China or Taiwan?

Old Jan 14th, 2016, 05:52 AM
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China or Taiwan?

Hey everyone, I'd love to get your opinion on choosing between China or Taiwan for around 12-13 days end of March.
1. Excluding air tickets (both of which are about the same) which of the two will be more affordable? (or is the difference not much)? What would an approximate budget look like for food and accomodation?

2. Which according to you guys is more doable within the time? I want to be able to actually enjoy the culture, food, the nature and hike across different national parks- I know both the paces have brilliant hiking opportunities- and not rush too much (I dont mind travelling by trains across distances but don't want to spend majority of the two weeks in a train)

3. Lastly I've prepared a rough itinerary for each just to get your opinion if they are doable within this time frame: For China: Beijing >Datong Hanging Monastery >Huanglong +Jiuzhaigou> Huanshan > Huangshan
For Taiwan: Taipei> Jiufen >Taroko Gorge> Sun Moon Lake > Alishan and maybe just check out more things on the way since transportation seems more easier.

Thank you!
n_1991 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2016, 06:24 AM
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You don't have to cover all the places you want to go in China. Just look at a map, your attractions are in 4 different provinces, plus Beijing. While Taiwan is basically "one" province, in terms of geographical area.

China is still likely to be cheaper than Taiwan in terms of moderate accommodations (except in Beijing) and food, but you'll spend quite a bit in transportation AND park entrance fees to do those places in China.
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 06:27 AM
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it's really depends on person.If you prefer more organized and cleaner country, and then it's Taiwan. Taiwanese are very friendly and honest.
About landscape, It's different. One is big land, Taiwan is an mountainous island. It's easy to reach beach and ocean.
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 07:43 AM
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Taiwan is certainly more manageable in the time you have. And Taiwan is cleaner and less polluted.

If you opt for China, you'll need to do some cutting in your itinerary or you will spend way too much of your trip in transit. You could have a more limited itinerary in China that would work if you chose just one general area or a couple of provinces close together.
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 03:05 PM
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Taiwan is not only more manageable and a lot less polluted, it is also more "authentic", not having suffered the Cultural Revolution, nor the creation of pseudo-old places for the tourist trade.

If you go to Taiwan do NOT miss Tainan, it's on the high speed rail line and has a lot of very atmospheric temples.

For my trip to Taiwan start here (links at the top of the page):

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...oon-on-taiwan/
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Old Jan 15th, 2016, 02:55 AM
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Thank you everyone for your inputs. I am leaning a bit towards Taiwan due to the 2 week period but does anyone have an itinerary for China that they would suggest? A friend told me that for 12-14 days I would at best be able to do two things out of Beijing...
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 06:26 AM
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A two week vacation anywhere is of course doable. I did two weeks in China, though I also had a week in Tokyo and Yokohama.

A suggested itinerary will be entirely personal depending on your style of travel.

In my two weeks, I spent three nights in Beijing and three nights in Shanghai. In between those two, I flew to Lanzhou in the Gansu Province and I went on a prearranged eight-night private tour to some very remote locations to see cliff caves, a giant buddha, monasteries, temples, grasslands, terraced farming, waterfalls, and more. It was outrageously spectacular and beyond my wildest dreams.

On another trip, I might have done things completely differently. (I had already been to Hong Kong.)

On my next dream trip - who knows if it will ever happen - I might spend all my time in the Hunan Province traveling by train.

One thing you need to understand about China is how huge and grandiose everything is. An obscure site that does not register on the foreign tourism scale might be a mega-highlight if it were in Europe or the US. For example, since you are traveling in March, you might want to go see the rapeseed fields of Luoping.

However, I have not been to Taiwan (would love to go) so ultimately I can't answer your original question.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 07:53 AM
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You can easily spend a week in Beijing, but you could cover quite a lot in four days/five nights.

I am not personally a fan of Shanghai, but it does have a lot of modern architecture and a good museum. In the same area you could take a look at Hangzhou and Suzhou.

Xi'an is on most first time itineraries, and has some worthwhile sights besides the warriors.

There are some interesting suggestions on this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...in-between.cfm
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Old Jan 18th, 2016, 09:27 AM
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Definitely China. The sites in China will really wow you: the wall, the Summer Palace, the rivers and karsts around Yangshou, the skyline of Shanghai and/or Hong Kong. In Taipei, you have Taroko Gorge, which is well worth a visit but very hard to do without a tour or guide. The rest is all fine, but doesn't compare to anything you'll see in China.

On my first trip, I did Beijing, Yangshou and Hong Kong. You could do that and also add in Xi'an or something else.
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Old Jan 18th, 2016, 09:42 AM
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"Taroko Gorge, which is well worth a visit but very hard to do without a tour or guide."

Nonsense. I simply had my hotel arrange a car and driver the first day, and used the buses the second.

Yangshuo is possibly the most over-visited place in China.
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