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3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

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Luxembourg City...
posts: 2
reviews: 5
3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?


My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to China in September 2013 for 3 weeks. Is this a good time to travel? We are planning on going to the main spots Beijing, Xian, Guilinn, Yungshuo and Hong Kong. We are in our mid twenties but we think we will opt for a private tour. We were thinking of booking our own accommodation to try and save a bit of money?

Any tips/ideas anyone can share would be very much appreciated.


Dublin, California
posts: 11,501
reviews: 29
1. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

Lots of tips and ideas are listed on the Top Questions on the right side of this page.

Glasgow, United...
posts: 19
2. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

I suggest you go early September, because in late September, Chinese people will begin to travel for National Day holiday. That can really hurt your trip..

Taiyuan, China
Destination Expert
for Beijing
posts: 3,628
reviews: 157
3. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

I agree with avoiding the end of Sept. Otherwise, the general plan is good, and there is no reason you can't book your own hotels and flights on your own online (Ctrip is a good booking site).

Plan for at least 5 days in Beijing so you are not rushed, and also look to see if you want to do more in Xi'an than just the Terracotta Warriors.

San Diego...
posts: 8
reviews: 12
4. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

I was there in September 2012. September is probably the best weather month, warm but not too hot. We did arrange our own flight to and from Bejing, and 3 hotels, and a train passage. After 5 days we started a 15-day tour – hotels, transportation, and meals included. Consider a tour for all or a portion of your trip as it greatly simplifies travel and you might be able to arrange to have guides that speak your language. We did have English speaking guides during the tour portion. We found it surprising that many hotels will not allow foreign persons. You can also try to arrange guides and/or private tours for each destination on your own. Be aware that you cannot drink the tap water in China unless it is boiled first. Nicer hotels provide complimentary bottled water. Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai were our favorite portions of the trip. Guilin and Yangshuo were just okay and I probably would not visit those again. The air was pretty bad in Beijing except for the last day there. If you do a package tour, ask them to list all the shopping destinations that are included in the tour. Most of the tour operators include tours of facilities that lead to a shopping opportunity, such as seeing how a silkworm cocoon is turned into silk thread then silk goods, and then ending in a showroom selling such products. Tour operators get a portion of the sales revenue and can use it to keep their tour package costs low. So you may find what seems like a cheaper tour than another but it may have several of these shopping opportunities. There is no requirement to buy. Some are low key, some are not, and they usually last an hour or less. Product prices are highly inflated at these shopping tours. Since you will want to spend more time at sites and less in these shopping destinations it is best to determine how many of these occur. You can also compare the tour package cost versus the cost of what you can arrange on your own. Good luck.

posts: 3,996
reviews: 5
5. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

Many hotels will not allow foreign persons? Where did you get that impression? Did your guides tell you that?! The reality is that there are relatively few hotels that turn away foreigners and that's primarily because they don't want to deal with the reporting requirements of the Public Security Bureau. And most of those are either in out-of-the-way spots and/or on the lower end.

For the places described in the original post, I can't imagine why a tour would be needed. Maybe a locally-engaged guide for selected places on selected days, but generally an advance read of a good guidebook will be all that is needed. It's easy enough to book flights and hotels oneself.

San Diego...
posts: 8
reviews: 12
6. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

We were told by the hotels we had contacted. We contacted several hotels in Beijing prior to departure and they replied that they do not allow foreigners but we did eventually find a very nice hotel. Similar situation for Chongqing as we also contacted 3 hotels in Chongqing prior to our departure and the first 2 indicated no foreigners. My wife has relatives in Chongchun and we planned to stay with them a few days. After we arrived they said their shower wasn’t working but we were still welcome to stay and could still clean up in the bathroom but not with the shower. We stayed there one night but decided we would go to a hotel for the next 2 nights. We tried 5 hotels in the area until we found one that would accept foreigners.

Edited: 7:29 pm, October 16, 2012
Guilin, China
posts: 206
reviews: 22
7. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

I think you can add some more destinations if your budget is allow. Shanghai and the surrounded water towns can be a consideration.

And also Yunnan will be another one if you are interested in beautiful scenery. And Sept will be a good time for visit this place.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Macau
posts: 18,970
reviews: 170
8. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

i stay in very cheap hotels, sometimes guesthouses when I travel and have never found a hotel that doesn't take foreigners. I suspect these are only located in suburbs or small towns, and they are too lazy to do the paperwork to register a foreigner (or don't know how too).

posts: 2
reviews: 1
9. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

We are doing 21 days with China Travel Service ex Sydney from Sept 1, 2013. Very pleased with comments about the weather. Our tour seems extensive but not sure about the exposure to retail shops where commissions might be received. We experienced similar in Egypt in 2010.

Beijing, China
Destination Expert
for Beijing
posts: 5,000
reviews: 82
10. Re: 3 weeks in China September 2013, any ideas or tips?

Is there a reason why you've dredged up this old thread?