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Old 01-09-2018, 06:28 PM
 
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Toyko stopover is not free. It's essentially $300 more. PEK-NRT return is quite a bit of extra, unnecessary flying. It would essentially add a travel day and lengthen the return trip. Who would want that?
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Toyko stopover is not free. It's essentially $300 more. PEK-NRT return is quite a bit of extra, unnecessary flying. It would essentially add a travel day and lengthen the return trip. Who would want that?
Because they're polar circle routes, Boston to PEK is onlyh 50 miles further than Boston to NRT. About ten minutes of flying time.

By free, I meant was the Tokyo stopover included in the $1000+ fare you quoted.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:36 AM
 
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^ you're right. Beijing just seems further! Of course as you go further west in the US for your departure, a difference appears, I think.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Around the UK!
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We did both at the end of last year - about 26 days in each.

China from Beijing, Pingyao, Xian, Shanghai, Yangzhou, Guilin and Yangshuo to Hong Kong.

Japan - Tokyo (visited Hakone), Hiroshima, Saga (Hiroshima and Fukuoka), Kyoto, and Nagano.
The experiences are very different. China is interesting (the Great Wall is a highlight), but the people are loud and brash and the cities dirty and pretentious. But the country is an interesting social experiment.

Japan is virtually the opposite. The cities are clean, everything works (like Switzerland on steroids!) and the people are gracious, polite and considerate.

We loved Japan and believe that it should be on everyone's travel bucket list. China, we're glad we went, but have no desire to ever go there again.

Both have some communication issues but with goodwill and Google translate it's easy to overcome any hurdles.

Japan for us was more expensive but by using AirBnB's and eating from markets and supermarkets costs can be reduced. However whatever extra you pay is worth it!
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RooCeleste View Post
I have not been to Japan but I have been to China (and Thailand) on a Groupon trip through Affordable Asia, and it was fabulous. We've taken several Groupon trips all over the world (some escorted, like China/Thailand, and the others not--Europe, UAE, Central America/Caribbean, etc). On all of them, the accommodations and service have been FABULOUS. I will never have a worry when booking one again in the future. You really can't beat them for the cost!

As for China, I'm VERY glad we had an escorted trip. It is still a Communist country, is very crowded and very very different, and English is not predominant, even in Beijing. There were several places we ventured off to on our own where we were the ONLY English-speaking people. It was very fun and exciting to be in that position, but it would have been hard for the whole trip to have been that way.
We are looking at several Groupon deals from Affordable World. I wonder if its the same company you used. The review looks good. The days are compacted a little bit, most of the offers are for 8-10 days but they only cover 1-2 cities.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
I mentioned this min a similar post a while ago. The plane fares to China are much cheaper than to Japan, and if you want a stopover, the price gets really high. So buy a RT ticket to China, and a separate side trip to Japan, which will be by far the cheapest, and will give you great flexibility in scheduling. Go to Japan and then back to China whenever you want.

There might even be Chinese tour companies that have very cheap tour packages to Japan, whicn would be cheaper still. But if you can't confirm the existence of cheap tours, better your RT add on China-to-Japan before you go.

Spend your first and/or last night in Japan at the big Narita View hotel, only $40 with free shuttle to airport and to Narita town train station.
I am thinking about this option too. Take a tour in China and do a self tour in Japan. I feel confident I can handle Japan without a tour group. But I don't know if cost wise I will come up ahead & if the headache of planning is worth it. We narrowed down the cities we are interested in China to Beijing & Xian. We are not interested in big city. that should make planning easier.

Groupon has a deal for Japan and China for 2K covering Tokyo, Kyoto (did they just unscramble the letters to come up with name for the other city), and view of Mt. Fuji + 3 days in Beijing, China. I have to fly to LAX (~$400) + whatever upgrade we do. But I really want to go to Mt. Fuji which this doesn't have. It gives us a view from a cruise.

Options 2: Take 8 day tour of China (~$900) flying from Chicago covering Beijing and Xian then take side trip to Japan on our own. We have to pay the company $150 fine for deviating from group, so ($1100) cost. Which leaves us with ~$1,500 - 2K to spent on Japan for a week. Not sure if that is enough. We don't drink or party or into food too much. We actually love street food. Just sight seeing and decent place to sleep and transportation. Is that enough, including flight from China to Japan?
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:12 PM
 
Location: On the road
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Originally Posted by keraT View Post
We narrowed down the cities we are interested in China to Beijing & Xian. We are not interested in big city.
I've been all over China and the terracotta warriors in Xian were my favorite touristy thing to see. I could stare at them for hours, liked 'em so much we've been to Xian twice just to see 'em.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
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Originally Posted by keraT View Post
We are looking at several Groupon deals from Affordable World. I wonder if its the same company you used. The review looks good. The days are compacted a little bit, most of the offers are for 8-10 days but they only cover 1-2 cities.
Yes, it is! A few months after our trip, they sent out notices that they were expanding to be Affordable World. I would use them again in a heartbeat!
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:13 AM
 
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We booked this tour from Affordable World thru Groupon. We looked at several options and compared itinerary. It looks like all the tours were 8 days/country, which doesn't seem like a lot but I rather go with tour first time around. If we love it, hopefully we can return. We decided to go with Japan and get a small glimps of Great Wall of China on the way back. we really wanted Xian in China but not many tours include that.


We signed up for some of the optional tours but we have chance to change them still. I would like some free time to people watch and just take in the environment instead of being on the run. Any advise anyone have? Did anyone ever take this tour or similar?
https://www.groupon.com/deals/ga-aff...apan-beijing-1
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:08 AM
 
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I'd skip the forbidden city tour. Do it yourself at your own pace. Taxis are cheap in Beijing.
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