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Inspirational China 16th-27th May
Post: #1
This was a once in a lifetime holiday for me, & lived up to all my expectations. Our group of 24 mixed very well together & we had many laughs along the way.
The only real downside for me was the lack of free time, even when scheduled our time was eaten up by heavy traffic delays & we were always in a rush to make our evening meal. It wasn't until the final day in Shanghai that we had a late morning departure & some free time in the afternoon.

Hotels....All were of good quality & well located in town centres, safe to walk around in the evening, street crime rate is low. Western breakfasts were very good with excellent choices. Other meals in general whether in hotels or local restaurants were repetitive all on a lazy susan. We did have 2 Subway lunches which were pre-ordered at the Great Wall & in Chengdu, which was a nice change!

Internal Travel....All flights were on time, with a change between Xian & Chengdu to the excellent bullet train a 3 hour journey. This was due to new government regulations which now prevents flights between the two so better use is made of it's train services.

Tour Guides....Alan, Suzy, & Ben were all very good & knowledgeable, which helped everything run smoothly & also worked well with our excellent TM Branwen Edwards. Sorry to say David our guide in Xian was the exception, he was arrogant, marched off before we had all left the coach, & generally made life very awkward for Branwen, who somehow managed to keep her cool in difficult circumstances.

All in all an amazing holiday, one I will never forget!!

Barb
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Post: #2
Hi Barb

Thank you for the review, its making me more excited for October when its my turn.

Chris
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Post: #3
Hi Barb
It sounds like you had an amazing time and so glad to read your review, I go on the 21st June - getting nervous/excited now! Really handy info about the 3hr train trip to Chengdu. Any tips on what to take, wear as I'm in the prep stage for packing as limited weight for domestic flights? & I was a bit stuck on how much Yuan I should take? Would really appreciate any feedback, thank you, Pen x
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Post: #4
Hi Pen
Our weather was mixed with blue skies & sunshine in Beijing, mostly cloudy thereafter with heavy rain showers in Shanghai, but never cold so you shouldn't need layers in June. I took light tops & mostly cropped trousers for daytime plus a pacamac & smart casual for evening, but we didn't always have time to change. Some did wear dresses for the farewell dinner. Trainers or comfy shoes for the Great Wall & The Forbidden City as there are lots of steps & uneven paths, although some got away with wearing sandals.
Be prepared for squat toilets when out & about, we queued for the disabled western ones where possible, you may need antiseptic wipes or tissues for those. In total contrast the ones at the Shanghai hotel have heated seats & controls kind of like a bidet operation, very swish!
I would suggest taking around £200 in Yuan, plus sterling to pay for any optional trips, there are ATM's in the hotels or nearby. All food plus a beer or soft drink is included with lunch & dinner, so only money for souvenirs & gifts is needed.
Hope this helps any other questions please ask
Barb
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Post: #5
Hi Barb,

Thanks so much for replying! Really great advice for clothes/currency & I appreciate the heads up on the squat toilets, I'd read a few reviews on them and they certainly sound like an experience of their own!

There was one question if you don't mind me asking - were you able to carry on liquids on the domestic flights (TSA restriction)? I've got daily contact lenses & wasn't sure if I had to put them in checked baggage and the advice online was a bit conflicting?

Hope you've rested from your recent adventures & starting to look towards your next journey!

Many thanks
Pen
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Post: #6
Hi Pen,

Yes thanks I am fully rested, & getting itchy feet, although another JY holiday will likely have to wait until next year.
As far as I am aware you can take 100ml in your hand luggage as long as it is in a plastic bag, same rule as the main flights, I'm sure you'll be ok. Just to add in case it helps, once you reach Beijing you will go straight on to visit the Summer Palace, (rooms not ready) so check in at the hotel will be much later if you urgently need something in your suitcase.

Not long to go now, have a fantastic time & hope you leave some comments on your return.

Regards Barb
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Post: #7
Hi Barb,

Thank you, and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer - that's so handy to know about going straight on to the Summer Palace! I'll pack a couple of matchsticks to keep my eyes open that afternoon after the flight haha.

Thanks again for all your tips/advice - getting very excited now as it's only a week away!

Best wishes,
Pen
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Post: #8
(30/05/2018, 11:33 AM)Barb W Wrote: This was a once in a lifetime holiday for me, & lived up to all my expectations. Our group of 24 mixed very well together & we had many laughs along the way.
The only real downside for me was the lack of free time, even when scheduled our time was eaten up by heavy traffic delays & we were always in a rush to make our evening meal. It wasn't until the final day in Shanghai that we had a late morning departure & some free time in the afternoon.

Hotels....All were of good quality & well located in town centres, safe to walk around in the evening, street crime rate is low. Western breakfasts were very good with excellent choices. Other meals in general whether in hotels or local restaurants were repetitive all on a lazy susan. We did have 2 Subway lunches which were pre-ordered at the Great Wall & in Chengdu, which was a nice change!

Internal Travel....All flights were on time, with a change between Xian & Chengdu to the excellent bullet train a 3 hour journey. This was due to new government regulations which now prevents flights between the two so better use is made of it's train services.

Tour Guides....Alan, Suzy, & Ben were all very good & knowledgeable, which helped everything run smoothly & also worked well with our excellent TM Branwen Edwards. Sorry to say David our guide in Xian was the exception, he was arrogant, marched off before we had all left the coach, & generally made life very awkward for Branwen, who somehow managed to keep her cool in difficult circumstances.

All in all an amazing holiday, one I will never forget!!

Barb

Hi Barb,

Thank you for your review and the advice about what to wear and the loo situation! I am going on the tour this week and can't wait to get there and see everything, although this is my first trip on my own so I am a bit apprehensive. Could I ask about the situation with tips and roughly how much I might expect to spend? I read somewhere to expect £2-£3 per person per day. Does that seem accurate? I just want to make sure I've enough cash with me.

Kind regards
Jacky
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Post: #9
Hi Jacky

Yes you will easily need that amount per day when you factor in 2 or 3 days with each local tour guide plus driver, then there is your tour manager at the end. Tipping was a fairly big part of how much I spent. Hope you have Alan as your local guide in Beijing, he is great!

I'm sure you will have an amazing time, yes it is full on but just wonderful!!

Regards
Barb
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