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blues
13-11-2005, 03:11 AM
hi all,
any experience to share with and tips visiting china,please...! tq

layman
13-11-2005, 02:29 PM
which region in china are u comtemplating touring?

i've lived and worked in china for a considerable period of time

perhaps i can provide some pertinent information for ur tour?

Ski
13-11-2005, 03:22 PM
I dont know if this is the right time to go to China..Avian flu! and China is badly affected.

blues
13-11-2005, 04:04 PM
[QUOTE=layman]which region in china are u comtemplating touring?

QUOTE]

tq.perhaps kunming and western part of the country besides beijing n shanghai. or any other places that u worth recommended please!

layman
13-11-2005, 06:20 PM
well beijing was/is the imperial capital of china.if u r a history buff beijing should be top in ur itinerary

theres a chinese proverb-u r only a man if u hv scaled the great wall of china

if u r interested in sightseeing jiangnan(shanghai hanzhou and zhou chuan)would be most appropiate for 'beginners'.suzhou renown for her pretty girls is situated in this region

kunming-city of eternal spring-good weather for those who want to escape from the harsh winters of northern china.

it depends on the purpose and ur interest

china is a large and diversified country with distinctive local cultures and gourmet.its getting expensive with the vast improvement in their standard of living.no lack of luxury goods and 5 star hotels

the GDP of coastal provinces and beijing and shanghai municipality is slightly more than malaysia (4600US vs $4000 us)

frozen
13-11-2005, 09:55 PM
I may be visiting China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, hangzhou,wuxi) soon this coming December. Well I've heard mixed comments from friends who have been to China before. Here are some of the warnings

1. Food very oily/salty
2. People spit/smoke everywhere
3. Toilet stinks, doorless, no flushing system in some
4. Crazy drivers in China (worse than malaysia - although we're getting there)
5. A lot of theivary, beggars, con jobs

Anybody that have been to China wanna confirm the above ? As in .. how to make a trip to China more enjoyable..

kwgoh
13-11-2005, 10:48 PM
Hi Blues,

If you are joining a package tour, I can shared my experienced from my last two tours to Shanghai/Jiangsu and Guilin.

Below were the tricks of the tourist guides normally used to "dry your pocket" before you get home:

1.) First thing -- the tourist guide will ask you to join "extra optional tour" and you have to pay around RM200 - RM300. I suggust you to find out clearly from your tour agent regarding the places to visit stated in the itinerary, the entrence tickets and tickets for shows which are included in the package. I come to find out that the tourist guide will tell you the extra places to visit and shows in the "optional package" but sometimes the visiting places or show/s is supposed to be included in your normal package.
The tourist guide will normally tell you in the first day everning and do not have time for you to decide, and worst is he or she will said if one of the tour members do not want to join than all will cancelled. THIS IS BULLs**K, I suggest you find out what are the extra places he or she is going to bring you to and if more than 50% of the tour members agreed, sure the tourist guide will not want to reject the "extra money" he is going to get. You and your tour members can actually bargain or ask for discount.

2.) The tourist guide will recommend some local products example silks, she will bring you to a factory belong to gorvernment and she garentee the products are Ist class quality and factory price, maybe she will said only limited qantities supply in a day and you better take fast when there are stocks, otherwise there were many other tour groups blur blur....................
THIS IS ANOTHER BULLS**K, if you want to buy they can supply to you even hundreds of containers. AND you can bargain up to at least 20% discount. Don't worry, if miss buying in the factory, you can get it in any big shopping complex with the same or better quality and cheaper. You can even get it in the airport.

Pearls, Tea pots, jades -- don't pay more then 30% of the list price.
Silks, Medicines -- you can bargain down to 70% of the price.

Yes, Medcines -- The tourist guide will bring you to Bao Shu Tang, please don't consult the shan-si (doctor) there, otherwise you sure are very sick and going to be near to dead if you don't take the medicines they recommended. They sure have a "very effective " medicines to cure you sickness and the price is more then ten *************** you ends up paying RM1000 -- RM3000.

3.) The tourist guide may bring you to a free traditional massage, and again the tourist guide will explain to you that massage can find out what sickness and can cure certain sickness. Don't go for it, you may ends up paying thousands to cure your sickness.

4.) The tourist guide will bring you to Feng Shui and many many .................

5.) Every time there are new supprise for you, SO I recommend you to bring limited cash only with you when you go out sigthseeing, put all your credit cards and cash in the Hotel safe for emergency or when you go shopping yourself.

