Chengdu and Beijing

Old Feb 11th, 2016, 08:31 AM
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Chengdu and Beijing

We are planning a week trip in Beijing as one of our stops while in Asia.
I'm wondering time wise if it's even possible to do both Chengdu and Beijing in a week. We would be flying between the two cities to maximize time. The panda sanctuary is one of the reasons I'd like to go to Chengdu.
Any advice or suggestions would be great!
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 06:20 PM
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I would not have liked having less than a week in Beijing; YMMV. I didn't make it to Chengdu during my time in China. That said, it really depends on what YOU want to see and experience.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 07:40 PM
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It can work if you do not need to backtrack to Beijing. If you can land in Beijing and depart from Chengdu (fewer international options), then you have adequate time in both places. Otherwise travel time will reduce you useful time and make it rather rush, although doable.
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 08:21 PM
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Yes, it will be doable. I would spend four nights in Beijing, and three in Chengdu. If you have three full sightseeing days in Beijing, then you need one full day to see the Great Wall as a day trip, and another two days for the bare bones essential sights: The Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Winter Palace. I would also throw in the zoo where you can see pandas and tigers. In order to see all these sites, you need to find a centrally located hotel (we stayed at the Hyatt), and take taxis from one site to another. Taxis are cheap and plentiful, and you should have your hotel write out your destinations in Chinese.

On the fourth day, I would take a spend the morning shopping at the silk market, or seeing what I missed. Then I would take the 4:55 PM flight to Chengdu, where I would spend two days.

For the return, I would make sure that my international ticket contains the Chengdu to Beijing portion, so that I would be protected. You could also do the reverse, and visit Chengdu first and Beijing second. Beijing has one of the world's worst flight delay records, so be advised.

If you are set on Chengdu, I would encourage you to go. However, we were quite fascinated with Xi'An and the numerous historical and natural sites in the area. It was the ancient capital, and it may be a viable alternative for you.
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 09:29 PM
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I think it really depends on what you most want do see. If you haven't already done so, I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times on-line, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). IME, only once you see how things fit together can you make a wise decision.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 13th, 2016, 11:18 PM
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Just finished my 2nd visit, now w/10yr PRC visa, (for US & Canadian tourists) to Chengdu in 3 yrs, 3rd time in Beijing in 4.

My preference: Chengdu, for its relaxed, laid back feeling, vs Beijing's HUGE scale, and much faster, govt-centered pace. Chengdu's Panda Research Ctr/"park," though very touristy, was a fun, amazing place, where the 60 GIANT panda residents are out 'n' about, in a non-caged, natural setting, a la San Diego Zoo.

Tell most any PRC resident: I'm thinking about a Chengdu visit. Their typical response: Best food in the land, albeit, spicy, & HOT.

I've stayed affordable, solo, at two different OUTSTANDING Chengdu hostels, in my own room, as well as at Chengdu's five*****equivalent of NYC's Plaza Hotel. If Jinjiang Hotel has a "special, including huge buffet breakfast, then splurge on yourself, as I just did, last week.

PEK-CTU return airfares can be affordable, booked w/ online English language app for Shanghai based travel agency, Ctrip.
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone!
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