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23 Days in China - The Trip Report Begins!

23 Days in China - The Trip Report Begins!

Old May 22nd, 2008, 08:19 PM
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Nywoman, You can put "Shanghainese" in the search box and her posts/comments will come up on the left. Then click on each one.

You said you read Marksfour's TR for China so you have had the pleasure of reading her excellent and very funny report. Any other comments/questions she has posted may be found in the same way.

I'm glad you read ekscrunchy's wonderful report.

Unlike other forums, this one doesn't seem to have an email notification system. I just keep checking back in....

Syl - I'll do my best to respond to your message tomorrow. I've had to work for the past few days and haven't had a block of time for the fun stuff... sorry for the delay, but sometimes work gets in the way. I promise to write very soon.

Marksfour - One of these days, after I finish the hotel reviews and a report for Chowhound, I'm going to try to add my photographs to the text on a blog I set up before the trip. First I have to figure out/remember where the blog is!!! One of these days I'd enjoy viewing DD's photos and I will share more of mine.

BTW I got good news last night. The Principal of the school we visited in Shanghai is interested in working with us to start our program at the school, so I hope to get back there several times next year (if I can secure funding for the project). Then I can shop and eat more dumplings, visit Hangzhou again and finally see the Suzhou gardens.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 03:04 AM
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Thanks Linda,

Am getting a little more comfortable with Fodors format and have figured out what to do. Have managed to read all the trip reports.
There are not enough days, even if I stretch the trip to its limit to try all the restaurants, but am sure going to try.

It seems as if I am leaning very strongly towards a home stay in Beijing. The host family will also act as guide and chauffeur. I did something similar in India and it was very nice. Haven't made up my mind yet exactly how I am doing this.

Will be gone for Memorial Day weekend but look forward to participating when I get back
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Nywoman,

I had long lists of places where I wanted to eat, especially in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Whatever didn't get eaten on this trip will have to wait for the next one!

What website do you use for home stays? I know I read about something like that in Yangshuo, but not in Beijing, so I'm intrigued.

After speaking with you last night, I tried clicking on the name, and that also brought up the previous posts... an easier way to do, so I'm still learning, too!

Have a great weekend.

Linda
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Old May 24th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Hi Linda,

I read your entire trip report! Loved every minute of it. I'm heading to China in October (10 Oct - 3 Nov, 24 nights) and have received lots of great advise from our fellow fodorites. I was in NYC 2 weekends ago and met up with Ekscrunchy. I've been planning my trip for a year now. Taking my Mom's cousin with me. We're both excited. Doing this as an independent trip too. We'll be heading to a lot of the same places as you, but also including Chengdu to see the pandas.

I'm booked at the Salisbury YMCA (booked it last year directly with the hotel). I have a full view room. How did you like your partial view?

You stayed at the HNA Huagang. Did you see any other hotels in Hangzhou that you might have wanted to stay in? I have not researched hotel options for Hangzhou yet. Looking forward to reading your hotel review on TA.

I'm glad to know about the blue and turquoise taxis and your "meters only" mantra.

Sounds like you had some fabulous dumplings while in Shanghai. Did you have any other restaurants on your list that you missed that you'd like to share?

I'll have to re-read your journal (I printed it out 2-sided - 33 pages!).

Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip!

Monica
http://www.pileggiphotography.com
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Old May 24th, 2008, 02:04 PM
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Hi Monica,

The partial view room was exactly as advertised. We could see the harbor, but had a building blocking part of it. For us, partial view was fine... I always enjoy looking at water views, but didn't feel that for three nights (following exhausting days) it was worth it to get the full harbor view.

The HNA Huagang was disappointing in that it was sort of shabby. You do get what you pay for, however, and the price was great considering it was a holiday weekend and included a huge buffet breakfast. We also found the location to be handy to the end of the lake we planned to visit. The view outside our room was so lovely, that my photographs (taken from the window) look like Monet paintings. So whether you'd want to stay there will depend on what's important to you. That hotel choice was probably my most difficult - I spent a lot of time agonizing over the selection since no one hotel seemed to perfectly suit our needs.

The Shanghai restaurants on my original list included the following: Zen, DTF, Shanghai Uncle, Chun, Jia Jia Tong Bao, Xin Ji Shi (Heaven and Earth), Old Jishi or Jesse, Nanxiang, Bao Luo, Lost Heaven Yunan Restaurant, Charmant, Jasmine, Fragrant Camphor Garden and maybe South Beauty (might just wait for Beijing). Having eaten at Zen, Shanghai Uncle, Jia Jia, Old Jishi (also known as Jesse), and Nanxiang, you can see which ones are still to be explored.

I'm glad you enjoyed the trip report. I really wanted to be of help to travelers like you who are still planning their trips.

Linda
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Old May 25th, 2008, 06:54 AM
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Hi Monica,

If you want some infomation about the Hangzhou hotels, here is a website for you: www.elong.com
Hope this will be helpful to you.

It has English versions, but I didn't see comments in English, so it may be a little difficult for you to choose. If you have some hotels in mind from this website and want to know some Chinese comments, I'm glad to help you.

Rebecca

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Old May 25th, 2008, 08:47 AM
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Linda this is fabulous! I only had time for part of the report but will be returning again and again!

