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Hanna

Travel destination reccommendations?

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Hey all,

I just found out due to a stroke of luck I'm gonna have 11 days off at the end of this month, and since I'll be returning to the U.S. not long after, I want to make the absolute most of this time.  I'd really love to go to T1bet, but after all I've read about the difficulties in foreigners getting permits for entry, it doesn't seem like the most logical choice. 

Unfortunately, I've only got a one-entry visa so I can't leave the country, which rules out Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau...

sooo...where are the must see places in the mainland?  I've already done Beijing and Shanghai, thinking about Xi'an and Chengdu, maybe stopping at Huangshan along the way.  As far as sightseeing goes I much prefer natural landscapes and scenery to big cities.  

Any ideas?  Help is appreciated! :)

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sorry to hear you are leaving so soon (assuming you are returning to USA for ever....)

 

I Love to travel but not in a way of getting to places just to see them...

Personally, I prefer to explore more where I am. Sooo making more of being in HZ. There is loads to see and do here I reckon and as the saying goes; wherever you go, thats where you'll be...

 

whever you end up...enjoy :-)

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Travel to South China, because North China would be cold, though they have heating.

Hunan, Guangdong, Chengdu, Yunnan,Guangxi.

 

A small city with hot spring could be interesting too.

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Hey all,

I just found out due to a stroke of luck I'm gonna have 11 days off at the end of this month, and since I'll be returning to the U.S. not long after, I want to make the absolute most of this time.  I'd really love to go to T1bet, but after all I've read about the difficulties in foreigners getting permits for entry, it doesn't seem like the most logical choice. 

Unfortunately, I've only got a one-entry visa so I can't leave the country, which rules out Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau...

sooo...where are the must see places in the mainland?  I've already done Beijing and Shanghai, thinking about Xi'an and Chengdu, maybe stopping at Huangshan along the way.  As far as sightseeing goes I much prefer natural landscapes and scenery to big cities.  

Any ideas?  Help is appreciated! :)

I agree with the others about travelling during the Chinese New Year period. But since its the only time I could get a longer leave from work, I have had travelled for the last 2 years during the Chinese New Year. The train ride is always a horrible experience for me. The worst was the 15-hour train ride from Beijing to Harbin.

Huangshan is stunning but the weather on top of the mountain changes very fast and very unpredictable. If it rains, the fog covers ALMOST everything. I have climbed it in Winter, spring and summer and in all three trips, it rained at least for one day. It would be better to check the weather forecast just to give you an idea. Otherwise, you would be wasting your time up there if the weather gets bad.

I personally like the Qinghai Province. I was there just last October and I totally enjoyed the landscape and the breathtaking sceneries. I am not so sure right now if it would be advisable to go there during winter since it could get as cold as Harbin too and maybe when everything is covered in snow it may not be as attractive as it is during the fall.

In Xian, there is another famous mountain, HuaShan. It is like Huangshan too but some of the paths are more dangerous than Huangshan. The view is also spectacular.

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Weatherwise, the south is better than the north.   The travel warnings are real, however with some planning, it can be pleasant.   Spring Holiday/New Year is the traditional time for families to visit.   In the good old days when everyone lived within a few hundred meters of all family members the problem was simple:  walk over and eat/visit/play mahjiang.  Today, with hundreds of millions of people spread out over more hundreds of millions of square miles, the urge to visit home is still as strong as it ever was, the problem is "getting there."   Most travel is during the week before and the week after spring festival.   If you can plan to travel ON New Year's Day, you should have lots of room (everyone is already home) and for the first few days after "THE" day they are still home.   Those are the magic days.   But, be aware that even hotel staff like to have the holiday at home and some of the smaller (read: cheaper) places may not be open.  My first time in HZ I arrived a couple of days after THE day and almost had the train from Shanghai to HZ as a private limousine; I even got an especially low rate at the City Hotel in Shanghai (I was almost the only guest).   A day or two later the flood gates opened and the transportation system ground to a halt.

 

SO, if you can be flexible in your travel requirements, you have a pretty good chance of getting to your destination.   Since you are leaving China at the end of your travel, can you plan to meander south and plan your air departure from Hong Kong?  That will not affect your single entry visa at all, as you are leaving anyway. 

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In addition to what's already been said, I will give Yunnan it's 2 cents worth and recommend it as a great, inexpensive and undercrowded place to travel this time of year. Dali and Lijiang in particular will be good over the spring festival break (as opposed to Kunming which will be mostly empty), although keep in mind this year has been particularly cold

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Guest Heheguoren

Id also travel to Yunnan this time of the year if I were you but you have to be sure you have all your long distance ticket in your hand before you go. If you have be back to your work or school when the 11 days holiday is over it might not happen if you dont buy tickets in advance so book your tickets NOOOOOOWWW.

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Iggie and Slythe-I know, or at least, I can imagine...if it's anything like the Moon Festival or worse..ugh, not my cup of tea.

