Time in Shanghai vs Time in Japan

Oct 12th, 2004, 03:44 PM
  #1  
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Time in Shanghai vs Time in Japan

I know this is an Apples & Oranges question, but here goes.

We are planning a three week trip to China & Japan next fall. We are currently planning to visit Hong Kong, Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai & Tokyo. This is our first trip to Asia. We are travelling with my brother and sister-in-law who have lived in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing.

Our question is: Should we omit Shanghai (with a side trip to Suzhou) in order to spend more time in Japan visiting sights outside of Tokyo (Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kamakura)? Given unlimited time and money we would do it all, but you know how it is.

Fodorites are so well travelled. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks
marilynfaye is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 03:44 AM
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Marilyn, I haven't been to Japan, but I've just spent 10 days in Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and, to my everlasting regret, Zhouzhuang. We enjoyed Shanghai and Suzhou, but I have to say that based on my son's recent reports of Kyoto in particular, if I were in your position I think I'd opt for Japan.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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Another vote for Kyoto over Shanghai.
xgao is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 05:51 AM
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I'd say Shanghai - its going to be a lot less expensive in China than Japan.
You will save on airfare, hotels, meals, transportation etc.
If you like big cosmopolitan cities and loads of good bargains then I think you want Shanghai.
BillT is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 01:45 PM
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No argument from me on that score, BillT. For a start, you can take cabs to your heart's content - none of our rides, excepting the one to Pudong airport, cost more than US$3.

marilynfaye, if you do opt for Shanghai, there's more than enough to occupy a few days. Take the 430 km/hr maglev train from the airport terminal to Long Yang station, some way short of the city centre but well worth it. Get a great view from the Hyatt's 87th floor bar, or the 350-metre level of the Oriental Pearl tower. Explore the old French Concession area, where you can eat European if you tire of Chinese food (try the shopping court near the corner of Madang and Taicing Rds, or the Cafe Montmartre). This area also has many good clothing stores, as my daughters will attest.

For Chinese food try the opulently-decorated Mei Long Zhen restaurant at 1081 Nanjing Road West, but there are lots of good restaurants covering all major Chinese, other Asian and European cuisines. Wander the Old Town, including the "antiques" market along Liuheikou Rd or the more touristy shopping district starting in Central Fangbang Road.

Other options are a 1-hour river trip, walking the Bund and nearby streets, and visiting historic sites like the former residences of Dr Sun Yat Sen, Zhou En Lai and the site of the first national congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Also the excellent museum in Renmin (People's) Park.

In Chinese terms Shanghai is cosmopolitan and I guess has more English-speakers than any city other than Hong Kong, but this is relative and does not include the city's cabbies. They are however overwhelmingly efficient, good-humoured and honest, and if you're travelling with people who've lived in Beijing in particular you won't have a problem. However, do get hold of a map showing major roads in both Chinese and Pinyin.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 01:55 PM
  #6  
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You have all given such good advise. Thank you so much.

You know the old saying . . . so much to do; so little time.

We're still working on the itinerary so if anyone else has suggestions, please speak up.

Marilyn
marilynfaye is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 12:51 AM
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Marilyn, as a retiree I can only relate to "so little to do, so much time". I'm sure you'll have a great time whatever your decision.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 08:51 AM
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By visiting Beijing, Xian and Hong Kong, I think you can get a pretty good sense about China. Regarding Shanghai, you just imagine one day it would look like Hong Kong However, I don't think one can truely appreciate Japan by just seeing Tokyo. Plus, Kyoto as a city has much more to offer than Shanghai.
xgao is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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I would definitely vote for Kyoto.
glorialf is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Go to China and live like a king, go to Japan and live like a prince but at a king's ransom.
BillT is offline  

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