Hong Kong OR Shanghai???

Old Jan 9th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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Hong Kong OR Shanghai???

We are flying ATL to Tokyo, then to China. We have an award ticket on NW from Tokyo to either Hong Kong OR Shanghai.... and will end up in Beijing on the way out of China.
Question, which city is a better landing spot? HK or Shanghai?? We will only stay 1-2 nights, so which is the best option??

Any advice?

Thanks!!
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 12:27 AM
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What time of year are you going? Weather and public holidays play in here. Where else are you going in China, I could not quite understand your post.

I generally would say Hong Kong is a better place than Shanghai generally, but would depend a little bit on the time of year and where else you are going. Also, do you have to go back to Tokyo for your return flight to the US or do you have a non-stop from Beijing?
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 01:07 AM
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We are traveling at the end of Feb, AFTER the Chinese NY. We DO have to go back through Tokyo, however the return is out of Beijing..... so we go:
ATL-NRT-???? .... then to Xi'an, then Beijing, ... then Beijing-NRT-ATL.
So I guess we would want to choose the option that would be the most different from Beijing and Xian.
Thanks for your help!!
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 02:17 AM
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The weather in Hong Kong is so great in February that that alone would make me choose it over freezing Shanghai (and would be a nice change from freezing Beijing and freezing Xian). Temps in the low 70s and sunny, virtually no rain. Can’t say either would be “most different” from Beijing or Xian as they are both Chinese cities, but I think there is a lot more to see and do in Hong Kong for 2 days than Shanghai. Shanghai does have some preserved colonial bits and a very good museum, but is generally not that culturally interesting, IMO. Also if February the air pollution tends to be quite bad and the views from the high buildings are obscured, while Hong Kong skies are clearer in the winter months. However, as the stopover is very short, you will find more non-stop flights to Shanghai from Xian and Beijing so that might tip the balance for you in favor of Shanghai. If you can get a non-stop to Hong Kong from Xian and then non-stop from Hong Kong to Beijing, that might work, but do check schedules.

To avoid backtracking to Beijing more than necessary which is the furthest north you will be in China, I think I would do the following:

Narita - to Xian (may have to stop in Beijing or elsewhere to change planes)
Xian to Hong Kong (or Shanghai if that is your choice)
Hong Kong to Beijing - then visit Beijing
Beijing to Narita and home
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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Cicerone has given you excellent advice as usual!

After Chinese New Year is a wonderful time to go shopping in Hong Kong, even more sales than normally! Especially the name brands.

Definitely Hong Kong! Eat - Shop - Go up to the Peak - Ride the Star Ferry - Eat - Shop Some More. Much more fun than Shanghai for just a couple of days, IMHO.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 11:00 AM
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another vote for Hong Kong. I love both cities but the weather in Hong Kong in Feb. makes the choice an easy one.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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From what I understand, the OP has an open jaw award ticket and can go ATL-NRT-HKG or ATL-NRT-PVG and return PEK-NRT-ATL. In that case, I don't think it makes sense to visit Xian first as you won't be able to fly from NRT to Xian without stopping elsewhere in China first.

For the most direct routing without any backtracking, I would visit either Hong Kong or Shanghai first, then onto Xian, and finally Beijing. There are many daily nonstop flights from Shanghai to Xian and I'm pretty sure there is at least one daily nonstop between HKG and Xian so both cities would work from a flight schedule point of view with Shanghai being somewhat more convenient. And from Xian to Beijing there are many daily nonstops as well.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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Wow! Thanks for all of the great feedback! I think we will have to choose HKG since it sounds like the weather will be a nice change from PEK and XIY. The only down side is the 1 flight option.
For the least amount of flying I think we will go ATL-NRT-PEK, then PEK-XIY, then XIY-HKG, then HKG-NRT-ATL. Sound ok? Then we can enjoy the warmest weather last!

Any input on Beijing hotels and which section of the city is the best?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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Flipping the routing around to visit PEK-XIY-HKG in that order would work just as well. Do you have any price range in mind for the hotel? I'd recommend staying some place very centrally located like the Grand Hyatt for a first time visit.
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 03:36 AM
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Well, We are thinking of using Starwood points, but I see that the Sheraton in Beijing is NOT central.... any advice as to just how tough it is to get to central Beijing from the Sheraton?

Also, is a side trip to Kunming worth it??? The stone forest looks very interesting!

Thanks!
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 03:46 AM
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Check to see if you can use your points at the St Regis, which is a very nice hotel in a better location.

Kunming is better in the mid to late spring, IMO, when the gardens are out for which they are justly famous. You may find some things in bloom, but I don’t think the majority of the flowering plants get going until April. I don’t think I would make a special trip there in the winter months, esp as I think your time is short anyway.
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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The St. Regis in Beijing is excellent and the location is more central (it's also very close to a subway stop). I believe it's a couple of categories higher if you're redeeming Starpoints though so don't know if that's a consideration. Check after Jan 17, to see if they're going to participate in Cash & Points again this quarter which is a very good value.

However, it also wouldn't be that tough to get to central Beijing from the Great Wall Sheraton and taxi fares are inexpensive. The GW is closer to the airport and more convenient for trips outside of the city. The hotel itself is a bit dated.

How many days do you have total? It sounds like your trip is fairly short. If so, I would stick with the 3 cities you've picked and not try to add another side trip.
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 11:03 AM
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Thanks! We are still in the planning stages, but it will be a short trip compared to many... a little over a week.
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