China questions.

Ancient temples swallowed by the jungle, rice paddies, local markets, stunning beaches, fiery cuisine, smoking incense at the feet of a golden Buddha, and the friendliest locals around.

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China questions.

Postby Mikeyt » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:42 pm

Hi,

I just returned from the Best of China with G. So, any questions, ask away. :)

Mike
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Re: China questions.

Postby debsg » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:31 am

Hi!

A friend and I are heading off on Best of China on 10th August, anything extra you would advise not to miss whilst there? Also how much money would you suggest taking, we definitely want to make the most of it. Did you change it up before you went or is it better to do it there or bit of both? Getting really excited now what bit did you enjoy the most?

Debs :)
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Re: China questions.

Postby Mikeyt » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:12 am

Ni Hao!

Let me see. I brought about 800 dollars worth with me (Canadian). I changed it here. I did use the ATM once but not for much. So, depending on your spending, and what you do extra 800 should be good because I had some left over when I came back. (Spent most of it at the airport mind you. Why bring it back?? ;)

What did I enjoy the most? That's a tough one, I didnt have a huge interest in China before I went, I just wanted to see the Great Wall, but, the entire trip was great. Probably Long Shen was the best part, seeing the Rice Terraces is really cool. Great Wall and Terra Cotta warriors was amazing as well. In regards to Longshen, it was raining when we go there so we stored our lockage at the bottom. So, you may want to prepare just a over night bag. And bring a small flashlight. we ate a local place up there and it was quite a dark walk back. Nothing to worry about, but, nice to have a small light.

We did alot of the optional activities. Kungfu show, Chinese dumpling/musical show, Calligraphy lesson in Yangshou. In Yangshou, you can go watch these fishermen fish with birds, definitely cool, but, you dont have alot of time in Yangshou, and it was a cool town to just walk around in. So play it by ear. Lots of markets to buy stuff.

Oh, we were there in June, and it was Hot. August, HOT. So, just prepare for it. I don't know what they are called, but you can buy eletrolyte type pills for water. Probably a good idea. No problem though finding places to buy drinks.

Beijing lots to see. Saw the Summer palace which was pretty cool. Get to know the subway abit, hailing taxi's is so hard. Completely opposite in Shang Hai. Finally, Shang Hai is pretty cool, but, you don't have a ton of time, so booking a extra day isn't a bad idea. I wish I did at the end.

Anyways, our guide was Jerry. Super guy. You will love the trip, I miss it so much. :)

Mike
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Re: China questions.

Postby debsg » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:37 am

Ni Hao!

Thank you so much for all the advice it's been a big help :) you sound exactly like us we want to see the Great Wall too but don't really know a lot else so its great to get feedback. We have booked an extra day in Shanghai and get there the night before in Beijing so it should be good to adjust to the timing and get to have a proper look around Shanghai at the end. I've stocked my first aid kit up with so many electrolyte bits had an issue with that in Morocco last year so definitely a good plan.

I've been trying to research but can't find a proper answer...what plugs do they generally use? We are from the UK, some websites say they have a few UK style but most are like the Australian type so I'm a bit confused!!

Debs :)
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Re: China questions.

Postby Mikeyt » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:12 pm

Ni Hao!

Shang Hai is pretty cool, you'll be glad you booked the extra day. As to the plug, ya, I think some hotels have the standard European plug, but, I used a adapter for China.

It's shaped like..

\|/

Kinda like that. The center one is higher though. Just google it. Though, I had two adapter, one that only had the two side ones, and not the ground (middle one). A couple of the hotels, the plugs wouldn't work without the ground, so, make sure it has it. The plug I had used just had a piece of plastic to insert in the ground outlet, and it worked fine.

When do you go again? August I think you had said. Jealous. :)

Any last questions?

Mike
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Re: China questions.

Postby yrissea » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:18 pm

Hello Mike,

Thanks for all your explaination. Now I'm really looking forward to visit China in September as I will do the same trip ;-)

I juste have some additional questions (as it is my first trip in Asia and also my first trip with Gap adv.)

what is usefull to take with on this tour? as it is a comfort level I was just thinking in taking clothes and shoes...right? or do I have to take a sleeping bag, flashlight etc?

and for the medicines what do you recomment? I was just thinking to take something for the head and stomach aches...

one more question...you said you took 800 USD or CNY? can we pay the extra with credit card? (also shopping :) )

well I think that's all :D

Regards,
Yrissea
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Re: China questions.

Postby debsg » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:51 am

Ooo ok I have one with the two pins so I'm going to keep an eye out for one that definitely has the ground pin too, thanks for the heads up on that massive help :)

I'm off on Friday :) its come around so quick! Can't wait now! Just out of interest as I've never been on a sleeper train before anything to advise for that? I know its overnight and its a soft sleeper for four people per cabin but that's about it, did you guys manage to sleep much?

Debs
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Re: China questions.

