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China

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Perth
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China

Help please, I am flying to Beijing on the 28th of March and I am trying to plan and book my trip online to save money using the advise of trip adviser for hotels, tours and internal flights. So far with the help of trip adviser forums my plan goes like this, arrive Beijing on the evening of the 28th of March. Fly out of Beijing to Chengdu the afternoon of the 1st of April arrive in Chengdu ( to see and hold a panda) leaving Chengdu on the night of the 2nd of April arriving in to Guilin on same night, to travel and stay in Yangshou for 3 days leaving to fly to Shanghai on the 6th of April where we will depart for home in Perth the following evening. My external flights in to Beijing and out of Shanghai are all ready set. I am trying to be my own travel agent and have never been to China before so my questions are as follows: 1. Does this seem like a good plan? do I need more time or less in any of these places? ( I have alreday dropped Xian from my plans due to previous advice)

2. Should I book my tours once in the country to get them right for us and to save money? or pre-book on line?

3. As there are several options to fly in and out of Shanghai and Beijing - which airports should I be using?

4. What is the weather likely to be like at this time of year? (This is to help me pack the right clothes for this trip)

Thanks you or help and advice is greatly appreciated. Deb

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: China

1. your plan looks fine.

2. not sure you need tours but that's really up to you. In any case, I know nothing about this as I have never taken any.

3. Nearly all flights out of Beijing are from The Capital airport. For Shanghai there are two airport. To the extent that you can, try to fly out from Hongqiao rather than Pudong.

4. The weather will vary quite a bit depending on the city. Check here: http://www.worldweather.org/001/m001.htm

Clearwater, Florida
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2. Re: China

If your air is flexible, suggest you increase your time in Shanghai and Beijing, be sure to consider the length of your flight to Asia (Sleep you will need).

Our visit to Asia was 32 days.

We arrived in Shanghai 4-10-2012, We took a Taxi to the “Asset Hotel,” a Chinese businessman hotel, highly recommended by tripadvisor.com for a clean and comfortable hotel. Even with directions in Chinese and a map marked in Chinese the Taxi driver still had a little difficulty locating the hotel; Taxi fare 202 Chinese (CNY) or about US$32.

In Shanghai suggest visit "Old Street at Qibao Bridge, take a walk on the Bund by the river and in the evening visit the Financial Center the 2nd tallest bldg in the world and have a drink on the 97th floor in the Park Hyatt Hotel for a great view of Shanghai. Take the “Maglev” (high speed train 268MPH) Using the Metro take Line #7, Exit the subway at Longyang Road Station and leave the Metro Station using Exit #3 to the nearby Maglev Terminal. Now that was quite the experience, it makes the 32 km trip, or about 19 miles between the outskirts of Shanghai and the Pudong International Airport in less than 8 minutes.

In Beijing we stayed a week at the Holiday Inn Express Dongzhimen Hotel it is highly recommended on tripadvisors.com. Suggest a visit to Mutianyu Great Wall of China, -rent a taxi for the day 500(CNY) or abt $79.US as it is much less crowded than “The Badaling Great Wall of China."

Besides visiting Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace; and the Forbidden City using the Metro be sure to take a Rickshaw ride while in Beijing, I never paid more that 20 (CNY) abt $3.75US for a 20-25 minute ride, its a lot of fun.

For dinner you might like to try the famous Da Dong Peking Duck restaurant 1-2 Nanxincang Guoji Dasha, 22A Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng district, Beijing 100007; we didn’t have a reservation and were lucky to be seated in this very fine and popular restaurant; it was a real treat. The Peking duck was carved at your table and was excellent and the service and later touches after eating the duck meal made it a very special evening, berry ice cream served in champagne glasses followed by fresh fruit served over the clouds from dry ice, a lovely romantic evening; 505CNY or about $88. USA. Also the famous (Dumpling Place), Din Tai Fung 24 Xinyuanxi, absolutely delicious, the dumpling’s flavor explodes in your mouth in a great savory taste sensation. We had 20 steamed pork dumplings, 20 shrimp and pork steamed dumplings and later with 10 pork dumplings & 10 chicken dumplings served with soup & Tea; 327 CNY or about $52.US including all taxes; don’t miss this place; I am still drooling for these fantastic freshly steamed dumplings. Nearby and we found Xiang Man Lou (Beijing Xinyuan) No.11 Xinyuan Xili East Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China -a very nice looking large restaurant, it was very busy with perhaps 125-150 people dining in two large dining rooms, it’s a local restaurant, very clean and nice, the restaurant was very busy and we had no reservation, but the hostess was able to get us a table within 15 minutes; the owner stepped in and graciously helped the waitress with the order as we do not speak Chinese. We were the only English speaking western tourist in the restaurant. We had a (split) Peking Duck dinner, a beer and a sprite; The traditional duck comes served with all the fixings, like plum sauce, tooth pick size cucumbers, and spring onions. The duck is perfectly prepared, the steamed pancakes are thin but have that chewy resistance, and the sauce and other traditional accompaniment are deliciously fresh. It was excellent, 189 CNY or about $30.US. Directions: The restaurant is on the same side of the street and a few doors down from the original Din Tai Fung, closer to the Yu Yang Fan Dian (Yu Yang Hotel).

Traveler Tip. In China only use banks to convert currency; suggest if you are going to convert currency, bring only new bills i.e. $100. as we found the banks would not accept bills with a crease where the bill is normally folded over to put in your bocket. We generally converted about $200.US at a time and be sure to ask for 5, 10, and 20's for easy payment for services and to avoid getting ripped off when receiving change. Have a great trip. Sailorwoman

Cardiff
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3. Re: China

Hi, Thanks for asking the question Deb1301, we are planning a similar trip in 2013 - would like to know how you got on in China.

And thanks to Sailorwoman for a good post, we are going to try and complete your list - particularly the Rickshaw ride.

Airfix

Sherbrooke, Canada
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4. Re: China

It isgenerally recommended not to take the rickshaw rides. Most riders are dishonest and will aks for 300RMB after agreeing to 30. There are many negative reports on this forum.

It is also better to use ATMs to get local currency. Exchange your currency at the time can be a long process but if you do, bring your passport.

5. Re: China

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