Sunday, March 1, 2015

Beijing and Shanghai, China – 5 days 4 nights Itinerary

China is perhaps one of the biggest and well known tourist destinations in Asia as we constantly see features of China’s culture and unique landmarks in several documentaries, travel shows, and even Hollywood movies. Initially, I thought that preparing my itinerary for China was easy because of so many well known tourist destination that can easily be researched but I’ve realized that there are so much more that China has to offer and I saw so many recommendations of less known and less commercial places. But in the end, we still stuck to where we wanted to go all along and tick off several items in our bucket list such as hike through the Great wall.

How to plan for China?
  • Select which cities you want to go to. Our initial plan was to go to Beijing – Xi’an – Shanghai, but we realized it’s not possible given that we’re spending 5 days only. We also planned to go to cities Hangzhou and Suzhou near Shanghai, but we later skipped these places because we were too tired of moving around China.
    • Beijing – must visit because of Great Wall alone. Summer Palace is also highly recommended.
    • Shanghai – if you want the commercial and modern side of China, then you will enjoy Shanghai. The Bund is obviously the most famous place to visit, but I also highly recommend Tianzifang, Yuyuan Garden, and Cheng Huang Miao.
    •  Xi’an – if you want more cultural and historical stuff, then Xi’an is a must visit because of the famous Terracotta Warriors.
  • Identify how many days you’ll spend in each city. If you plan to stay in one city the whole trip, then you can skip this. But if you will do multi-city travel, then planning for how many days you’ll spend in each city is very important! Based on our experience, spending 2 days in Beijing and another 2 days in Shanghai is enough if you are a fast traveler just like us.
  •  RESEARCH, RESEARCH, and RESEARCH! Time and time again, I always advice everyone to research before travelling and this is even more critical in China because of the language barrier. A lot of people recommend getting tour guides but we knew we can still survive in China without a guide if we research extensively in advanced. True enough, our research helped us survive and accomplish our goal in traveling to China.
  •  Print your itinerary and write in Chinese Characters! If you want to survive without a tour guide, you need to ensure you do this. Expect that absolutely no one speaks English in China.
Here's our itinerary:
First 2 days of our itinerary was in Beijing and next 3 days was spent in Shanghai. If you want to visit all the famous tourist spots in a relaxed pace, then you can follow our itinerary. The only change that I recommend is to go to Summer Palace in a separate day in going to Great Wall as both of them entails so much walking and hiking! For Shanghai, you can compress this to 2 days given that most of these places are simply sightseeing and shopping places which you can go through very quickly if you’re not the type of person who shops a lot.

Check my other blog posts on China so it can help you better plan for your itinerary. J

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