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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 04-06-2017, 06:20 PM   #1
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China tour

hey guys,

I'm looking at doing this China tour in November. Whats the weather like in November?
Have any of you been to these places? Are they any good?



Day 1
Canada / Shanghai
Depart Toronto for China while enjoying delicious meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment during your journey.
Day 2
Arrive Shanghai
Upon arrival in Shanghai, the No.1 city of China, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by the tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Day 3
Shanghai-Suzhou (AB, L, D)
Travel by coach to Suzhou. Suzhou is known as the "Garden City" due to its many classical gardens, renowned for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. Upon arrival, visit the Lingering Garden which is among the best gardens in China. Since large area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is known as "Venice of the East". You may take a cruise along the Grand Canal to view life along China's golden waterway in its heyday ($30).
Day 4
Suzhou - Wuxi (AB, L, D)
This morning, visit a Silk Spinning Mill, and learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the nest thread and cloth. Then travel by coach to Wuxi, one of the oldest cities in China with more than 3,000 years history. Upon arrival, visit the Liyuan Garden. Later, stroll along Nanchang Street, a charming and fashionable pedestrian street composed of both ancient and modern architectural styles.
Day 5
Wuxi - Hangzhou (AB, L)
This morning, visit one of the largest Fresh Water Pearl Farms in the country, followed by tea pot museum, and travel by coach to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as "the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world". Then, take a boat ride on the serene West Lake, the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, noted for its scenic beauty which blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites. This evening, you can enjoy an optional performance, "The Night of West Lake", which brings the culture and the soul of West Lake lively in front of you. ($50pp).
Day 6
Hangzhou- Shanghai (AB, L)
This Morning, experience an oriental tea-tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. After lunch, travel by coach to Shanghai, the vibrant metropolis and commercial center of China. Upon arrival, walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined by the colonial architectures of European design, this area is the best place to capture the western influences of the old days. Continue on to the bustling shopping district, Nanjing Road .You may cap off the day by attending a thrilling optional Chinese acrobatic show at your own expense - "ERA: The Intersection of Time" ($60pp).
Day 7
Shanghai (AB)
In the morning, visit the Shanghai Museum and see ancient Chinese art, furniture and jade, followed by a visit to an Emerald exhibition center. This afternoon is at leisure. You may explore the Xintiandi area, an affluent and fashionable pedestrian street composed of unique Shikumen ("stone gate") and modern architecture. At night, you may enjoy an optional "Huangpu River Night Cruise" and get a glimpse of the dazzling and charming night view of Shanghai at your own expense ($50pp).
Day 8
Shanghai - Beijing (AB, L)
Fly to Beijing in the morning. Beijing has served as the capital of five dynasties over a period of 800 years. Tour the exquisite Summer Palace, the largest preserved ancient imperial garden in China, and a former summer resort for Emperors. Then, visit a Tong Ren Tang to learn about traditional Chinese medicine, which has existed for thousands of years. Tonight, you can choose to attend a special banquet includes the local delicacy, Peking Roast Duck ($50).
Day 9
Beijing (AB, L)
Today's highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall, the most famous image of China, and a chance to climb a portion of this 3,700-mile marvel. Visit one of the largest Jade Exhibitions in Asia enroute. After lunch, see skilled artisans working at a Cloisonné Factory, and visit the Sacred Path of the Ming Tombs, where thirteen of the sixteen Ming dynasty emperors are buried. Tonight, you can choose to attend an optional large scale dramatic musical, "The Golden Mask Dynasty" ($50).
Day 10
Beijing (AB, L)
Today, visit Tiananmen Square, the second largest public square in the world, and the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty. Following by that is the Hutong tour with rickshaw & lunch at local family ($50).
Day 11
Beijing/Home
Your China journey is over all too soon. Fly back home and arrive home on the same day as you leave China.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:53 AM   #2
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Are you doing those special tour from travel company? If so prepare to spend lot's of money. They basically take you to lot's of place to sell you shit and if you don't buy you are basically force to stay for hours and the tour guide will not be happy. Also you won't get much free time to yourself and hotels you stay in are mostly away from clubs, bars and stuff so you really can't go out at night unless you get a taxi or use China Uber. Personally I don't think joining a tour group is all that fun since other than shopping most attractions you go to is very rush.

