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What to do for 6 days besides Shanghai & Beijing

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Jan 25th, 2013, 08:08 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 517
What to do for 6 days besides Shanghai & Beijing

I’ve really enjoyed reading the detailed China trip reports written by those who have traveled independently as it has given me a lot to think about for our upcoming trip. We are flying into Shanghai and out of Beijing in late June for a total of 13 nights on the ground. We have English friends who are living in Shanghai and will enjoy a few days/nights staying with them and seeing the sights. They will also join us for the weekend in Beijing before we fly home. My husband & I are fit & active (cycling, running) love history & culture. We have been to Hong Kong but didn’t really have the rest of China at the top of our list until we had the opportunity to visit our friends. Now we are really looking forward to it. Between the minimum 3 nights in Shanghai and 4 nights in Beijing (including trip to Great Wall), how would you suggest we use the other 6 nights?
From what I’ve read I see 3 possibilities:

1) Use both Shanghai and Beijing as the base for day/overnight trips to places like Suzhou, Hangzhou from Shanghai and Chengde plus somewhere else out of Beijing. Travel between Beijing and Shanghai by air and the smaller trips by train or private car.
2) Travel between the two cities via train, snaking up and seeing places like Nanjing, Qingdao.
3) Pick a third air destination like Lijiang/Yunnan and fly between the 3 places with 3-4 nights in each.

I want to minimize the time spent traveling and also the time it takes to arrange for the travel (a little nervous about figuring out the train ticket thing). We realize that we won’t “see it all” and are fine with that but would like a mix of big cities with something, for lack of a better word, more “quaint”. We aren’t interested in traveling to Xian. Does anyone have an opinion on what I’ve outlined as well as specific recs for Hotels in the smaller cities? We’re adventurous in most things with the big exception of a place to sleep - my husband is a tall guy and we’ll probably want to stay in hotels that cater to Western tourists (softer beds?). Is there another alternative that I haven’t thought of? Thanks in advance for any opinions you care to share!
AtlTravelr is offline  
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Jan 25th, 2013, 02:49 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 427
First the easy part. Do not try to squeeze in Yunnan. It takes time to get there and you do not have enough time. If you want to do some "nature", Yangshuo is closer and easier to get to.
If you take the train between Shanghai and Beijing, the Nanjing is on the line (fast train).
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Jan 25th, 2013, 03:56 PM
  #3
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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It depends on what you want to see and experience, but you might want to consider adding time to Beijing - I didn't see everything I wanted to see there with 7 full days.

As for other locations, you might find some helpful ideas in my trip report - just click on my name to find it.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 03:31 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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We enjoyed our time in nanjing, but don't expect a small city. If you click on my name, you will find my china trip report that you may want to read if you haven't already.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 04:46 AM
  #5
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Thanks for the comments. I have indeed read both trip reports by Kja and dgunbug. When we began researching this trip I thought I'd be fine just staying close to Shanghai and Beijing. But of course, the more I read the more excited I get and am tempted to throw in something else further afield. So thanks JPDeM -you helped reconfirm what I had initially thought about distances. One of our best trips ever was to Hong Kong where we stayed for an entire week and sure didn't see everything. So I think I'm leaning toward splitting our time between the 2 cities.
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Jan 30th, 2013, 09:53 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Shanghai and Beijing are both far larger than HK and have many interesting towns/cities within reach of a 1-2 hours car or train ride. I'm sure your friends in Shanghai will show you a lot, for additional info, please click on my name, I go there almost yearly, and stayed close to 2 months in 2012.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 08:51 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 35
Lijiang - it is the Most beautiful part of our trip. Check my trip report
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