Shanghai,Beijing,Hong Kong

Jan 3rd, 2005, 02:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Shanghai,Beijing,Hong Kong

I am starting to research a trip to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. I have been to HK many times, but not in 20 years. I have never been to Shanghai or Beijing. We will have about 12 days, leaving from NYC. Any suggestion on airlines, amount of time in each place? Amount of time in each place?


Spainfan is offline  
Jan 4th, 2005, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hong Kong & Shanghai both deserve at least 4-5 days. There is much to see & also heaps of fine restaurants, shops to check out, and Shangahi has a very fine museum which takes a half day to view all the exhibits. Buy a good guidebook for each city. The Lonely Planet does a great city guide for Hong Kong & Shanghai. Did not get to Beijing.
Lyndie is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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I agree that 4 or 5 days each in HKG and Shanghai are right and then only about 3 days in Beijing. As for airlines Cathay Pacific does an excellent job and far outshines United or Northwest. I have just returned from HKG a few days ago and have an excellent travel agent in New York that has coordinated many trips to Asia for me. In particular, he has obtained great business class airfares and discounts on deluxe hotels like Mandarin Oriental and Peninsula. Anyway, I'd be happy to give you his details if you like. Cheers, Nancy Vreeland
PassportControl is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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cathy pacific has good flights from nyc as does eva air (newark)...eva offers a premier econcomy for about $250. more which has appeal to some..i would split my time evenly between HK and the other two: 5 days HK and 3 each for the other travel day
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Non-stops from the New York area to HK/China:

Cathay Pacific: JFK-HKG
Continental: EWR-HKG
Air China: JFK-PEK (Beijing)

CX's service is good, and CO's not bad either.

But if you want to fly the same airline directly into China, and out of HK, or vice versa, then you need a connection. Plenty of airlines to choose from: JAL, ANA, Korean, Asiana, NW & UA all serve New York, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.

EVA is not a good choice to go to China, as you'll need to change plane in Taipei, and then another connection to change airline in Hong Kong or Macau. Add the fact that its New York service is one-stop, you are talking about 4 flight segments on 2 airlines from NY to China. Even just going to Hong Kong means 3 flights, compared to 1 on CX/CO.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 09:10 AM
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Hello Spainfan: I have been to all three places last February, and I suggest you to give Hong Kong 4/5 days, Beijing 4/5 days and Shanghai 3 days. Beijing is the capital of China, and there are so many historical places you can visit. I flew on Cathay Pacific from NYC to Beijing first, then Shanghai & Hong Kong.
sillywin is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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The amount of time in each place depends on your interests. There are more tourists 'sights' in the traditional sense in Beijing and its surrounding area. Shanghai feels more modern and has better dining/shopping opportunities. I enjoy my trips to Shanghai but I know others have been disappointed in that they find it too 'westernized'. So it's very much a personal preference. I haven't been to HK in a long time.
Patty is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 07:40 PM
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Last summer we took our two teens, ages 14 and 16, to China. I think my tastes run with Patty's. We seem to have a minority view, compared to many in this forum, in that we found Shanghai to be one of the most enjoyable places to visit. We spent 4 or 5 days there, and could easily have spent a few more. There is a wonderful museum; ancient, colonial and modern parts in fascinating juxtaposition; modern skyscrapers, interesting stores, terrific (and cheap) restaurants, and beautiful gardens. Many areas, like the French Concession, to take long walking tours. The nice thing for us was that the air and infrastructure were more inviting than Beijing, Xian, and some of the other places we'd visited. However, it should be noted that we tend to like to "settle in" to places wherever we travel, combining a few brief visits (which for us is usually at least 2 days), with longer stays to soak up a city or town.

It's too bad you only have 12 days, and are leaving from NYC, so you'll be wiped out with jetlag when you first arrive in China. If you could stretch your time, I'd suggest the following: For a few days, if you're going to be in the Shanghai "area", we'd definitely recommend Hangzhou, which, though more crowded than many would like, has the nonetheless very beautiful West Lake to explore. Also, Suzhou was well worth a few days, for the gardens (and my daughter would want me to make a special plug for Yang Yang Dumpling House, which had the best jaozha (steamed dumplings) we'd found anywhere on our visit).

For airlines, we travelled to China from SFO on ANA, and found the service and flights to be excellent. Within China, we got the sense that the major airlines were pretty much interchangeable - all modern and efficient. We flew Air China and Hainan, and both were fine.
EdEdwards is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 09:54 PM
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We spent a full week in Beijing and 6 days in Shanghai and never ran out of things to see and do, even if it was just strolling through the back streets. Like EdEdwards, though, we like to settle in to a city rather than dash through it.

In Shanghai, visiting the former residences of Dr Sun Yat Sen and Zhou Enlai, and the site of the first congress of the Chinese Communist Party, all within walking distance of each other, made for an interesting insight into modern Chinese history. Walking the old French Concession district and the Old Town and "antiques" market, taking a boat ride on the Huangpu and having a drink or three in the art deco Peace Hotel's jazz bar are also worth doing.

In Beijing the National Art Museum of China, in addition to the usual tourist drawcards, is well worth a visit. The Back Lakes area, Jinshan Park and Beihai Park are all central and provide pleasant walks. Ignore the rickshaw drivers and hoof it is my advice. You certainly don't need guides in either city if you do your homework.

We had 2 days in Hangzhou and 1 day in Suzhou - with the benefit of hindsight I'd have reversed that. Hangzhou's West Lake is nice, but the city itself is rather undistinguished. Admittedly we may have missed something. Suzhou by comparison has a lively shopping-eating-drinking street (Shiquan Jie).
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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I'd forgotten the Shanghai river cruises! We did the longer (?4 hour) version, to the mouth of the river, and we thought it was very worthwhile. You really get a sense of the port activity, and also the river people. There were many boats with children, people cooking, etc. Often times they would be very curious about us, with the adults pointing us out to the kids, and everyone waving. If you don't have time for the 4 hour trip, I think the 2 hour version would be fine, too.
EdEdwards is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Hello all!!
Happy New Year!
China is a fascinating place.
I would like to suggest to visit the countryside if you wish to really know China.
The big cities are great and I am not trying to keep you away from them.
But they are all too much influenced by the western part of the world.
And more and more every day.
I was there for a few years and believe me I really miss it.
Even if it has to be only for one day, get to plan some time away from the noise and from the big areas.
Go to the countryside.
Let me know.
Have a nice trip.
worldguy is offline  

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