China in One Week

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Jun 21st, 2014, 03:08 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 13
China in One Week

I'm traveling to China for a week (7 full days plus travel days to and from) with my wife in October, arriving in Beijing and departing from Shanghai. I've been to Hong Kong before but this is my first time to the mainland. We're looking for a mix of historical and cultural sites and some natural attractions.

I'm currently contemplating two potential itineraries. We'd like to visit Xi'an because of its historical sites but I'm not sure if it's worth the time and expense flying there in a one week trip.
1. Spend 3 days in Beijing, 2 days in Xi'an and 2 days in Shanghai. I would fly from PEK to XIY and then XIY to PVG.
2. Spend 3-4 days in Beijing and 3-4 days in Shanghai with a day trip to Hangzhou or Suzhou.

Thanks!
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Jun 21st, 2014, 03:29 PM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I think it really depends on what you want to see and experience, given that you will have to be extremely selective under either option. Beijing itself easily merits a full week just for its highlights, and Xi'an has more than enough to occupy 3 or 4 days. You might start by identifying what you most want to see and then figuring out what you are most willing to give up.

And do give some thought to Beijing's pollution, which has reached dangerous levels with increasing frequency in recent years. Do some research on it, consult with your physician, and then decide what, if any, precautions are appropriate for you and for your wife.

It's a fascinating part of the world -- enjoy!
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Jun 21st, 2014, 09:03 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Everything kja said.

However, if you really want to see Xi'an, I would suggest taking the night train from Beijing, which will save you some sightseeing time, and give you a look at everyday Chinese life. See http://www.seat61.com/China.htm for details.

I don't find Shanghai very interesting, aside from the excellent museum, but if you're into modern architecture it would be worthwhile. Otherwise I would cut it to one day and add one to Beijing. Provided you can stand the pollution, it's supposed to be somewhat better in Shanghai.
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