China - Which city for one week

Jun 1st, 2007, 07:17 AM
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China - Which city for one week

This would be our first trip to China- family of four with teenagers.

We only have a week in March to do this trip (leaving from Hawaii).

Rather than doing multi-cities such as Beijing-Xian-Shanghai, thought concentrating on one area for the week would be more enjoyable- but what area or city ?

We'd like to see some cultural sites but enjoy being outdoors as well.

I know this is like asking where should we go when we visit the US.

Thank you.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Yangshuo/Guilin is popular. Rather than spending all week in a large Chinese city you might give Yangshuo a go. Some magic scenery and plenty of activities.

WeiLong is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 03:13 PM
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Does 7 days include travel time from/to HI?

I suggest Beijing (still cold in March) for the cultural sites and Guilin/Yangshuo for the natural beauty.

Shanghainese is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:25 AM
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It will be 10 days including travel days- leave HNL on a Friday PM and return on a Sunday .

okoshi2002 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 11:10 AM
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beijing or hong kong
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Guilin/Yungshou would like another air transfer from Beijing ?

Where is the best section of the Great Wall ?

Are there outdoor attractions near Beijing ?
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 05:40 PM
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The "best" section of the Great Wall is quite subjective.

We preferred Mutianyu in April 05 as it was very uncrowded.

For another type of experience on the Great Wall, consider staying for a night or two near one of the unrestored sections of the Wall ... the hiking is rough, the atmosphere amazing.

CanadaKate is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 06:24 PM
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i recommend Beijing,Guilin and shanghai for you 7 full days.
Violet_1125 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Yes, air transfer between BJ and G/Y, not sure whether there is a direct night train. Do not attempt 3 cities in 7 days, you'll be out of breath.

The Summer Palace in BJ is outdoors and beautiful.

There is a Fodorites GTG in HNL on 9/22, several participants have been to China recently. You may want to attend to get some first hand info. Aloha!
Shanghainese is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 01:22 AM
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Beijing, as there is plenty to see and do for a week, without being too rushed. Great wall at Mutianyu site or Simatai, or you could do a great wall trek . Fragrant Hills park out of Beijing is a place you could go for outdoors activity. For an overnight/2 day trip from Beijing, you could visit Chengde -the old imperial summer resort , but it will still be cold in March because it is furhter up north. The preserved rural village of ChuanDiXia, which I visited last December, could be another daytrip out of the city (about 2-3 hours drive each way) - the village is nestled in valleys of the hills around, and the houses are of the Ming dynasty era. Found the village scenic and peaceful, but I went in winter so although there was no other visitors around, we couln't see all nthe farming and harvesting that goes on in the other months, and when the locals apparently sell their local produce like honey and walnuts.
abc88 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 03:07 PM
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Thank you for all your replies.

Is the preparation for the Olympics a positive or negative if travelling in March 2008 to Beijing ?
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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I suggest Beijing, because it is a city full of interesting attractions.
Valeria is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 09:48 PM
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It depends on what you are interested in. China is a huge country with time-honoured history. If you are interested in its history, Xi'an should he an advisable city to visit. As on of the six ancient capitals of China, there are lot of sites which deserve your visiting. well, if you are interested in modernized cities, you can pay a visit to both Shanghai and Beijing. If you are interested in different culture of different nationalities, you can go to Yunnan, Xingjiang, Tibet and Ningxia, many ethnic groups inhabit in these provinces, those people are born singers and dancers, you can take part in their wonderful festival activities and sing songs together with them. I'm sure you will have a unforgetable time in China.
More information can be found in You also can sent email to me if you have some forther questions. My email address is [email protected]
xili is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 10:28 PM
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Go to to get some ideas of temps. A lot of China is just going to be still in winter mode in March. Beijing can be quite cold in March and will also be prone to wind and sand storms, so bear that in mind. If you are dressed for it, can be fine, but bring warm clothes. I agree you could spend a week in Beijing as there is so much to see and do. IMO there are some concerns with March in 2008 pre-Olympics. There is a lot still to be done. You may find major sights under scaffolding still. Road detours and closures. Not a huge deal unless you wanted to take pictures of something like the Gate of Heavenly Peace and its covered in scaffolding, or a particular part of the Summer Palace is close. You may find this all over the PRC however. I am sort of encouraging people to either go TO the Olympics or travel afterwards.

I love Hong Kong (I live here), but March can tend to be somewhat crappy weather. It’s changing over from our “winter” to summer. Tends to be foggy, damp and chilly. Not really the ideal time IMO, but look at the temps and consider. (They don’t tell the fog story). There is certainly a lot to do here and some excellent walking and evening challenging hiking however, even if some of it will be in wet warmish fog.

If you really like outdoors, you might consider Yunnan Province and the Lijiang area. Tiger Leaping Gorge is spectacular, and has some great hiking, and the village of Lijiang is very charming with the snow capped mountains in the distance (quite a change from Hawaii). There are other things to do in this region. Temps would be OK in March, you would need to dress warmly for hiking but otherwise OK in towns (not summer obviously). Guilin is another thought, good walking and biking and the beautiful river scenery.
Cicerone is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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I appreciate all the good suggestions you all have.

Having one base for the week would be ideal because it is such a short trip.

Perhaps Beijing is where we should head as an introduction to China.

Thanks all.

okoshi2002 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 12:04 AM
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Like the others, I would suggest basing yourself in Beijing.

The suggestion to go to Chengde is a good one. Great place to see another developed imperial city but far fewer crowds.

There are three sets of Imperial Tombs outside of Beijing, the Ming tombs, the Eastern Ching tombs and the Western Ching tombs. I would suggest visiting at least one set of these tombs.

Also worthwhile visiting are the two Western temples, the Tanzhe Si and the Jietai Si.

By then you will be so saturated with historical China that you probably should plan on going to Shanghai for a day or two and see the newer China, the skyscrapers, the maglev train from the airport into town, and all the other newer fancy-smancy locations.

Or if you are not that saturated with historical places, go to Xian and make your tour of China an "imperial" tour.

Coming from beautiful Hawaii, I'd place scenic spots second to historical spots.

split your visit into two, two cities, more time in Beijing and two days somewhere else.

Have a great trip!

easytraveler is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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I'm with Cicerone and ET, visit Beijing for a few days and add Yunan Lijiang or Yangshou/Guilin area.

The Hnl Fodorites are having a GTG on 9/21-22 starting with a wine/cheese affair at the Sheraton on Friday evening, I know at least one Fodorite attending has been to China this year so you can get some face-to-face advice.

Can someone please cut/paste the GTG post for okoshi?
Shanghainese is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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okoshi, if you are still paying attention to this thread you are invited to attend. please read below

Also here is some info on our recent visit to China in my trip report if your interested


hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Thanks, HT!
Shanghainese is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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In my opinion, it is Beijing. Tons of stuff to do. If you fly to any other city, you will lose at least a half day going and a half day returning.
beaker is offline  

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