Sonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1 Posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1565 times:
I am considering to spend New Year (Western) of 2010 at either Beijing or Shanghai. Costs of getting there are quite similar. Which city would you suggest as more interesting? I would probably spend 4 or 5 days there.
I have been to Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan previously out of Chinese-majority territories, but never to mainland China.
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10502 posts, RR: 38 Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1468 times:
I definitely suggest Beijing with Tiananmen Square, the People's palace, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and last but not least the Great Wall where I recommend to go to the Mutanyu side. Mayb not as exciting as Shanghai but all these sights are truly outstanding. The Great Wall and Forbidden City in the snow must be awesome!
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
B2443 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 691 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1380 times:
Shanghai is most western; Beijing is very Chinese, culture wise. Most westerners will find Shanghai "right at home" and Beijing somewhat "unfamiliar/uncomfortable", given that Beijing's been mostly the capital of China since Ginghes Khan and Shanghai only emerged as a port/industrial center and was built by the western colonists about 160 years ago.
If you've been to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore already, I am not sure Shanghai has any more to offer. No offense, but none of them is authentic Chinese. They are more of western (colonial) culture.
SW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6223 posts, RR: 9 Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1368 times:
You know, I had that very same decision to make the first time I went to China, and I eventually decided in Beijing. While Shanghai is great, I think it is best to look at every big trip as a "once in a lifetime" event, and that will make you realize what you want. In my view, both were great cosmopolitan cities, which I love, but looking at it as a "this might be my only trip to China" (even though it's not), how could you miss the Great Wall? As a history buff, and a China nerd, there was no way in hell I could miss it...I did an amazing 7-mile hike and loved it. On later trips I made it to Shanghai and it's great, but...I am glad I did Beijing first.
SW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6223 posts, RR: 9 Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1367 times:
Just make sure you don't have that there swine flu :
June 19, 2009
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the quarantine measures imposed by the Government of China in response to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic that may affect travel to China. This Travel Alert expires on September 30, 2009.
Current quarantine measures in China include placing arriving passengers who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms into seven-day quarantine. Although the proportion of arriving Americans being quarantined remains low, the random nature of the selection process increases the uncertainty surrounding travel to China. The selection process focuses on those sitting in close proximity to another traveler exhibiting fever or flu-like symptoms or on those displaying an elevated temperature if arriving from an area where outbreaks of 2009-H1N1 have occurred. We have reports of passengers arriving from areas where outbreaks have occurred (including the U.S. and Mexico) being placed in precautionary quarantine simply because they registered slightly elevated temperatures.
In some instances, children have been separated from their parents because either the parent or the child tested positive for 2009-H1N1 and was placed in quarantine for treatment. This situation presents the possibility of Chinese medical personnel administering medications to minors without first having consulted their parents.
The Department of State has received reports about unsuitable quarantine conditions, including the unavailability of suitable drinking water and food, unsanitary conditions, and the inability to communicate with others.
Travelers to China are reminded that all foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, are obliged to follow local procedures regarding quarantines and any other public health-related measures. The U.S. Embassy will be unable to influence the duration of stay in quarantine for affected travelers. The Chinese government will not compensate people for lost travel expenses. Travelers to China are urged to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect against losses in the event they are quarantined.
Ronglimeng From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 624 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1361 times:
I asked my wife your question. She's a native Shanghainese. They apparently have a reputation for looking down on other Chinese as being unsophisticated, so I was a little surprised by her answer: "Go to Beijing. It is more Chinese".
To that, I will add - Why not try to do both cities?
Sonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1337 times:
Thanks for the answers.
Regarding Beijing however - there were stories in media (perhaps exaggerated) that it was changed a lot for the Olympics, that hundreds of old buildings and alleys were destroyed in the old city and such. Is it still as authentic as it was regarding the general atmosphere?
B2443 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 691 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1322 times:
Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 10): They apparently have a reputation for looking down on other Chinese as being unsophisticated
She is right. But they are regarded unsophisticated by anyone else not from Shanghai. Pretty funny.
Quoting Sonic (Reply 11): Regarding Beijing however - there were stories in media (perhaps exaggerated) that it was changed a lot for the Olympics, that hundreds of old buildings and alleys were destroyed in the old city and such. Is it still as authentic as it was regarding the general atmosphere?
I think you need to see it for yourself. The media does not tell you many of the old buildings were dangerous and many of them are to be demolished and rebuilt. There are no shortage of Hutongs in the city. And of course they look "exotic" to foreigners. But I believe most Beijingers would prefer to live in a place with indoor plumbing, indoor and flushing toilets. There are plenty of those public "minimalism" restrooms as part of the Hutong culture. Sorry you can't just talk about Hutongs' without the restrooms. They go side by side.