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Off to China in a few days....any special tips,please.

Off to China in a few days....any special tips,please.

May 20th, 2007, 08:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,277
Off to China in a few days....any special tips,please.

We are off to China at the end of the week and will be visiting Beijing, Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Shanghai and Xian. Will be very grateful for any tips on any 'must see' places and things to do etc.
This will be our first visit to China, so all tips and advise will be much appreciated. Thanks.
LeighTravelClub is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 04:21 AM
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How many days you have and what kind of travelling you will take, independent travelling or with an orgnizaed tour?
asprilalee is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 05:14 AM
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If you plan to shop, bring bubble wrap.

ekscrunchy is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Make sure your phrase book includes Chinese characters as well as pinyin. Make sure your guidebook also has the place names in characters.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Have you followed Ekscrunchy's thread " Back from 21 superb days.....
Full of useful information and good reading.
Paulchili is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 11:56 AM
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In Beijing the one site that I would really go back to again (besides the Great Wall at Mutianyu of course)is The Summer Palace. When you enter most of the people and tour groups go left...so naturally turn right and start that way if you want to avoid the crowd.

In Xian of course visit the warriors but we really enjoyed the Acrobatic Dance Show at the Shaanxi Sunlido Theater.

We got our tickets from our guide(used China Trip Advisor online to hire one before we got there) which included dinner and the show for two at 298 yuan, a little steep for dinner and a show China but it was a fantastic show, a not to be missed event when visiting Xian IMHO!

You can just buy tickets for the show only at the theater as I saw a lot of people just walking up to the ticket window and purchasing tickets just before we went in.

Don't talk to anyone who comes up to you in very public places wanting to "practice" their English on you. This happened numerous times to us especially in Beijing.

Have fun and tell us all about it when you get back!

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 12:20 PM
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If you don't take hawaiiantraveler's advice and talk to the people who approach you to practice their English then don't go with them or anyone to see their art gallery and definitely don't go to a tea tasting or tea ceremony or whatever they call that tea ripoff.

Given a price on an item you should offer one-tenth.
mrwunrfl is online now  
May 21st, 2007, 01:07 PM
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I talked to some of these people..the art touts in Beijing and a tea girl in Shanghai. It is kind of fun just to chat with them, but the conversations were a bit odd. The few I spoke to did not seem to want to give any personal information, as in city of origin, etc. and when I asked to take a photo they scattered very fast. Talking is fine as long as you do not get suckered into the schemes, as per the advice given above.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 04:25 PM
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HT: The Summer Palace in Beijing is a gorgeous place, next time go to Hangzhou, which is about 2 hours from Shanghai. An emperor visited the city on his imperial cruise from B.J. to H.Z. by way of the Grand Canal. He fell in love with H.Z., claiming "there is heaven above and Hangzhou and Suzhou on earth", and had his Summer Palace built as a small scale replica of H.Z., surrounding the man made lake with rocks and trees brought from H.Z.
Shanghainese is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 09:04 AM
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My Wife and I are leaving for China June 2.
I would like to know if it is easy to purchase 2 plane tickets for travel between Beijing and Shanghia
milkman57 is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 01:13 PM
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It's very easy to buy Shanghai --> Beijing tickets. There are plenty of agents at all hotels. Best would be elong.com or ctrip.com. They both have english on their sites, and deliver the tickets free COD.

Shanghainese, I always though that saying about Hangzhou and Suzhou was just marketing speak to promote those cities - I never knew that there was a story behind it. Cool!
baaj is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 01:37 PM
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We will be staying at the Crown Plaza in Beijing, and the Radisson in Shanghai. I've seen someone liked the Crown Plaza. But nothing about the radisson new world any commments would be welcome.Also would like to purchase a fine tahitain black pearl necklace for the wife to match the earrings I gave to her for Christmas. They run around 5000, and up in the states,and I am concerned about finding quality pearls in China and their prices?
milkman57 is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 01:44 PM
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As EKscruinchy says, I agree that there's no harm talking with the "approachers"..just be cool and don't take the bait...but to converse..it's kinda fun.

However, my big warning concerns the most dangerous aspect of China travel today..crossing the street!
The driver's follow no rules, especially the taxis..they come whipping around the corner and totally disregard the pedestrian cross walks. When there were no private cars during my first visit in 1984, the same could be said of the 1000's of bicycles ringing their little bells...Have your wits about you and warn the entire group that's traveling with you. Try to cross with the flow of other crossers.

Above all, have fun...enjoy every minute of that exciting country!

Stu T. (sorry you're going to miss the Guilin area...)
tower is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 02:32 PM
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I am not sure I would spend thousands of dollars on pearls in China unless I had:

1. a personal recommendation of where to buy
2. substantial knowledge of how to distinguish quality

There are wall-to-wall pearl shops on floors 4 and 5 of the Hong Qiao Pearl Market in Beijing.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 03:13 PM
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The Hong Qiao market EKSCRUNCHY refers to is pearl heaven..wife bought some pearls of good quality and fair price at Fanghua on either the 4th or 5th floor. They will treat you royally...be sure to have one of their young men take you down the elevator and walk you out of the market to put you in a taxi when you leave..it's a service they offer and it's important....we had the same convenience at the gem shops in Rio, only they actually have a car drive you back to your hotel...as an added safety measure.

Stu T.
tower is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 05:01 PM
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do not buy black pearls in Beijing. Most if not all are irradiated and dyed black.

The reason I say don't talk to the people who want to practice English on you is that at the least its a waste of time and at most you would be talking to someone who's job is to fleece you of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

These people are not harmless. You might come across one or more who wants more than to steal from you.

They have no good will towards you and will only harm you in some way if they can.

Why even bother talking to someone like that?
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 05:49 PM
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Am planning a trip to China next year after the Olympics and am very interested in the "must-see" places. I am planning to use frequent flyer miles to get me there from Toronto, Canada, and think as a solo traveller, I would be better off joining an organized tour? Any recommendations?
helenal is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 09:43 PM
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Guilin Yangshuo where has the reputation of having the most beautiful landscape under heaven. It is a dream place for many tourists who want to see the real natural landscape and touch the countryside life.

Hilltops pop up from nowhere like trees in the forest and they are shaped like buns, camels, fishes, saw-teeth, horses, etc. It is a city you must visit or you will miss those beautiful landscape there. Rivers flow around like green silk ribbons while the hills reveal themselves as jade hair-pins. Guilin embraces great landscapes like green hills, clear waters, pretty rocks and fantastic caves.
jadeleo is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 10:19 PM
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Thanks to all for your tips. We're off tomorrow and will post a report on our return.
LeighTravelClub is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 03:39 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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Did anyone stay or see the radisson in shanghai? Thank you for the advice about the Pearls I guess I would be better off buying them in Maui next time I visit my brother.Should have bought them in Jan. when we were there.
Any tips for getting a cab to the hotel when we land in Beijing? We speak no Chinese at all and I purchased a half ass translator from brookstone only to find out that it was made in China!!! lol
milkman57 is offline  

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