China Trip planning help needed

Old Nov 13th, 2011, 05:04 PM
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China Trip planning help needed

We (4 fit 60 yr olds) planning a trip to China next July. Yes I know it will be hot, we were in Beijing this year but can't change timing as we need to be in UK during July.
We used a great private guide in Beijing for 3 days so want to see more of China as a stop over either on the way up or back to NZ. We could even do a stop over both ways if it helped.
We can fly in or out of either Beijing or Shanghai and could spend 2 or 3 nights in each.
Also want to visit Tianmen Shan at Zhangjiajie in Hunan region and also Terracotta Worriors at Xián.
Would like feed back on how to travel to these places, train or fly, hotel and local guide recomendations. Any other suggestions or info would be much appreciated. Will use guide Kong Lin in Beijing again.
Thanks for you help
kiwipete is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2011, 05:38 PM
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I can not help much since I also am planning but people will need to know how many days you have to travel I would think.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 06:10 PM
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I visited Beijing and Xi'an and found no need for a guide for the major sites in either city. You might find my trip report helpful - just click on my name to find it. It is very long and covers many places that you aren't considering, so use the search option to hone in on Beijing (the beginning and end of my trip) and Xi'an (in the middle).

Enjoy!
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Old Nov 14th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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Like kja, I never found the need for a guide (I was in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai). I'm absolutely no help for Tianmen Shan in the Hunan region. I hate to send you elsewhere, but there's a lot of activity on the TripAdvisor forums and that's where I got most of my help planning my trip last year.

How much time do you have? I could always spend more time in Beijing, 3 days in Xi'an is probably about right for most people, and Shanghai depends on the person. I was happy with just a couple days there. I would suggest flying into Beijing and out of Shanghai (or vice versa). If you do a stop over going both ways, you'll need a multi-entry visa and I don't know how much extra that costs or if it's any harder to get.

The night trains from Beijing to Xi'an, and Xi'an to Shanghai were fun and I was plenty comfy in a 4 person cabin. You might be more comfy if you get two deluxe sleeper cabins (2 beds and a private bathroom). Many people fly, but I liked the trains.

There is an easy and cheap bus ride from the Xi'an train station out to the Terra Cotta Warriors location (no guide or driver needed). I left my bags at the train station at the baggage desk and took the bus. If you want details on the bus, click my name and pull up my trip report for China.

In Xi'an, there's a fun city wall that you can rent a bike and pedal around. There's also a nice bell and drum tower in the center of the city.
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Old Nov 16th, 2011, 04:02 AM
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Other than Xi'An these places are far so you should think of travel. Check prices on ctrip.com but do not book too early.
You can take the overnight train from Beijing to Xi'An but this is a personal choice. for me I prefer a comfortable bed and a shower in the morning.
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Old Nov 20th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Thanks for feedback, will give Zhangjiajie in Hunan a miss due to travel distance. Will probably go with flying to Xián from Shanghai or Beijing depending on if we do China on the way up or back on our trip to UK. Possibly have 5 or 6 nights
Thanks again
Pete
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Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 11:12 PM
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3-4days in Beijing, 2 days in Xi'an, 2 days in Zhangjiajie and 2-3 days Shanghai. I just strongly suggest you hire local guides in China because you will more time enjoying the trip. And most time, guide will give you more information about cities and history, also she/he will help you to visit local restaurants. Or just hire guides one day in any cities.
feiying is offline  
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