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Old 16th June 2011, 15:52   #1
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Default Advice : Travelling to China

Guys,

I will be traveling to China in Oct for a week. Booked the tickets and the train tickets (currently the fastest train). I need to plan my trip accordingly. Need to book the hotels and want to know the details of different places to visit there.

Looking forward to some suggestions on this.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 16th June 2011, 21:52   #2
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Default Re: China - Queries

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Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
Guys,

I will be traveling to China in Oct for a week. Booked the tickets and the train tickets (currently the fastest train). I need to plan my trip accordingly. Need to book the hotels and want to know the details of different places to visit there.

Looking forward to some suggestions on this.
Thanks in advance.
China is very very large country , which part of china you will visit?
Are you going for export exhibition? at guangzhou?Just a guess.
I had gone to Hong kong , Macau, Guangzhou 1.5 yrs back , it was for export exhibition cum pleasure trip .
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Old 16th June 2011, 22:59   #3
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Default Re: China - Queries

Business or pleasure - plan your trip in a very detailed manner. Language is going to be as big a problem as food. Hotels are fairly reasonable . You can try Booking.com: 135000+ hotels worldwide. Book your hotel now! for hotel booking. If you are planning to do something more than visiting some exhibition, contact the counter parts , verify their customer base, make specific appointments with them before departure. They are very professional in dealing with potential customers. Some of them write fairly decent English but they find it hard to understand our accent. Just writing this from my experience. Others might have had different experiences. Have a nice trip
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Old 17th June 2011, 09:49   #4
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Default Re: China - Queries

Thanks guys. This is purely a pleasure trip. Planning to visit Beijing and Shanghai. Will be there in China for 5 days and Malaysia for 2 days. I know language will be a problem. Experienced similar kind of food in Malaysia last year.
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Old 17th June 2011, 09:55   #5
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My father was in China (Wuhan) last month. The two main problems he faced was food (we are vegetarian) and language! Most of the people couldn't understand English and this became a huge hinderance when trying to move around the city. Try to use the help of the hotel staff to arrange your travel within the city. But I guess in Beijing and Shanghai English should be less of a problem.

He travelled on the bullet train from Guangzhou to Wuhan and overall it was a great experience! Note that most of the stations that accommodate these high speed trains aren't in the city center.

Last edited by anekho : 17th June 2011 at 09:58.
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Old 17th June 2011, 10:26   #6
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Default Re: China - Queries

see, youll be shopping and eating, yes?
shanghai, go to qipu road(is that right?)
Beijing, go to pearl market.
termendous shopping.
enormous bargaining.
whatever they say, you ask for 1/3rd, even a fifth.

Language in such cases will not be a problem.
the shopkeepers will pull out a calculator usually, and and you can talk all you want in english and hindi, he will talk a LOT in chinese, you wont understand a word each of you say, but the calculator will close the deal...

eating, well, streetside stuff is really nice, really really nice.
however, when you go pub-hopping, when these guys ask you to come in and eat, look at the prcie of the fodd, yes, but also, if you are planning to drink ANYTHING at all, even bottled water, ask before ordering how much it is for.
these guys will add the drinks at about the same cost as the food if you dont ask.
my lesson came from when i ate a 40RMB meal, and was charged 40 RMP extra for the bottled beverage...ask beforehand, you'll also get a abrgain on the drinks(40, no sir, 20, ok 10!)

take a guided tour in the cities to cover most of the regular spots.
you can wander around all you want.
it is very safe over there.


hmmmm, what else?

yeah, if you buy soemthing from the streets, and hand over a note, the girl(usually) may come to you and say you gave a her a torn note, please change it.
be careful, it will be fake currency.
also dont ho for coffee/drinks with a PYT who comes and tells you she's from teh local univ, and would love to sit down with you and have a chance to enhance her "english".

keep the hoetl business card handy.
the hotel should give one which has the address in chinese as well as english.

finally, if yo utake a local equivalent of a tuk-tuk(basically a bike made into an auto, but about half the width of our autos, before you get in, confirm the price that youre paying is for both(right, 2 people going?).

small fleecing tricks, more a nuisance, than a problem.
you will love it, boss!!
and dont be put off by all i've quoted above.
every city in the world has such lists.

lemme know what is the current proliferation in cars.
last i went, they were black A6s.

cheerios!!
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Old 17th June 2011, 10:46   #7
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Default Re: China - Queries

@anekho - Thanks a lot.
@Mayankk - Thanks a lot. Yes, experienced the bargaining using calculator last year when I went to Malaysia. This is pure shopping trip (hopefully, will get some good cheap stuff from there).

