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How many days in each place?

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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How many days in each place?

Hello, everyone.

I'd like some help to plan my first Asia trip.

We (me and my husband) will have 16 to 17 days between the end of feruary to mid-march and were planning on going to these cities:

Tokyo - 4 days

Kioto - 2 days

Beijing - 5 days

Shanghai - 3 days

Hong Kong - 3 days

I'm wondering if the distribuiton of these 16 days is ok or if I should spend more or less time in one of the mencioned places.

Also, is this a good order to visit those places? Starting in Japan and moving south in China?

Thanks a lot for your advice.

Carol.

New York, NY
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1. Re: How many days in each place?

those number of days seem do-able for each city. especially if you're doing day trips from beijing (e.g. great wall, xi'an), 5 days with beijing as your base is probably ok. shanghai also has some day trips, like the water canal towns. a lot depends on what you plan on doing too.

Auckland, New...
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2. Re: How many days in each place?

Hi Carol,

suggest one small change being 2 days Tokyo and 4 days Kyoto..

Cheers.

Edited: 31 October 2011, 11:11
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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3. Re: How many days in each place?

Thanks for the advice, trippyNYC. I found it very helpful.

Isn't Xi'an a bit far away for a day trip, though? I saw there is an overnight train, I thought it would be too much to do on the tight schedule I have. But I would love to see as much as possible, of course.

Can you give me more advice on shanghai? I hadn't heard of these water canal towns sofar...

And also if you could share some ideas on day trips in general that are good to do from beijing and shangai.

Thanks a lot!

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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4. Re: How many days in each place?

Hi, StanleyAuckland

Thank you for your suggestion. I found it quite surprising. From what i've read til now, 2 days would be enough to see Kyoto. Why do you suggest staying longer? Is it to do some daytrips from Kyoto and back?

I'm afraid that 2 days in Tokyo wouldn't be enough. It is a big city afterall, right?

Could you tell me more, why you suggest this change?

Thank you in advanced!

Edited: 31 October 2011, 23:42
San Francisco...
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5. Re: How many days in each place?

Japan is the only country in Asia I've visited, so I will restrict my comments to Tokyo and Kyoto.

I would suggest spending more time in Kyoto and less time in Tokyo than you've planned, maybe 3 days in Tokyo and 3 days in Kyoto, or maybe 2 days in Tokyo and 4 days in Kyoto. Yes, Tokyo is a much bigger city, but there is probably more for a tourist to see in Kyoto than Tokyo. Remember that Tokyo was badly damaged during World War II and Kyoto was not bombed at all during the war. As a result, there are many historic shrines and temples in Kyoto, and also some historic neighborhoods. Tokyo is mostly new development, built since World War II. In Kyoto, there is a nice mix of historic sites and newer development, so I don't think you will regret spending a little more time in Kyoto than you'd planned.

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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6. Re: How many days in each place?

Tokyo and Kyoto both have tons to see and do. I'd allocate at least 4 days each. I'd take one day each from Beijing and Hong Kong.

Tokyo 4 days, Kyoto 4 days, Beijing 4, Shanghai 3 and Hong Kong 2.

New York, NY
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7. Re: How many days in each place?

If you like food, we usually don't have enough time to eat everything in Tokyo. Japan has some of the best food in the world and not just sushi. You probably don't need so many days for actual sightseeing.

I was referring to the same-day flight to Xi-an and back to BJ. But it might be hectic. Great Wall is probably a good half day trip at least. There is also the Summer Palace which you could add on if you're not too tired. In addition the Old Summer Palace has a bunch of European style ruins.

If you watched Mission Impossible III, there is a chase scene in a river canal town. Some of these ancient charming towns include Zhujiajiao, Xitang and Zhouzhuang. They are couple/few hours from Shanghai. Be sure to have some soup dumplings (xiao long bao) in SH.

Kyoto, Japan
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8. Re: How many days in each place?

I also think that two days in Kyoto will not be enough. Four days for Kyoto would be much better. You wouldn't even have to leave the city in order to find things to do. But many people do take a day-trip to Nara when they are in Kyoto for a few days. You could also go to Osaka for dinner after Nara if you really wanted to see another place.

Auckland, New...
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9. Re: How many days in each place?

I suggested 4 ays in Kyoto as you can also use it as a base for visiting Nara and Osaka. Even if you do not visit these other cities, 4 days would not be wasted in Kyoto.

Cheers.

Edited: 01 November 2011, 06:00
Guildford, United...
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10. Re: How many days in each place?

Always difficult to know what other people will enjoy. To me the main interest in Japan is to see the way the Japanese have managed to organise a society where everything works and almost everyone does their job to the very best of their ability, so trains run to the second, hotel staff literally run to help, passers-by go far out of their way to assist a confused tourist. So anywhere in Japan is of interest to me.

Kyoto: In decent weather I could spend a few days here anytime, wandering the gardens, shrines and temples but some people will be templed out after a day and there is not a great deal else of interest.

Tokyo: As others have said, pretty much destroyed in WW2 and since rebuilt in concrete as it is the best material for withstanding earthquakes. Many of the world's best hotels, shops, clubs and, without a doubt, the best transport system. If you want the ultimate urban experience you will get it here. In addition, like the rest of Japan, you can wander around at any time without worrying about being robbed or assaulted, not something you can say about many other places!

Hong Kong: I have always loved it. For me no other city view quite compares and the feeling of vitality is unequalled almost anywhere. Just going back and forward on the Star Ferry is one of my favourite experiences as is a trip to one or two to the smaller islands.

Shanghai: I have been three times without finding anything of interest.

Beijing: By far the most interesting city in China. Essentially a place to go and see the famous sights.

Again it depends what you enjoy but I would always go to China before Japan. That way you start off in a place which is grubby and, in spite of the modern glitz, often run down, with people who are tough and, all too often aggressive and ill mannered before moving on to a place that is tidy, polished almost to death and with sophisticated, urbane people of unparalleled politeness. I know people who feel quite the opposite and are glad to escape what they see as the regimented, rule bound society of Japan!

My take on the days would be Hong Kong 4, Shanghai 2, Beijing 3, Tokyo 3, Kyoto 4, including trips to Nara and Osaka. I would add a night in Takayama.