Sonic
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Beijing Or Shanghai?

Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:03 am

Hello,

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.
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:35 am

From my experience i will vote for Shanghai, much more life there. And the food is much better.
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flpuck6
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:30 am

Hello,

If it's your first time visiting either city, I suggest Shanghai.

It's still China, but Shanghai has become so much more cosmopolitan at the same time ... at the cost of the "old" china (the hutongs, old city neighborhoods) ...

I have been to both and prefer Shanghai.
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Elite
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:45 am

I would think that Shanghai is more interesting. Been there multiple times myself.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:27 am

Temperatures in Beijing can be much colder in December. Overall while both cities have lots of tourist things to offer, Shanghai is more of a entertainment city for New Years I would say.
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fatmirjusufi
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:03 am

I will vote also for Shanghai.  Smile
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MadameConcorde
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:32 pm

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!
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B2443
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:11 pm

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
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:12 pm

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
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:21 pm

Just make sure you don't have that there swine flu  Wink:

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.

For more information on U.S. Government policy during a pandemic, and for travel safety information, please see the State Department’s “Pandemic/Avian Influenza” and “Remain in Country” fact sheets on www.travel.state.gov. Further information about 2009-H1N1 Influenza, including steps you can take to stay healthy, can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/, the U.S. Government pandemic influenza website at http://www.pandemicflu.gov, and the World Health Organization website at http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html.
 
ronglimeng
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:34 pm

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?

Hope you enjoy your visit..wherever you go!
 
Sonic
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:26 pm

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
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RE: Beijing Or Shanghai?

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:58 am



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.

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