I was cheated in the first time to buy silks, but learned when I find out it was cheaper in the shopping complex. Lucky I didn't consult the medicine doctor there.

patrick
13-11-2005, 11:02 PM
hi all,
any experience to share with and tips visiting china,please...! tq

I have been to quite a few places in China, but it being such a huge country, I would suggest you decide what you really want to see. I would probably prioritise some of the places I have been and would recommend them to you. But do keep in mind your interests:

1. Great Wall of China - a MUST.
2. Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong National Park - wonders of nature. But try to
take a flight there and back. Some will tell you to fly one way and
coachthe other.
But I strongly dont recommend. The journey is long (about 10 hours each
way) and the road is winding and dangerous, besides driving through high
altitude which can make some people really sick. Pay more and fly both
ways - I strongly recommend. You can view some of the incredible shots I
took and posted on our Gallery.
3. Forbidden City in Beijing.
4. Shanghai City
5. "Shangrila" in Yunnan near the Tilbetan border.
6. A river cruise in Quilin is highly recommended by some. But I wasnt
impressed.

The other cities I dont even want to talk about it.

One more thing while on holiday in China. There are always many conmen around with some of the most unimaginable stings you can ever think of. SO...always stay VERY ALERT and think smart.

cskok8
13-11-2005, 11:16 PM
The toilets (at least the ones they bring tourists to) are quite clean - better than in Malaysia. And those old toilets without doors are found only in very remote areas. All the touristy areas have better toilets than even KLIA.

About those "traditional doctors", DO NOT ever let them touch you. Definitely they will diagnose some terminal disease that will cost $$$ to "cure". My friend (a surgeon) let one take his pulse and was told that he has end-stage kidney failure. The cure - RM 10000(!!!) worth of herbs. :eek:

layman
13-11-2005, 11:34 PM
when u r spending ur vacation abroad anywhere in the world ,scams ripoff and petty crimes can happen to any tourist.china is no exception

just relax and let the tourist guide take care of the trip if u r with a group tour.as for purchases in the shops recommended by the guides u can always refused to participate.

most cities are safe in china,just beware of pickpockets in crowded areas

patrick
13-11-2005, 11:46 PM
Regarding my recommendation for "Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong National Park", you can view some of my shots at:

http://www.usj.com.my/gallery/Jiuzhaigou_Huanglong

Rgds.

ppleong
14-11-2005, 12:10 AM
Things to do when you are in China:

01 Never buy anything from the so-called goverment shops recommended by the local guide. Prices there are 70% more expensive than you get at the night market. Examples are jade, stones, tea pots, silks,feung shui articles, chinese medicine, oilment, paintings, jewellery, etc. Don't even try to bargain.
They will show you more expensive stuff with bigger discount.

02 When you are at the shops, communicated with your family and groups in Bahasa Malaysia. This way, the locals will not beable to understand you. Say like "Barang ini terlalu marah", "cepat sikit lah"

03 When entering a medical or foot massage shop recommended by the local guide, speak in Eglish or better in BM. This way, when singled out by the so called doctor, he will be unable to tell you all your ailments.

04 Never join any optional tours which may cost you between RM200 to RM300 per head. Be firm in your refusal. If some of them inthe group wishes to join, let it be. They still need to send the others back to the hotel. Go on your own. Go in groups of 4 to the local night market. Taxis are cheap and they use the meter!! Ask the hotel receptionist for the name of the streets.

05 Do not wear your Rolex, diamonds or other expensive stuff there. You will be singled out by the sales people at the goverments shops.

06 Their favorite trick at the shops. The sales manager will say "One of our director is also a Malaysian and he is from OUG (Wah Luen)!! He has given us specific instructions that all Malaysians are entitled to xx% discount. Unfortunately, he is not available today as he is in another city" Mark these sentences. You are sure to hear them.

07 Durig lunch and dinner, each table will be given 2 bottles of 2L mineral water and 2 big bottles of local beer foc. If no one drinks the beer, take them and give it to the bus driver. He really apreciates you. Don't worry, he will only drink them at night. Just call him "Sifu"

Generally, the tour to Shanghai, wuxi, Hangchou, Suchou is very nice indeed. Food is ok in most places. FYI, you will be stayin in Shanghai for only one nite, ie on the last nite.

