China Trip

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Apr 14th, 2005, 12:24 PM
  #1
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China Trip

I will be flying into Beijing next month. Plan on traveling to Xian, river cruise thru the 3 Gorges then somehow travel to Shanghai for a couple of days then fly home. All I've done so far is have flight reservations into and out of China. What is the best order to travel on the river and Xian. Know about the overnight train to Xian but don't know how to get to one of the cities to travel on the river cruise. Then presume I have to fly to Shanghai. Can anyone help with how to do this? I'm running out time and am desperate at this point. I'm confused. Thanks
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Apr 14th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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Take the overnight train from BJ to Xian. From Xian, fly to Chongqing to catch the river cruise. Get off in Yichang and fly to Shanghai.

The only tricky part is getting the cruise you want. Find out what days each ship sets sail from CQ and then base the rest of your itinerary around which ship and which day you want to cruise.

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Apr 14th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Agree with Bchen. And since there are only 2 non-stop flights a day from Yichang to Shanghai, if you have problem getting seats, you can travel by road to Wuhan and fly from there.

From Xi'an to Chongqing, besides flying there's also an overnight train, K15, that departs around midnight and arrives around 1pm the next day.
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Apr 14th, 2005, 08:16 PM
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Thanks so much for the quick responses. Is it easy enough to make my plans to fly to Chongqing once I get to Xian? And the same for flights to Yichang? Will that airline be Air China? Any idea what the airfares would be? or the river cruise fares? I will check online for the Air China fares. Any suggestions where I can check online for the river cruises? I'm not looking for luxury, just nice and comfortable. I'd like to make these trips economical but not barebones. This trip is a trip of a lifetime for me and the cost is already mounting!! I'm such an indecisive person; just making the air arrangements in and out of China is a huge relief. I'm always second guessing myself. Need to let go of that. Thanks so much for the help. My last trip to Cambodia and Vietnam was absolutely perfect because of the advice I received on this board.

Another question - would someone recommend a quaint place to stay in Beijing? In Vietnam we stayed at the Majestic, which I loved because it wasn't a huge american hotel. It was older, quaint and majestic as well. I'd like to find someplace like that in Beijing (is that possible?) but centrally located. Thank you, thank you,
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Apr 14th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Excuse me, after re-reading my post I mean that I don't want to stay in a huge western hotel that has hundreds of rooms! I want something more intimate and charming!
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Apr 14th, 2005, 10:40 PM
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Wanda1 -

The reply from forum regular JaneB in this thread should be helpful about the cruise:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=34585829

As for the flights, there are three major airlines in China (along with their subsidiaries) - Air China, China Eastern & China Southern; and a 4th one Hainan. Really doesn't matter which one you choose. And fares are fairly low.

Xi'an - Chongqing:
About 3-4 flights a day on China Eastern, Air China and Hainan. Full fare economy is 700 yuan each way (or about US$90); lowest published discount fare is 320 yuan (US$40). Expect to pay near the lowest, or even less. If you absolutely cannot find a single seat on these flights, there are more flights to Chengdu, and you can travel from Chengdu to Chongqing by road. Or take the overnight train.

Yichang - Shanghai:
2 flights a day, on China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines (a small independent). Full fare is 1080 yuan and lowest discount 490 yuan.

And as I said, if you can't get seats on these flights, travel by land to Wuhan, where there are at least 10 flights a day to Shanghai. Fares 810 yuan - 360 yuan.

The train route here that goes East-West is a slow one, and takes like 24 hours. Definitely fly.
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Apr 15th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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Hi

My wife and I went to China a couple of years back and we visited Beijing, Xi'an and Hong Kong. I have posted a trip report with some pictures from our trip on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com. Maybe you can find some useful information there

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
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Apr 21st, 2005, 03:23 PM
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For quirky hotel in Beijing, try www.redcapitalclub.com

My China reviews and stories are on my site http://www.mcdougalladventures.com/?cat=15 which may also help you with restaurants in Beijing.
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Apr 22nd, 2005, 06:45 AM
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When we left the river cruise boat at Yichang at about 9 am, we took a taxi to the airport (about a 45 minute trip) and bought a ticket there for the next flight out. We did not have a long wait and we had no problem getting seats. One flight leaves Yichang for Shanghai Hongqiao (DOMESTIC TERMINAL) about noon and the other an hour or so later. All of the flights are listed at airchina.com. This site was a wonderful source when I was planning our trip. I printed off the schedules that I might be interested in and took them with me. We did have the luxury of time (we"re retired) so we never made any advance arrangements. You'll love China and its very easy to get around. Don't forget that you always need to pay a tax ("construction tax", I think) to leave on a flight. After buying a ticket, look for the signs to pay the tax while still in the arrival area.
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Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:46 AM
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The airport construction tax is now incorporated into the price of the ticket (I believe since late last year).
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