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Roof of the World
Post: #21
(10/05/2017, 06:30 PM)1981Kedi Wrote:
(09/05/2017, 11:25 PM)Angie S Wrote: I've already booked the Li River Show so I'm glad you've said it is worth doing. I pray the optional tour to the Chengdu Panda Centre does happen - I'm scared others may have been already and don't want to go.

Hi Angie 

As Hils said there will be at least the three of us for the pandas - if for some strange reason the trip doesn't go ahead it is easily doable independently - but I doubt that will be the case. I just hope the arrangements mean we get there really early before the crowds and that we have plenty of time for all the various areas - and the shop! ? 

One tip is that if there is a "huge" crowd round one of the enclosures and you are trying to get a good view or a photo - give it a minute - the Chinese groups in particular tend to snap and go - leaving you alone until the next group catches up. ?

I visited the pandas in 2011 as part of a classic China tour with several days on the Yangtze. It was one of the high spots of a holiday full of highlights. I have since seen pandas in Edinburgh (twice - including last week!) and Atlanta - Google the Atlanta zoo panda web site to whet your appetite! Four of the pandas I saw in Atlanta have since been relocated to Chengdu. ?

I have also booked the Li river show. 

It is all getting a bit close now - better decide what to pack! 

Look forward to meeting you Sunday/Monday!
> One tip is that if there is a "huge" crowd round one of the enclosures and you are trying to get a good view or a photo - give it a minute - the Chinese groups in particular tend to snap and go - leaving you alone until the next group catches up. ?

When I went to see the pandas in Chengdu, there were crowds of mainly Chinese tourists all morning, with long queues to see the babies in the nursery - but around midday everyone went for lunch: I skipped lunch and went back to the panda area, which was by then deserted - and they had brought the baby pandas out to play . . .

Jim
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Post: #22
(09/05/2017, 05:46 PM)Avocet64 Wrote:
(08/05/2017, 02:42 PM)1981Kedi Wrote: Hi Avocet
I am one of the lucky 13 on the May trip! Smile  Many thanks for these tips and anything else you may think of before Sunday - so close! 

One thing I am wondering about is footwear? I usually wear walking sandals - would it be safer/more comfortable/more sensible to wear full shoes or trainers? Especially in Tibet?

Been following the weather in Chengdu and Tibet etc on line - looks "changeable" - any advice clothes wise?

Like many others I have experienced the best and worst of toilets worldwide. In fact at a motorway stop in China I was privileged to use a fully gold painted example of a "proper loo" - I took a photo of it! Not so sure how the old joints will hold out now for the alternative - may have to take my walking pole in! 

Top Tip for all! Let someone hold your rucksack if you are using a squattie! Not the place to do a stranded turtle act!

However in a monastery in Moscow we wondered why the nuns wanted us to line up in threes - once we turned the corner into the room we realised - the toilet was a wooden frame with a bench top over a trench - the bench had three neatly sawn out oval holes……………

Such memories!

Best regards
 


Hi Kedi

Love your loo stories! Hate the thought of having to share a loo with two others!!  Tibetan loos may be a bit primitive but a least you can hide behind a wall.

Footwear - You will be doing a lot of walking where ever you go so whatever you choose needs to be sturdy and comfortable.  A good pair of walking sandals or trainers should be equally as good for most places in China, the same for Tibet in Lhasa and Gyantse, we didn't go to Shigatse but I would think it is similar but don't really know.  There are a lot of steep steps and stairs in the monasteries so you need to be well supported on your feet.  There are 400+ steps to climb up to the Potala, quite a feat at high altitude, not everyone went up.  I have everything from good hiking sandals to walking boots but I now wear Merrell Sieve hiking shoes for everything, a cross between sandals and trainers and they can also be worn in water so are good all purpose footwear, I love them as they are so comfortable.

Clothes - lightweight layering is good, stuff you can put in and pull out of a rucksack without carrying too much weight depending on temperature.  Chengdu was very hot and humid when we were there, early June, the weather in Tibet was good and reasonably hot, T shirt weather, the only time I felt cold was in Gyantse, my hotel room was freezing at night but the day time temperature was fine.  It did turn a bit chilly in Lhasa when we had a bit of a rain shower and the mountains surrounding Lhasa became covered in snow but it soon became warm again and the snow disappeared. Hope this helps.

Wish I was coming with you all, I really want to go back to Tibet, have a safe journey and enjoy.

Best wishes

Avocet

> the only time I felt cold was in Gyantse, my hotel room was freezing at night but the day time temperature was fine

I stayed in the Gyantse hotel at the beginning of November (for me the best time to be in Tibet: blue skies and sunshine throughout). There are plenty of spare blankets and also (now?) primitive-looking wall-mounted heaters in the rooms, but I didn't feel confident to switch mine on - however, our TM/national guide had persuaded the hotel to give us rooms on the west side of the hotel, which were all warmed up by the afternoon/evening sunshine, and I never felt cold. So, I suggest you have a word in advance with your TM . . .

Jim

PS - I loved the Gyantse hotel: the internal decor is amazing - and from the rear entrance there is one of the best views of the Dzong (in front of which, BTW, is a monument to the heroic resistance of "the Chinese people" - no, not the Tibetans, silly ;-) - to the wicked imperialist British invasion by Younghusband  in 1904 . . .)


