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Old 05-27-2009, 10:04 PM
 
Location: PA
120 posts, read 271,777 times
Reputation: 36

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Myself, my husband and my beautiful daughter are all traveling to China this summer. We are only going for a very quick in and out trip to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. I have traveled extensively in the Middle East, Europe, Russia, South Africa and the Carb. Islands.

I have no idea what to expect when we visit China. Since we are only going to be traveling for 10 -12 days our time will be limited in each city. Our budget is pretty open.

I am imploring of everyone here to please give me their best advice on what to see, what to avoid, what scams are out there and what to BUY! I'm interested in clothes and designer purses, shoes and jewelry. Also anything religious and meaningful to see or to talk to (my son died at 17 a few years ago, I am searching ways to reach him) and I am terrified about the food!
My daughter only eats little bites of chicken and veggies, but I'm open to anything really - but not bugs or brain. What is the drinking age there? She's 18.

We have a bit of money to spend, but we do not know what is worth seeing and spending out money on. (Think less than a grand for each purchase, preferable just in the hundreds.) The cheaper the better.

I'm excited and well, EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What type of religion do most Chinese practice? Is there any particular place that is a must see? We love opulent things, kind, loving people, plays and music. I'm a hugger and toucher, will that be a problem?

I'm reading on Trip Advisor what tips they have, but I sure could use more. We are going from July 17 - July 30th.

Also, what type of foods are available and what type of beer or alcohol is available?

Please - feel free to suggest anything - we are open to anything!
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,879 posts, read 6,392,486 times
Reputation: 1267
Well I'll be living in Shanghai from June 5 until mid-August so maybe I'll have some advice for you in a month! lol. However I do know the drinking age is 18 but is probably unenforced (just like most of the rest of the world).
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:19 AM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,814,918 times
Reputation: 4927
The food in China is great. Period. We lived in Beijing for a month last year and I noticed most Chinese not eating rice as one might expect--but dumplings. Tender delicious dumplings of every imaginable variety. Eat dumplings, I ate lots of them. There is a lot of cheap street food too, try it. In China there are little pancake stands everywhere with pancakes running one to two quai, about 15 cents. They're good.

Be careful of buying stuff. Almost everything I bought in China from an $8 Rolex to a package of toothbrushes, fell apart immediately. Nothing can be trusted in China. Products look pristine and beautiful and perfect, but as soon as you pay for them they disintegrate like dust. It's magic. You will be tempted, but be particularly wary of high end merchandise like pearls which are for sale everywhere. They may be fake, they may be strung on dental floss, they could be polished pebbles. Trust nothing in China.

Also be aware that even international flights now are watching luggage limits very carefully. One extra bag, one kilo over the limit, and you're going to be paying a lot of extra cash to get your cheap purchases back home.

People are nice and generally polite. No problems there. Street crime in China proper would be unusual.

In Beijing the air pollution is debilitating. Beijing is in a desert. It is not a beautiful place under any circumstances and the thick layer of acrid pollution is a deal killer. It's as bad as you've ever heard and worse. The air pollution in Beijing cannot be imagined, it must be experienced to be believed. It makes sightseeing almost impossible as visibility is generally restricted to a couple of blocks for the smog. I've heard Shanghai is almost as bad but has a wetter climate and is greener. I haven't been to Hong Kong.

The tap water cannot be used for human consumption, boiled or fresh, it is full of heavy metals and chemical contaminants. Nobody drinks the water in China. Unfortunately they do cook with the tap water so there is no avoiding it completely. Avoid it as much as humanly possible.

I found it nearly universal in China, from the people to the merchandise to the water; even with their wide smiles, beautiful goods, and sincere countenance, that just below the surface nothing was what it seemed to be.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:54 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
87 posts, read 366,219 times
Reputation: 32
I just came back about 2 weeks ago from shanghai and Beijing.....visit all the sites that interest you.....food is absolutly amazing however dont drink the water, dumplings in shanghai are absolutly the best. Also, when you go shopping, negotiate everything. The price they will offer you and the price that you actually buy the product is staggaring.

I would say the most important thing is the location of your hotel. You want to be located centrally and close to everything, taking cabs is always an option but its great to walk around at night time especially
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:33 AM
 
Location: PA
120 posts, read 271,777 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
The food in China is great. Period. We lived in Beijing for a month last year and I noticed most Chinese not eating rice as one might expect--but dumplings. Tender delicious dumplings of every imaginable variety. Eat dumplings, I ate lots of them. There is a lot of cheap street food too, try it. In China there are little pancake stands everywhere with pancakes running one to two quai, about 15 cents. They're good.

