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China and Japan trip report summer 2019 with 3 kids

China and Japan trip report summer 2019 with 3 kids

Old Dec 5th, 2019, 05:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 7
China and Japan trip report summer 2019 with 3 kids

Our six week itinerary was Beijing -> Dalian -> Qingdao -> Beijing -> Kyoto -> Osaka -> Shanghai -> Tianjin -> Zunhua/Tangshan. We've been to China many times and my wife is Chinese so our experience was not what most Western travelers would seek. Beijing and Shanghai were a little disappointing as the government has cleaned out all the street markets and vendors that made walking around so interesting. Shanghai seems to be even more Westernized than our last visit in 2011 - the fashions on the metro are more similar to HK and Seoul than to the rest of China.

Dalian was an amazing adventure. Imagine a regular mid-sized Chinese city that is suddenly injected with a couple of hundred billion dollars to play with. Gleaming skyscrapers and highrises everywhere, incredible parks and tourist attractions, but still with traditional old markets and neighborhoods.

Qingdao is decent and has the best night market I've ever seen on the mainland.

Tianjin has a couple of highlights but all the stuff worth seeing can be compressed into an evening and a morning. Make it an overnight trip from Beijing.

Zunhua/Tangshan - meh. Not for tourists.

With regards to Japan, Kyoto is mainly for the temples and shrines. Don't expect them to look like those Instagram pictures - every popular spot is crowded with tourists from open to close. There's otherwise enough pleasant places to explore and department store food courts to occupy a couple of days. Try the Philospoher's Path!

Osaka was the jewel in the crown of this trip. Eight days (including Himeji and Nara) and we never stopped moving. Tons of awesome neighborhoods, buildings, and incredible food. Great city to do with kids. Dotonbori Canal area at night is unbelievably cool.

Last edited by Moderator3; Dec 5th, 2019 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Remove multiple links
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