A redhead in China

Old Jan 4th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Thank you all for the kind comments!

I had such a wonderful time and want to share that and encourage others to go if they're interested. Traveling independently in China really is a lot easier than it sounds and the people are so nice.

Before I left I heard from a lot of people that it was probably not very safe for a young female to travel to, and within, China on her own. Now that I've been there, I couldn't disagree with that idea more. Not once did I ever feel even slightly unsafe or threatened. The crowds could be overwhelming as I'm simply not used to huge crowds, but they never worried me.
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Old Jan 5th, 2011, 11:13 AM
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This was seriously funny! So well written and very enjoyable. I came across this while researching Shanghai since I am going there solo in March.

I think I might dye my hair red as I may enjoy a bit of attention! Thanks for helping me look forward to the trip even more.

You are also a pilot. How wonderful. I would have loved to have been one. I am so envious...in a nice way though!
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Old Jan 5th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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My hair was red my third trip to China (henna on grey does that) and I did get some extra attention - mostly from older guys, though.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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Dear Iowa_Redhead,

Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us. I have been to Beijing and loved it (esp. the Great Wall) and look forward to returning to China and maybe seeing some of the sights you got to.

You made me laugh about the glass floors. My younger daughter and I both hate glass floors (and heights).

Where are you headed next?

gruezi
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 09:01 AM
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Gruezi,

Glad I could make you laugh!

As for where next, I'm not entirely sure yet. I'm looking at Africa but keep thinking about Antarctica instead. Both sound so amazing but I'm not sure if I can work Antarctica into my budget this year as it's probably about twice as expensive as Africa would be. I can't take more vacation time until next December so I have time to figure it out.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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A friend went to Antartica last year and the photos were amazing. He loved it.

I of course vote for Africa!

Yeah, I hate that whole issue of vacation days - a real bummer.

gruezi
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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I loved the minuscule details, and the pictures that went along with the narration. Great job.

I went to Beijing in the 1990s. I didn't think it was all that long ago till I saw your pictures, and realize now that China has leapt light years ahead!
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Great report, Redhead! I could not find it in your report, but what hotel did you stay at in Beijing? how was it?
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 06:26 PM
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I stayed at the Jade Garden Hotel (aka Hotel Kapok).


Beijing - Jade Garden Hotel - 498RMB/night with breakfast included.

The breakfast was fantastic, the room was nice but nothing special. The location was good, but it was a 15 minute walk or so to the Metro stop (I‘m pretty sure that was the closest). I liked being walking distance to Tiananmen Square but it would have been nice to be closer. On the other hand, Wanfujing was literally just a couple blocks away and if you wish to shop at those ritzy stores the hotel is in a fantastic location for you.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 06:53 PM
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thanks for the info!
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 03:55 PM
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Excellent report, thank you for sharing! You have definitely inspired me!
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 08:35 PM
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I really enjoyed reading your trip report. It helped me relive our trip to China. It truly is a fantastic country and I really want to go back. Our first trip was an escorted tour, but your report has inspired me to see if we can do a more independent trip next time.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 08:50 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it!

If I can get myself around as easily as I did, alone and knowing only hello and thank you, there is no reason why other people can't do the same thing! It sounds much more daunting than it really was.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 06:28 PM
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Hi, Redhead:

How did you find your private driver (Joe Qiao) to the Great Wall? What did it cost in RMB? We are going to China in August and I'd like to go to a section of the wall on our own.

Thank you!
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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Thanks again for a great report and for posting your photos! China is on my wishlist.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 10:52 AM
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Frog, I found Joe using TripAdvisor. He was fantastic and I would recommend him to anyone. I paid 700RMB for the day. He had just gotten his new car when I was there and there was a bit of confusion as to dates he could drive in Beijing due to the new license on his car. He borrowed a car from someone (his friend or brother) so that I could still go on the day I had chosen. I'm soooo happy that he did that because I had gorgeous, warm weather the day that I went and the next day was about 20 degrees colder, cloudy and rainy. I had a great time talking to him the entire drive in both directions.

Have fun when you go. I adored China and would quite happily go back. Do be ready for people to ask to take photos with you. That happened quite often and if I hadn't been warned to expect it I would have been a bit confused.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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Thanks, Redhead, for your reply. I was afraid you might not come back to your report any more and I couldn't find a way to private message you. I'll try Trip Advisor, but I'm not sure which area to search in. Or, did you just go to a China forum or Beijing, maybe? I thoroughly enjoyed your trip report. Thanks!
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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I simply did a search for recent topics on drivers on the Beijing forum on TA. There were also current topics at the time discussing drivers that I saw. If you don't find anything recent in a search, check the FAQ section (top right I think) and then just post requesting help. I know there are topics about Beijing drivers, but I don't know how current they are.

Glad you liked the trip report, thanks!
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