Just back from China TR

Jul 8th, 2007, 06:27 AM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
Another aside:There is NO sales tax when you purchase things in China. That was great-bargaining or straight prices.
Also, for the "wonderful" Chinese bathrooms: before you pull out your personal supply of toilet paper, you might want to check the area where the sinks are to wash your hands. Sometimes they have a huge roll of toilet paper there which you can take before you go in. I think the reason why it tears to shreds when you try to rip it off is because Chinese toilet paper doesn't come perforated. That's my 2 cents anyway. Things we take for granted... And as they always said in these posts, throw away the paper in the bucket close to the toilet instead of in the toilet itself. Their plumbing can't take it.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 8th, 2007, 08:39 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,277
Hi LostinChina, reading through your posts,you did a very similar trip to us and seem to have had similar experiences. We were not impressed with the food most of the time. We never do group travel as a rule, but felt that four cities in China might be asking for trouble on our own so that was why we opted for a tour group. With hindsight and now that we've been there, I think that actually we probably could have done it ourselves. We found that in the main, our best days were when we abandoned the group and did our own thing. I have started to upload our China photos. You might like to take a look at
http://leightravel.smugmug.com/ and
www.leightravelclub.com
LeighTravelClub is offline  
Jul 9th, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #23  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
Leigh,
Took a quick peek at some of your photos, they look very familiar. Excellent photos!! Thanks for sharing. I agree with you the tour food was not good at all. We saw so many huge tour groups eating at the same places. We did have a few free days and afternoons where we went out on our own and got DELICIOUS food. I just loved it. I didn't get to that part yet in my TR. But you are right, going on your own, you can get the best food. We found that the recommendations from our guides weren't the best places to eat sometimes. We had the best Peking Duck at a place, I'm not certain of the name, I think it was Bei Ping Ya? Something like that? It was excellent. Came head and all.

Not sure why they wouldn't want to take tours to places which had better Chinese food? Cost probably.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 9th, 2007, 05:40 PM
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
I just heard from Tiger Direct regarding my defective cell phone. They said it's past 30 days, so they can't help me. That doesn't seem right since I couldn't really try it out until I went to China.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 9th, 2007, 05:48 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Did you check it with a borrowed SIM card before you went? Did it work here?

And what exact model was it? [Sorry, I can't remember what you bought.]
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 9th, 2007, 06:08 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
I'd ask the same question that rkkwan has asked: what kind of phone did you get?

secondly, I'd ask Tiger Direct what the Original MANUFACTURER'S warranty is - one month? two months? three months? a year?

thirdly, did you buy an UNLOCKED phone?
easytraveler is offline  
Jul 9th, 2007, 08:43 PM
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
It was a Motorola C 381p phone. Yes, I borrowed a SIM card from someone who had Cingular which used SIM cards. It worked. They called someone and it worked just fine. It booted up just like it should.

Yes, they said it was an unlocked phone. I even called Motorola after I bought it and they agreed it will work in China.

I guess I will have to deal with Motorola now. Just another pain to try to get the money back, but if there's a chance...

Just seems if you can't try it out before you take a trip, would seem like extenuating circumstances to allow for some leeway.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 9th, 2007, 08:54 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
LiC - Was I the one who showed you the TigerDirect deal? I just can't remember what was the description of that phone on their website.

I'm looking up some specs right and the C381p is a tri-band phone. The version sold in the US has 850/1800 and 1900 GSM, but no 900, which is widely used in Asia and Europe, along with 1800.

So, it seems like that's the problem - your phone is incompatible with the network.

I've always told people that their phone needs to be 1)GSM
2)unlocked
3)has at least 900 and 1800 MHz

So, if I was the one who showed you the TigerDirect deal, then they must have misprinted the information, saying it has 900/1800/1900, but in fact has 850/1800/1900.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 06:16 AM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
rkkwan,
Yes, you were the one who actually gave me a link to the phone late one night and told me I should buy it quickly since they may not have many left. So I bought it immediately. But like I said, after I bought it, I called Motorola the next day and asked them if it would work in China and they said yes, it definitely would. Don't worry about it. I might still contact Motorola about it and see if they can do anything. I do appreciate your help.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 06:19 AM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
rkkwan,
Here was the post for the cell phone:

Author: rkkwan
Date: 01/30/2007, 01:54 pm
Here's the latest deal.

Tigerdirect.com has the unlocked Motorola C381p quad-band GSM phone for $54.99.

Go to that site and search for that model. It's in-stock and I don't know how long the price/stock will last.


LostinChina is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 06:59 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
If that's the case, I believe they mis-represent the feature and specification of that phone. It shouldn't be a quad-band phones, but a tri-band.

You need to tell them it's their error, and that it doesn't have 900MHz frequency which they say it do. You phone only as 850/1800/1900. And there's no way one can test it in the US whether it has 900MHz or not because no carrier in the US or Canada uses 900MHz.

I will call the credit card company and place a dispute if Tigerdirect is unresponsive.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 05:22 PM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
TigerDirect told me repeatedly too bad, too late. Motorola's warranty is only 90 days. Sigh.