Will be arranging a guided tour. This is what I did in Malaysia. A guided tour for a day and the rest was covered by us.

Thanks for the advice. Will follow your instructions. Will also let you know the details of the cars too. I will definitely click some pics of the cars. That's already decided. Was able to click some exotics when I was in Malaysia.

Anyways, a detailed report along with the cost will be published in the travelogue section when it's done.
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Old 17th June 2011, 15:17   #8
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Default Re: China - Queries

Cannot compare China to Malaysia, lah! NOBODY in China speaks English.

Well that may be an exaggeration but not too far off the mark. I've ben to Beijing in 2001 and needed an interpreter (was on official business). Even ordering food is tricky business- my friend wanted "anything vegetarian" after about 15 minutes of trying (through the interpreter no less!) and at the end of it he got a steaming hot bowl of vegetables...with diced beef on top!

Finally he scraped off the beef and ate the veggies with steamed rice. Which is free by the way.

One thing that impressed me was that there didn't seem to be much class system out there. Our interpreter and the taxi driver cheerfully plonked themselves on our table and shared our food. It felt great!

In Beijing don't forget to visit the Forbidden City, Tianenmen Square and the Badaling Section of the Great Wall. If you're in the main city, food is not really a problem- go to the nearest KFC or Pizza Hut! On the road, Schichuan places are usually to our desi liking, taste wise. Pork is the default meat- you need to ASK for chicken and even then don't be surprised if they sprinkle some pork on it!

What else? Yeah the shopping is fun- visited the main market in Beijing, forget the name. Got these awesome wall-hanging paintings of the Wall and other Chinese stuff. Do make sure to ask what they represent. The Chinese place deep meaning behind every symbol. So they'll be sure to have something for a new home, family etc. Helps while buying gifts for those back home!

Suggest you avoid driving- LHD plus all signs in Chinese. And those 8-laners are insane! Taxi drivers are pretty good and not too expensive.

Have fun and do post a travelogue!
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Old 17th June 2011, 15:26   #9
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Default Re: China - Queries

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Cannot compare China to Malaysia, lah! NOBODY in China speaks English.

Well that may be an exaggeration but not too far off the mark. I've ben to Beijing in 2001 and needed an interpreter (was on official business). Even ordering food is tricky business- my friend wanted "anything vegetarian" after about 15 minutes of trying (through the interpreter no less!) and at the end of it he got a steaming hot bowl of vegetables...with diced beef on top!

Finally he scraped off the beef and ate the veggies with steamed rice. Which is free by the way.

One thing that impressed me was that there didn't seem to be much class system out there. Our interpreter and the taxi driver cheerfully plonked themselves on our table and shared our food. It felt great!

In Beijing don't forget to visit the Forbidden City, Tianenmen Square and the Badaling Section of the Great Wall. If you're in the main city, food is not really a problem- go to the nearest KFC or Pizza Hut! On the road, Schichuan places are usually to our desi liking, taste wise. Pork is the default meat- you need to ASK for chicken and even then don't be surprised if they sprinkle some pork on it!

What else? Yeah the shopping is fun- visited the main market in Beijing, forget the name. Got these awesome wall-hanging paintings of the Wall and other Chinese stuff. Do make sure to ask what they represent. The Chinese place deep meaning behind every symbol. So they'll be sure to have something for a new home, family etc. Helps while buying gifts for those back home!

Suggest you avoid driving- LHD plus all signs in Chinese. And those 8-laners are insane! Taxi drivers are pretty good and not too expensive.

Have fun and do post a travelogue!
Thanks for the tip dude. Yes, China would be an entirely different experience. Will be checking out some Chinese delicacies out there. Other than that it would obviously be KFC or Pizzas. I havent actually planned the places to visit. As of now, booked the train and will be visiting Beijing and Shanghai.

Thanks for shopping leads. I will be definitely looking out stuffs for home. Some wall paintings and decorative would do good. And some cheap "chinese" electronic goods as well. Nothing much, some cheap stuffs.

Will definitely post the travelogue. Still have 4 months to go

Thanks once again dude for the input. Will make a note of it.
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Old 17th June 2011, 16:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naveen.raju

Thanks for the tip dude. Yes, China would be an entirely different experience. Will be checking out some Chinese delicacies out there. Other than that it would obviously be KFC or Pizzas. I havent actually planned the places to visit. As of now, booked the train and will be visiting Beijing and Shanghai.

