We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Any help appreciated.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
426 posts
14 reviews
Save Topic
Any help appreciated.

My wife and I are planning a trip to China in August 2009 and would appreciate any advise regarding our first draft itinerary and a few other questions.

We will have 11 days in China and plan to spend them as follows - 2 days in Hong Kong, 3 days in Beijing, 2 days in Xian, 2 days in Shanghai and 2 days in Hangzhou.

Are we trying to do too much in 11 days?

Is Macau worth a visit while we are at that end of the country more so than going to Shanghai/Hangzhou?

Is 3 days enough in Beijing, including a day at the wall?

Is there anywhere else you would add in/leave out?

How long should we allow to get from Hong Kong to Shenzhen airport prior to flying to Beijing?

What is the weather normally like in August?

As I said, any help appreciated as this is only the start of the planning process.

Miami Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Shanghai Region
Level Contributor
6,532 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Any help appreciated.

Hi Gee Bee,

Some tips. First, get the DK Eyewitness Guide to Beijing & Shanghai and/or DK Eyewitness Guide to China. Take one or the other with you.

Second, if this is your first visit to China, I would suggest you replace Xi'an with a country town such as Yangshuo or even Suzhou to see the gardens (day trip from Shanghai). You are concentrating on bigger cities and up to 80% of the people still live in rural and semi-rural areas. Some have incredible beauty and no pollution.

I it were my itinerary, I would drop Hong Kong. Just my preference to see the 3,000-year old China civilization rather than the 150-year-old port colony created by the British. Hong Kong is great for eating, shopping and gambling (Macau), and reminiscent of a Disney-like re-creation of China.

I agree a whole day for the Great Wall. But then I think four days is the best for Beijing. Three days is a rush.

Nothing wrong with your itinerary, except you already should promise to return real soon! I just would reprioritize. My ideal is to see less center cities and see more regular Chinese going about their daily lives. The DK Guides will show you the menu of Chinese wonders.

The weather will be uniformly warm to hot. Some thunderstorms. Chance of a typhoon down near Hong Kong. Shorts and sandals are the uniform of the trip, with some slacks and shoes for night-time. Good hiking/athletic shoes for the GW.

Good luck and congratulations for beginning your planning so early. You will get really excited the closer the time gets. You will also want to spend several annual holidays in China.

Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
415 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Any help appreciated.

I totally agree with SoBeSparky.

Macau is only good for gambling.

3 days is a rush, but if you only have 11 days in China, then 3 days will do.

The weather will be pretty much the same in all major Chinese cities in August, 20-35 C. Cooler at night in northern cities.

If I had 11 days, I would spend 3 days in Beijing, 3 days in Shanghai/Suzhou/Hangzhou, 5 days in Chengdu/Huanglong/Jiuzhaigou Valley/Leshan

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Beijing, Lijiang
Level Contributor
9,608 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Any help appreciated.

Hi GeeBee,

I would probably drop Hong Kong & leave out Macau.

If you could squeeze 4 nights in Beijing it would be better but 3 is still okay - just put your running shoes on LOL.

How about Pingyao? I haven't been yet & it is on the do do list but it sound a good place to see. What does anyone think who's been there???

You could do this after Beijing & it may be an alternative to Xian. If you still wanted to see Xian (the warriors mainly I guess?) it can be easily done with just staying the 1 night.

Hangzhou is lovely but again just spend the one night if you need to cut down.

If you end up with an extra day to spare in Shanghai there are quite a few day trips to choose from.

The DK guide book SoBeS mentioned is really, really good. It's probably the one you will end up taking with you. Easy to carry around, maps are good & excellent info.

Hope you enjoy planning your trip & good luck with everything:)


Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Any help appreciated.

hey there,

As mentioned above,apparently HKG&Macau are nor worth spending too much time on,just for step-jump.

In my point of view,i would like to suggest you to end up you trip in Sanya,as after glimpse of many sites,you must get tired,and sanya may grab your attraction,cause sanya has most nice beach in China,and is the exclusive tropical island in China.

You can relax yourselves and take a break.

Just for your reference.

Cheers for now,


Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
426 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Any help appreciated.

Thanks everyone for your help. It is a fair while till we go so nothing is set in concrete yet but your suggestions have been great and we are looking into all of them. I guess 11 days isn't enough really is it.

Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
13,260 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Any help appreciated.

Yes, you're trying to do too much in 11 days. Either extend your trip duration, or cut out at least 1 destination, if not 2.

No, I'd rather do Shanghai/Hangzhou than Macau.

I would recommend at least 4 days in Beijing, if not 5.

I don't know what I'd add or skip, I don't know your sightseeing interests/preferences.

Look on weather.msn.com/region.aspx… and http://www.wunderground.com/global/CI.html for historical weather data for various locations in China. Generally speaking it'll be hot and humid/dry (depending on location).

If you have any more queries, email me at ellyse99@yahoo.com and put "TripAdvisor" and your own username (eg GeeBee053) in the subject line.

7. Re: Any help appreciated.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 30 September 2009, 23:19