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CrimsonNL
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How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenyang?

Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:47 pm

Hello all!

I'm confirmed on the July plane spotters tour tour to North-Korea. It will be my first time in Asia and naturally I want to see something of China as well, while I'm in the area. I depart to PyongYang from PEK and return to Shenyang (SHE). My flights from AMS will go to PEK.

I was thinking about booking 4 days in PEK, to do sightseeing, and maybe 1 or 2 in SHE. Will this be plenty, too long or too short? Any suggestions about sights, days to book etc etc would be much appreciated!

Regards,

Martijn
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LAXintl
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:54 pm

Don't know about Shenyang, but 4 days should be plenty of PEK, maybe even too much.

While Beijing is a huge city, much of the touristy stuff is located in quite close proximity. Even a 1-day visit would allow you to see much. But if you plan 4-days I would suggest you do a day trip to the Great Wall. There are multiple companies that run tours to different sections outside Beijing, so take a look at the brochures in your hotel and find the section that interest you and meets your budget the best.
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MH017
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:41 am

Martijn,

Don't forget to visit the Datangshan aviation museum while in PEK...excellent collection of aircraft !!!

and.............apart from seeing the touristy sites at PEK, do not forget to spend 1 full day at PEK Airport for the great variety of aircraft/companies there...
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TW
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:50 pm

There are a lot of things to do and see in Beijing: Summer palace, temple of heaven, forbidden city, Lama temple, Great Wall, silk market, hutongs, etc...

I am not a big fan of sightseeing, I always feel like I am doing these things because I have to cross them off a list or because people at home will ask me about them. I spent 3 months in beijing and havent been to the wall once. If you like looking at old buildings and taking pictures of them, 4 days is fine. Otherwise, it might be too much.

If you are looking for places to go out, I could recommend a few. What do you like, cigar lounges, bars, clubs, restaurants, karaoke?
 
sw733
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:21 pm

I've spent 4 days in Beijing with no problem. Just make sure you spend one of those days doing a true Great Wall visit. That means, don't just visit the closest, tourist ridden spot, but find a good, reliable tour that will take you a couple hours away. I did one that had a 2-2.5 hour drive each way, and a 7 mile hike on a very quiet but beautiful part of the wall. I'll try to find what company it was, but it was phenomenal. Definitely took a whole day though.

Shenyang is quite boring. I've only been there once, but I had a whole weekend and struggled to find things to do for two straight days.
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks for the info guys! The Great Wall, and the aviation museum are definitely on my to-do list. I guess I will stick to 4-something days for PEK and 1/2 for SHE.

Brgds

Martijn
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Coal
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:51 am

Beijing (in no particular order):

Day 1: Great Wall - Please do me a favor and go to Mutianyu, not to Badaling. You can check out the Ming Tombs on the way back. Go to one of the Hutongs for dinner / drinks. Don't forget to try the fermented milk!

Day 2: Forbidden City. If you have extra time, check out the Hutongs around that area. You can also go around Tian'anmen Square and visit Mao's mausoleum if that's your thing. Have some Peking Duck that night.

Day 3: Temple of Heaven (by far my favorite structure in Beijing). From here you can go to the Summer palace at Kunming lake. Finish off with Beijing steamboat (make sure it has lamb. And lamb's penis - recommended for men. Your significant other, should she be a lady, can have the frog's ovaries. They are served chilled on papaya with milk).

Day 4: Olympic village. Have an easy afternoon walking around Chang'An avenue and see if you can score tickets to the opera or acrobatics (sorry, Mandarin only).

SCAMS: When taking a taxi, ONLY take those that have the letter B following the character for Beijing (jing). The ones that do not, have meters that run 10x faster. Also, whatever you do, do not fall for the tea ceremony scam. Even if it was cheap, it ain't worth it.

After living in China for two years and having the opportunity of going to many 2nd and 3rd tier cities for work, I am not sure I would recommend more than a day in Shenyang. Yes, every city has a pagoda or temple, but see if you can do something else. Maybe spend more time in Beijing or try to go to Inner Mongolia.

Cheers
Coal
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CrimsonNL
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:52 pm

Thanks Coal that's some good advice   Mongolia is probably off-limits in terms of budget and time, but I'd like to go there some day.

Rgds
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cedarjet
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:12 pm

You should definitely go and see Mao, cos in DPRK you'll see Kim Il Sung, and, if he's ready, Kim Jong Il as well. Shame you can't visit Ho Chi Minh, but maybe he's in Russia for a respray, not sure. (Fly SU via Moscow for Lenin's tomb to collect the set of embalmed commies!)

When I was in Beijing in 2010, young people offered a few times to have tea to practise their English. It's a total scam, you'll have a nice sit down with a couple of young ladies and drink some tea, then get a bill for $70. At least in Eastern Europe, it's champagne and the girls are strippers. Don't go to a secondary location with anyone who wants to "practise their English" OK?

Other than that, enjoy China, North Korea, and the Il-62. I'm going in May, and, maybe September, sorry I'll miss you!
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gabrielchew
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:13 pm

I agreee with most of what Coal said. Not sure about the Olympic city though (or the steam boat, urgh!). In July it will be HOT HOT HOT and steamy, so if yoy're not good in the heat don't plan on doing too much. Hiring a bike or boat and going around Houhai lake is a very nice way to spend an afternoon. Once the sun goes down people move onto the streets and drink beer and eat kebabs and dance (seriously, particulalry outside the Starbucks in Houhai and the Workers stadium). Nanluoguxiang is a cool place to stay and has some hostels on it. It's also worth hiring a bike and cycling around the Forbidden City wall, then around Tiananmen Sq.

When I was last working in BJ (2009) I used to take groups to do a 10km hike on the great wall from Jinshanling to Simatai. I know it wasn't possible to do it for a while in 2010/1, but it might now be open again - most hostels will be able to arange transport. It's a fantastic day out.
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:31 pm

After visiting all those temples in Beijing there is really not much to see in Shenyang, unless you have to go there for a specific reason. I would recommend Hanghzou, Xian, Guilin and Kumning, Xiamen and Changdu not to mention Shanghai and probably some other cities before Shenyang.
In Beijing Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven are the coolest. The forbidden city quite disappointing (all those buildings are empty or almost empty and you are not allowed to get in). Around Beijing the Great Wall tops everything else.
There is a quiaint little area with bars and pubs (new thing in Beijing) around Drum Tower.
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:54 pm

Thanks for the continuing feedback guys! I have booked 5 days in PEK, and am planning on 1.5 in SHE. The only reason I'm flying to SHE is because of the AirKoryo TY-154, otherwise I would have opted for another city.

Brgds

Martijn
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Akiestar
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RE: How Many Days Should I Spend In PEK And Shenya

Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:24 pm

I'm not sure about this, but if you're spending five days in Beijing, you can try a day trip to Tianjin, which is now only 1-2 hours away by high-speed rail. Lots of old, stately buildings and beautiful temples there.

(This is me giving advice even though I have yet to go to northern China. )

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