Postby aiyaa » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:37 pm

I am going on the BEST Of CHINA tour in October with several friends...so excited! Of course we are trying to pack in all the essential China experiences and would like to go to see Beijing Opera. If anybody has taken this trip, will there be free time at night to book things like this? I am thinking maybe on day 3 which seems to be the day for touring the city sites/hutongs...we want to purchase tickets but don't want to compromise any of our planned group activities...any thoughts?
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Re: China questions.

Postby Mikeyt » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:06 pm

Sorry for the delay, normally it lets me know that someone has replied to this topic..

Anyways,

Yup, you should be able to see the show.

Ha, I am trying to think of we did at the nights. :) I know one of the night we saw a Kung Fu show, which was really really good. I don't think their was tons planned for the evenings, so I can't see you have any problems seeing a Chinese opera. I'm sure your guide will arrange something.

Word of advice. Make sure you know the subways/transit system. We had problems hailing cabs. Though, near tourist locations normally your okay, but, it's still a good plan. And grab your guides phone #.

Don't let the above freak ya out. While we had some difficulty getting cabs, it only added to the adventure and we were never in fear.. :)
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Re: China questions.

Postby Mikeyt » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:15 pm

Thanks for all your explaination. Now I'm really looking forward to visit China in September as I will do the same trip ;-)

I juste have some additional questions (as it is my first trip in Asia and also my first trip with Gap adv.)

what is usefull to take with on this tour? as it is a comfort level I was just thinking in taking clothes and shoes...right? or do I have to take a sleeping bag, flashlight etc?

and for the medicines what do you recomment? I was just thinking to take something for the head and stomach aches...

one more question...you said you took 800 USD or CNY? can we pay the extra with credit card? (also shopping :) )

well I think that's all :D

No No, you won't need to take anything like sleeping bags, etc. Flashlight, well, bring a small one. Just for safety reasons. If you lose power and need to find the toilet or something. In Longshen, we ate a local restaurant, and it was a small walk to it. No street lights since it's a small town nestle in the hills/mountains. So, a flash light is nice there.

Medicine, anything that you need to make yourself comfortable. Head and stomach stuff, allergies maybe.. Just to have it so you don't need to try and find it when you do. First aid kits is a good idea too (I bought a bike one which works great, nice and small).

Essentials, I dont know what the climate is in Oct, but, I think I read somewhere it's quite nice, but a little cool in the evenings. So, pack for that.. jacket, rain jacket etc.. But, really, bring whatever you need to make yourself feel comfortable. Luggage I had a rolling bag and I was fine with that. A small pack for Longshen maybe, depending on wether you take your luggage up with you. I wouldn't recommend it. It's a 20-30 mins hike up a steep hill. Not hard, but, dragging luggage might suck. :) Though, they have porters to help if you want to pay. It was raining when we went, so, we ended up locking all our stuff at the shops at the bottom. It's just for one night so it wasnt a big deal.

I think I took about 1000 Canadian, which is more than enough. Depending on what you buy. Credit cards you can use mostly at the 'tourist' locations. Though, I never really used mine except in Xi'an, and at a shop where the show you how they make Terra Cotta warriors.

Asia is great. Love it, been to Japan twice now.. favorite place.

Mike
Calgary, Canada.
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Re: China questions.

Postby bostongal84 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:04 am

Hi, Mike!

I was wonerding about the Visa process. I know on the application it says you need a letter of invitation and a cpoy of your round trip flights. What did you submit as a letter of invitation? I have my invoice, but it only lists the starting and finishing hotels. Will this suffice? I'm a US citizen but I'm sure the visa process was similar for you on the Canadian side.

Any advice would be most helpful!

:)
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Re: China questions.

Postby Mikeyt » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:58 pm

Hi,

The visa process here in Canada was pretty painless. You have a application form that needs to be filled out, it's detailed. Asks who you your immediate family is, who invited to the country (I put down G Adventures with their address in Beijing), purpose of the trip, where you've been in the last 6 months, work, etc. Lots of stuff.

I got the list of hotels from G Adventures, but, wasn't needed at all. The application took longer than the actual drop off. I waited in line (I was lucky, we have a consulate here in Canada, but, a girl I went with mailed hers off, and had no problems.). Went to the booth, he asked me what the purpose of the trip was, attached my picture to form, and told me come back in 4 days.

Done. It was really painless. I had copy of my flight (E-Ticket), and the list of hotels but wasn't needed at all.

China is a really heavy tourist country, so, I think the process is done very quickly. Wouldn't worry about it all. I applied for my Visa about 2 months before the trip, but, I had it within 4 days, and the girl who mailed it had it a day or two later than I did. It's a very fast process here in Canada.

Mike
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Re: China questions.

Postby emstints » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:17 am

Hi Mike,

How did you get hold of G Adventures' address in Beijing? Think it's the last bit missing for my visa application!

Thanks,

Emily
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Re: China questions.

Postby Mikeyt » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:41 pm

Hi,

Good question. I must have gotten from the contact person at G adventures. I just email'd them.

Though, I cant recall, I may have just put down the emergency contact information. I don't think it's a huge issue, but, I would just email them. I looked through the Iternary details and the emergency contact information is there, just no address.

G Adventures Local Operator (China) - China Adventures
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +86 1380 8871 709 - Helena (China)
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