China with teenagers

Jul 20th, 2005, 11:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 7
China with teenagers

I am planning a 2-week trip to China next summer with my wife and 2 teenage daughters (ages 13 and 16). We have traveled all around the world, and I have been to China several times for business, so I am reasonably confident that we can do this trip independently rather than as part of a large tour group. Iím thinking about a Beijing-Xian-Yangtze River cruise-Shanghai itinerary, similar to what a lot of the formal tours do, but this is not written in stone yet. I am considering hiring a guide/driver and/or doing day tours in each city; I want to avoid the forced shopping prevalent with a lot of tours (we like to shop, but we want to do it where and when we want). I would appreciate suggestions for the following:

1. Any additions or deletions from my planned itinerary.
2. Guides/drivers (English speaking) in any of these cities.
3. Special activities that the kids would like. For example, some memorable past experiences the kids (and adults) enjoyed have been spending 24 hours learning about and caring for elephants at a sanctuary in South Africa, participating in an archaeological dig in Israel, riding camels at sunrise at Ayers Rock. Any China equivalent experiences?
4. Yangtze River cruise lines, preferably those that are likely to have other kids on board (rather than all adults). Any general comments on doing this cruise are appreciated as well.
5. Hotel and restaurant recommendations.
6. Any other comments or suggestions.

Thanks!
waliz14 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 07:25 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 237
hallo

1) I haven't been to Xian or done the Yangtze river trip. But I've got a soft spot for Chengdu - it's the pandas and teahouses...
3) Seeing the pandas in Chengdu is one of my highlights of China. You can pay extra and sit right with the younger ones too.
Also Great Wall - I was blown away when I saw the Great Wall at 18.
5) In Shanghai I ate and ate and ate. I've got 2 places in particular that I've loved (though bizarrely neither are specifically Shanghai cuisine)
- Dongbeiren Restaurant: http://www.dongbeiren.net/en/info/index.asp
North eastern cuisine. Wonderful fried eggplant, fish, dumplings...
- Guyi - 87 Fumin Road
Hunan food - it's spicy! But gorgeous.

bkkmei is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 07:29 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 237
Sorry, one other addition but depends if your daughters like clothing:
Shanghai has a cloth market called Dongjiadu. All kinds of silk, cotton, linen etc. with tailors attached. They can copy your favourite clothes or you can look at their samples hanging up. And it's cheap. Quality isn't going to be amazing, but it could be fun. Tailors usually need a couple of days though to get the stuff made.
bkkmei is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 07:46 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 10
Hi Walize,
I have been to the place which you talked about, have also been to some places many times, because its is beautiful and changeable (season).

I am very glad to help you, help you to make a plan, these are my personal experience, do not learn from others or a certain website definitely . I can tell you the quintessence of a city , its glamour , prevent you from going to some showy and not substantial places.It will waste your money and time to do it in that way.

At first , when I begin my travel , once got a lot of people's help too, I am very glad to do it in this way too now.
My E _ mail: aber _ [email protected] [email protected]
jojo82421299 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2005, 09:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,109
Re: #4 we sailed on the MS Queen on the Yangtze 3 years ago. My 13 year old was the only child on board and we were the only English speaking group (18 friends). In fact, I saw no other teen travelers, English speakers or otherwise, on that 3 week trip or on a recent 3 week trip to CHina.

Prior to the trip, we watched "The Last Emperor" and talked about the Tieneman Square event so that when we arrived there these places meant something to him.

Try to take in an acrobatics show in Beijing. It was captivating. Skip the Opera, it was not.

If your girls are adventerous eaters, try a vegetarian restaurant. All normal chinese food dishes but made from soy, mushroom, seitan, etc.

Make sure to spend some time in the Muslim quarter in XIan. Also, renting bicycles on the city wall was great fun.

I'll see if my son remembers anything else particularly memorable.

Lynnie
LynnieD is offline  
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