Enjoy, and don't be conned. Just don't buy.

orchipalar
14-11-2005, 12:37 AM
Enjoy, and don't be conned. Just don't buy.

Err...dear PPLeong:)...when in various parts of China...where their local specialities are 'world' renown...ahem...how not to buy? :D

Ahem...just visited Kunming very recently...marvellous weather!

Err...without buying some of the famous local Yunnan 'Puer' tea...cigarettes...souvenirs...or delicacies such as ham... it would be a waste of opportunity...:)

Err...problem arises when in most places(with less tourists)...in local markets...there aren't many items which have the sticker prices or labels...err...so it boils down to 'real heavy' bargaining...

Then again...part of the fun about shopping...err...it's in the bargaining power that each possesses...ahem...the women though...seems to be on the upperhand...when it comes down to real n tough bargaining 'psycho'...:D

Err...one would be surprised to find out that a pack of ciggie(20 sticks) could be as much as rmb40...or as low as rmb4 or so...

Err...in some areas with more tourists...a bowl of 'cross-bridge' noodle...could cost a lot more...but in the quieter streets...it only costs rmb3 for a LARGE bowl of noodle...

Ahem...but generally...as soon as you open your mouth to speak...traders would realize that you are a foreigner...so they jackup the prices of their items by a lot...:o

EdRoZeN
14-11-2005, 01:22 AM
How sad eh. In the world of tourism, there's still such things going around.

Could it be because they are communists?

court7
14-11-2005, 02:10 AM
hehehhe... i've been to china s many places... hehehhe...

not much tips, just not to purchase anything from tour. :o

layman
14-11-2005, 09:29 AM
hi orchi

did u try the hot 'guo chiao mee fun' or translated literally 'cross bridged noodles in kunming?


excellent stuff in yunnan. 5 RMB for a bowl three thtime the size of mee here
hahhaha

orchipalar
14-11-2005, 10:11 AM
hi orchi
did u try the hot 'guo chiao mee fun' or translated literally 'cross bridged noodles in kunming?
excellent stuff in yunnan. 5 RMB for a bowl three thtime the size of mee here
hahhaha

Err...yes Layman:)...whilst in the total duration of stay in Kunming...everyday Orchi gets to eat the delicious 'mee sien'(or rice vermicelli)...a LARGE bowl of this...would cost as little as RMB 3 niah...n you can tell the chef...to go easy on the 'chilli oil'....

Err...'cross-bridge' noodle...probably got it's name due to it's unique cooking preparation...by cooking with the delicious broth in a sizzling hot bowl...just before it is served in front of the patrons...n the price varies for each LARGE bowl starting from RMB 5 niah...depending on your own choice of ingredients...:)

Ahem...con jobs?...there are everywhere lah...in our own backyard n petaling street also got plenty wat? :o

penangkia
14-11-2005, 12:20 PM
hi all,
any experience to share with and tips visiting china,please...! tq

My dears blues and frozen, :p

It depends on time available, interest and of course your budget.

Remember, China is seasonal, ie many places could be visited 4 times and each experience is different...Forbidden City , Great Wall, Guilin, Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing, Xi'an and the mountains and rivers are just some examples. All these and more are worthwhile touring.
Springtime and wintertime seneries for Forbidden City or Great Wall are just totally different.
Patrick mentioned Juizhaiguo, this place is heaven on earth...again different each season. I understand flights to there are only avavilable during summer, ie around May/June onwards. That was 2 years ago, maybe they have all season flights now, check it out. The journey by road as pointed out by Patrick is right...you will have a flat butt on arrival, but if you want to know how Chairman Mao and his merry men slog the Long March..that stretch was a major part of it...on foot and through mountain trials. ;)
Try Urumqi ( pronounced Oo Ru mu Chi..near enough :p ) way up north and a very different delight..colourful muslim natives and Han Chinese together.

I worked in China for over 2 years and have travelled there for 15 years to many parts of the country but I can hardly say I have seen most of it..It just so huge, so seasonal, so rich in history, arts and culture, not forgetting the current pace of development.
One can only see so much on 1 trip...take your time, China will always be there for you, but $$$ to tour the country is going up each year.
Ignore the negatives about toilets, spitting etc...how often do you use Malaysian toilets in petrol stations and coffee shops ? Be a happy tourist and look at the possitives..you will find many. So eased up in the morning in your hotel WC before you start the day's tour and you should be OK.

