I'd appreciate suggestions for our trip. My wife is working in China at the end of March and early April; I'll go along. She's working in Fangshan District March 25-28 (I'll explore that area and Beijing), then, on the 29th, we travel to Nanjing where she works on the 30th. (I assume we should fly to Nanjing).
After Nanjing, she is free until April 3, when she works in Suzhou for one day. Then we're free until April 7, when we fly home from Shanghai.
I'm particularly interested in the time we have from March 31 (Nanjing) til April 3 (Suzhou). Some advise us to go to Hangzhou and see the lake; I've also read that we should spend time in Suzhou (and I've read that we shouldn't).
Our preferences: We're both 60 (but we don't act like it). We live in the redwoods in California, and our preference is for "experiencing" more than for "sightseeing." We're not city people; we'd rather be in the mountains, or on an island, and enjoy experiencing the people and culture more than looking at buildings. We like a few comforts (comfortable bed, hot shower), but we're pretty flexible.
Our hotel (Nanjing, Suzhou, Shanghai) will be arranged and paid for by my wife's client.. After her Suzhou work, we'll probably head for Shanghai for 3 days. I suspect that we'll fill our "sightseeing" (places of historical interest) in Beijing.
I'd like to know if there are any really unique experiences we can take in anywhere in area: meeting people in the countryside, staying in a unique place, experiencing something extraordinary, etc.
If you have any unique recommendations, I'd appreciate it.
Hi, I would like to give you two ideas for your reference.
1. Consider doing the Arrow Lock (Jian Kou) great wall trekking in Beijing, if you are more mountain people than city people. This would be a fantastic experience, even compared to redwood country.
2. Nanjing-Shanghai part is what we call the eastern seaboard city. If you want to know where commodity made in China comes from, you may want to visit Yiwu, a city in Zhejiang province with a super large market for all varieties of small commodities. It is worthwhile visiting and also a great place for souvenirs.
So far for now and I will come back. cheers.
Fangshan District is outer zone of beijing, about two and half hours' drive to central. However, I would say the few famous historical places gonna be more than enough for this time.
The lake in Hangzhou is beautiful, one of the must see i would suggest for your preferences. Find a tea shop besides the lake. Sit in a comfort caff, enjoy the local live performer's show n' chatting wiz pp. Nothing more enjoyable than this could let you explore a full experience of community life in chinese medium size Southern-east city.
I think you can go to Hangzhou and Huangshan Mountain, which is about 2 hours driving from Hangzhou. I think Spring is the best season to visit Hangzhou. Huangshan is considered the most beautiful mountain in China. Its scenary is totally different from moutains in US.
There are not many attractions in Shanghai except buildings, so you don't need to spend 3 days there if you have no interest in cities.
Wish you a pleasant journey!
I lived in Nanjing, its very very dirty, and not very friendly. Be darn sure you have medical coverage because you dont want to use any of the medical facilities in Nanjing. You will want medivac insurance for sure !
While in Nanjing be sure and visit the Yangtze river bridge and walk across it. Visit the Ming Tombs and DO NOT miss Confuscious market. Its amazing ! Hunan street is where you will also want to go and be sure to go there in the evenings - it is the friendliest and cleanest of the whole city. The bakery is the place to buy western type bread etc and their tortes and cakes are out of this world.
If you arent familiar with Nanjing Massacre be sure and brush up on it, the people are still very emotional about it.
There is a wonderful old city wall, lots of museums, and parks. Most taxi drivers do not speak English and a large percentage cant read ! Not even Chinese.
Get copies of City Magazine which will give you tons of info. I am going to try and remember the restaurants we went to and will post those later.
If you are traveling by train to Suzhou or Shanghai be sure and buy tickets a few days before for soft seats. DONT miss Shanghai - especially the Bund area - there is a fabulous little Italian restaurant right off the Bund and I will try to remember that for you too. I have the cards somewhere.
Dont miss the Summer Palace in Beijing - beware of "tour guides" that hang out at the Imperial Palace, and book a tour to the Great Wall through your hotel if possible.