5 weeks in China. Help

Jul 1st, 1997, 08:35 AM
  #1  
Kim Pham
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5 weeks in China. Help

Male caucasian and I (female Asian, not Chinese) would like to spend 5 weeks in China (10/10-11/15). With all the help from ITN Person to Person, we narrowed down to Pacific Delight tour. However, we would rather go on our own because there are places that we want to spend more time: Suzhou, Xi'an.. We also like to cruise the Yangzer River. Is it doable? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. We plan to have a travel agent to arrange for inter-city transportation and hotels and transfers to airport, bus, train stations, the rest we manage on our own. What do you think? Thanks a million.
 
Jul 9th, 1997, 09:07 PM
  #2  
Sharon Mason
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Generally you have to fly from city to city in China and unless one of you speaks Chinese you might well miss a flight announcement or change in flight arrangements. This is one of the reasons it is really good to go on a guided tour. It is true that you do not get enough time in some spots and there may be one too many shopping stops, nonetheless, it really eases things when you are traveling with a competent guide. My husband and I traveled with Pacific Delights last October to China, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. We had a great national tour guide in China (Chen Qi or "Tony"). The Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Warriors are even better than you can imagine. The Li River (Guilin) is extraordinary. We did not make it to the Yangtze River (opted for Bangkok and Singapore instead when selecting our tour). Do be prepared for Chinese toilets, as many of them are the hole in the ground variety and some do not have doors on the stalls (Best to carry your own toilet paper and bottled water). I'd be happy to share some more of our experiences if you are interested.
 
Jul 13th, 1997, 03:43 PM
  #3  
tim leonard
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Travel in China: I lived there for 3 yrs (91-94). Chinese "tourist authorities" expect big noses to pay extra for everything; soft sleeper on trains, plane fares and hotels...still, with a stubborn attitude and smile you can save. Be aware of scam artists, carry toilet paper, bottled water, get all your your shots especially against hepatitis all forms (C-from crawfish etc-which locals are not aware of), carry your own chopsticks for local food. Probably best to use travel agency although can be limiting as to mobility-tradeoff ie
time/money/hassle/enjoyment
feel free to ask questions
 
Aug 2nd, 1997, 08:57 PM
  #4  
roo
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Hello Tim. I read with interest that you lived in China for 3years. Would be interested in hearing some of your experiences; intend (hopefully) to be working over there in the next few years, so would appreciate any firsthand knowledge. thanks.

Roo
 
Aug 2nd, 1997, 08:58 PM
  #5  
roo
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Hello Tim. I read with interest that you lived in China for 3years. Would be interested in hearing some of your experiences; intend (hopefully) to be working over there in the next few years, so would appreciate any firsthand knowledge. thanks.

Roo
 
Aug 3rd, 1997, 12:55 AM
  #6  
Paul Lim
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Dear Kim Pham,
Re: Trips to China..

I have been traveling in and out of China for the last ten years on business and pleasure.

As a Singapore Chinese and speaks five major Chinese dialects including the national language - Mandarin, I still finds it problematic traveling on my own especially when visiting places of interest on my own.

In my opinion and from my past experience, the best and safe way to see places of interest of your choice is to arrange for a hotel transportation to bring you to specific places you want to visit. It is charged on hourly rates or per day base of a number of hours ( different from hotel to hotel). this way, you can spend the required time you need in a particular place of interest.

In general and as a alternative, you can join a local tour in each city you visited. they also cater to specially tailored tours with an English speaking guide. In any case, it is not advisable to travel and see places in China on your own.

The YangZhe River tour is available in Wuhan city of Hebei Province where the famed and scenic Three Gorges are. There are local tours offering boat ride and other sporting events. The boat or junk ride along the river and passing through the Three Gorges is quite an experience. There are designated stops along the way where you get ashore for a short but exciting shopping spree. These include all kinds of handmade stuff offered by the locals there. There is even a mid air daredevil acrobatic show above the river with no safety net. It will be worth your while.

The Great Wall, Ming Tombs and Forbidden City in Beijing and the West Lake of HangZhou in addition to the Historic cities of Xian and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province should not be missed either. Get the most out of your trip.

