China & Hong Kong: 3 nights Shanghai, 5 nights in Beijing, 2 in Xi'an & 5 in Hong Kong £699.40pp
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China & Hong Kong: 3 nights Shanghai, 5 nights in Beijing, 2 in Xi'an & 5 in Hong Kong £699.40pp

31
Found 20th May 2016
This is great trip for visiting China and Hong Kong with Qatar Airways flights too! I've tried to give you enough time to enjoy places rather than rush but China is fascinating and I could have spent weeks there! You can spend far less on accommodation (hostels etc) or far more but the places I've picked are central and with good ratings.

2-6 October
You fly to Shanghai arriving on 3 October. You will stay for 3 nights which is enough for a taster of the city. You will stay at the Shanghai Holiday Inn Express as it's in a good location for public transport and rates are cheap too.

6-11 October
You'll take the train today which is around 4 hrs into Beijing. The fast high speed trains in China are clean and efficient. You also get WiFi on some of them too. Once in Beijing you'll stay for 5 nights at the highly rated Michaels House. I think 5 nights in Beijing is really good as you can spend a day on or around the wall (Beijing Hikers are a good company for those wanting to do some proper hiking). You can spend a day around the Summer Palace and then of course the Forbidden City is another day (closed Mondays). You can't go wrong with the metro system in Beijing it is far easier than the Underground and all in English too. You really don't need a driver to do everything in the city itself.

11-13 October
You'll take the high speed train to Xian today. This is the bullet train and again it is fast and efficient. In Xian I've picked a place I've stayed in myself. It is the Xian Ancient City Hostel. Yes it's a hostel but it's lovely! Rooms have private bathrooms and public transport is right outside the door. Staff gave us really helpful instructions on using the public buses to get to and from the terracotta warriors and we had a leaflet with a picture of them on so just showed it the bus driver who then indicated when to get off the bus. I'd also recommend the Muslim quarter for fantastic, and varied food and cycling tandem along the city walls.

13-18 October
You'll fly to Hong Kong today and stay there for 5 nights. Another good hotel the 4* central Hotel Sar. This is central to public transport and will mean you can get out and about.

You'll leave Hong Hong on 18 October for your flight back to UK.

Breakdown

Flights for 2 UK to Beijing, Hong Kong to UK with Qatar £286.31pp/£572.26 book at Expedia

3 nights Shanghai book with Holiday Inn Express direct 1080cny/£113.47

Train from Shanghai to Beijing 553cny (total for 2 £111.94) you will need to book with China diy and they will secure you train tickets. I've used these myself and they got me tickets at Chinese new year, great service.

5 nights in Beijing £227.21 book at Venere using code AFFQ18PP

Train to Xian for two £108.16

2 nights in Xian £34 at booking.com

Flights from Xian to Hong Kong £225.22 for two book at gotogate.com

5 nights in Hong Kong £292.68 book at Venere using code above.

Total £1398.81/£699.40
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Original Poster
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Not sure is this is great value.
Sure it is
But heat added for the effort regardless
Excellent price . We went to China last year and loved it . We went to chengdu to the panda sanctuary which was wonderful . My son is a train freak so the bullet train was great but boy was it long . Xian was fantastic because I'd always wanted to see the terracotta warriors . Holiday of a lifetime
Original Poster

Excellent price . We went to China last year and loved it . We went to … Excellent price . We went to China last year and loved it . We went to chengdu to the panda sanctuary which was wonderful . My son is a train freak so the bullet train was great but boy was it long . Xian was fantastic because I'd always wanted to see the terracotta warriors . Holiday of a lifetime



We did Shanghai, Beijing, including the ice festival, 2 days hiking on the wall, Xian, Pingyao and Datong (Mt Heng and the hanging monastry). We didn't spend as much as this on accommodation but I've picked 'posher' hotels. We did some overnight trains but compared to the overnight trains in Europe these weren't great (despite no smoking rules we could still smell smoke in the cabins). Remember you'll need a visa.

We did Shanghai, Beijing, including the ice festival, 2 days hiking on … We did Shanghai, Beijing, including the ice festival, 2 days hiking on the wall, Xian, Pingyao and Datong (Mt Heng and the hanging monastry). We didn't spend as much as this on accommodation but I've picked 'posher' hotels. We did some overnight trains but compared to the overnight trains in Europe these weren't great (despite no smoking rules we could still smell smoke in the cabins). Remember you'll need a visa.


Visa was a nightmare . Arrived just days before we went . Suitcase went to Hong Kong but we didn't . That was British airways fault and Chinese were super efficient in getting it to us . Loved it but boy was it tiring
Just came back from 7nights China inc breakfast , lunches, 2 nights dinner, guided tours panda centre,terracotta warriors, forbidden city and Great Wall with voyage jules Verne £1292 each
Original Poster

Just came back from 7nights China inc breakfast , lunches, 2 nights … Just came back from 7nights China inc breakfast , lunches, 2 nights dinner, guided tours panda centre,terracotta warriors, forbidden city and Great Wall with voyage jules Verne £1292 each



You really don't need guided tours, in my opinion China is one of the easiest places to navigate in and food is sooo cheap, if not a little challenging at times! Make sure you have duck at a good restaurant, eg Siji Minfu it was amazing.

