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1st China trip, going with Chinese GF, need destinations from insiders.

1st China trip, going with Chinese GF, need destinations from insiders.

Jan 28th, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
1st China trip, going with Chinese GF, need destinations from insiders.

I'll be in China June 11-24. I'm going with my girlfriend who is Chinese so getting around, etc isn't a problem. We fly into Beijing and will tour it our first day, and our last 3-4 days we'll spend with her parents near Tianjin.

The rest of that time, I want to make a loop, and I'm looking for advice from people in the know.

My GF is suggesting Yunnan for 3-4 days and coming back to Shanghai and then Tianjin. Any other ideas? I thought this was too far and we'd be rushed.

I'd really like to get the nature and big city stuff, not as much into to ancient history.

Thanks!

btw the second leg of our flight will be on an A380!! YES!!
half_duplex is offline  
Jan 28th, 2014, 03:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,854
Only one day in Bejing? Some travelers spend a week. How many days is the "rest of the time"?
Shanghainese is offline  
Jan 28th, 2014, 07:05 PM
  #3  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,573
A decent guide book or two should serve you very well. You might also want to read some of the trip reports. Good luck!
kja is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 04:53 AM
  #4  
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@Shanghainese - Yes, we were thinking just the first day in Beijing in order to save time for a more remote location. The rest of the time would be 7 days 8 nights.
For me, I am a little more interested in the natural sights, so I'm prepared to only reserve a day or too in the large cities.
half_duplex is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 04:57 AM
  #5  
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Quick note, my gf talked to one of her friends in China and he suggested a tour that would handle internal travel, etc, and he suggested this tour/company.

http://vacations.ctrip.com/grouptrav...urce=&isctrip=
half_duplex is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 05:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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So will go to China and will not see the Great Wall, the Forbidden city and Temple of Heaven?
Yunnan is nice but not sure it is worth to go that far at the other end of the country for just 3 days.
I would do Beijing over Shanghai.
I guess your girlfriend has her own reasons for suggesting this itinerary (like the fact that she has been to Beijing numerous times since Tianjin is next to Beijing) and you need to keep the girl happy! ;-)
JPDeM is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 06:14 AM
  #7  
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She is actually fine with me picking all of the destinations as it's my first trip. As for the places you mentioned, I think I'd be more interested in the natural/technical wonders of China as opposed to the ancient side of it. Also, REALLY looking forward to the food first and foremost.
As for Yunnan, I do think it's far but everything she's hearing is that it's worth it. Hmmm
Thoughts?
half_duplex is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 07:12 AM
  #8  
 
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You do not need a tour. People travel successfully on their own in China without a word of Mandarin, and you are traveling with a native speaker.

There is more to Beijing, and certainly to Shanghai, than "history" (and much of the "historical" in China is actually fake) but I really cannot imagine spending only one day in Beijing.

If by "Yunnan" (the name of a rather large province) you mean the area around Lijiang it is certainly beautiful, although heavily touristed. You can fly there. A closer heavily touristed scenic area is around Guilin. Or you could pick one of the several sacred mountains or islands (Putuoshan is convenient for Shanghai).

What "technical wonders" (other than the egregious Three Gorges Dam) did you have in mind?

Have you actually looked at a guidebook to see what attracts you?
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 07:44 AM
  #9  
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By Yunnan, I mean one of the 3-5 day tours of Yunnan Province... Dali, Lijiang, Shangrila, etc.

Technical wonders... their rail system, urban areas, etc. Think I may reconsider my original idea about a small time in Beijing.

I've looked at a few guides, online mostly, plenty to interest me.
-Yunnan
-Guilin
- too many to mention.

Because I want to use the rail system, and it's extensive, it's a little overwhelming with so many options being on the table.
half_duplex is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 08:15 AM
  #10  
 
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Well, you're not going to take the train to Yunnan with the short time you have. It's a day and a half from Beijing to Kunming. The trains these days are fine, although no better than the ones in Europe, you can ride one from Shanghai to Tianjin.

Technical wonders in the urban areas.... Ah yes, all those empty apartment blocks... You'll find what you're looking for in Pudong in Shanghai.

As I said, you don't need a tour for Yunnan. Fly via Kunming to Lijiang. You can eat well anywhere in China, especially traveling with a local, but the food will often not be what you're used to in Chinese restaurants in the US.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 12:01 PM
  #11  
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Who said I was going to take the train to Yunnan? LOL And are you saying I can't get General Tsos Chicken!!?

Here is a rough draft for those who might be interested.

Arrive in Beijing PM, spend the next day.
Fly to Yunnnan for either tour or self guided adventure.
Back to Shanghai, explore a day or two.
Train to Tianjin for family.
Back home.
half_duplex is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 06:38 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Your draft is exactly what your GF suggested, do it to keep her happy. It is not what Fodorites in the know would recommend for a 1st time trip to China.
Shanghainese is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 07:13 AM
  #13  
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You're suggestion is to spend more time in Beijing right?

I'd be fine with that, as long as I got to get away to a remote area for some trekking. Any suggestions on that? Otherwise I think I have a plan in place (her plan) so I'll see how it goes. Either way, going to be a blast.
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Feb 12th, 2014, 06:23 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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if you would go to Yunnan province, you can fly to lijiang,then, go Shangri la or dali.and you can also go to sichuang province because it is just nearby Yunnan. you can go through shangrila to sichuang if your girlfriend can drive.another good choice is to go through shangri la to tibet,is beautiful but is a bit dangerous,not recomand for the first trip.
Beijing and Shanghai is just ok for me.I live in Beijing and have visited shanghai 3 times(but still not like that place).maybe you can go suzhou from shanghai,is just take about 20-30minutes to go there.and hangzhou,too.just like beijing to tianjin,very close.
Tiilll is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 10:57 PM
  #15  
 
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If you would like to see nature, fly to Guilin for having Li River cruise or hiking on the Longji Rice Terraces. There are also high speed bullet train between Beijing & Guilin. And I think 1 day in Beijing is not enough, but do suggest you go to Mutianyu Great Wall
AnnaS4 is offline  
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