Thanks for shopping leads. I will be definitely looking out stuffs for home. Some wall paintings and decorative would do good. And some cheap "chinese" electronic goods as well. Nothing much, some cheap stuffs.

Will definitely post the travelogue. Still have 4 months to go

Thanks once again dude for the input. Will make a note of it.
He he!
Boy are you in for a treat..... Because you will be surprised even with the kfc and pizza hut menus.
I literally gorged on the food there.
Have the duck definitely,but not at any budget place.
Spend a decent amount on it,trust me you won't forget the flavor in years.
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Old 17th June 2011, 16:38   #11
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Default Re: China - Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
Guys,

I will be traveling to China in Oct for a week. Booked the tickets and the train tickets (currently the fastest train). I need to plan my trip accordingly. Need to book the hotels and want to know the details of different places to visit there.

Looking forward to some suggestions on this.
Thanks in advance.

I have travelled to Shanghai twice (official trip) and the biggest problem was language. Local people (taxi, shopkeepers etc) do not even understand 1 word in English. I used to carry a map in Chinese and the hotel guys (they know English) used to catch cabs for me. The cab guys are honest and they don't cheat.
I went for a Shanghai city tour ia the hotel that I stayed once.
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Old 18th June 2011, 01:23   #12
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Default Re: China - Queries

I was in Shanghai in Feb. Language was no problem at all - we were always escorted by the company's chinese employees, but also in places where tourists go the people spoke english (bad enough but good enough). In fact interacting with engineers was a bigger challenge than buying souvenirs.

first of all check the weather - Beijing will most likely be cold even in summers, Shanghai not so much.

second, keep a list of common chinese phrases with you (you can get here Chinese Phrases for Travelers---The phrases can be heard.) write the name of your hotel etc. down - it'll help immensely when you want to hire a taxi for example.


Third, be careful - it looks much more developed, but peel off the show-off and it is just like India. Take only the authorised taxi - these are plentyful and reasonably priced. If you have the names of the streets etc. in chinese they will even take you to the right place.

Food will be a problem even if you eat non-veg. But if you eat pork - no problem at all. Ordering food will not be a problem - most places carry a picture menu - you point they serve.



DO NOT entertain any woman who comes to you and offers to show you around or show you a teat place or anything like that. It is usually a scam and you can lose your shirt.


Regarding small talk - no matter what you do, don't raise any issue related to politics - people get distinctly uncomfortable with stuff that you may consider routine over here. Don't worry about the war of 62 - most chinese don't know anything about it, those who know don't care as far as they are concerned India is a nobody US is the competition/firend/enemy all bundled into one.



In Beijing there is a lot to see (as mentioned above), in Shanghai there's a general's garden, a museum and 200km away the city of Hangzhou I got a lot of silk from there (including ladies' purses made of silk) - very cheap.


Regarding stay - chinese 3-star and 4-star hotels are pretty cheap and include breakfast. 5-stars are also pretty cheap (cheaper than India - Grand Hyatt in shanghai cost us about 15k/room/night - no similar hotel in India exists, but similar rooms in top notch hotels will cost double as much in Bangalore) - but don't include breakfast. Somewhat paradoxically the more expensive hotels charge for internet, cheaper ones don't - check before you book because the ones that do charge will fleece your skin.

Last edited by vina : 18th June 2011 at 01:27.
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Old 18th June 2011, 02:14   #13
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Default Re: China - Queries

My brother visited Beijing & Shanghai 4 years back. There he didn't faced the language problem as most of the hotels, restaurants & taxi drivers managed to understand & reply in English

One of my colleague visited a few months back and said even Indian food are available but not familiar. For vegetarian it should be an problem in China.

Let me ask him for more details on places to visit & stay and update you tomorrow.

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 18th June 2011 at 02:15.
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Old 18th June 2011, 08:15   #14
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Default Re: China - Queries

Thanks a lot guys. And @vina - thanks for the common phrases. That's a good one.
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Old 18th June 2011, 17:54   #15
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Default Re: China - Queries

naveen.raju, Thanks for starting this thread as I am leaving for China tomorrow only.
My flight is from Delhi to Shanghai at around 2 AM.
I will be visiting Shanghai and Beijing, my trip is for seven days with some Business and leisure.
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