Yes, buy lots of fruits and water/drinks outside of the hotel for your sightseeing trips and for consumption in the hotel. You can try eating in resturants outside of the hotel. They are generally safe but have jabs for all precautions are advisable. Taxis are considered cheap in all the cities going by the meter. Avoid public buses/vans and mini buses. When taking trains, always go first class to avoid hassles. Never leave your luggages and bags out of sight and always carry the important documents such as passports and cash with you. Use credit cards for payment whenever possible. Finally, a smile goes a long way.

Do not give handouts to anyone including little crying kids pulling your pants. Just ignore and walk on. If facing with a situation you can't get out, try looking for a uniformed personnel to ask for help. Wear casual and put on your walking shoes for comfort.

All the best to you both and wishing you both a pleasant, safe and enjoyable stay in China. Remember to stop by in Hong Kong for a couple of days to enjoy the wonder of the Pearl of the Orient on your way back. I can be reached on Tel: 9039-2393 in case you like me to show you both around, when you are in Hong Kong.

Regards,
Paul
 
Aug 3rd, 1997, 12:57 AM
  #7  
Paul Lim
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Dear Kim Pham,
Re: Trips to China..

I have been traveling in and out of China for the last ten years on business and pleasure.

As a Singapore Chinese and speaks five major Chinese dialects including the national language - Mandarin, I still finds it problematic traveling on my own especially when visiting places of interest on my own.

In my opinion and from my past experience, the best and safe way to see places of interest of your choice is to arrange for a hotel transportation to bring you to specific places you want to visit. It is charged on hourly rates or per day base of a number of hours ( different from hotel to hotel). this way, you can spend the required time you need in a particular place of interest.

In general and as a alternative, you can join a local tour in each city you visited. they also cater to specially tailored tours with an English speaking guide. In any case, it is not advisable to travel and see places in China on your own.

The YangZhe River tour is available in Wuhan city of Hebei Province where the famed and scenic Three Gorges are. There are local tours offering boat ride and other sporting events. The boat or junk ride along the river and passing through the Three Gorges is quite an experience. There are designated stops along the way where you get ashore for a short but exciting shopping spree. These include all kinds of handmade stuff offered by the locals there. There is even a mid air daredevil acrobatic show above the river with no safety net. It will be worth your while.

The Great Wall, Ming Tombs and Forbidden City in Beijing and the West Lake of HangZhou in addition to the Historic cities of Xian and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province should not be missed either. Get the most out of your trip.

Yes, buy lots of fruits and water/drinks outside of the hotel for your sightseeing trips and for consumption in the hotel. You can try eating in resturants outside of the hotel. They are generally safe but have jabs for all precautions are advisable. Taxis are considered cheap in all the cities going by the meter. Avoid public buses/vans and mini buses. When taking trains, always go first class to avoid hassles. Never leave your luggages and bags out of sight and always carry the important documents such as passports and cash with you. Use credit cards for payment whenever possible. Finally, a smile goes a long way.

Do not give handouts to anyone including little crying kids pulling your pants. Just ignore and walk on. If facing with a situation you can't get out, try looking for a uniformed personnel to ask for help. Wear casual and put on your walking shoes for comfort.

All the best to you both and wishing you both a pleasant, safe and enjoyable stay in China. Remember to stop by in Hong Kong for a couple of days to enjoy the wonder of the Pearl of the Orient on your way back. I can be reached on Tel: 9039-2393 in case you like me to show you both around, when you are in Hong Kong.

Regards,
Paul
 
Aug 16th, 1997, 08:46 AM
  #8  
Yip Yew Chong
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If you have 5 weeks in china, you should consider Xinjiang or Sichuan where it is really beautiful & more varied. It is cold anyway in China anywhere in Oct / November.
 
Aug 21st, 1997, 10:48 AM
  #9  
Elyse
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Tim: I will be living and working in China for 4 months - leaving in 2 weeks! After living there, do you have any tips or advice? Do you of any good apartments in Beijing - that's where I will be. Anyone travelling through Beijing during the months of Sept-Dec? I would like the company!
 
Sep 9th, 1997, 11:46 AM
  #10  
Kim Pham
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Thank you for all your responses.
 

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