Be careful of buying stuff. Almost everything I bought in China from an $8 Rolex to a package of toothbrushes, fell apart immediately. Nothing can be trusted in China. Products look pristine and beautiful and perfect, but as soon as you pay for them they disintegrate like dust. It's magic. You will be tempted, but be particularly wary of high end merchandise like pearls which are for sale everywhere. They may be fake, they may be strung on dental floss, they could be polished pebbles. Trust nothing in China.

Also be aware that even international flights now are watching luggage limits very carefully. One extra bag, one kilo over the limit, and you're going to be paying a lot of extra cash to get your cheap purchases back home.

People are nice and generally polite. No problems there. Street crime in China proper would be unusual.

In Beijing the air pollution is debilitating. Beijing is in a desert. It is not a beautiful place under any circumstances and the thick layer of acrid pollution is a deal killer. It's as bad as you've ever heard and worse. The air pollution in Beijing cannot be imagined, it must be experienced to be believed. It makes sightseeing almost impossible as visibility is generally restricted to a couple of blocks for the smog. I've heard Shanghai is almost as bad but has a wetter climate and is greener. I haven't been to Hong Kong.

The tap water cannot be used for human consumption, boiled or fresh, it is full of heavy metals and chemical contaminants. Nobody drinks the water in China. Unfortunately they do cook with the tap water so there is no avoiding it completely. Avoid it as much as humanly possible.

I found it nearly universal in China, from the people to the merchandise to the water; even with their wide smiles, beautiful goods, and sincere countenance, that just below the surface nothing was what it seemed to be.
Oh my gosh, you gave such great information that I have not heard about yet. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
As far as air pollution, should we wear one of those silly face masks?
I figured that everything for sale is a fake, but I didn't realize the quality would be that bad. Is there anything that IS a good buy?
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:37 AM
 
Location: PA
120 posts, read 271,777 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenny8000 View Post
I just came back about 2 weeks ago from shanghai and Beijing.....visit all the sites that interest you.....food is absolutly amazing however dont drink the water, dumplings in shanghai are absolutly the best. Also, when you go shopping, negotiate everything. The price they will offer you and the price that you actually buy the product is staggaring.

I would say the most important thing is the location of your hotel. You want to be located centrally and close to everything, taking cabs is always an option but its great to walk around at night time especially
Staggering, could you please give an example? I've been to Mexico a bunch of times and the bartering that goes on is fun, but the prices don't usually go down that much. For example, they will offer to sell me a necklace for 30 dollars and the lowest they will go is 20 bucks.

Are there any places in particular that you would suggest we see? What did you enjoy best?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:32 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
87 posts, read 366,219 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotlanta2 View Post
Staggering, could you please give an example? I've been to Mexico a bunch of times and the bartering that goes on is fun, but the prices don't usually go down that much. For example, they will offer to sell me a necklace for 30 dollars and the lowest they will go is 20 bucks.

Are there any places in particular that you would suggest we see? What did you enjoy best?

Thanks again!
one example, we got tailored suits, they started negotioating at 8750 RMB for 3 we got 4 for 4200 RMB, exchange rate is about 6.8 rmb to 1 USD. By the way great quility suits. We got them at the Silk Market in Beijing

We also got some jade buddhas as one for us and a bunch of them for presents. They started barganing at around 100 RMB for one we got 7 or 8 for 200.

My Fiance got some make-up mirrors with cool designs on top of them... They started at around 70 RMB for each we got them for abour 15 or 20, cant remmember.

Always be willing to walk away, you will see the same exact thing at the market or at the next shop.


Also...if you want Jade buy it in shanghai better quality and more places that sell it, especially around the YuYuan Gardens(i think i spelled it right).

Let me know if you need any other pointers.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 698,530 times
Reputation: 183
There are Chinese web sites (in English) that have lots of westerners (some of them work and live there) post their views about those cities. They probably can give you good advises as well.

One of them is China Daily. Local Chinese post there too. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the link. DM me if it you want.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:51 AM
 
Location: PA
120 posts, read 271,777 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cls88 View Post
There are Chinese web sites (in English) that have lots of westerners (some of them work and live there) post their views about those cities. They probably can give you good advises as well.

One of them is China Daily. Local Chinese post there too. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the link. DM me if it you want.
Got it. It's sort of like a craig's list for china! LOL
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 698,530 times
Reputation: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotlanta2 View Post
Got it. It's sort of like a craig's list for china! LOL
Yeah, sort of. lol

They debate in all kinds of stuff like here. I'd skip the political sections - it looks like there are all kinds crazy viewpoints (I read a few and never went back).

But Im sure if you post the questions, many people will share their experiences.
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