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Old 12-29-2017, 07:25 AM
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My sister and I are planning our 2018 vacation. We are split between the 2 countries. I want Japan and she wants China. Ideally, since these countries are sooo far from Midwest USA, we would love to see glimpse of both, just a little bit. We started our research now. We will love to hear any input u can give.

We don't have date set yet but preferably before Jun. I can spent up to 3 weeks but a friend who recently did 14 days in Italy said that was too long away from home & after day 10 she was tired. So I am aiming for 2 weeks.

We found all inclusive groupon deals to china 10 nights. That is the cheapest option we saw & being 2 female in foreign country feel that is safest. Anyone have experience with those type of trips?
Any way we can visit both countries or pack something else
Are we better off planning our own trip (not part of your group). I have done Europe & UAE before and I felt doing my own trip plan was best. There was no need for full tour group. But I am not familiar with east Asia.

Anything you can recommend. For cheaper flight we are willing to fly out of Chicago or Toronto. We are in Detroit.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:34 AM
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Have never been, but have done very limited research.

One good option if you have the funding is to split time between the two countries.

For Japan, would include Kyoto and Tokyo. For China, Beijing and would include Xian if time.

What I’ve read regarding China is that it’s more third-world than Japan — more pollution, can’t consume the tap water, be more mindful of hustlers and touts. Not that you shouldn’t go, just something to keep in mind.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:18 AM
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I haven't been to either (yet) but have extensively researched both and know plenty of people who have visited both countries. As bachs mentioned above, Japan is a much more developed, safe and clean county overall, but it's also more expensive to visit. I would personally choose Japan over China by a wide margin, but that's just my personal preference.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:56 AM
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
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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.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:33 PM
Location: Sydney Australia
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We have not been to Japan but many friends have. It is of course, extremely safe and everyone loves it. We went to China last April for nearly a month, it was my third trip there (other than Hong Kong) We went on a group tour and I was glad we did. As others said there is still not a lot of English spoken and I would not want to have to find my way around somewhere like Beijing. China is not third world anymore, it is developing. We have been staggered by the enormous changes there since our first daylong visit in 1988. We felt very safe there, much more so than in the US and Europe. People are very helpful in trying to communicate. They are unbelievably addicted to their phones and will just give you their phone with a translation app to try to work out what we want.
However if you only want to be away from home for a couple of weeks I would think Japan would be better. It is a lot smaller than China and you would have the chance to see a greater part of the country.
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Old 12-30-2017, 05:47 AM
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I have only been to China, not Japan. China is probably cheaper within the country than Japan. China is definitely safe for even one female traveling alone. I too didn't know Chinese but one can be creative using hand gestures, etc. in order to communicate with locals. If one needs language help in China, always look for a young person who has usually learned some English at school and is usually happy to practice their language skills with foreign guests/tourists. If you need to take a taxi get someone at your hotel to write the address on a piece of paper to show the taxi driver where you need to go.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:34 PM
Location: Sydney Australia
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Yes they told us that English is compulsory at school now but that the teachers generally don't have good English verbal skills. So people are shy but we found them so so patient trying to help us. In hotels and so on they will call someone who can help.
We wandered around a lake in the dark, late at night and commented how we would never do that in Australia Europe or the US. But felt perfectly safe. Someone in our group left their phone in a toilet somewhere. Our guide simply assumed it would have been handed in, as it was, by some school children.
One warning though. They still smoke a lot and it did bother a couple of our group. I do not know if that is the same in Japan.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:43 AM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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Having been to Nihon a couple of dozen times, (for biz, but much intracountry travel and some sightseeing), and the same for China, (but only a few trips), I would rec'd Japan:
-Smaller country, mass transit is easy, (subway/JR Trains, et al), very clean and organized country, esp in Metro areas.

-Very safe, anywhere at any time of day or night.

-More expensive, but better selection of restaurants, 'stuff', et al

-No exp with groupon deals for travel.

-Nearly everyone in Japan, (under 60 ish), can speak some English. Not so in any but metro areas of China in my experience.

To do both in one trip in your time frame would be difficult other than just passing through.
Good Luck on your trip.
BR, mD
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:09 PM
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
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As much as I don't have any true desire to return to China (I was in Beijing back in August of 2008 for the Olympics), I'd voluntarily return there over Japan in a heartbeat. The food is much better in China vs. in Japan IMO and food is the most important aspect of travel for me; I build everything around food! Funny enough, I'm actually about to land in Japan now (travel here frequently for work). Not looking forward to the cold that awaits me!
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:46 AM
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For 3 weeks you can do both Japan and China - China of course is a huge country so you have to determine what region (I would recommend Shanghai and the Lake Cities). Both countries are safe except for the obligatory scammers you find in the tourist areas of China. Both countries are also doable on your own as long as (for China) you stick to the developed areas. The China of today you will be surprised at the number of Chinese that speak English.
Remember you need a visa for China.
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