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Help us fill our blank itinerary: 1 week in China

Help us fill our blank itinerary: 1 week in China

Old Jul 16th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Help us fill our blank itinerary: 1 week in China

We get into Beijing on a Monday afternoon, roughly 1:00 pm. We have a full week, departing the following Monday at around 3:00pm.

Our flights are booked, and we have our tourist visas. Now we just need to plan our itinerary, and would LOVE your help.

We are a couple in our early 40s, fit, and love adventure. Within reason, we want to pack as much into our days as possible. We are on a moderate budget but do enjoy finer hotels. We don't mind taking public transit and doing as the locals do. My wife loves to shop, and we will want to bring home lots of clothes and other goods that are a deal relative to North American prices.

We'd love your input on how to fill out our days.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 05:48 PM
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Beijing itself can easily fill ALL your time in China, and even if you pack every day to its fullest, you will have challenges deciding what to skip. If you want to see more than Beijing, you have countless options -- a good guidebook or two should prove invaluable in helping you narrow your choices based on your interests.

Before going, be sure to read up on the pollution issues in Beijing and talk with your physicians about appropriate precautions.

it's a fascinating part of the world -- enjoy!
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 07:33 PM
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Hi there,
If you like shopping, stay in Beijing for the week ! There is much more to do and see, anyway. We stayed in Beijing for one month and were never bored! There is the Great Wall, of course. Please, see our travel notes and pictures about Beijing: http://konniandmatt.blogspot.ca/2012...2-beijing.html
Another option would be to fly to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors, which I think is the second sight one has to see in China, next to the Great Wall: http://konniandmatt.blogspot.ca/2012...2012-xian.html
Enjoy your trip!
Cheers, Konni.
www.konniandmatt.blogspot.com
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 03:20 AM
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One week is no problem in Beijing, its a beautiful city and I am sure you would love it. One day will go for Great Wall - go to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. second day can be Temple of Heaven, tiananmen square, Forbidden City,Summer Palace this all can be done together in one day. After that depending on your interest you can go to the Hutong( including the bell and drum tower, Houhai Nanluo Guxiang) , 798 Art district
Silk Market/Pearl Market/Yashow Market,Panda Garden Capital Museum, Olyumpic Park and explore the city. Its very convenient to inquire and take metro and explore city, lot of places to shop and enjoy your time.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 06:37 AM
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Note that if you shop in China, it is likely that everything you buy will be fake. And bringing back counterfeit western designer goods can get you into trouble - or get your purchases confiscated. So bargain accordingly. The only things in buy in China are Xixing teapots and tea. Stick with that and craft items and you will be ok.
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Old Jul 19th, 2014, 09:33 PM
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@konniandmatt Thanks for the link to your blog. Looks like you and I have a mutual interest in photography. Love your pics, and learned a few things. Thanks again.
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Old Jul 21st, 2014, 03:38 AM
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Would only like to remind that many of the noted spots will be full of chinese and western people. Enjoy the crowd. It's the chinese way.
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 05:01 AM
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Staying in Beijing for a week does not fit your profile, so I am not sure why you are getting that advice. Chinese cities can be oppressive. I got antsy in Beijing after three nights. Not because there was lack of anything to do, but I wanted to get out into the countryside and explore. Obviously one week is not a lot of time, so I would say three nights in Beijing and then take a four day trip from Beijing. To truly explore and not waste a lot of time, you might have to do a combination of train and getting taxis which are reasonably priced. Or consider hiring a guide and driver. Strike north of Beijing and you could go to Chengde, southeast there is Yesanpo, Northern Mount Heng, and Cangyan National Parks. All of these places coudl be worth a few days if you want a more active vacation.

http://www.nationalparkofchina.com/chinanp.html
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 06:19 AM
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No need to hire a car and driver, as you can use public transportation to get almost anywhere you would want to go. Chengde, in particular, is easily reached by public transportation from Beijing.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 06:59 AM
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If you are not returning to China in the near future, I agree to take an overnight train to Xi'an, lots to explore in addition to the Terracotta Warriors.

Kathie is right, you won't find deals for quality clothes, they are getting as expensive as the US, deals are cheap stuff that fall apart after a couple of washes.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 03:47 AM
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Without reading chinese nor a translator at hand, bus service out of the city will be stressful and difficult. But for 2 interesting days i can recommend bus, or slow train, to LaiYuan, Hebei Prov. Thence to Bai Shi Shan, White Rock Mt, and GeoPark. Long pristine sections of the Great Wall easily gotten to once in the park, West Gate. Can also climb to the top of the mt on a fair trail, see no other westerners for 2 days. It would be a challenge but if you have the time and inclination a fair look at both 'normal' chinese life not so heavily influenced by capital city propaganda and the rustic countryside. Cost nominal. Could also take a fast train to TaiYuan, in shanxi prov. That's only 3 hrs journey, stay one night back next day. Me, i'd avoid the tourist traps of Xi'an, spend one day only in BJ. Chengde, north of BJ also sounds good, was a summer palace town of emperors. Bring good strong shoes.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 04:30 PM
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"Without reading chinese nor a translator at hand, bus service out of the city will be stressful and difficult." -- That was not my experience. In fact, I found it relatively easy to get around and very interesting to ride with the "locals."
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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 10:38 AM
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> it is likely that everything you buy will be fake... The only things in buy in China are Xixing teapots and tea.

Unfortunately very few Yixing teapots are actually from Yixing. And much tea isn't what it says it is.

> Without reading chinese nor a translator at hand, bus service out of the city will be stressful and difficult.

Or, on the other hand, it will be little different from taking a bus anywhere else. All that's needed are the characters for the destination of choice, and a little bit of common sense: rather a modest challenge for those who describe themselves as loving adventure.
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Old Oct 18th, 2014, 07:35 PM
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Just got back, in Beijing I loved the Red Wall Garden Hotel. I recommend the Mutianyu part of the great wall too. I liked the Summer Palace in Beijing as well. I recommend seeing some of the countryside. They have many beautiful parks to explore too. My favorite part was the Yangshuo part of China. Have a great trip!
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