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Old 01-18-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,474,650 times
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Quote:
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, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,474,650 times
Reputation: 1159
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
I'd skip the forbidden city tour. Do it yourself at your own pace. Taxis are cheap in Beijing.
Agree with this. While the Forbidden City was cool to see, it got old and repetitive really quickly. Every single person in our group was ready to go after about 45 minutes, but they had to stay a certain amount of time. I didn't need to see all 965 bedrooms that the Emperor had! Also, it was hot and very crowded. And the toilets at the end are nasty, so be prepared or do your business before you go.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:36 PM
 
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I've been to the Forbidden City three times, and found several things: 1. It's grandeur is due to its size. Most of the rooms are unfurnished. 3. The most interesting part for me was the northwest section, roughly in front of and west of the north gate.

Many rooms have small expositions that I quickly tired of, yet I never tired of the overall grandeur of the place. YMMV.

The Great Wall is a good visit, as long as you're aware that it's a "restoration" done in more modern times. I'd look at it as an interpretation of the original wall. Saying that, it's a great sight.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:28 AM
 
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Thanks for the tip on Forbidden city. I was iffy about it by at $28 it didn't seem too bad. But time is important too and I rather observe on my own.


I am also not sure about "Japan culture/Gion Corner Entertainment and dinner on day 6" in Kyoto. Is it something I can explore on my own?
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:55 AM
 
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Japanese cities are easy to explore on your own. Just make sure you have Google maps or something similar (paper map?). Japanese addresses are a challenge, but sites will be identified on their own. I remember a Sushi restaurant we were struggling to find, so we asked for help from a passerby who spoke little english but found the place for us. Best sushi dinner we ever had. The restaurant had no comprehensible signage.

The entertainment and dinner could be great or a bit tacky. Hard to tell, but as a first time visitor, I'd probably do it. It will be colorful and not something you see in the US.
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:33 AM
 
32,149 posts, read 33,059,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post

Beijing, IMHO, is much less interesting than it used to be after they tore down most of the Hutongs in advance of the Olympics, but it still has some wonderful places, Temple of Heaven on a weekend being my favorite - full of life in a way you can't believe. Forbidden City will be all you've read. Shanghai has its beauty spots, but not in the same way as Beijing. More like NYC, with lots of business and residential buildings interspersed with sights.
,m
Remember that the rest of China is huge, and flying anywhere will use 1/2 day or more. I'd focus on only a few places, such as Beijing and one other area for a week or so (Beijing itself easily needs several days, especially if you go to the great wall. That would be a whole day.
I too second the Temple of Heaven if the OP decides to go to Beijing (and China).

As for getting around China, I would suggest the high speed train network rather than flying. One can easily do Beijing-Jinan-Nanjing-Shanghai in one trip as they are the stops on the express high speed trains on that line and all 4 of the cities have unique sites to offer tourists.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:27 PM
 
1,212 posts, read 810,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awestover89 View Post
We did a cruise to see both; we flew to Shanghai, spent 3 days in Shanghai then did a 6 day cruise to Japan visiting Kumamoto, Kochi, and Miyazaki. Enjoyed both, but loved Japan; we're in the process of booking a 3 week trip to Japan for our 30th birthdays in 2019.



We had the opposite experience. Food in Shanghai was decent, but nothing fantastic (except for one dumpling shop we found in the Yu Yuan district of Shanghai). Japan, on the other hand, we ate until we were full and then wanted to keep eating. Couldn't get enough of the food in Japan.

That being said, we are planning a trip to Singapore and Malaysia next month and I've heard that they have some of the best food in the world. Really looking forward to that.
Believe it or not Singapore has a wonderful Mexican restaurant along the river.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:05 PM
Status: "Re-edit status" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,223 posts, read 1,927,867 times
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Anyone have a good way to get from Shanghai (PVG) to Tokyo (NRT)? Airfare for the 2hour trip is 1-way, $450+, 60 days out. Will return thru Osaka (KIX) a week later. ?

Flying RT, out of Portland (PDX) to Vancouver (YVR) to Shanghai and the cost is just $471 all fees.
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:46 AM
 
12,359 posts, read 18,454,883 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastprime View Post
Anyone have a good way to get from Shanghai (PVG) to Tokyo (NRT)? Airfare for the 2hour trip is 1-way, $450+, 60 days out. Will return thru Osaka (KIX) a week later. ?

Flying RT, out of Portland (PDX) to Vancouver (YVR) to Shanghai and the cost is just $471 all fees.
Check some of the local Chinese airlines, sometimes they have great deals. You may not find them listed on the usual airfare search engines. Also check out prices from Shanghai's other airport, which is actually closer to the city - Hongqiao (SHA).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tottsieanna View Post
Believe it or not Singapore has a wonderful Mexican restaurant along the river.
I know that one, but why wouldn't we believe it? Singapore has just about every variety of restaurant particularly in that area.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:48 AM
Status: "Re-edit status" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,223 posts, read 1,927,867 times
Reputation: 3242
" Check some of the local Chinese airlines, sometimes they have great deals. You may not find them listed on the usual airfare search engines. Also check out prices from Shanghai's other airport, which is actually closer to the city - Hongqiao (SHA)."

Thanks. 40% less out of SHA.
Now if I can get my sister to change her flights.
I just may have to bite the cost.
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