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Trip Report 15 days in China: TRIP REPORT

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My husband and I, in our mid 50s but fit, just got back from 15 days in China. Our daughter is teaching kindergarten there, in cenral China (Zhengzhou), so we went to visit her and traveled a bit with her. We had a great flight on Air Canada, and found the transportation system in the bigger cities and between cities easy to use, including fast trains (G is fastest), a sleeper train (get the soft sleeper) and subways. At airports, fast train stations and subways, you will find English notices. At the regular train station, where we caught the sleeper train, there was no English and it was dirtier. But the sleeper train was one of our favorite experiences, even for my tall husband!! We booked a couple of our train passages with China DIY, and they were great. For a $10 fee, they set it up, explain everything, and even have videos of stations and what to do. I planned this trip myself, and we did most things on our own, but I hired a guide or driver for a few things if I thought it would be difficult due to language barrier or time constraint. Chinese people I generally found to be friendly, pleasant and the guides or drivers prompt and responsible. Other than some hassles at airports and in the markets, we didn't get hassled, and always felt safe. You could wander around with little concern. Violent crime is unusual, especially against Westerners. Chinese are not allowed to carry guns or knives. It was nice to feel comfortable and not worried about safety. At the airports, make sure you get taxis out of the regular lineup, and they will be fine, so long as you have your destination written in Chinese characters.Get a card from your hotel, or ask ahead of time. Make sure they turn on the meter.

Our trip included 3 nights in Beijing, 3 nights in Zhengzhou (with day trips to Longmen Grottoes/ Luoyang, and to hike Mt. Song Shan, which is adjacent to the Shaolin Temple), 3 nights in Yangshuo, 1 night in Ping An (Longji rice terraces) and 3 nights in Shanghai. We took a fast train from Beijing to ZZ, sleeper train from ZZ to Guilin, then bus to Yangshuo, a priver driver from Yangshuo to the rice terraces, and a plane from Guilin to Shanghai.

Here is my blog of our adventures. Really a great trip!

http://chinawithlaeschs.blogspot.com/2016_01_01_archive.html

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