We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

planning trip to china any suggestions

sydney
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Topic
planning trip to china any suggestions

My husband and I are planning a trip to China. We are deciding if better to pre-book with a travel agent or go direct over the net, any suggestions? We are flying into Shanghai from Sydney and out of Shanghai.(already booked) We have 2 weeks 11-24 August. We thought we would have 11-13 Aug in Shanghai and do a tour of the Yu Garden, Jade Budha Temple and the Bund and also see an acrobatics show. Then fly to Xian for 2 nights 13-15Aug, and do a tour of the Terracotta Warriors and the Hot Springs, and a Tang Dynasty Dinner & Show. Then fly to Beijing Where tour the Summer Palace & Lama Temple and the Great Wall & Ming Tombs from 15-21 Aug. Then back to Shanghai until the 24 Aug. We thought to do shopping and Zhouzhuang Excursion. Anybody have suggestions on cheapest way to do this ? Is it worth to see these sites on tours or easy to do by yourself? Are these sites worth seeing, or anybody have any better suggestions? Any hotel recommendations and where to book? Internal flights, where to book and saftey? Airport Transfer recommendations? Restaurant reccomendations ? Shopping recommendations? We are middle age travllers 50..and well traveled, just not in China. Any recommendations are much appreicated.

northampton, MA
Level Contributor
43 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: planning trip to china any suggestions

Everything I tell you will be out of date, but I think that only means it will be better now. When we were there all internal tickets were one way--you had to rebook to get back. In any case, I'd book the ticket to Xian at the airport when you arrive in Shanghai. Don't worry about transfers--there will be taxi drivers eager to take you to your hotel. Some will speak some English. You can bargain and if you don't speak Chinese, use gestures and hand signals. It is great fun and worth not getting the best price. We were never taken out of the way for extra money. But we did bargain too hard once and the cabbie went the wrong way on an exit ramp to a highway in order to make time. Very scary. We would have gladly paid extra for a slower ride.

Look at replies to Ginger2 for good hotels, and other forum replies for cheaper ones.

Ask the cab drivers for restaurants and shopping. Also at the hotel desks. I found the Ming Tombs moldy and boring. Just being on the street, looking at the architecture and people and riding the new high speed train would be my ideal.

We avoided hotel food that catered to tourists and never had any trouble eating on the street as long as we saw it being cooked on the spot.

Have fun. We'll probably return next year to see the changes.

northampton, MA
Level Contributor
43 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: planning trip to china any suggestions

the advice to Peggy on this forum is better than mine, I think.