Tibet or Hong Kong?

Old Mar 27th, 2006, 10:45 PM
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Tibet or Hong Kong?

I have 21 days to spend in China this July and I'm having a difficult time trying to decide where to go. Specifically I'm trying to decide between visiting Tibet OR Hong Kong/Guilin/maybe Yangshuo.

So here are my options. Which one do you recommend? OR maybe you have a new suggestion?? One thing to note, I can not change Beijing- I'll be there for business.

Option A: Beijing (6 nights), X'ian (2 nights), Tibet (5 nights), Shanghai (4 nights), and Tokyo (4 nights).

Option B: Beijing (6 nights), X'ian (2 nights), Hong Kong (4 nights), Guilin/Yangshuo (2 nights), Shanghai (4 nights), and Tokyo (3 nights)

Will the weather be too miserable in Hong Kong?

Is it too much travel time- all the way to Tibet?
ctheworld is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2006, 12:05 AM
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I'd do Tibet for these reasons:

1. It's a bad time to visit Hong Kong. Hot and humid.

2. You do have enough time with about 17-18 nights in China to go somewhere more remote, like Lhasa.

3. It's a lot easier to go to Hong Kong on other occassions.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 01:54 AM
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Hi
I haven't been to Tibet - it may be why I'd do option A, but I think a bigger draw is that you would see a quite quite different side of China if you went to Tibet.
I love Hong Kong, but you are already seeing large cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. So Tibet would be a fantastic contrast I think.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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Sad to hear Tibet so casually called a part of China. But of course de facto it is.

Before adding more I think I'd need to know what you mean by visiting Tibet. Do you mean flying into Llasa and flying out again? Do you plan on going anywhere else in the region? How? And how were you planning on visiting the places on your other itinerary?

BTW - once you are in Guilin you just need to take a mini bus to Yangshuo - as easy as easy can be. And if it were me, and I was going for the non-Tibet option, I'd take the train from Beijing to Xian first - for the Terracotta Warriors, but even more for the vibe of the town and the wonderful, wonderful, mosque. You could then consider moving on from there to Chongquing, starting point for a trip thru the Three Gorges, and from Wuhan you can get a train to Guilin.


Oh, and I concur with a previous poster re Hong Kong. I just loved it - but it is an international gateway - easy to access - best to spend your time in China in mainland "China".

Some thoughts only ..
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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I went to Xi'an in Dec and feel you do not need 2 nights there, 1 is sufficient, apart from the Warriors I did not enjoy the city that much. The new Sofitel hotel is very nice in Xi'an, def the city's best acco. I also think 4 nights in Shanghai is a lot - it was one of my least memorable Chinese cities, it's very developed and to my mind very polluted. I like the Grand Hyatt there. I'd definitely go to Tibet and if you are doing Tokyo add Kyoto which is supposed to be charming.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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I agree with those who advise Tibet rather than Hong Kong, and with Hobbes on Shanghai. Four nights there is about two too many. There's not a whole lot to see in Shanghai and it, too, will be HOT in July.

If you do select Tibet, take into consideration that you will likely have to fly to Chengdu for a night to catch the very early morning flights to Tibet and then back there to connect to your next stop. (Meteorology and physics aren't my strong points, but there's something about the altitude's thin air, morning vs. afternoon temperatures/wind conditions and aerodymanics that call for flights in and out of Lhasa to be in the a.m.)

It takes a day or two to acclimate to the altitude, so I'd encourage you to spend about 3 days in Lhasa and then arrange for trips to Shigatze/Gyantze as well, to see the countryside, lake, and some of the area that isn't clogged with ethnic Chinese.

I also think two nights is better than one in Xian unless you arrive there at least by mid-morning and depart late afternoon the following day. The Terracotta Warriors will take probably 4+ hours including travel time there and back. The Mosque area is a must-see in my book, as is the Provincial History Museum and the Forest of Steles near the South Gate.

In any case, don't forget to include travel time in your timetable -- it often takes an hour to and from airports, you need to arrive about an hour early, and it seems most flights in China are 90-120 minutes in length. There is usually a big selection of flights between your proposed destinations, but the times you may prefer may be popular ones and thus already booked. Flights also tend to get delayed the later in the day you fly, so I'd encourage early flights in all cases so you can enjoy at least a full afternoon/evening at your destinations. Flights between Guilin and Hong Kong seem to be scheduled at dinnertime and are very frequently late.

K.
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