Is Xian worth it?

Old Jan 30th, 2012, 08:45 AM
  #41  
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stu, thanks for going thru the trouble to post your photos....I will look at them soon.

easytraveler,
you make a lot of good points. I could rely on our hotel for a guide to the Wall and the Summer Palace...and a pick up from the airport. It probably would be a lot less money. Do you have any suggestions for where to stay in Beijing? I'd like to be within walking distance of the Forbidden City and maybe a hutong...and we'd like as much luxury as we can afford : - )! We probably wouldn't stay at the most expensive hotels...but one notch down....I'd prefer not a business type but rather a smaller boutique hotel that retains some local ambiance.
I want to visit the Mutianyu section of the Wall...is it best to overnight nearby rather than come back to Beijing? It looks like we could hit the airport on the way back and fly on to Guilin.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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from Mutianyu, you could get to the airport. Suggest using a guide with a car to drive you to the Mutianyu section, stop for lunch at a great dumpling place (near the wall)and get to you the airport for a late afternoon flight. I see no need to spend the night at Mutianyu.

Several of us Fodor-folk have used the services of Kong Lin and his bride Violet.

As I say, contessa, the main reason we used any city guides on our '07 trip was for transportation. In '84 we had to be part of an organized tour..things have changed dramatically!Kong Lin will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the wall, and then to aformemtioned dumpling heaven("Familty Reunion") in a small town fairly close to wall. By the way, be sure to take the fun toboggan ride down from the wall (see pics). Kong Lin pic is with the BJ pics standing next to my wife at the entrance.

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Got a good one for Yangshuo/Guilin/rice terraces, too..also used by other Fodorites.

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Did not feel the need for a driver in Shanghai and I told what we did in Xian.(we were happy with the Crowne Plaza, well situated on Wangfujing street, in BJ, and the Sheraton in Guilin, at riverside)



Have a great one...

Stu
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 04:58 PM
  #43  
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Stu, Loved your pics! I thought the toboggan from the Wall looked scary though....I don't like speed! The Temple of Heaven complex looks lovely...very fascinating. Guilin...the ride down the river looked cloudy and gloomy like when we were in Halong Bay...those tourist bamboo rafts look like they're under water! Loved the Dong women and the terraces. Diid you like the Peace Hotel? Fun seeing your '84 pics...you don't look a day older! : - )
Will check out your guides....and like your idea of flying out that afternoon rather than staying overnight.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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barefoot...you control your own speed on the toboggan...fun. Notice the wall was not at all crowded like it woul be in summer..It was April. October shold be fine.

The Li River scenes are quite dramatic even when it's cloudy.

One of the Dong women pics took Runner Up in Fodor's China Contest..another with all the women combing out their hair was featured in the L.A. Times Sunday Travel pages.

We did not stay at the Peace on this trip...but did in '84. It was under renovation this time..but we were allowed to take the elevator to the top terrace for pics. We stayed at the Ramada (see pics)..quite good at a fantastic $120 rate. EK stayed next door at the Meridien.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 07:15 PM
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I loved the photo of the Dong women combing their hair! Congrats on some great photos.

I probably would break the brake on the toboggan!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2012, 08:24 PM
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Yes, Xian is worth it. We went to see the warriors, but also enjoyed walking on the city wall and visiting the Bell Tower. We were on a tour and only had a day and a half, but would have liked to have spent more time there.

Also, you do not need a guide to see the Summer Palace in Beijing. We skipped out on the tour's excursion to the palace. My husband and I went there by taxi. We had our hotel write out our destination in Chinese and gave it to the taxi driver. We had no trouble buying our tickets or navigating the complex. The palace has a very good map of the grounds that is in English. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon there. We saw much more than our fellow travelers on the guided tour.

Sara
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Old Feb 3rd, 2012, 09:52 PM
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> Also, you do not need a guide to see the Summer Palace in Beijing

You can also get there by subway or riverboat and can easily explore the area on your own.
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Old Feb 4th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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Thanks sari80 and kja for clarifying how easy it is to get to the Summer Palace. I'm currently pricing this out with and without the help of a tour operator.
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Old Feb 4th, 2012, 08:12 PM
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The Summer Palace can be reached by Beijing's incredibly easy-to-use, inexpensive, and efficient Metro or by an inexpensive tourist boat. I went by boat, returned by metro; I think the reverse would be better: The boat TO the Summer Palace had someone using a loud speaker to provide information - and it was LOUD. REALLY loud. From what I've read since, the boat trip from the Summer Palace to central Beijing is generally much more quiet.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Thanks again kja...boat it is on the way back!
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 12:15 AM
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I think it is worthwwhile.At first,You know it is prefect to travel Xian on October.Because it is a good season for visiting .Also,it is the good time for fresh fruit.You can take a lot when you back.It is a old city.There are nany beactiful places.such as Bell and drum tower, Big wild goose pagoda, City wall, Muslim street , tang paradise etc
If you dou not have a look at,I am sure you will miss something.Besides,it has many delicious foods,you will like it. . For example, there are dumplibg banquet and lcoal noodles and mulsim food
You can chionce aservice group,thet will offer hrlp to you.At last,I wosh you will have a good trip.
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 06:19 PM
  #52  
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Thanks for commenting Zhangyuqin. However, I have decided to skip it on this trip. Instead, we're going to Lijiang, the Linden Centre near Dali, and Yangshuo (instead of Guilin)...and Beijing, Shanghai, Hainan island and Hong Kong. That's a full enough trip!
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