Thanks for your help, I'll still pursue, but my expectations are a lot lower in getting a refund.

Now back to the TR. Where was I? Sorry for the lapse in time. We did get to see a jade factory. I know that is another "tourist trap" but suffice it to say, we did help the Chinese economy a bit on that stop. The tour was interesting the way they carve the jade and there were windows you could look in and watch the craftsmen do their craft. It reminded me of the Disney animation windows somewhat. Of course it empties out into a huge jade store. These are suppose to be the real thing, of course at high prices. They do give you a 20% discount which I assume they jack up the price by 20% and then take it off. There is no additional bargaining allowed here.Note: they do have excellent bathrooms here-especially western type.

We also took a quick trip to the silk factory. The goods here were way too expensive for us. Again, this was an excellent stop for western toilets. We saw a couple gals actually working on the silk rugs. It was such meticulous work. They say after the age 40 , the people can't do it anymore since their eyes are too strained. They said they are having problems having the younger generation continue this craft. That's certainly understandable due to the strain.

The best restaurants we found were the ones at the Beijing Peninsula. As I said, the Huang Ting had excellent dim sum for lunch only. It also had excellent Peking Duck. They make the best pancakes, put hoisin sauce in it, then some scallions and/or cucumbers, then the duck inside. The skin was truly delicious! Then they have a second dish with whatever duck is left. Very yummy. I didn't take any of the uncooked scallions (my preference, plus concern for the scallion scare they had in the states with Chi-Chi's).

The other good restaurant we went to was called something like Bei-Pin Yau. Not exactly sure. It had excellent, excellent Peking Duck. Same thing with pancakes, etc. This restaurant allowed you to make the pancakes yourself. The one at the Peninsula, the waitress made it for you.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #33  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
BTW,
Tipping was a confusing topic before we left. What the guide told us is no tipping for the restaurants or taxi-cabs. They didn't seem to expect it either. HOwever she said say to tip the porters $1 USD /bag. The tour info said $1-2 USD/person. So, we did do that. Of course the guide and drivers got tips. Most were very good, 3 out of the 4 guides were excellent.

One thing we noticed (before leaving Beijing) is all the buildings were made without nails, screws, etc. They were made with wood molded into each other. Also, unlike all the problems with wood in the states (carpenter ants, termites, etc) their wood seems to last forever. I asked the guide about that and she said they are made from wood from a special tree which the insects don't like to eat. They even recycled some of the wood for another project since they couldn't find that special wood. I'm blanking on the type of wood. Each and every symbol and every detail has meaning for the Chinese. In the Forbidden City, you could see a row of animals on the roof. Each had a specific meaning. There are bat pictures on the wood which stood for happiness. That is the first connection I've ever heard between bats and happiness. The color yellow was always associated with the emperor. Red-happiness. Blue-Heaven, Green-earth. Square shapes represented the Earth, circle for Heaven, thus the Temple of Heaven was circular. I can't remember it all, but it was very interesting. They did everything down to the last detail for a reason.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 05:59 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
LiC - Sorry for interrupting your TR again. Just want to you give you another option to reclaim some of your investment. Just sell the phone on ebay. I strongly believe it's working. Just say it's 850/1800/1900 Tri-Band. People won't have problem using it here with AT&T or T-Mobile.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 07:56 PM
  #35  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
rkkwan,
No problem, you're not interrupting. I appreciate your input. Remember, I don't know how to do eBay. Might consider learning though. That's a thought. I want to go through my old notes and try to talk to TigerDirect/Motorola again once I review the info I got on the phone originally. I did search for the phone on Tiger Direct and got no results, so they must not carry the phone anymore.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 04:32 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,129
I have been enjoying your TR. I'm heading to China with my cousin October 2008 but will travel independently.

What were the prices of your hotels?

Monica
monicapileggi is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 06:36 AM
  #37  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
Monica,
I can't tell you the price of my hotels since it was a package deal with the travel agent and wasn't broken down. Sorry. You can check them out on the net though.
LostinChina is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 06:43 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
LiC - Can you email me at rkkwan at earthlink dot net. Let me see what can we do about that phone. Don't want to junk up this thread anymore with that.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 01:52 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,854
LostinChina: The chinese pronunciation for bat is "fu" (foo), the same sound as happiness. Just like fish is "yu" which is the same sound as abundance, there sure is an abundance of decor with the fish motif everywhere.

It is also the tradition to wear white for mourning, although many city brides are having east/west ceremonies with white wedding gowns and red chinese chipaos.
Shanghainese is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 05:21 PM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 446
LiC, so enjoying your trip report with all its great detail. We're off to Beijing next month and your tips are really helpful.

Won't be buying a Tiger mobile phone although rkkwan's descriptions of mobile phone requirements are equally helpful - 900 or 1800Mhz now firmly embedded with all the other info. But with severe info overload, could easily be transferred to silk (1800 thread), pearls (900 lustre) or Peking duck (900rmb at most famous restaurant).

Have a few questions re pollution, but like rkkwan don't want to interrupt your tr, so will start a new thread.

Thanks again,
Jackie
FurryTiles is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:02 PM.