China suggestions/itinerary

Old Dec 17th, 2002, 02:32 PM
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China suggestions/itinerary

I am thinking of going to China on my own for about one week in Feb/March. I have never been and am wondering if it is better to participate in a small tour. I have researched some that do Beijing-Xian-Shanghai in a 7-day period. Does anyone have any recommendations on whether or not to do a tour or go it alone? Also, if I fly into Beijing, how easy would it be to fly over to Angkor Wat for two days and fly back. How can I research those airfares. Thanks in advance!
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 03:26 PM
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If you only have 7 days, I would recommend going with a tour. They will get you to the places you want to see without any stress.

I have been to China as part of a tour and as well as doing some independent travelling. Without being able to speak mandarin, meant that a lot time and effort and not to mention stress was spent sorting out train tickets, acommodation etc. To do independent travelling requires a lot of time and effort and isn't worth it unless you have got a flexible itinerary in mind.

Old Dec 17th, 2002, 08:38 PM
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I agree with JTD. Seven days would be too hectic for you to go on your own even if you knew the language. China can be stressful especially getting from place to place. Let the tour company make all the arrangements and enjoy yourself.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 11:46 PM
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7 days in Beijing-Xian-Shanghai is too stressful with a tour,let alone independently.I don't think you really enjoy it.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 12:37 AM
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I agree with henry, 7 days isn't enough time to see Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. Try just seeing Beijing and Xian if you only have 7 days. Spent 5 days in Beijing and 2 in Xian. This should give you plenty of times to see the sights in both cities. There have been plenty of posts on this board about a Beijing/Xian trip so do a search and you find plenty more info.

Independent travel in China is only recommended if you have got a month or two up your sleeve. It's fantastic and rewarding but takes a lot of patience.

Hope that helps.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 12:55 AM
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Hello Alexa, All good advise I just read. We went with a tour, a large one I might add. It was wonderful. We covered so much ground. I would go on a tour first and then if you want to go it alone that might work. Really though unless you are a real experienced world taveler and know the language I wouldn't try it. Good luck to you. Don't let us frighten you. Do go by all means. It is a trip of a lifetime you won't ever forget.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 12:57 AM
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P.S. A week is not much time to go so far. Can you go for longer? We were there for 3 weeks. Quite long but well worth it. You need some time, it is a big country with lots to see and learn about.
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 05:27 AM
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Maybe I can help you in Xi'an.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 04:54 AM
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My wife and I just got back from China. We spent 10 days going from Beijing to Xian to Hong Kong traveling alone. For what it is worth,we had never traveled in China, do not speak any flavor of Chineese, and found it very easy to travel. Lots of people speak at least some english, and everyone was extremely polite and anxious to accomodate tourists.

We did hire a guide and driver for the day in Xi'an (the fellow who posted here, Clearance) who was excellent and very reasonably priced. I think your itenerary is doable but could be very hectic. Doing Beijing and Xi'an
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 04:07 PM
M Y Bartholomew
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I have toured Imperial China 3 times and learn more each time. One week is not enough time to do justice to that area. I recommend Overseas Travel Adventure. They have a 22 day tour that includes Tibet and the Yangtze River cruise. They are reasonable and different in that they expose their group to the people and the culture of the areas. Never more that 16 people, it allows us to have a meal or yak tea with the locals. Tibet is a must--but you have to be in an organized group to get a permit at the border in order to enter. The Three Gorges Dam, now filling, is an amazing engineering accomplishment, and the river cruise allows you to visit the local towns along the way to Chongqing, the largest city in China. It's the trip of a lifetime--do it with a group and enjoy--but allow more time--MYB
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 07:59 PM
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Yes, go to T-square and other such places and kill the chinese people like the chinese government does. Then, sell the dead people's organs to anyone that can pay for them and help sponsor the chinese's military. This was exposed years ago on 60 mins. but is being done and still being ignored.
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 07:55 AM
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I would recommend taking a tour. It is cheaper and you will more done. Plus the language barrier can be formidable to a first-time or even multi-time traveler. You can visit my site about China at
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 11:57 AM
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I travelled solo in Beijing (from Tokyo), which was fine because I only had three days. Saw the sights using the cheap taxis, bus trip out to the Great Wall. There are a variety of full-day and half-day tour buses that you can get at your hotel. For a week, and to visit other places, a tour group would be a great idea and save some hassle and stress as the others have mentioned. This is especially true if you will be arriving there after a 15 flight.

Angkor Wat, as a side trip from Beijing? That's obviously not a good idea, since your 7 days in China is not enough. I like researching travel, though, so I checked it out:
Thai Airways has a Beijing-Pnom Penh roundtrip fare, connecting in Bangkok, for around $1073. Seven or eight ours of travelling each way. From there, about $85 roundtrip to Siem Reap, I guess about a 1 hour flight. Or you could spend 9 hrs each way on a bus.
Then a 2-day, 1 night tour with Siem Reap airport transfers for $240. Looks like you might fly from Singapore or Bangkok directly to Siem Reap.
And, if you have a U.S. passport, you'll need a Cambodian visa for that two day trip, in addition to your Chinese visa (which you would need to check regarding multiple entries).

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