PPS - Don't forget to walk down Cow Street: no cars parked outside the houses, only cows!!
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Post: #23
Some more great tips Kedi and Jim.  

I've been doing a bit of Googling on various things you've both mentioned and can't believe some of the sights we are going to see and the tactics we will have to adopt in the company of Chinese tourists! It's going to be fun. Kedi and Hils are all a lot more clued up than me, I'm in good company.

I've just been looking out clothes to take - bit of a nightmare what with the hot and the cold, the dry and the wet. I've decided to not even attempt to travel light!

It's the final countdown.

A
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Post: #24
(12/05/2017, 12:17 AM)Angie S Wrote: Some more great tips Kedi and Jim.  

I've been doing a bit of Googling on various things you've both mentioned and can't believe some of the sights we are going to see and the tactics we will have to adopt in the company of Chinese tourists! It's going to be fun. Kedi and Hils are all a lot more clued up than me, I'm in good company.

I've just been looking out clothes to take - bit of a nightmare what with the hot and the cold, the dry and the wet. I've decided to not even attempt to travel light!

It's the final countdown.

A
Hi Angie,

Agree that packing is a nightmare, but sadly we do have to pack light as we are only allowed 20kg due to the internal flights - I've had this confirmed by JY. Looks like any shopping will have to be in Hong Kong!

See you soon!

Cheers,
Hils
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Post: #25
(10/05/2017, 05:40 PM)Hils Wrote: Hi Avocet,

A couple more questions re Tibet! How strict are the Chinese going through Security on camera batteries (re-chargeable)? I'm a keen photographer and always carry at least 2 more batteries for each camera (I take 2). Also, I've read that they can confiscate Tibet guide books (i.e. Lonely Planet)? I appreciate that you obviously don't take photos of the Dalai Lama with you! Lastly, how strict are they on the weight of your hand luggage - my camera equipment etc. will be in mine?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Cheers,
Hils

Hi Hils

Sincere apologies, I'm not a frequent visitor to the JY forum so completely missed your post.  By this time you will already know the answers to your questions.

  I don't know how you got on re batteries what with all the notices that were around at the airports . I carried both of my cameras and batteries in my hand luggage, as always, along with other batteries I had with me, but I had a couple of items I had forgotton to take out of my suitcase, one with a re-chargeable battery and the other just bog standard, I expected the buzzer to go off as other people were having to pull their suitcases off the belt and take items out, but everything of mine went through ok so I didn't quite understand what the notices were about.

 I hope that both you and everyone else on your trip had a great time.


Best wishes

Avocet
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Post: #26
Hi Avocet,

Oh you were so right about the Tibetan loos!! I thought the Burmese ones were bad, but they were a luxury compared to Tibet!! But, when you've got to go, you've got to go!

Fantastic tour, but there were problems with the altitude, as expected. I have written to Gill Davies, Head of Customer Services, and therefore have not done my review yet. Hopefully some alterations to the itinerary for the next tour date, can be made.

I adored Tibet, like you. Wonderful people, fascinating palaces/monasteries etc. Outstanding scenery. For anyone considering this tour, you need to go now, before the Chinese completely change it with their building construction.
Despite all the vast quantities of Chinese/Tibetan food, I actually managed to lose weight on this holiday! It is certainly not suitable for anyone with any kind of mobility issues though, as there is a lot of walking/climbing up to palaces/monasteries etc. - and at altitude. You don't of course have to do this, but if you want to get the most out of this holiday and see these awesome sights, then you need to be reasonably fit.

I will do a Review! Thanks so much for all your pre-holiday advice.

Cheers,
Hils
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Post: #27
Hi everyone, 

I'm on the "Roof of the World" in September. It's a major adventure for me, and a first time long haul. 
Having just paid the balance, I'm getting the collywobbles about jabs, bags, clothes, et al. 
I'm travelling with a friend from BHX to Amsterdam to connect, so luggage and transfers advice from seasoned travellers will be welcomed!
I'm just off to the GP and see what advice has to be followed... 
It'd be good to make contact with anyone on the forum experienced in these matters. Advice on anything I can do to prepare for this trip and make the most of it will be implemented without delay!!

Judy
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Post: #28
Hi Judy,

I haven't done this tour but would love to!  Following on from Hils' comments above, I recommend you talk to your doctor about Diamox, which would help alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness.  Hope you have a wonderful time!

Best wishes,

Bob
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Post: #29
Hi Judy

I am doing this trip on 3rd Sept. too. Although I only live 10 minutes down the A45 to BHX I have chosen to fly from LHR on this tour, the reason being I am a bit apprehensive about this particular tour and I figured that I probably would be more likely to meet others on the tour at LHR rather than BHX.
I have done quite a few long hauls with JY and loved them all.  My apprehension is about the altitude and also about motion sickness but it isn't going to stop me going somewhere I have always wanted to go!


Look forward to meeting you and your friend 

Kind regards
Di
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Post: #30
Hi Avocet
Thank you for replying to my question about Shigatse.

Now the  first group that went to the Roof of the World are back I can certainly get my queries answered.
It sound as if they liked Tibet despite the problems. 

Kind regards 
Di
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