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  The Chatter Box : Travel
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Re: China by Godfather on 21 July 2004 7:41pm

Summer Palace is nice. It was'nt far from my friends house in Beijing,so i nipped over one day. Enjoyed it. I was lucky with a nice sunny day.

Re: China by justdna on 23 July 2004 1:25am
I was surprised by the smog in Beijing. Has anyone else found this too or was it just when I was there last year? It was a warm public holiday when I arrived so wasn't that bad, but after a few days, when the weather got a little colder, the sun became this strange dull orange glow, fighting to break through and eventually giving up. Just breathing in the fumes actually made me feel ill by the end of the week, which, coming from someone who lives close to London, must mean it was bad there! I heard it's all the coal the burn there, and it seemed a believable answer to me.
Re: China by stefania62 on 1 September 2004 8:14pm
No trip to Beijing would be complete without a trip to Magic Feet on the Wangfujing, No. 1 Gangmeia Building, level 6, behind the Beijing Hotel. A gorgeous 2 hour foot massage for about $10, including tip. Also the Lama Temple and the area around it are lovely. And a bicycle ride through the Hutongs would be fun. And Prospect Park, Beihai Park, I could go on and on. A day trip to see the Great Wall. Beijing is a fun, lively city. Maybe it's polluted but not as much as Wuhan along the Yangtze. Now that is a polluted city.
Re: China by LSainsbury on 4 September 2004 11:40am
Thanks for all the comments so far - some interesting experiences had by all!

Regarding the Great Wall - how far is it form Beijing, and what is the best way to get there? An organised trip?

We are going to be in Beijing for about 6 days - 2 of those will be taken up with jetlag and a concert by Jean Michel Jarre at The Forbidden City, but we would like to make the most of the time there.
Re: China by saraphine8 on 25 October 2004 12:35am
Anyone been down south in Yunnan?
Re: China by Godfather on 25 October 2004 4:43pm

>>Anyone been down south in Yunnan?

I was there for a short time in 1999, on my first China trip. From there i crossed into Laos later on. I hear that Michael will be going to Yunnan province on this Himalaya trip, right?. It certainly is quite different from the Han areas of China. The people are dark skinned,and closer ethnically to Lao or North eastern Burmese people than your average east coast Chinese. The area is very green and because it's close to Northern Thailand and Lao,it has quite a lot of that "hilltribe" culture feel to it. Plus, a bit of a packpacker scene feel to it in some areas like Dali. Yet,the area is still unmistakebly Chinese in personality wise. One thing is for sure,it's considerably cheaper than other parts of China though for accomodation and food, etc.

Re: China by Jhillman on 27 November 2004 1:31pm
I am going to Yunnan in May 05, and will be traveling via Bejing, Xian, Chendu, Kunming, to Lijiang, Dali, Jinghong etc. Any comments regarding cheap accomodationm,travel etc.
Re: China by rens on 29 November 2004 11:48am
I would like to recommend dinner in McDonalds or KFC. Buy Walls ice cream, buy fake Timberland shoes on one of the markets. Visit the completely rebuilded parts of the Great Wall and go to one of the many bars serving Whiskey in a pitcher to be mixed with Tonic. You can also check out some of the nicer art areas and the conservatory which has great performances.
Re: China by Godfather on 29 November 2004 1:04pm
I'm unsure if Ren's post is tongue in cheek or not. So it's a bit hard to know how to respond to it. If it's tongue in cheek then it's tongue in cheek. But if it's from a cynical point of view of China's modernization,then it's true that McDonalds has certainly invaded certain parts of China (certainly Beijing where there must be about 80 branches around the city). But it's only certain parts of the Great Wall that are rebuilt in terms of total restoration. There are many areas of it,that are wild. You just need to know how to get there. Once you get out of the main areas and famous cities, China exists as it has done for a long time. You just have to get off the well worn travellers routes,and away from the increasingly Capitalist super cities that are trying to put on a facade of glitzy superpower (when in reality it is just a facade).

But even in Beijing you can get down into the small eateries where contruction workers go,and eat for pennies. The best way to see the "real" China of 2004 is to have a friend there i've found. I'm lucky in that regard. I'd visited China first in 1999, and did a large travelling trip from the Xinjiang in the north west,over to the east,to central, and then to Yunnan. It was fantastic. But on my second trip i was living with a guy studying in a university in Beijing. That gave me a very different view of the country entirely. Unpretentious and authentic (even if that meant it was everyday things that you would be doing). If you can do that,the better.
Re: China by JF on 8 December 2004 11:43pm
I'd recommend going to:
Xi'an - visit the big dumpling restaurant, cheap and delicious.
Louyang - the Longmen Grottos with 100,000 statues of Buddha. Luoyang itself is a bit grim.
Gongyi - if you are passing, for the Northern Song statues.
Suzhou - the Humble Administrator's Garden is one of the most astonishing places I've ever seen.
Shanghai for the markets behind Nanching Road East.
Hangzou - for the sunset over the West Lake.
Yangshuo - for the vibe.
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