hong Kong for 3 nights to shop. We were advised to go in September as it is not so hot or humid. Can not wait for the experience and I think you may be right Ianfao we will need another holiday to get over it!!! I will let you know how we get on. Any tips before we go would help.
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# 15
Dasnookster
Old 31-07-2006, 10:06 PM
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I went in April, the weather was good for sightseeing. The sun was out, but it was more jean/trousers and t-shirt weather, a bit too cold for shorts, but definitely warm enough not to need fleece.
You never know how far you can fly, till you spread your wings.
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# 16
fruitpie
Old 01-08-2006, 5:13 PM
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Hi Tulip1

Glad to hear you are going too. What date do you fly out - we fly to Beijing on 27 September.
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# 17
fruitpie
Old 01-08-2006, 5:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen_jen
hey, im doing this tour in January so will you let me know how it goes and what is a must and what is a dont do. im going with travelscope, if you are too let me know if they are any good. enjoy

on another post someone suggested the opera and ballroom dancing in the squares - hopefully they will return with more info
Hi Jen-jen. Will let you know what we think, although we tend to like/accept everywhere we go - just have to take things for what they are, and enjoy. Thats the experience of travelling don't you think ?

We booked flights and hotels with Thomas Cook, but will arrange our sightseeing trips ourselves. We dont like being " coached " around and going to jewelry,silk and tea, etc shops ... Cheers
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# 18
bingobango
Old 01-08-2006, 5:35 PM
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9 days is perfect for a quick tour, better to leave each city on a high I say! You could spend much more time in each, but 9 days is a lovely length trip.

In Xian, hire bikes out (on the wall) and cycle around the wall (about 9 miles). Lovely views and you get to see Xian from a different view (the wall is about 30ft high, and about 9 miles long if I remember correctly).

Shanghai - boat cruise to see the lights at night. Nanjing Che for shopping.

Beijing - Eat duck! What else! (oh and Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tianamen Square etc)

China is amazing.

Don't be initimidated by people staring (you'll get a lot of it), they are just curious about westerners (assuming you're a westerner of course).

Enjoy!
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# 19
fruitpie
Old 01-08-2006, 6:08 PM
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Hi Bingobango

Thanks for your input too.

Coming home from Oz last year we stopped in Hong Kong for 10 days - had a ball there. After sleepy Perth - HK was a buzz - we loved it.

Agree about them looking at you, we caught a tram on HK island just thinking it went along "the sea front" just like Blackpool !!! ended up way,way past Happy Valley Race Course and surrounded by very high rise flats (millions of little windows) when we finally plucked up courage to get off the tram - I think the natives thought we had landed from the moon... incidentely, they were all very friendly and helped us get on the correct tram back again... hardly any of them spoke English. We loved it ....

How much time, roughly, will it take for us to see Forbidden City, T Square and Terracotta Warriors ? ... Cheers ...
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# 20
bingobango
Old 01-08-2006, 6:40 PM
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Forbidden City, T Square - half dayish depending on how quick you walk through

Terracotta Warriors - at least half a day, but it's prob about an hour outside Xian. It's overwhelming how many there are (you'll see ;> )
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