A 2007 ITINERARY

Old Nov 5th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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A 2007 ITINERARY

I'm taking my mom to China (both first timers) in September, 2007. After reading multiple threads on this site and others, I've pretty much decided that I can take care of booking internal flights and hotels once I arrive in Beijing. My mom seems to think that a tour might be good but I refuse.

So far, our itinerary looks like:
Beijing
Xi'an
Chengdu?
Lhasa
Shanghai

After a lot of reading it sounds like the best place to book a Lhasa tour is from Chengdu as there are more flights than from Xi'an??? Should I be at all concerned about showing up in Chengdu only to find that ALL seats are full and there's no way to get to Tibet? Should I book the Lhasa flights when I get to Beijing to be sure we can get to Tibet and just handle the visa, etc. when I get to Chengdu?

I can figure out the rest of the trip fairly easily but adding Tibet (which is a must for both of us) has put a new challenge in planning and I don't want to mess things up for us.

Also - how did you find a good guide? I typically just hire one that the hotel suggests which is a bit more expensive but easy to do. I know that there are some good sites for booking guides, etc. and would love to hear your favorites.

I've all but decided that the river cruise is a waste of time after doing a lot of research. Sounds expensive and sounds like I'd be stuck in a very Western experience which sounds absurd to me after flying all of the way to China.

As always, Fodorites, your responses are greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 07:09 AM
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Liz...my second China visit is now in planning stages for March-April. I, too, am avoiding the Yangzi..but Iam returining to Guilin for the Li River and Yangshuo experiences again. You might want to include a day or two in Guilin for the Li...uniquely scenic.
Cost is now about $50 one way includig a bus ride back to Guilin.
Stu T.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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Hi Liz, I am also considering Lhasa the next (3rd) time I go t0 China, but am worried about the altitude for my mom (a very fit 73)/ Also, althouth my sister and I are both athletic, we have asthma, so are concerned about that as well. The question I posed on this board was not encouraging.

If you decide against Lhasa for any reason, Lijiang and Dali are wonderful as is Xishuanbana.

Please keep me posted regarding the Lhasa info, I am interested in this. How old is mom, if you don't mind my asking?
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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I had always wanted to go to Shanghai but when I finally got there, found it disappointing. There was enough for a day and that was it.


I would change Shanghai to Hong Kong though if you aren't flying home from there you would presumably need another visa?
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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I, too would ixnay Shanghai. It's not that it was a disappointment, but Hong Kong is so much better. Or, if you are not so keen on a big, modern city, either add Guilin/Yangshou or Lijiang/Dali, depending on what your interests are and what you are trying to accomplish.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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While I agree Shanghai isn't really worth more than a day, I would give it that day for the Museum - I went to Shanghai on my last trip to China solely to revisit the museum. Shanghai is also a reasonable base for a visit to Suzhou.

How much time do you have? Adding Chengdu and Lhasa to a short trip wouldn't make sense - and you need to allow extra time in Lhasa to acclimatize.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 07:46 PM
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So I'm hearing shorten Shanghai, extend Lhasa and definitely do Hong Kong.

Thanks for your input.

My mom is 57 and we're both in reasonable health. I can see us spending 3 nights in Lhasa but that would be about it.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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From what I understand, one doesn't need the "permit" to visit Tibet anymore, starting 10/1/06. Now, just buy your plane ticket. Since flights are still limited, yes, I'd book it once you get to Beijing.
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Old Nov 8th, 2006, 07:25 PM
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Thanks Rkkwan...I'll check that out...would simplify our travel immensely.
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