You can do your visa in person at Manchester (10 mins walk from train station). It is easy although they did want a full itinerary and proof of hotels and itinerary etc.
Don't forget to count the cost of the visa. For a British passport holder it's currently an eye-watering £171.
dunno how people can move from hotel to hotel on a holiday...
Original Poster

dunno how people can move from hotel to hotel on a holiday...



I don't know how some people stay in a resort and on AI holiday for a week or two, but then we're all different

I don't know how some people stay in a resort and on AI holiday for a … I don't know how some people stay in a resort and on AI holiday for a week or two, but then we're all different



Yeah seems people like to carry bags and fly all over the place instead of having a holiday in this thread ha...
Original Poster

Yeah seems people like to carry bags and fly all over the place instead … Yeah seems people like to carry bags and fly all over the place instead of having a holiday in this thread ha...



I'm not on holiday unless I'm moving around or hiking!
We went to Asia (including China) with a 5 year old and 18 month old in February - 3 weeks, 5 countries, 7 flights :0)
Wish I had some to go with. All my mates are married or have girlfriends. ****.
We did something similar to this
We did something similar to this minus Hong Kong. Was amazing. Did the overnight train between Xian and Beijing. And no one speaks English in Xian which made everything a game of charades. Especially when going clubbing in Xian. Thoroughly recommend this for anyone.
heat

We did something similar to this minus Hong Kong. Was amazing. Did the … We did something similar to this minus Hong Kong. Was amazing. Did the overnight train between Xian and Beijing. And no one speaks English in Xian which made everything a game of charades. Especially when going clubbing in Xian. Thoroughly recommend this for anyone.


Love going to a foreign country where communication is challenging as that adds to the experience
Original Poster

We did something similar to this minus Hong Kong. Was amazing. Did the … We did something similar to this minus Hong Kong. Was amazing. Did the overnight train between Xian and Beijing. And no one speaks English in Xian which made everything a game of charades. Especially when going clubbing in Xian. Thoroughly recommend this for anyone.



We had a similar experience in Xian, charades in a tiny takeaway with about 20 Chinese people. My partner was clucking like a chicken and I was drawing pictures on a notepad! When we got to Datong and the budda caves/Heng everyone was more interested taking pictures of us than the tourist attraction. I'm probably famous in China!
that's a lot of going up and down. would be better to start at the top and work the way downwards. October starts to get pretty cold in China. esp Beijing and xian
also xian is a small airport and it gets pretty busy. much better to fly out from shanghai pudong as it's a much larger airport with lots of international as well as domestic flights to HK. so probably better deal and time
Did this last year but skipped shanghai and went to Yangshuo instead. To save a morning you can take a "sleeper" train overnight from Beijing to Xi'an. (Unless you're short you need the "soft Sleeper option" Cost about £50 each for this, if I remember correctly. (There are 2 or 4 beds per cabin. So as its China you *will* end up sharing if there is a free bed, which adds to the fun)
In XI'an I stayed at "Alley youth hostel" in the Muslin area (about a 10 minute walk from the main outdoor shopping / eating "Night Market" (Though It appears to be open in the day as well) street by the pagoda (Hostel was just far enough away to be quiet at night) It was clean and the bed was OK, which is all you need as you wont be spending long there anyway....
Original Poster
I was there in February and whilst it was cold (and snow at one point), the days were sunny and surprisingly clear. We also did the sleepers but had no one sharing with us so had the cabin to ourselves. It was just the cigarette smoke wafting through the vents of the sleepers that put us off and they weren't particularly clean either. I think I've been spoilt on night trains in Europe!

If you go to Xian by train watch out for the scam taxi drivers as you leave the station. We got approach by one and when we said we did not want to use him as a taxi he was stopping genuine taxi drivers from taking us. Might be best to say your hotel is collecting you. We had to walk down the road with our bags and flag one down on the street.
If you stay in Hantang House (good clean hostel No. 1 B&B on TripAdvisor) you can have noodles for breakfast just outside the hotel for 40p.
Paid £600 just to fly return to Manila last month so this is good. I know someone who travelled around Asia to these places and he paid in excess of £1k
Original Poster
Loving the avatar mattturner

Don't forget to count the cost of the visa. For a British passport holder … Don't forget to count the cost of the visa. For a British passport holder it's currently an eye-watering £171.


Where did you get that figure from? I got mine in the london chinese visa centre for £60... only took 4 days as well
Original Poster

Where did you get that figure from? I got mine in the london chinese visa … Where did you get that figure from? I got mine in the london chinese visa centre for £60... only took 4 days as well



Mine was around that figure too but I believe they put their prices up.
They were £60 last year , £151 in person now or £171 ( plus cost of recorded delivery both ways) by post. They take 4 days eg take up on the Monday and ready to collect on the Thursday and that is not the express service .
This is from Birmingham, is the price the same from London?

How long are the flights?

Cheers!

They were £60 last year , £151 in person now or £171 ( plus cost of re … They were £60 last year , £151 in person now or £171 ( plus cost of recorded delivery both ways) by post. They take 4 days eg take up on the Monday and ready to collect on the Thursday and that is not the express service .


Wow. £171 for a visa! I went to China for one day in March and hiked the wall at Mutianyu (stopover on the way to NZ). You can get in for nothing if you stay for less than 3 days. I was thinking about going back for a week or two but given the cost of a visa now I don't think I'll bother!
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