Me and my boyfriend we're hoping to spend 4 weeks next spring in China.
Can anybody help us to made our China travel map ?
Would love to hear your suggestions on what to see, how long to stay in places, where to stay, what chose hotel or vacation rental, what eat etc.
Thanks for your advices
Take a look at the wiki guide. There is a bunch of stuff on western China and some good stuff on Shanghai and Beijing. What kind of stuff do you like to do? Hiking? Shopping? Eating? Temples? Weird things? Modern things?
Thank you for your answer , but I’d like something more personal, real experiences!
I’m looking for some suggestions on discovering NATURE ( mountains - weird things, hiking etc ) & ART, CULTURE ( temples etc ).
Wherever you go in China, I'd recommend travelling by train. It's very economical and safe. Just get a 'hard sleeper' for the longer journeys (anything over 6 hours) because the seats are not too comfortable. Avoid Chinese holidays (first week of May, first week of October, or Chinese New Year) because getting train tickets- or any tickets- can be difficult.
Food: how adventurous are you? Try to make friends with Chinese you meet (which won't be hard) then let them choose the restaurant (although it may be a little expensive) and choose the dishes. My rule, when eating in China, is: try everything. At least one bite. As long as it isn't squirming...
One of my favourite cities in China is Qingdao, in Shandong province. It has great beer and seafood, nice beaches, and you can catch a ferry to South Korea, if that interests you. There are several ferries around the Bohai and Yellow Sea area, both domestic and international. They aren't too expensive, and the night cruises are very romantic, on a moonlit night.
Wherever you go in China, though, it's guaranteed to be an 'unforgettable holiday'.
I think that the must sees are Suzhou, Hangzhou, Xian and Shanghai. Although I haven't been to Beijing, but I'm not sure I would go near Beijng this year. I sure it's even more crowded than usual. Be sure you are not going to be there during there golden week. The whole country is on vacation at the same time and the crowd are insane.
If you want natural beauty nice places are Huangshan, Yangshou (Guangxi) and many places in the west. One of my favorites is in Guyuan in Ningxia province, amazing statues and grottoes in the desert. It depends on how crazy of a traveler you are. I have been to some stunning places but requires a high tolerance for, well everything. I know Guizhou is amazing for mountains and minority groups.
But if you want your bang for your time Yunnan is the place to hit. Very pretty and not polluted. Most places on the east coast start to look the same very quickly. I spent a year in Shanghai and would say no more then 2 days for a tourist, unless you love to shop. Although if you like mountain biking Bodhi bikes does mountain biking trips to remote areas around Shanghai which are great. Only go to Suzhou if you want to see traditional gardens and homes. And even then the best ones are an hour bus ride away in Dong Shan.
Another question to ask is how good is your Chinese? And how stressful for you is it if you don't know Chinese? Because if that is a big issue then you should stick to Yunnan because there are many foreigner aimed hotels and restaurants there.
I would also recommend some Tibetan areas but with the crackdown going on right now no one knows when those areas will be open to foreigners again. Also remember that buying train tickets can be difficult in June when the student finish university so during that week be prepared to take buses which are not that bad. Hope this helps.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 19, 2008, at 3:51 PM by Lavafalls ]
I agree with 'datsea' that Beijing will be busy this summer, with the Olympics- it will probably be impossible to find a hotel room then. But if you go now, or after the Olympics, it won't be too bad. And Beijing is unmissable. It has far more to see than Shanghai (which was never the capital, and has a history of only 150 years). Besides, you can't come to China and not see the Great Wall- that's like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower, or going to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids!
I spent 2 weeks in China last year and only managed to cover Shanghai and the surrounding cities. Shanghai itself is monstrous and i was in awe of it to be honest. The massages after dinner were cheap and good and just right after walking the whole day. Anyway, my recommendations are:
1. The Bund.
2. Getting feet massages in Shanghai!
3. This place called the Manchurian Special Flavour Jiaozi Restaurant, when you can eat bone marrow and even an entire leg of lamb. I'll try to upload some photos on my gallery, if you check back at some stage.
4. Qi Bao - Its like a little strip of stalls where you can eat pig trotters, their famous smelly toufu (lined up for a long time), pigs snout etc.
5. Lingyin temple at Hang Zhou. It is a very scenic place and there is a giant lake nearby where you can get a boatman to bring you across.
6. Tiger Hill at Su Zhou, which is considered the Venice of China (i.e. lots of waterways). I will upload some photos as well.
7. Zhu Jia Jiao - Another waterway town where the boatride was good. This one i visited when it was raining, so the streets were empty, but it does have a good feeling to it.
8. Just as someone said earlier, try everything