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China Travel where would you spend an extra night?

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Feb 15th, 2012, 08:56 PM
  #1
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China Travel where would you spend an extra night?

An extra night -- where and why
We are going to travel China for about 55 days. Assuming you were doing our trip -- plane, train (1 day and 2 overnight), and car/driver -- where would you spend an extra night & day? And why?

Hong Kong -- 5 nights
Beijing -- 5 nights
Datong -- 2 nights
Wutiashan - 1 night
Pingyao - 3 nights
Xi'an 4 nights plus 2 nights in mountains birding
Dunhuang - 2nights
Turpan -- 2 nights
Kashgar - 2 nights
Tashkurgan - 1 night
Kashgar - 1 night
Chengdu - 5 nights with nephew + 3 nights birding surrounding area
Jiuzha Gou - 3 nights with nephew
Chengdu - 1 night
Kaili - 1 night
Rongjiang - 1 night
Zhaoxing - 1 night
Longsheng - 1 night
Guilin - 1 night
Yangshuo - 3 nights
Shanghai - 4 nights

No the above doesn't add up to 55 days but does give you an idea where we will be. This is a dream trip for you who reply so dream a little and let us know where to spend our extra time and why.

Us: previous travel include 5 months backpacking in South America with the occasional taxi but mostly buses; India for 7 weeks and then flew to Bhutan mostly car/driver; Ecuador twice for two weeks by bus; drove from Texas to the end of the road in Panama over 4 months, Russia, a trip or two to Europe in the 70's & 80's -- yes we are in our early 60's. Costa Rica -- twice in the 90's. And each of us travel before we met in the early 90's. We enjoy a little more comfort now than just 7 years ago. Love the outdoors and easy day hikes. We are birders. Give us your best shot on where to stay.

Thanks TWAontheGO www.Icantgo55.com (my travel web page for friends and family; no advertisements)

Read more: http://www.frommers.com/community/fo...#ixzz1mW9PRXEO
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Feb 15th, 2012, 09:40 PM
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I'd shorten the time in Shanghai by one or two nights, unless you're big fans of modern architecture or want to shop. Hangzhou and Suzhou are worthwhile options, but I think you'd enjoy Putuoshan, which is a sacred island near Shanghai not on many western itineraries. See http://wilhelmswords.com/rtw2004/ for more.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 01:43 AM
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Sounds like you'll move around a lot. A lot of time used for transportation.
Pingyao 3 nights could be one too many while one in Chengdu is a bit short.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 01:44 AM
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Sorry, I just noticed after the fact that you go to Chengdu twice.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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I'd add the night to Beijing but that's simply because I adored Beijing and could always spend more time there.

Personally I'd be thoroughly tired of all of the 1 night stops, but to each their own. I like to have a "nest" where I can keep returning to for a couple nights so that I can spend the entire day somewhere instead of traveling for part of each day.

Have fun! I'm utterly jealous of your trip.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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Since two nights= one day, I would add the day to Dunhuang. One day you can see the Mogao Caves, a very impressive site. The other day visit the Han Dynasty section of the Great Wall,the Jade Gate and visit the large dunes. We wished that we had more time just to walk around the city with it's lovely public spaces. Turpan and Kashgar also have a lot to offer. We realy enjoyed the western areas of China. Try to be in Kashgar on a Sunday so you can attend the Animal Market which was one of the highlights of our six weeks in Asia last fall.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 11:08 AM
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I would also add an extra day to Turpan. YOu'll be such long distances and this city has much to offer.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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On the other hand, I was underwhelmed by Turfan, which is also likely to be miserably hot. I loved Kashgar, but that was in 2001, and from everything I've read the Chinese have destroyed all the old sections. You might consider checking out the south side of the Taklamaklan, e.g. Khotan, much less visited.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for all your thoughts.

We are visiting Shanghai because it is a world city and it gives us all the advantages a large city has to get us ready to return home. We have discussed Suzhou and may add two days to our trip to explore this area.
Haven't heard of Putuoshan so we are investigating.
Pingyao we will spend three nights but arrive late in the afternoon of the first night so really only have two full days to explore before catching an overnight train to Xi'an.
Beijing -- we want to add another week here, not a day. This may be where we add our day.
We are adding a second night at Wutianshan -- don't want to just sleep here.
Dunhuang and Kashgar would both be choses for adding another day -- we are seriously thinking of adding a day to one or the other.

Any more thoughts out there?
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Feb 16th, 2012, 07:04 PM
  #10
kja
 
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> Beijing -- 5 nights
Datong -- 2 nights
Wutaishan - 1 night
Pingyao - 3 nights
Xi'an 4 nights plus 2 nights in mountains birding

I didn't visit your other proposed destinations, but I did visit these ones.

Consider adding time to Beijing - there is an incredible amount to see and enjoy there! I wish I'd given it at least 8 days.

For Datong, you'll probably want at least 1.5 if not 2 full days because logistics preclude seeing its 3 major nearby highlights in the same day. I'm not sure whether that's what "2 nights" will give you.

I had 2 nights/one full day in Wutaishan, and that worked well for me. I was pretty "templed out" by then. I can imagine that some people would want more time there.

If 3 nights in Pingyao means 2 full days (one for Pingyao itself, one for outlying areas of interest), that sounds reasonable. Two days in Pinqyao itself would be too much for me.

I was glad to have 4 nights in Xi'an (counting a day trip out of the city) and could have used an extra 1/2 day or, if I added another day trip or two, even more.

If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information in my very long trip report - just click on my name to find it.

Hope that helps!

Sounds to me like you have a wonderful trip planned. Please let us know how it goes!
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Feb 16th, 2012, 07:56 PM
  #11
 
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One should be flexible with time when traveling in China. There's really no need and no point to figure out which place to add ONE DAY on such a long itinerary. Just spend extra time at wherever you feel like when you get there, and take time out when you feel you don't need it.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 03:45 AM
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I would spend more time in XinJiang. It is the least 'Han' of all the places mentioned. I found the Han culture very homogenous, boring, and in the eyes of many, quite repressive. However, the Uiygar food is lousy, compared to the Han. The govt may give you some small trouble if you care to go off the track in XinJiang or go to certain towns, like Hotan.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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We enjoyed Uighur food with a lot of rice pilaf and grilled lamb kebobs.
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