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Old 01-16-2014, 01:57 PM
 
Location: San Diego
939 posts, read 2,828,825 times
Reputation: 438

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
That's not the goal. Read the OP's post.



If the goal is bustling cities, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, maybe Jakarta, and maybe Hong Kong are better targets.

As others have said; Beijing is not walkable, and I wouldn't call it "Bustling". More like gridlocked and smog blanketed. If it's not bad in the summer, I can't imagine what winter is like. We were there in July 2009--right after the Olympic "clean up" initiative, and it was twilight at midday with yellow smog so thick you literally couldn't see skyscrapers 2 blocks away.

Shanghai is better. Xi'an is pretty sleepy, but the food is good. If you want to see a concentration of famous Chinese sights, then Beijing is a good target. But it's still a miserable place. DaLi, Kashi, Guilin, and a bunch of other cities and towns come to mind as being much more pleasant and interesting.

Very interesting perspective. Lucky for us, the itinerary includes transportation. We will be driven everywhere, to all the sites, especially in Beijing which is not walkable. We will be taken to the Olympic village, forbidden city, great wall, etc. I expect the cities to be congested, dirty, and smoggy, but that's an experience we are looking forward to. Even the humidity and monsoons. I know, this does not sound pleasant for most travelers, but again, keep in mind that coming from San Diego, great weather gets dull. Xi'an is also a very quick trip. I'm looking forward to Shanghai and Hong Kong the most. Even the side cities like Shenzhen and (It's pronounced So Chew but I forget the spelling). Also Macau if there's time.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,231,639 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
That's not the goal. Read the OP's post.



If the goal is bustling cities, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, maybe Jakarta, and maybe Hong Kong are better targets.

As others have said; Beijing is not walkable, and I wouldn't call it "Bustling". More like gridlocked and smog blanketed. If it's not bad in the summer, I can't imagine what winter is like. We were there in July 2009--right after the Olympic "clean up" initiative, and it was twilight at midday with yellow smog so thick you literally couldn't see skyscrapers 2 blocks away.

Shanghai is better. Xi'an is pretty sleepy, but the food is good. If you want to see a concentration of famous Chinese sights, then Beijing is a good target. But it's still a miserable place. DaLi, Kashi, Guilin, and a bunch of other cities and towns come to mind as being much more pleasant and interesting.
Xian 'sleepy'? Have you even visited? It was anything but sleepy when I visited, bustling with people, it's a city of 8 million. One of the most unique and interesting cities in China, with it's original (huge) city wall still preserved and as many historical site as Beijing.

If the OP wants to see China, it's no use mentioning those other cities. HK will be included anyway. Beijing is a must-see for the historical sites, you cannot miss it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,231,639 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCali4LifeSD View Post
Very interesting perspective. Lucky for us, the itinerary includes transportation. We will be driven everywhere, to all the sites, especially in Beijing which is not walkable. We will be taken to the Olympic village, forbidden city, great wall, etc. I expect the cities to be congested, dirty, and smoggy, but that's an experience we are looking forward to. Even the humidity and monsoons. I know, this does not sound pleasant for most travelers, but again, keep in mind that coming from San Diego, great weather gets dull. Xi'an is also a very quick trip. I'm looking forward to Shanghai and Hong Kong the most. Even the side cities like Shenzhen and (It's pronounced So Chew but I forget the spelling). Also Macau if there's time.
It's a pity, Xian deserves more time. It's far more than just the terracotta warriors and the pagodas, tombs.etc. It was after all the first capital of China, and at one time the biggest city in the world. Aside from the warriors, the Big Goose Pagoda, city wall (which you can walk on), drum/bell tower, and just exploring the city is pretty fascinating.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqBRwBrDvYo

Btw the correct pronunciation is more like 'she-ahn', lol.

Last edited by The Postman; 01-16-2014 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:03 AM
 
1 posts, read 455 times
Reputation: 10
I would suggest you to spend some more time in Shanghai, it is one of the most interesting and lovely city in China. In my last trip, I booked tours with Shanghai Pathways, [url]www.shanghaipathways.com[/url], It was easy to book and the guide was great.

Last edited by Shanghaisexpat; 02-09-2014 at 03:12 AM..
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
1,022 posts, read 3,144,521 times
Reputation: 219
My goodness a statement about Jakarta a bustling city? More like a hell compared to Beijing, even worse in terms of walkability and gridlocking trafic, atleast Beijing trafic moves because millions commute daily.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:44 AM
 
96 posts, read 99,165 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCali4LifeSD View Post
Very interesting perspective. Lucky for us, the itinerary includes transportation. We will be driven everywhere, to all the sites, especially in Beijing which is not walkable. We will be taken to the Olympic village, forbidden city, great wall, etc. I expect the cities to be congested, dirty, and smoggy, but that's an experience we are looking forward to. Even the humidity and monsoons. I know, this does not sound pleasant for most travelers, but again, keep in mind that coming from San Diego, great weather gets dull. Xi'an is also a very quick trip. I'm looking forward to Shanghai and Hong Kong the most. Even the side cities like Shenzhen and (It's pronounced So Chew but I forget the spelling). Also Macau if there's time.
The only downside is that you will be on the road most of the time, which won't give you guys much time to really relax and enjoy what each city has to offer. But since this is your first time visiting China, I think it makes sense to visit as many places as possible.

I lived in Shanghai for 7 years (college and work) and to me, the real beauty of Shanghai is not the skyscrapers in Lujiazui but the quietness of the French Concession in the middle of hustle and bustle. Nothing much to do in Lujiazui, honestly. The activities are all on the other side of the river. The cruise on the Huangpu river could be nice at night. Never heard of the show. Expect some extremely hot weather in August.

Beijing is alright. Forbidden City and the Great Wall are must-sees, of course, but if you guys enjoy night life, check out the HouHai area. The bars there are a bit pretentious but the buildings are beautiful at night. Again, the spirit of Beijing is not in its glitzy shopping malls along Wangfujing Avenue but the traditional HuTong life. So if you have time, visit some famous HuTong areas such as Nanluoguxiang or Yandaixie but both places can be a bit touristy. And try some real Peking duck of course! I fail to find a single restaurant that serves decent enough Peking duck in the US.

Never been to HK or Xi'an so no comments.
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