I'll be spending a month in China this time next year. I'll be arriving into Beijing and leaving to Thailand.
I want to probably spend a week in Beijing, a few days in Shanghai and a few days in Xi'an.
Where else should I go? I'm considering HK but I'd rather not have to get another visa. I'd love to see Tibet but is that too big a distance to travel for the amount of time I have? Are there any other must-see places I'm overlooking?
I'd appreciate any tips anybody could give me, thanks!
I can say Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an are good choices to see current/ancient China. You will know how huge the country is, when you arrive, so there are too many place worth to go. Shanghai and HK are similar in many ways. You can see a lot of historic sites in Beijing and Xi'an. Tibet is far away from Beijing, but you can take flight(should less than 5hrs, i think). Tibet is really worth to go, but you'd better reserve at least 5 days for that trip.
Well if you don't mind traveling a bit then Harbin up north in Manchuria is a fun town and pretty cool. its the beer capital of China and is close to the Russian border so sees a lot of trade and has some strong Russian influence. The rather grim Unit 731 biological warfare museum (where the Japanese experimented on Chinese civilians during WW II) is fascinating - and the Siberian Tiger park is sad but the animals are beautiful.
Also near Shanghai I really liked Hangzhou which is a couple of hours away and is an interesting mix between classic china and modern china with history, a beautiful lake. Also interesting is Xiamen (a small island between Shanghai and HK which is fairly off the beaten path) but has some interesting history as one of the open ports before China opened to the west.
Olympic Games is coming. so i'd like to recommend Olympic cities first.
there are 7 cities in china that will holding olympics: Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Qinghuangdao, Qingdao, Shanghai,Hongkong. And there are 103 cities that the olympics torch will visit and they are special regionally.
and also u may consider some different tours, say culture tour, business tour, mountain tour, beach tour and so on.
here is a link about these tours: [snip]
[ Edit: No promos allowed. URL removed. ]
maybe you can travel down to Yunnan province, see the colorful ethnic group here, and take a boat from Jinghong to Thailand
check here for more information
[ Edit: No promos allowed. URLs removed. ]
if you just want to see more historic site, then Beijing, Xi'an, and also some city in Heina province should be enough, shanghai and hongkong only the big city like other country, but if you want to shopping, then its must good place. hangzhou and suzhou is really cute city near by shanghai, specially for hangzhou, I really like that city, so if you just want to visit typically city in China, my suggestion is start from Beijing(5 days), xi'an(3days), haizhou(3 days), shanghai(2 days, since I don't like shanghai, just a big city and economic center), hongkong( 3 days, some parts same as shanghai, and if you really want to shopping, then will be longer), you can make more detail plan if you have particular request.
but if you want to see more amazing nature scenery, Sichuan , Yunnan and Tibet is best choose, but 1 month is not enough.
I would also recommend Yunnan province, particularly if you are unable to make it to Tibet, as you will get a taste of Tibetan culture in Yunnan. Plus the food is fantastic! HK is great, but if you are already doing Shanghai and Beijing, I would suggest you should certainly spend some time in rural china rather than all your time in the big modern cities.
I too would recommend Yunnan Province. I've spent quite a bit of time in Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and teh Tiger Leaping Gorge area. wonderful place, full of culture, off the beaten track (a bit), cheap, great scenery. If you really want to see China then get out of the cities. Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an are great, but get out there to smaller, out of the way places. The Three Gorges is great too, just don't take one of the cruises as they don't allow you to do much independently.