Nov China and Cruise

Sep 7th, 2004, 09:21 PM
  #1  
cwn
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Nov China and Cruise

My Husband and I will be arriving in Beiging late Oct 30. We will be there the 31st and part of Nov 1st before we transfer to Xinging to beging a cruise. After lots of reading, I have several questions about the places we will be. I realize that our time is very short, only enough for an overview. So, I definitely want to made the most of it. We are 60, love to travel, but have never been to Asia. Here goes, hope some one can help me.
1. Beijing- we plan to go to the Great Wall first thing Sun 31st then stop at the Summer Palace on the return. I have a car reseved, but the driver will not pick us up till 8:30, so we will be there as most of the tour buses hit. I probably will not be able to walk to far from the starting point (to get awy from the crowds) due to knee problems- lots of steps and steep slops are a problem some times. After reading some of the posts I'm thinking we should start earlier, like 7 to beat some of the crowds and plan to be back in Beijing early afternoon. Can you hire a taxi for a trip to the wall AND a stop at the summer palace on the way back? Has any one done it recently? What should we expect to pay?

2. That evening we would like to go down to the Tiananmen-Qianmem area for some looking/shopping and dinner. We will be at the Swissotel which I read is over/near a subway stop. Is it safe/doable to ride the subway to that area or should we use a taxi? Any other sugestions that would get out and about in the early evening?

3. Monday we plan to go to the Forbidden City frist thing. Again is the subway an option? Is there anything else we have time for before we have be back at the hotel for the ship transfer sometime after 1?

4. The ship sails at midnight from Xinging. We should be there by 5. Has anyone sailed from there? What is the port like? Is there any thing to do/see before the ship sails?

5.The next port is Pusan. I have not been able to find out anything about the pier area. We are there for six hours. There are a couple of ship's tours, but is it possible to do anything own your own? I found information on the subway, but don't know where we will be in relation to it.

Thanks for any infomation.
cwn is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 07:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 105
Are you by any chance sailing on the Royal Princess on Nov. 1?

Calex is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 01:04 PM
  #3  
cwn
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Yes we are. Since the itinerary was familar, are you on the Priness too?
cwn is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 02:57 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 105
I have been checking the CruiseCritic website for months now. Had only found 1 person so far that was on the Nov. 1 sailing.
Have thanks to this board gathered so much information on all the ports of call.
We head for Beijing on Oct. 20 will do Xian and Yangtze prior to boarding. And will finish with 5 days in Bangkok.
Loved to chat you can reach me at [email protected]
Carol - Toronto, Canada

Calex is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 05:41 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
Answer to #1 -- I don't think you will have much to worry about with crowds on the Great Wall because you will be there after the main travel season has ended. But if you're traveling from the US you may be waking up very early anyway from jet lag and may want to get on the road sooner and go back to the hotel earlier for some rest in the afternoon. Depending on the arrangements you made for your car and driver, you should be able to negotiate any stops with him. Actually, going earlier and getting to the Summer Palace and back "home" before afternoon rush hour would be a good idea.
2. You might just as well take a taxi from the Swisshotel to Tiananmen and the Forbidden City for a couple of reasons. First, taxis are cheap and you can get the hotel to write your destination on a card to show the driver. Second, you would have to change subway lines from the one around the city to the straight line and that might be a little tricky. Third, it might be chilly and a taxi would be more comfortable. Fourth, if you have a little difficulty with steps be aware that not all subway stations have escalators and you may find yourself climbing and walking more than is desirable.

Sorry, I don't have any experience with your cruise. Hope you have a good time!
slowboat2002 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 07:48 PM
  #6  
cwn
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Showboat: Thanks for your reply. I had not really though about the steps to and from the subway. Texas is mostly flat, so we don't have subways! But my husband generally likes to try them when we have a chance.

The driver has said 8:30, but I will email him about an earlier time. If he wants the business maybe he will agree, he is not willing well.... Does anyone know if we can get a taxi for enough time to do two stops- the Wall and the Summer Palace I agree we will probably be up early and ready for a nap before dinner.
cwn is offline  

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