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Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

Baltimore, Maryland
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Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

My wife and I have 11 nights in China in May.. Currently have it broken down as the following: Beijing 5 nights, Hangzhou 3 nights, Shanghai 3 nights.....

I am concerned that we don't have enough time in Shanghai... we're not looking to visit a million different places on this trip; but rather really enjoy the places we are visiting... Unfortunately, I am considering dropping Hangzhou because I think 3 nights is probably too long (and I am currently booked at the Four Seasons there with their 3rd night free promo). So, here is what I'm considering.. 6 nights Beijing, 5 nights Shanghai with probably a day trip to Hangzhou...

thoughts?

TDW

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

3 days is generally too much in Shanghai as well as in Hangzhou. However, since Shanghai is a big modern international city, you can always find something to do. To use Shanghai as your base for some side trips is a good idea as you can keep it flexible this way and decide later. Rather than Hangzhou for a day trip, look into Suzhou and Tongli.

Beijing, China
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2. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

I'd keep your plans as you have them now, especially with that 3rd night free Four Seasons promo! Get to Hangzhou early evening, spend Four Seasons night 1. Next day Hangzhou city, West Lake, etc. Fours Seasons 2. Next part-day visit a water town like Xitang or Wuzhen, back to Hangzhou by mid-afternoon, relax/tea plantation, FS night 3. Bullet train to Shanghai next morning. Sightseeing in city. Shanghai night 1. Daytrip to Suzhou next day (no need for water town since you'll have already done that). Return to Shanghai night 2. Day 3 more Shanghai, shopping, etc. Shanghai night 3. There you go.

This will be much better paced and ultimately more relaxing, not to mention keeping you from one-night stands in hotels.

Edited: 28 January 2013, 18:11
Chengdu, China
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3. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

spend a full day stroll around West Lake,visit old temple,Museum and gallery.

spend another day to go to Meijiawu Tea Planation,to enjoy the best green tea in China. Also,a visit to Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum seems interesting.

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

thanks for all the suggestions- I think that we'll stay with the current plan.. any thoughts on plane vs train for Beijing to Hangzhou?

TDW

Guilin
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5. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

I would like to take plane as the air ticket in May enjoys relative good rate and just two hours fly if there is no delay. The high-speed train requires 6.5 hours travel and soft seat rate at around rmb1000.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

Wow!!! 'Four Seasons' locates at a nice place!

I buy #2 and #5.

D1~D5: Beijing.

D6: Beijing then fly to Hangzhou early evening. (1st night)

D7~D8: Hangzhou, it is good enough for 2-days.

D9: Hangzhou- Suzhou by D/G-train then Tongli (1-night).

D10: Tongli- Suzhou (1-night) or to Shanghai at the evening

D11: Shanghai

Beijing, China
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7. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

Tossup on flying or G bullet train between Beijing and Hangzhou. For the train, I'd want a first class seat on this 6+ hour trip, and they cost as much as a flight. However, as to overall journey time, by the time you figure in the trip from town to PEK, check-in and security, waiting, the inevitable ATC delay and flight...you're probably not saving much time doing the flight over the train. And having a bullet train experience where the journey is long enough for them to let 'er rip at 180 mph might be nice, especially since you don't have same in USA. Unlike the plane, you can move around on the train, eat when you want, work on computer, etc.

Edited: 30 January 2013, 05:58
Baltimore, Maryland
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8. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

Thanks all... will the Nanjing-Hangzhou line (which theoretically should open up in February) shorten the train trip any?

Beijing, China
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9. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

It should, as it cuts out all that heavily built-up Wuxi - Suzhou - Shanghai part where the train has to make multiple stops and run slower. My guess is it will cut down the journey time by at least an hour.

Sydney, New South...
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10. Re: Itineray questions- 11 nights in China

"Beijing 5 nights, Hangzhou 3 nights, Shanghai 3 nights....."

Shanghai 3 nights.. so that's 3.5 to 4 days in Shanghai.. there are some places to see in Shanghai but really.. you could see pretty much everything worth seeing in 2 days.. and it wouldn't be hard to do that.. that is, you won't be rushing around to see them..

For example, you could start out at People's Square and visit one or two of the museum-like places there, then stroll down the famous "Nanjing East Street", which ends up at "The Bund", then take a ferry (much better AND cheaper than the tourist ride that goes under the river) from "The Bund" side of the Huangpu River to the "Pudong" side of the river and stroll along the riverside walkway on that side of the river towards the "Pearl Tower".. and if you really wanted to go up the Jin Mao Tower, that is rather closeby to that. All of that could be done EASILY in a few hours. Yuyuan Garden is near "The Bund", though a little bit of a walk.. but that's also a possibility. And that's pretty much all the worthwhile sites within Shanghai covered.. in half a day. :)

Hangzhou is BEAUTIFUL.. it's a wonderful place to visit for a bit of relaxation and it is extremely easy to ride around on bikes there without much concern for the traffic. It's a good blend of ancient and new, definitely worth a visit for the southern style cultural history before you go to Beijing. Even if you only spent 2 or 3 days there, and cycled around (or caught the buses) you would feel like you are in heaven. You could probably see most of the "must see" places in Hangzhou in 2 days.. but it's the kind of place that you will want to spend more time.

Beijing.. hrmm.. there is certainly a lot to see and do.. and if you are planning on 5 days there.. you will probably want to make one of those days a visit to one of the nearby (kinda) Great Wall sites. Another day could be spent in and around Tiananmen Square where there is the Forbidden Palace as well as a decent size and maintained Zhongshan Park right next to the Forbidden Palace. Probably take in a Beijing Opera type show with acrobatics and kungfu displays etc. With the polution right now.. I'm a little hesitant with what to suggest regarding Beijing at the moment.. if it's as bad as it is now, it will be terrible.

Regarding moving between cities:

Shanghai to Hangzhou (and back) is VERY quick.. even if you don't take the HSR, it's still only a matter of an hour or two.. I think average non HSR is about 1.5 hours from memory. Shanghai to Beijing is probably best to do by plane or the HSR.. domestic airfares in China, if booked early, are VERY cheap.. Best to book through a place like ctrip.com for airfares.

Anyway.. that's all I have to say at this point