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China trip
Old 05-07-2007, 06:14 PM   #1
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China trip

DW and I just came back from a 3 week vacation in east-central China. Just ourselves, no organized tour. Worked out pretty good, with the Rough Guide's instructions and Mandarin phrases to help us. Plus the occasional Chinese speaking English, and the even more occasional Westerner speaking Mandarin.

Some pictures are available at

General observations:
  • It's easier to point at the phrase written in Chinese characters than it is to pronounce it. Much easier.
  • White skinned people are exotic there, especially in places off the foreign-tourist tracks, and most people we ran into were pretty helpful. For example, at bus stations, the clerks in every case were pretty nice, considering the communication barrier.
  • There are lots of Chinese tourists everywhere. A very visible manifestation of the new middle class.
  • We stayed in '2 star' hotels, mostly. About US$20-30 per night. Most places had plumbing glitches -- toilets that overflow easily, showerheads that come off when the shower is turned on, etc. Nothing too bad.

We flew to/from Shanghai on frequent flyer miles (AA), so the whole trip cost about US$2000. Probably about $500 of that was admission fees to various sites. Not a bad total for 20 days vacation.

Thinking about Tibet for next year!

-- P.S. -- I don't post much here, since I feel I'd mostly be saying 'I LBYM too', and stuff like that. But I find it a very interesting forum.
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Re: China trip
Old 05-07-2007, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: China trip

I went to Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai last fall with my T'ai Chi school--very much a regimented, guided tour kind of thing. That was fine for a first taste of the country, but...I hope to go back in a year or two on my/DH's own much like you guys--do Beijing in more depth, spend more time in the hangzhou/suzhou area, basically set our own pace and fly a little bit further under the radar (though I realize we're going to be objects of attention by definition).
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Re: China trip
Old 05-07-2007, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: China trip

The pictures looked great. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: China trip
Old 05-08-2007, 12:18 AM   #4
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Re: China trip

Man, those buildings on the face of the cliff are amazing. Thanks for the photos.

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Re: China trip
Old 05-08-2007, 12:26 AM   #5
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Re: China trip

sounds like an excellent trip! great photos! thanks for sharing...

it sure sounds doable, arg, maybe when the kids are out of the nest...i have lots of time to plan that...
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Re: China trip
Old 05-08-2007, 06:49 AM   #6
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Re: China trip

Welcome aboard. I was in that area in '85. I walked up TaiShan - the city at the top is amazining. Rush wrote a song about the mountain.
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Re: China trip
Old 05-08-2007, 09:00 AM   #7
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Re: China trip

I made my first trip to China in 1978 and the changes in modernitzation since then are astounding. I've made many return trips since then and to see the 4 star hotels in Beijing, Canton & Shanghai and other large cities left me amazed, but the boonies are still the boonies with small towns and villages unchanged for who knows how many decades.

Your pictures are wonderful and bring back many memories for me.
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