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  • helen_chin
  • Adventurer

    • 40

    • September 03, 2010, 09:48:17 am
    • Gwangju
Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« on: May 18, 2011, 08:01:20 am »
Hi guys,

My partner and I are going to Shanghai and Beijing in the Summer Vacation.
Has anyone been to either of those cities?
I know Beijing has a lot of things to see - Great Wall, Mings Tomb, Forbidden City but what does Shanghai have? We will probably go there for 2 weeks, so I'm thinking maybe we should go to Beijing for 9 days and 5 days in Shanghai.
What are your thoughts. Is Shanghai worth going to??

Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2011, 08:44:37 am »
I went to Shanghai and Beijing last summer and really enjoyed myself.

I think Shanghai is worth a visit if only to see the contrast between the two cities. They are really quite different.
Consider taking the overnight train to Shanhai. The trains are quite comfortable really, and it's interesting just to see how China manages the logistics of moving huge numbers of people from place to place.

In Shanghai, visit the Bund, People's Square, go shopping on East Nanjing Road (Like Myeongdong on a massive scale), and try to make it to the French Concession.

One thing though, China is crazy hot in the summer. Just be ready for it is all.

Have fun

Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2011, 08:51:41 am »
Honestly Shanghai is not worth the visit. It is just a bigger version of Seoul.
I would go to Hangzhou instead, lovely smaller city with a HUGE lake and lots of tradition.

  • rokker
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • May 04, 2011, 10:31:10 am
    • Jeongeup-si
Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2011, 09:13:45 am »
the old european parts of shanghai are very picturesque but it's sooo hot in summer -40+. had to go to oscars and drink 5 pints of strongbow each day to recover from my wanderings

  • twebbuk
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • March 02, 2011, 09:55:20 am
    • Daegu
Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 09:24:35 am »
If you don't mind me asking but how long did it take to get your Visa to China (UK citizen)?

I have been told it is 3 months but on the embassy website I cannot find reference to how long the visa takes to process. I did find mention that the passport must last for 90 days after the visit there.


  • trotsky
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • December 15, 2010, 11:44:28 am
    • Korea
Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 09:37:34 am »
Visa should only take about a week to get. You alos need to get it via an agency, you cannot get it directly from the embassy ( at least this was the case when I visited China in 20010).

OP, you have a decent amount of time in China. Shanghai is ok, but you can see everything there is to see in 1 - 2 days. With such a long period of time I would recommend taking an overnight train from Beijing to Xian. Xian has lots of history, the terracotta army is often overloaded with tour groups but is worth a visit.

Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 11:20:55 am »
I went last year, and the as previous posters have mentioned, the visas need to be obtained through specified agencies. I'm a UK national, and the visa only took a week. The same goes for my American girl friend, but her visa was a lot more expensive.

Yeah, Beijing has a load of history and sites to see. Be prepared to queue, though. As for the Great Wall, I'd recommend avoiding the popular stretches, and go to Mutianyu instead. We went there - get a commuter bus from Beijing city to the outskirts, and then hire a cab. The cab driver should take you to the wall, and wait there for a couple hours or so, before returning you to the bus stop. It was incredible here; despite being the Summer, we actually some stretches of the wall to ourselves. Do make the effort to try and get there early though.

As for Shanghai, I'd still make the effort. The city is very different to Bejing, a modern sprawling metropolis. The are museums and galleries here too, and there are a couple of the tallest towers in the world to view the city from. The French Concession is well worth the visit. Such a strange enclave of French culture, although it has come to cater for tourists and those with some cash to spend.

We flew between Shanghai and Beijing, which was cheap and convenient, but we would have used the trains if they hadn't been booked-out. It's worth checking train ticket availability in advance. I would advise absolutely AGAINST using long distance coaches in China. My one experience on a Chinese intercity bus was the single worst travel experience of my life. I thought I was going to die. (Nearly(!)) ruined the vacation. Just one experience, admittedly, but would never risk it again.

On a related note, although it's far away from Shanghai (took us 27 hours by train(!)) Guilin is well worth a visit of you have time. The scenery's absolutely stunning around there.

Whatever you do, China's an amazing country, and I'm sure you'll have an awesome time.

  • suisse
  • Adventurer

    • 34

    • May 18, 2011, 12:23:22 pm
    • Korea
Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 01:43:48 pm »
Beijing all the way. The historial stuff is too good to miss out on. I have been to Beijing, Shanghai and HK since coming here. Shanghai, while a cool city to party in and the Bunt is fanstastic, doesn't have a mnassive amount going for it.

If you do decide on Shanghai, spend a day there and head about an hour away to a beautiful city called Suzhou. It's like Venice witht he canals with the red lit up Chinese laterns give it a superb oriental feel. Suzhou made my Shanghai trip.

  • Can-do
  • Adventurer

    • 72

    • November 11, 2010, 07:53:59 am
    • Gyeonggi-Do
Re: Beijing and Shanghai for Summer vacation
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 01:59:51 pm »
My boyfriend and I went to China 2 years ago during summer vacation right in the middle of August. It was extremely hot but temperatures at night are more bearable. Just be sure to carry lots of water with you and be prepared for the big crowds and not so pleasant smells as China is not so clean and the summer heat makes that more apparent. People in China didn't seem as modest about covering their skin as the Koreans are. Men walk around with their shirts pulled up all day so feel free to wear tank tops, shorts and whatever will keep you cool without fear of an old women slapping your arms in disgust.   

I did a lot of research on hotels before we went and managed to get a fantastic deal at the Hilton Doubletree which had a pool and AC which saved us after a day in the heat. It was $30 for a shack of a hotel and $60 for a 5-star with buffet breakfast and I really feel like it was worth the extra money to eat well and sleep comfortably.

I agree with the visit to Suzhou. We did Beijing for 5 days and Suzhou for 3. It's such a combination of old and new. 

Have a fun trip!!