I been to Beijing in Nov and weather isn't so bad. Is starting to get dry to maybe use some cream. Weather is still not bad but starting to get chilly.

I been other parts of China during may to June Lijiang, Kumming and other rural places. Is actually really nice. The view is nice and people seems to be nicer than the bigger cities in China.

One thing i highly suggest when you visit china. Bring lot's of imodium. You never know what you are eating in China and food there tends to be more oily. There aren't lot's of public washroom around and if you do found one the state it is in might not be the best. 90% washroom in China are Squat style. In rural and even some tourist place the state is pretty bad.So prepare for that. Also bring your own tissue. In washroom there are no tissue.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:34 PM   #3
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I highly recommend a tour of Western lake in Suzhou. This is one of the most scenic places in China.

-went on a tour of Najing, Wuxi, Suzhou, and Hangzhou back in 2002.

These are smaller cities, by China's standards. These cities are pretty sanitary and the air is pretty good.

-was expecting smog like in Beijing.

Shanghai is good for the tours of the city like the Bund. I recommend trying their pork dumplings, the Xiao long bao, in Shanghai. They cost like 10 cents per dumpling when I ordered them from the take out window of a restaurant.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:25 PM   #4
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You're probably going to have to hear sales pitches for silk, tea, chinese medicine, and jade. My experience wasn't quite like Mr.happy's where you're forced to stay hours. I found that if enough people showed disinterest by leaving the area or standing by the exit, the tour continued to the next destination.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:32 PM   #5
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^^ Ok well not hours but at least an hour or so. Also the tour guide won't sound really happy or even give you a ear full if no one guys anything or not enough people spend.

Honestly though the stuff they try to sell you they are at least making 10x profit on them.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HappySilp View Post
Are you doing those special tour from travel company? If so prepare to spend lot's of money. They basically take you to lot's of place to sell you shit and if you don't buy you are basically force to stay for hours and the tour guide will not be happy.
This is a common myth with these "cheap" tours and may be true 5-6 years ago. But those are [mostly] long gone. See below. Rarely are you pressured into buying anything. There are even some of these "cheap China tours", that clearly states no shopping in the itinerary. Might be worthwhile for OP to look into.

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You're probably going to have to hear sales pitches for silk, tea, chinese medicine, and jade. My experience wasn't quite like Mr.happy's where you're forced to stay hours. I found that if enough people showed disinterest by leaving the area or standing by the exit, the tour continued to the next destination.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by v_tec View Post
This is a common myth with these "cheap" tours and may be true 5-6 years ago. But those are [mostly] long gone. See below. Rarely are you pressured into buying anything. There are even some of these "cheap China tours", that clearly states no shopping in the itinerary. Might be worthwhile for OP to look into.
Maybe since last time I did the tour was like 3 or 4 years ago. Never ago not just the sales but also the long tour days. I have to get at like 6am everyday, no freedom to do what I want and some of the hotel you stay in is so far away you literally have nothing to do at night.

Last few times I didn't join any tour. Just look up what you want to do and see. If you speak Chinese it helps.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:54 PM   #8
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the above tour site has this below... So you guys think they will move along if people don't wanna buy?


As this is a sight-seeing and shopping tour, there are seven shopping excursions on this tour, and a minimum amount of time (60mins) must be spent at each shopping site. However, there is no obligation to purchase anything. For those who are not very keen on shopping, visits to shopping sites should be treated as a cultural learning experience since all the products including jade, silk, tea, etc. are deeply ingrained in the Chinese culture and are well worth learning.



So would you guys recommend this to someone who's not-chinese, in their 30's, travelling solo?
I'm looking for a country to go to / tour group as it'll be my very first solo international trip.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:12 PM   #9
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I went on one of these shopping trips 2-3 years ago. The sales and even the tour guides can get very aggressive. But use your head and don't get pressured into buying and you should be fine. They are very experienced in their sales pitch and they usually target the easy ones by priority. If you don't show much interest in their shit or appear to be tight with your wallet they probably won't target you. In my experience then we usually arrived with other tour groups at the shopping sites. They don't have enough manpower to mark you guys one by one. There will probably be more than enough people to buy that you'd won't be pressured to.

I had a NUN in my group along with a older well-spoken wealthy looking couple from Sydney. Needless to say all the sales guys just flat out avoided the nun, and the couple was targeted all the way during the trip.

My itinery was very similar to yours, but I didn't go to Beijing.

