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skarroki
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hi all

I've been on a teaching internship in China for several months now, i was placed in Jinan, Shandong province. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here and have seen everything in the Shandong province that i want to check out, but now i have 3 weeks to travel to some of the main sites in China and i was wondering if people could recommend some of the best places to go? obviously i'm not going to get to see everything in only 3 weeks but i'm hoping to travel around a fair amount of the country.

After that, when my visa is close to running out i am off to HongKong for a few days, over the Chinese new year period, i am imagining it will be chaotic but exciting, i am going to book m hostel for the few days now so as not to risk not having anywhere to stay. What is best to see in HongKong at this time of year?

Thanks for any help, i'm gonna set off on the 18th Jan at the latest so still have a few weeks to plan out some stops

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I don't think many people here have spent nearly as much time in China as you have, even I haven't. So it's quite odd that you're asking us for advice tbh :lol:

Only thing I can think of - if you want to visit the Great Wall, don't visit the crowded, touristy parts of it (Badaling etc), rugged is good. But I bet you already knew that.

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I did two Great Wall sites from Beijing. Jinshaling was recommended by the hostel as it has a lot of the original wall, whilst not having many tourists on. It's a good hike too. Probably the best site to get photos on.

I also went to Mutianyu, purely for the fact that you get to tobaggon back down to the bottom when you've finished.

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Great wall is an incredible site. I did a place mentioned in lonely guide that has a tobaggan run running down from the top of the wall, surreal experience mixing history with modern ideas..(guessing this is where wainy meant)

Xian is a really nice place and of course terracotta army isn't far from and that is a phenomenal site.

Huangshan mountain in the yellow mountains is breathtaking and not too much of a strenuous climb. (Even though there is also a lift up if needed. If you do the lift still make sure you do the extra hike up to the very top of the mountain, above the clouds is really worthwhile)

Edited by mikeyp102
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I've been to china 4 times and travelled around quite a lot of it... Entered via Mongolia last time on the train so its an option if you have a multi entry visa and want to spend 36 hrs on a train and aee ulaanbater ... to he honest you don't see a lot of china as its dark when you cross the border , rumour has it you can see the Great Wall in places but we didn't

In all my visits id say The Tibet train was without doubt the highlight

I flew to Xinging and spent a night there before catching the train the next evening

Xinging is more Muslim so has an interesting slant on things but I wouldn't spend a lot if time there it's fairly dull sight seeing wise .. Though if you go in the summer months there is a bird island a few hours out that is worth a visit if that's your thing

However , once you get on the train and past Golmud The train journeyitself is stunning.. one of the most amazing things I've ever seen , you are up up in the clouds looking at snow covered mountains and stunning scenery ..Lhasa itself is quite nice once you get over the shock of the Chinese turning it into a neon city, the potala palace and the old town have managed to keep their charm

Xian of course has the Terracotta Army but also has so much more and is one of the best cities in China imo , I really want to go back there and spend some more time exploring it

Chengdu has the panda sanctuary , I was there just as the baby panda were born the other year and saw them when they were under 2 weeks old... It's interesting to see how the Chinese are starting to embrace conservation , when I went to Chengdu the first time in 2000 my wife and I were the only visitors in the whole place , now it's full of Chinese and tourists .

Saying that I'm not sure I would go there unless you really like pandas though , it's not as scenic as other places in China

The 3 gorges dam is worth a look see , it's another marvel of Chinese engineering , take a few days and travel there along the river , we did that back in 2000 and a lot of what we saw is now 120m under water bit I should imagine the views are still good .. We started in Chonquing , but I'm sure there are other places you can board

I really like China next year I'm off to Nanking , Shanghai and Macau ... So any tips on those places would be handy

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i went to -

shanghai, suzhou and hangzhou - shanghai IMO is the best place ive ever been, but im in to buildings, also has a great main museum and some really good bars, the pudong is mind blowing, even the road system is mind blowing, hangzhou and suzhou both have really nice lakes but hangzhou especially was really polluted

guilin - didnt really like it there, felt rough and more dangerous than the other places i went, there is a hill in the centre that has amazing views if the city, went down the river, saw the kirst mountains, got the exact picture from the back of the 20 yuan note, river was nice, yangshuo was really nice but full of backpackers and western bars, saw a show on a lake with the mountains in the background that i would recommend

chengdu - had tons of construction works going on, including a new underground, surprisingly big place that seemd to have lots of centres, i went to about 3 seemingly brand new high streets, also saw the pandas which was worth travelling to china for alone, the food there was the best i had in china

xian - the city was ok, wasnt easy to get around, they also have a good main museum, didnt have time to cycle the wall, was really disappointed with the terracotta army, for some reason i was under the impression that they had been found like that when in reality they havent found any complete ones and out the back you get to see them using plaster of paris to put them all together, took the shine off, it was also really busy there and full of looky looky men

beijing - i was there for 3 days and didnt even touch the surface, it was ridiculously cold when i was there, easily -15 and windy, iirc i went to jinshanling for the great wall and it goes up, its not an easy walk and you have to go early to avoid everyone else, took about an hours walk up very steep steps before you get to the bit where you see it go over the hills

i would say dont travel by the normal trains, i travelled from chengdu to xian and then xian to beijing by train, horrible experience, they lock all the windows to stop people throwing things out and the air quality on board is shocking to say the least, i also had a private room and you get a lot of people travelling up and down the carriages to come and happily ruin your toilets and wash room