I had no idea that Yan'gs Dumplings was right near Jia Jia!!! I am very impressed, too, by your dumpling capacity!!!! And good to know that Jia Jia now has english on their menu!

I never heard of Art Alley In Shanghai!!

Will get back to this soon but for now, you have made me very hungry, both for xlb and for a return trip to China!!!
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Old May 25th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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I was also in NYC 2 wknds ago.If I would have known, I would have loved to join you.Actually, my group of 6 is meeting with JP de M, an avid Trip Advisor poster, in a few weeks here in Montreal.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 05:22 AM
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Hi Linda,

Thanks for the information on the two hotels and your restaurant list! I do have a full harbor view room and got confirmation yesterday from the hotel for their Oct/Nov room prices. I was able to get a discount using a government rate.

I havenít decided what weíll be doing in Hangzshou yet, so Iíll have to compare your hotel with others later. Thanks Rebecca for the web site. Iíll check it out.

Hi Sly, I usually post a ďfodoriteĒ get together for my trips, but didnít for NYC since friends of ours was flying in from Vermont I wish I had now!

Hi Ekscrunchy!!

Monica
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Old May 29th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Monica,

I'm glad Rebecca was able to be of help. It's good to hear that you got a great rate on the Salisbury Y... government rates are the best! I wish I could get those prices instead of the ones I normally pay.

We'll look forward to hearing about your trip both before and after you go.

Linda
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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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Hi Linda,

I actually wrote to the Salisbury YMCA today to get their partial-view prices. If it's significant, I might go with partial and save the money for food or shopping. I'm sure we'll have good opportunities to see the city skyline at night.

Monica
http://www.pileggiphotography.com
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Old May 29th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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Hi,your trip was fablous.It was amzaing.You know I am a Chinese lives in Zhenjiang,Jiangsu,China.Have you ever been to Zhenjiang?
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Old May 30th, 2008, 06:03 AM
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Linda,

I got an email from the Salisbury YMCA this morning and the difference in price between the partial view room and full harbor veiw room is only $21/night. For that, Iíll ďsplurgeĒ and stick with the full harbor view room. Who knows when Iíll get back to Hong Kong.

Monica
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Old May 30th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Monica,
What is your final itinerary? My mind is so boggled down at this point with all the places to see and all the things I want to do.
Since I will be flying from Seoul to Beijing, traveling in China and then on to Vietnam I feel overwhelmed with choices.
It seems that I will be following in your footsteps. I arrive in Beijing October 17.

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Old May 30th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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NYwoman,

Here's my final itinerary:

9 October 2008 Thursday: Washington Dulles to Beijing

10 October Friday: Arrive Beijing
11 October Saturday Beijing
12 October Sunday Beijing
13 October Monday Beijing
14 October Tuesday Beijing
15 October: Beijing for the day; Overnight train to Shanghai

16 October Thursday: Arrive Shanghai
17 October Friday: Shanghai
18 October: Day trip to Suzhuo or Tongli

19 October: A.M. D train to Hangzhou
20 October Monday: Hangzhou

21 October Tuesday: Morning flight to Xian; city sightseeing
22 October Wednesday: Xian - Terra Cotta Warriors, etc.

23 October Thursday: a.m. flight to Chengdu; city sightseeing
24 October Friday: Early a.m. visit to the Panda Preserve; afternoon to Sanxingdui Bowuguan or to Haunglongxi
25 October Saturday: Luodai (10 km east of Chengdu); Afternoon in Chengdu for sightseeing

26 October Sunday: Fly to Guilin; taxi to Yangshuo (Li River Retreat)
27 October Monday: Li River boat trip.
28 October Tuesday: Yangshuo -Morning bike ride or Fuli (market) visit; afternoon Cooking Class
29th October Wednesday: Yangshuo Ė Xing Ping market; another boat ride?

30th October Thursday: Fly to Hong Kong (Salisbury YMCA)
31st October Friday: Hong Kong
1 November Saturday: Hong Kong
2 November Sunday: Hong Kong
3 November Monday: Hong Kong - Fly home.

I'm going to post this under a new thread, as I have a couple of questions.

Monica
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Thank You so much
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 12:39 PM
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Thank you Monica. I know you have worked really hard on this itinerary and it sounds wonderful.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Thanks Nywoman! It's been fun planning this trip along with such good advise from fellow fodorites.

Let me know your itinerary once you put it together. mjpileggi @comcast.net

Monica
http://www.pileggiphotography.com
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 08:05 AM
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Dear Friends,

My TR has gotten a little "hijacked" lately, so I wanted to get back to our Trip. Since our return I have enjoyed a continuing correspondence with our wonderful guides, Violet and Kong Lin, Clarence, and Jeff, and Lilly Lu, and our Hangzhou Translator, Rebecca. All are involved in correspondence with some of the people who read my posts here and on Trip Advisor and have contacted them.

I have also heard from the wonderful young people of the Li River Retreat. Jasmine is my most faithful correspondent. If you go to the Li River Retreat, please be sure to give her a big hello. She tells me Steve has left the hotel (not sure if it's temporary or permanent).

I have loved the on-going correspondence... in a very real way, the trip continues in this way.

Please feel free to continue asking questions.

Linda
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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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Dear Linda,

Apologies, you are so right.
Am not used to this format where one can not e-mail back channel,

Will have more questions when I am feeling a little less overwhelmed by the planning. Right now I am on overload.
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