Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong

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Dec 30th, 2017, 07:15 AM
  #1
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Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong

Hi All
married couple in our late 50s, been to Europe several times, one of us has been to Asia for work a couple times.

We are flying into Beijing arriving 07May2018 from London (arriving from the US a day earlier) and flying out of Hong Kong on 16May2018
that leaves us 9 nights trying to spread between Beijing, Shanghai & Hong Kong.

we were thinking 3 nights in each city, train between Beijing & Shanghai, but flying from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

looking for opinions, recommendations, advice, and anything you think we should or shouldn't do or any information you think would be helpful.
thanks in advance..
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Dec 30th, 2017, 07:26 AM
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This is a very general question, not sure what kind of answer you expect.
I would spend a bit more time in Beijing than Shanghai as it has a lot more to offer. But then again, that depends on your interests.
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Dec 30th, 2017, 07:40 AM
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With only nine days, one of them probably jet lagged, I would pick two cities, not three. There is enough in Beijing to occupy a week, and just the main sights - the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Ming Tombs, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Lama Temple can take three days.
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Dec 30th, 2017, 08:14 AM
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Yes, limit trip to two cities. Arriving in Hong Kong first is an eady transition to China.
Highly recommend a walking tour with Little Adventures in HK.
If you do visit Shanghai, stay in the former French Concession, beautiful area.
Beijing has by far the most historical sites to visit and three days is not enough.
Is there any way you can add more time to this trip? All the cities you mention are favorites of mine but your time limitations make it difficult to see all of them.
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Dec 30th, 2017, 01:48 PM
  #5
kja
 
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It really depends on what you want to see and experience, but I, for one, would find 3 nights in each city very frustrating – not enough time anywhere! IME, Beijing alone is easily worth a week for a first visit to include just the highlights. You could, perhaps, visit Beijing and ONE of the other cities you mention, or perhaps Beijing and Xi’An….
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Jan 1st, 2018, 07:54 AM
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we may not get back here again so have to try to cram as much as possible but I do have concerns with air travel every 3 days if we fly from Beijing to Shanghai....then 3 days later fly from Shanghai to Hong Kong it could be a pain...but we have done similar in Europe and survived it.

thanks for your feedback.
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Jan 1st, 2018, 08:13 AM
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Hello. I think you could definetly do it, but will it be worth it? 3 nights is only 2 full days to tour. If I were you, I would research and then write a list of your must see sights in each city. Once you know this, you can then decide if you can do it all in 2 full days in each city or if cutting one makes more sense to get in everything you want to do. I know it is hard. I have this issue each time I visit Asia or Southeast Asia. I am much better with Europe as I know I will pop over twice a year or so —sometimes even more! Not so with this area of the world for me. Good luck!
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Jan 1st, 2018, 08:41 AM
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>>we may not get back here again so have to try to cram as much as possible <<

The problem is -- when you try to cram in so much you end up seeing a lot less. A big % of your trip would be eaten up w/ airports/security/flying/transferring to the next hotel/packing/unpacking, leaving much less time for seeing/doing.

So definitely cut back to two cities IMO.
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Jan 1st, 2018, 10:16 AM
  #9
kja
 
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My reaction to the realization that I might never return to an area seems quite different than yours: Rather than trying to cram it all in (my take on your itinerary), that realization makes me want to maximize the time I have to actually see and experience the places that I choose to see, while minimizing the time spent traveling between places. I’ve also realized that if I can return to a region, the LAST thing that I am likely to want to do is spend my time re-tracing all that extra travel time so that I can go back and finally see the things I skipped the first time. In fact, I might end up not returning specifically because it would mean wasting so much time going from place to place! JMO.

Good luck!
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Jan 3rd, 2018, 06:47 AM
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I agree with some of the others: drop Shanghai. It would be a much better trip with just Beijing and Hong Kong.

But, if you really want to see all three, then do it.