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xian - was really disappointed with the terracotta army, for some reason i was under the impression that they had been found like that when in reality they havent found any complete ones and out the back you get to see them using plaster of paris to put them all together,

shhhhhhhh you are not supposed to tell people that :-)

Tbh lots of china is like that , we were taken to visit some Pagoda that dates back to 400 BC or something , only when you look into it a bit more you find that one burnt down and it was rebuilt 300 years later and then that one was destroyed and it was rebuilt and so on and so on and the one you've just climbed up was last destroyed during the cultural revolution and rebuilt in 1990 !!

Don't know when you went to Beijing but when I was there in April Tiananmen Square now has 2 giant video screens showing adverts for China airways and the tourist board ... Mao is probably spinning in his grave

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shhhhhhhh you are not supposed to tell people that :-)

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yeah i wasnt sure at the time if it was because im too young to have experienced the news of them being found, my dad says it would have been top of his list for things to see there, but it just did very little for me, so much of it felt like guff

and i saw the advertising screens, iirc its right in front of the mao picture too, i was there in december last year, the weather went from 26 in yangshuo to a week later -15 in beijing, i got a shocking cold and couldnt really be bothered to do much unfortunately

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Was the same for me on my first visit took the train up from Hong Kong where I left in shorts and progressively froze the further North I went !!

The army when we saw it was shrouded with fog , sort of gave it this mystical type quality , but ruined a lot of my photos !!!

I got really ill in Beijing as a result of the cold , my guide took me to a medical centre lots of people looked at me , prodded me etc and give me some medicine and I was a as right as rain the next morning ... Was really impressed at the time with the level of care , then I returned to the UK and found out about 4 days later about the SARS outbreak they had there but had been keeping quiet , so I've always wondered if they were checkin me for that as they really did seem quite concerned at the time !!

I'm really hoping they finally get to dig the hill on Xian where they have found traces of mercury which possibly back up the legends that Qinshi Huang's tomb is there and untouched ... It could well be the archeological find of all time

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I love China. Not been to Xian so it is worth of a return visit. I really liked Guangzhou in the south of China. Nice city. Get yourself to Beijing as well (obviously).

I too have done the Mongolia to China train, it's an interesting experience. I still remember the border part of the train - the last village in Mongolia with barely any lights. First settlement in China is a city with over 2 million people in it. Stark contrast but so awesome.

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I got a single entry work visa, so i can't leave until i go to HongKong on the 8th of February. I have been here a bit, yes, legov, but i wanted to talk to people on here just to see if anyone brought up something i hadn't heard about :)

I have been to Beijing for a few weeks in august and saw Summer Palace, Tiananmen square, Great wall, All the main sites. Briefly been to Shanghai but will probably go again,

Just back from Hangzhou and actually didn't think it was very polluted, however it has been snowing there for a few days so it may have all been covered up. The snow made for a completely different experience to the one i had expected and the mist lingering over the lake made it look amazing.

Basically done everything now in Shandong province, because work has restricted my travelling abilities. Qufu to see Confusious, Qingdao, Tai'an Mountain, and all the famous areas of Jinan.

i have friends in Chengdu and i want to see the Panda's so that's a real option if i have time.

My main area of interest is Yunnan, i want to go to Lijiang, or whichever place is a good starting block for seeing the Tiger Leaping Gorge. I want to see the forests on the border of Sichuan and Yunnan too, along with Phoenix City and Yuanyang Rice Terraces. Other than that i'll try to fit in all of your suggestions too. Thanks for all the responses, if you have anything more to add now i've better explained my position i would welcome it :)

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  • 2 years later...

Reviving this thread.

 

I recently moved to Shanghai, does anyone else live here?

I recently interviewed for a job in Shanghai. I didn't get it, but I've been looking at other options. What did you move for?

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  • 3 years later...

On 12/03/2019 at 19:24, Xela said:

Thread resurrection. 

Anyone been to Shenzhen? Worth a visit? 

Not been there but did China last year.

Had two weeks and went to Shanghai, Suzhou, Xian and finished off in Beijing all booked under my own steam.

Amazing place, so much so i'm going back to do it again next year.

I can help out if you fancy that itinerary.

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