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Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

Adelaide
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234 posts
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Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

We are first time travellers to China - just a simple question (and I don't really know why i'm asking it) but which would you do first - Beijing or Shanghai? We love Hong Kong, and found Singapore to be a little 'sterile' and 'boring', and have never been to KL. If we were only going to visit one of the two - which would it be?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

If you need to choose between Beijing and Shanghai and only do one, then it is definitely Beijing. It is the capital and has the most history and culture. A lot of the key attractions are there: Forbidden city, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall, etc...

You need 4 or 5 days to do it properly.

Amsterdam
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2. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

Compared to Beijing, Shanghai is just a big city. I Beijing you can spend days seeing new things. Shanghai you can see the major things in about one day.

Manila, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
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3. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

Beijing for me. It has a way more interesting places to see than Shanghai.

You can fill up 4 or 5 whole days in Beijing but 2 days is enough for Shanghai.

Don't go to KL because it's even more boring than Singapore.

London, United...
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4. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

Of course, Beijing should be chosen. Beijing is a historical and cultural modern city. Some historical relics like Forbbiden City, Temple of Heave and Summer Palace will help you learn something about the history of the country. Strolling aroung Hutong area help you know local Beijing lifestyle.

Shanghai is a just modern city which are similar to many metropolis in the world.

Beijing, China
Destination Expert
for Guilin, Xi'an, Tibet
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4,930 posts
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5. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

If only one to pick, its Beijing, Shanghai is nothing but a dull metroplis.

Beijing, China
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6. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

It is undoubtedly Beijing.

Beijing
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6 reviews
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7. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

If you don't want to have pity in China, if it is going to be ever one time journey here,

You may think about Beijing and Xi'an, in this way, you can see two world wonders-- Great Wall and Terra Cot ta soldiers.

Shanghai, China
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8. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

90% of the people been to the soldiers told me that it was boring and more a "been there, done that" thing for your bucket list. So never been in my nearly 9 years here and don't regret. Agree to all saying that if you have to pick one, then do Beijing.

Seoul, South Korea
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9. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

My favorite places in China are:

1) Beijing (amazing history and culture - very cosmopolitan and easy to get around)

2) Xi'an (gorgeous architecture - cheaper than many other parts of China - interesting Muslim quarter - unusual bread-based cuisine - and of course the astounding Terra Cotta Warriors)

3) Harbin (incredible Russian architecture and the astounding Ice Festival in the winter)

Shanghai sucks for the most part. It has fantastic shopping, but Hong Kong is better to be perfectly honest and holders of passports from most Western countries don't need a visa for Hong Kong.

Shanghai, China
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10. Re: Which one first - Beijing or Shanghai?

@laowai88

Fully agree with your statement. I stopped once on the way to the Xi'an airport as I had some time to kill. The TCW certainly didn't impress me. I think I left after less then an hour and rather had a beer at the airport.

Also agree to pick Beijing if you have one stop only.