One last thing, it is freaking bloody cold and windy during winter in China, be winter prepared..better over prepared than under. Thick woolies, long johns, windbreakers, and gloves a must. Winter starts about now. ( lip gloss too)

Have a Safe and Enjoyable trip.

Stewed rabbit head or snake gall bladder blood anyone ?? :D

PS. Oh yes, it is generally safe to venture about in most Chinese cities using a bit of common sense to stay out of trouble. Safer than New York or LA that's for sure. Be extra careful in Shenzhen city though..this place is getting real notorious for mugging and cheating but also fantastic for a shopping adventure.

blues
14-11-2005, 05:12 PM
One more thing while on holiday in China. There are always many conmen around with some of the most unimaginable stings you can ever think of. SO...always stay VERY ALERT and think smart.


thanks all for the info,lets not forget the above.

is that true to be extra carefull if you are foreign chinese?

SunwayKid
14-11-2005, 05:39 PM
hi all,
any experience to share with and tips visiting china,please...! tq

Just returned from a trip from Beijing last weekend. First, I presume you are doing a DIY tour and you can speak Mandarin! It is supposedly the low season now due to winter.

For just RMB330 per night, you can stay in a 4 star studio apartment near the Beijing railway station. For easy conversion, just divide by 2 to get Ringgit. If you need the phone number, pm me.

Avain flu - despite what you read, people still queue for KFC as early as 10 am in the morning. I thought KFC serve breakfast (I was wrong) as these mainlanders like their chickens (no pun intended) very early. Locally, we have birds dropping dead up north and pigeon droppings in London Tralfagar square which are just as hazardous. So don't let the flu worry you. Besides, having devoured 3 ducks (the Peking variety), I would have brought the flu into the country already. :D

Sights - Great Wall (you can hire a taxi for RMB450 onwards) which can fit 4. Avoid the red cabs as they are rather small. Go for the newer multi coloured Hyundai ones which are more comfortable and metered. Taxis start at RMB10 and RMB1.60 for subsequent 1 km. Avoid private taxis if you need to spend your money wisely. Forbidden palace (aka Musuem Palace) / Summer Palace - avoid the local guides who will try to sell you their services. Just follow one of the tour group around. :)

Despite reading of strict laws, there are plenty of cafes cum massage parlour in Beijing. Foot massage shops are easily found and I suspect those SYTs in their tight low cut blouse sure can do much more with their hands than just massaging your feet. :p

Shopping - you can find imitation of every branded stuff under the sun in Silk Street which all tour agents will take you to. This complex is mainly for foreigners and bargaining is essential. You should start with 30% of their opening price. Places where you need to go on your own are The Russian market in Alien street / Hongqiao market are places where you can get good deals as well.

Food - the local staple is wheat and they use a spice call cumin for their local food which makes it difficult for me to consume. You might have better luck. The portions are HUGE. Peking duck prices varies between RMB40 up to RMB200, depending on the restaurant you go to.

No unpleasant encounters but it is always best to be safe than sorry. Leave your passports and credit cards in the hotel safe and only take enough money to spend for the day.

layman
14-11-2005, 05:43 PM
thanks all for the info,lets not forget the above.

is that true to be extra carefull if you are foreign chinese?

no ,not at all

well r u travelling ina group or DIY?

spoken putonghua will be useful in DIY in smallercities.in beijing shanghai and guanzhou,there will always be chinese who understands english

frozen
16-11-2005, 11:42 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.. now we know what to do and what not to do in China..

One more things.. does anybody know if there is sufficient GSM phone coverage (like Maxis roaming) in Shanghai and surrounding outskirts area ? Or is it only available in the city center

SunwayKid
17-11-2005, 09:39 AM
Using Beijing as a guide, I could still get reception at the Great Wall which is in the outskirts. Hence, I don't think you will have problems in shanghai suburbs, which is a more metropolitian, unless you are going deep into the villages.

If you are still worried, just buy a pair of walkie talkies there. :)

patrick
17-11-2005, 11:24 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.. now we know what to do and what not to do in China..

One more things.. does anybody know if there is sufficient GSM phone coverage (like Maxis roaming) in Shanghai and surrounding outskirts area ? Or is it only available in the city center

Dont you worry about phone reception, especially with Maxis. You be amaze at how advance in terms of coverage they are. I was inside a cave and there was coverage. I was up in the mountain, and there was coverage. I was in the middle of a river cruise, and there still was coverage!! So there you are!