So I can guarantee from your itinery already, that is a shopping tour. Also the 'excursion's are much more expensive than what I paid. Basically you are forced to go pay for these as the tourbus won't be willing to drive you to the hotel first to rest, and due to responsibility issue they probably won't allow you to taxi to the hotel and check in yourself if you decide not to join those night activities. I am chinese however, so maybe the english tours are more expensive idk.

Quote:
Day 4
Suzhou - Wuxi (AB, L, D)
This morning, visit a Silk Spinning Mill
Read : Visit Silk factory buying at 'wholesale' prices

Quote:
Wuxi - Hangzhou (AB, L)
This morning, visit one of the largest Fresh Water Pearl Farms in the country, followed by tea pot museum
Read : expensive pearls and buying special looking tea pots you won't use ever

Quote:
Morning, experience an oriental tea-tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation
Read : Selling you made in china tea leaves that will be more expensive gram-by-gram than imported weed

I also see a lot of Jade stops. I'm not a jeweler by trade but jade is one of those things that are very subjective and fluctuate in price. Good luck.


Last advice I have is... They'll most likely take you to a chinese herbal medicine place.
edit: found it
Quote:
Then, visit a Tong Ren Tang to learn about traditional Chinese medicine
Where 'doctor's will give you a short examination for 'free'. I tend to find many fall for the trap here, and buy chinese herbs/treatment/meds at insane prices. I've heard of cases here where people was charged 10,000+USD.

A lot of people fail here because health is priceless, and will go along with whatever the 'doctor' says. But just remember those aren't doctors, they are salesmen.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:39 PM   #10
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With all that being said, since you're a foreigner I think the accomodation and food will be very decent. You won't be living or eating like the locals.

This was my duplex hotel room one night.

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Old 04-10-2017, 07:33 AM   #11
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Where 'doctor's will give you a short examination for 'free'. I tend to find many fall for the trap here, and buy chinese herbs/treatment/meds at insane prices. I've heard of cases here where people was charged 10,000+USD.

A lot of people fail here because health is priceless, and will go along with whatever the 'doctor' says. But just remember those aren't doctors, they are salesmen.
Good or herb place. We there too. The doc was saying how everyone is unhealthy and needs meds. I pointed out we just landed last night and are in jetlag of course we look like shit. Another couple pointed they have high blood pressure etc etec... The docs didn't really get any sales and the tour guide wasn't happy lol.

We also went to the silk store and jade store and some sort of sports massage place for Chinese olympian and some tea place. Again all they want to do is sell. Some, actually a ton of old chinese couples spend a bunch at the silk place and the tea place. Like literally over $5k CND for some silk bed sheets. I was like WTF! I only spend on getting a cheapo traveling mug for tea and a blanket for my ex.

Their sales pitch is actually really good. What they usually start off is telling you we don't want to money off you guys but just to show you some shit. Slowly suck you in by using stuff like "special discount only for this tour group", "Buy this and I give you this for free" , "We don't trick our own kind (Meaning Chinese"," "Buy it for luck and safety for your family", "Your granddaughter, grandson will sleep a lot better in these bed sheets, blankets"

Basically to bait all the old couple to buy them. Didn't work on me though.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:23 PM   #12
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Good or herb place. We there too. The doc was saying how everyone is unhealthy and needs meds. I pointed out we just landed last night and are in jetlag of course we look like shit. Another couple pointed they have high blood pressure etc etec... The docs didn't really get any sales and the tour guide wasn't happy lol.
Your group was strong-willed/lucky lol. I heard so many fails in this place.
A friend of mine got into shit here. His father was so into the sales pitch concerning his health he actually threw a fit at the son (my friend) for trying to drag him away and hinting that it was a scam. "WTF I'm your father you little shit! You don't want me to be well?" My friend in the end had to pay for his 'herbal medicine' to bring back to the states. Cost him 1000+usd lol.


Quote:
Their sales pitch is actually really good. What they usually start off is telling you we don't want to money off you guys but just to show you some shit. Slowly suck you in by using stuff like "special discount only for this tour group", "Buy this and I give you this for free" , "We don't trick our own kind (Meaning Chinese"," "Buy it for luck and safety for your family", "Your granddaughter, grandson will sleep a lot better in these bed sheets, blankets"

Basically to bait all the old couple to buy them. Didn't work on me though.
^^LOL exactly
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