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Old 06-18-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Whittier, CA
494 posts, read 1,604,902 times
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It's official, I will be spending 3-4 full weeks in China starting mid September to mid Oct. So far I have identified a VERY rough itinerary that will go like this and would like some feedback...

Beijing -> (Great Wall) -> Pingyao-> Xi'an -> (Hua Shan day trip from Xi'an) -> Chongqing -> (Yangtze cruise maybe?) -> Yichang (Three Gorges dam) -> Luoyang -> Nanjing -> Shanghai

I think I would need 4 weeks at least otherwise it would be very tight since I am planning 4 full days in Beijing and at least 3 full days in Shanghai.

One concern that I have is that my trip will be over the Oct 1-7 holiday season... what can I expect during this time and how can I prepare for it? What exactly will be closed during this time?
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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I was once in China for their holiday season. (October is otherwise a great time to visit, because the weather is neither to hot nor too cold). I visited the Great Wall near Beijing. It was a Great Wall totally covered with people. I had imagined taking a long stroll along the wall. Not possible with all the people crowding the wall.

I had the impression that all of the attractions were open, but very crowded.

4 weeks should allow leisurely exploration. Another interesting city to consider, not too far from Shanghai, is Hangzhou.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducviloxi View Post
It's official, I will be spending 3-4 full weeks in China starting mid September to mid Oct. So far I have identified a VERY rough itinerary that will go like this and would like some feedback...

Beijing -> (Great Wall) -> Pingyao-> Xi'an -> (Hua Shan day trip from Xi'an) -> Chongqing -> (Yangtze cruise maybe?) -> Yichang (Three Gorges dam) -> Luoyang -> Nanjing -> Shanghai

I think I would need 4 weeks at least otherwise it would be very tight since I am planning 4 full days in Beijing and at least 3 full days in Shanghai.

One concern that I have is that my trip will be over the Oct 1-7 holiday season... what can I expect during this time and how can I prepare for it? What exactly will be closed during this time?
I assume that you plan to visit the Forbidden City while you are in Beijing. During the week of Oct. 1-7, the Forbidden City is overloaded with Chinese tourist groups and there is a daily quota of how many people are let into the Forbidden City area. So plan to be there early in the morning by 8:30AM and be prepared to be surrounded by crowds of people that one can only move as the crowd does in order to get to the ticket window to buy one's entrance tickets. This is from personal experience.

Also when one visits the Forbidden City be careful not to stand at the wrong ticket windows which are just to visit a smaller monument and are several feet away/before one reaches the ticket windows for the Forbidden City. The way you will be know this is because the ticket price listed is much lower than the entrance fee for the Forbidden City.

You also might want to consider visiting Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province (which is a major stop on the high speed rail between Beijing & Shanghai) for its 72 springs and lovely Daming Lake. Also in Shandong Province is Qufu which is the hometown & birth place of the famous Chinese scholar Confucius. Qufu is not too far from Jinan.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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Shanghai is not worth three full days. Spend 'em in nearby Suzhou instead.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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We found China to be a good trip, quite interesting, though it had crowded tourist areas and Bejing was extremely smoggy. Have fun, it's different and you'll enjoy it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Whittier, CA
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thanks for all the replies Actually, only the very last week of my trip will be Oct 1-7 and I anticipate being somewhere between Yichang and Shanghai.

@Slackjaw, thanks I will look into cutting time in Shanghai, perhaps spend the extra day in Hangzhou as I plan to depart from that airport to KUL on Air Asia anyway.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Quakertown, Pa., USA
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If you enjoy the old style China tha you would see in some old movies then check out the Hougong ( old city )areas of each major city, most are from the Qing and Ming dynasties.
Good luck in you travels, have fun, wish I were back there now
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducviloxi View Post
thanks for all the replies Actually, only the very last week of my trip will be Oct 1-7 and I anticipate being somewhere between Yichang and Shanghai.

@Slackjaw, thanks I will look into cutting time in Shanghai, perhaps spend the extra day in Hangzhou as I plan to depart from that airport to KUL on Air Asia anyway.

In Shanghai, I highly recommend you take Dvir Bar-Gal's tour of Jewish Ghetto of Shanghai (even if you are not Jewish) as he gives an extremely good general background information about development of Shanghai (see Shanghai Jewish). The tour takes a few hours but it is flexible time-wise and worth every penny.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:57 PM
 
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> perhaps spend the extra day in Hangzhou as I plan to depart from that airport

Then a day in Hangzhou is a no-brainer. Walk around the lake, maybe take a boat out to one of the islands, spend some time at the temple.

I haven't been to Suzhou but have heard it is also nice. If possible you may want to find out how different Suzhou and Hangzhou are if you are thinking of visiting both.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
Shanghai is not worth three full days. Spend 'em in nearby Suzhou instead.
While in Suzhou, check out the Suzhou Museum designed by American architect I.M. Pei.
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