I have taken into consideration the warnings about travel, and now I can't decide if it's worse to just sit in HZ for all that time or to brave the insane crowds in order to see a new place.  I don't wanna put myself through that, but at the same time, I feel like I can't let myself waste this time off!

 

Iain, yeah, only had a 6 month contract, enjoyed it but ready to go onto bigger and better things.  I want to make the most of my last month!  Maybe you can help me as per things to do in HZ, I honestly feel like I've done most of what there is to do, especially now that the weather's colder.

 

Dan Tan, hot springs sound lovely....any reccomendations?  

 

SMB....thanks for all the tips, I'd like to do all of those things but unfortunately it's sort of sounding like I've picked the worst possible timing especially as you say many places may not be so attractive in the winter.  I'd love to see the mountain still, will keep an eye on the forecasts and I may just pop over there for a day or two.  

 

Hangzhouvian...good advice, if I do end up going I'll definitely look into traveling on "the" day.  I'm free from Jan. 25-Feb. 4, so if I could swing it to go on the 31st it might be alright...but coming back could still be a nightmare?  As much as I'd love to do Hong Kong, my plane ticket home is already bought, flying out of Shanghai so I'll have to come back.  

 

Lemphek and Heheguoren...thanks, I'll do some research on Yunnan as soon as I can.  I've heard good things as well!  Just a matter of whether or not I can work out the kinks in transportation.

 

Thanks all!!  You're really helpful :)

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Well, maybe it's too late to book train tickets. You can reserve tickets 19 days earlier than your planned date.  It's due to buy tickets on 31st Jan, which means you may take another way of transportation traveling.

My hometown has several hot springs and historical buildings, but I'm afraid the railway tickets are out of sale.

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Guest Heheguoren

If you want to go to Yunnan and only have 11 days you should try booking flight tickets. Dont waste your time on travelling on trains, Yunnan is far away from here and it will take forever to get there and back.

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Yeah, pretty much figured out if I wanna go anywhere I'd have to fly, and even that might be tough.  If it doesn't work, I guess that means I'll just have to party my face off in HZ.  Thanks for all the info guys!

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Yeah, pretty much figured out if I wanna go anywhere I'd have to fly, and even that might be tough.  If it doesn't work, I guess that means I'll just have to party my face off in HZ.  Thanks for all the info guys!

 

if you like getting shitfaced with foreigners, Shanghai's only an hour away by train... :kiss: :kiss:

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Doing anything during or close to the Spring Festival period is a headache. Even though it's not mainland, I'd recommend you to check out Hainan. Probably best to avoid Haikou and Sanya, they will be packed with mainlander tourists escaping the winter. Baoting, Ledong, Riyue Bay are some less crowed, little bit out of the way places. Good to kick back and relax if that's what you need to recharge the batteries.

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I'm hoping to make it to Shanghai for a couple of days, but I fear I've put off getting train tickets too long. 

 

 

Doing anything during or close to the Spring Festival period is a headache. Even though it's not mainland, I'd recommend you to check out Hainan. Probably best to avoid Haikou and Sanya, they will be packed with mainlander tourists escaping the winter. Baoting, Ledong, Riyue Bay are some less crowed, little bit out of the way places. Good to kick back and relax if that's what you need to recharge the batteries.

 

 

Brad, I just got back from Sanya today!  Enjoyed the change of pace, the beach and the weather-but packed as you said, and, as far as island getaways go, I've seen better.  Still better than the Hangzhou winter!

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I'm hoping to make it to Shanghai for a couple of days, but I fear I've put off getting train tickets too long. 

 

 

Brad, I just got back from Sanya today!  Enjoyed the change of pace, the beach and the weather-but packed as you said, and, as far as island getaways go, I've seen better.  Still better than the Hangzhou winter!

 

Yeah compared to the rest of China it's pretty good. Compared to every other island getaway on the planet it's pretty lame. If you were lucky you might of even had blue skys. With the amount of cars, trucks, buses and other heavy diesel polluters, they are trying hard to stuff it up.

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What are my odds of catching a long distance bus to Shanghai the weekend before New Year?  (around the 25th?)

 

Sorry I'm posting late, but hey, maybe someone in the far distant future will dig up this thread and use it...

 

Tickets to and from Shanghai/Hangzhou are so easy to get - never worry about getting a train (particularly G-train) except  for maybe in the last hour before it's due to go on very very busy days... and even then, you're pretty likely to get a seat!

 

Only once have I ever had to go to the dining carriage due to lack of seats, and I think I managed a seat for half of that journey, anyway!

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Oh, if you're going Guilin direction, you also need to check out Yangshou just around the corner! It's apparently much better, and much lest toursity.

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Well, I ended up going to HuangShan and it was absolutely stunning.  For future reference if anyone's thinking of going around the holidays in the future, traveling on "the" New Years' Day was perfectly fine, but climbing the mountain the day after got to be pretty crowded by the afternoon.  

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