In Beijing, see the Forbidden City of course. That area is great and one of the things I really miss about living in Beijing. Beihai Park is right there and easy to do in the same day, no problem. Also, head over to Lama Temple and Confucian Temple complex, both right by Ditan Park. Another great area of the city, with lots of hutongs and actually cafes/coffee spots. Not too many of those in Beijing and they make that area all the more enjoyable to walk around in.

Beijing in May is beautiful by the way, fantastic time of year to see the city.

In HK, see the street markets. There's a bunch, both in Kowloon and on HK Island. Victoria harbor is amazing and a must see. The Peak is a great view, but be warned, it's hectic and does take up a lot of time. With that being said, there's nothing like seeing Hong Kong from The Peak, it really is something. Definitely eat and then eat some more and then a little more in HK. The food is great with a truly international menu.

HK and Beijing and two very different cities. They're two great cities to juxtapose like you're doing.

I used to live in Beijing and now live in Shenzhen, next to HK and spend a lot of time there. If you're interested, I blog about both of them (and more) especially for people like yourself.

You, honestly, will probably find some useful info. Enjoy your trip!

https://expatphotographer.blog/blog/
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Jan 3rd, 2018, 05:56 PM
  #11
kja
 
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May can be delightful in Beijing -- but it can also be a time of wind storms carrying sand, so bring protective eyewear!
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Jan 5th, 2018, 10:48 AM
  #12
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really appreciate lots of great responses and great points and looking forward to reading expatPhotograph's blog.

I see both points about 3 cities vs 2 cities and I am torn but sometimes I worry about being sick of the same place/hotel/people for more than 3 nights...however the airport back and forth, security, potential weather delays is a real issue to think about.

we will discuss this weekend and let everyone know...i am leaning toward 2 cities.... Beijing and HK and skipping Shanghai for now.
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Jan 5th, 2018, 05:10 PM
  #13
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If you get sick of the same hotel after just 3 nights, you are, perhaps, spending too much time in your hotel. Just a thought....
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Jan 6th, 2018, 05:54 AM
  #14
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your comment may be well intended but in reality is pointless. I will respond but do not want an escalation of smug remarks.most people are helpful on these forums but i have found exceptions.

As experienced world wide travelers..when we travel we don't stay on the go 18 hours a day and exhaust ourselves which in effect detracts from the travel experience, we maintain a quality of life and balance even when traveling, i may want some relaxing time pre-dinner and then at night before bed and then in the morning so we are in a hotel multiple times per day to recharge, refresh etc. of course there are exceptions if you are on full-day excursions etc.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 08:45 AM
  #15
 
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It was smug, unnecessary, unhelpful and pointless. OP you need not have responded. It is power for the course. But good luck with your trip. Keep posting questions and let us know how it goes.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 08:56 AM
  #16
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It was not intended to be smug. It was intended to be a humorous reminder that 3 nights really isn't much in a single hotel.

Good luck.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 09:54 AM
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I have been to all three cities many times on business (and some pleasure time). My only comment is I would fly from Shanghai to Beijing. I'm not a big fan of Chinese trains.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 10:32 AM
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>>I will respond but do not want an escalation of smug remarks.most people are helpful on these forums but i have found exceptions.<<

If you are that touchy -- China may not be the destination for you. It was a simple/funny/semi-silly comment and you (way) over-reacted IMO.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 10:58 AM
  #19
 
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OP — ignore. Not worth responding to non-travel related personal posts. Please keep posting your questions that will allow others to help you shape the best trip for you. There really are well-intentioned thoughtful people who respect your desire to travel to China and who can be a real benefit. Again, good luck.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 01:06 PM
  #20
 
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"...My only comment is I would fly from Shanghai to Beijing. I'm not a big fan of Chinese trains...." - Really? Most people have the opposite view especially when two of the worst airports (for flight delays) in the world are involved.
I guess that you do not like trains periods as trains in China are among the best in the world.
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