Traveling to China: January 9, 2012 to January 29, 2012
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jan 6, 2013 11:26 AM Last Post By: mike_travel_too
Dec 21, 2012 9:49 PM
Traveling to China: January 9, 2012 to January 29, 2012I will be flying into Shanghai on the 9th of January, and I plan on backpacking on my second day by bus or train to Wohan. After Wohan, I am going to Nanchang to make my way back to Shanghai. As this is my first time traveling to China, would anyone have any advice? Preferably which hostels, areas and eateries to visit.
Also, will anyone be in the area during my expected travel dates, or native Chinese individuals whom are willing to travel or show me around while I am in Shanghai?
For personal information, I am a 21 year old white male currently attending UCLA and speak a modest amount of Mandarin.
Any added information or input will be greatly appreciated - James Drake.
Dec 21, 2012 10:01 PM
Do you mean Wuhan?
Furthermore; why do you want to go to Nanchang? It's a city of zero interest. Wuhan (If that is where you mean) is only mildly better but does have a few hostels (Don't know of any in Nanchang as it really isn't somewhere that the majority of tourists would want to go).
Dec 21, 2012 10:17 PM
Dec 21, 2012 10:19 PM
Dec 22, 2012 3:43 AM
4Why are you coming to China? Is it to see thing or practice you Mandarin? If it's to see things, there are numerous places of interest around the Jiangsu/Zhejiang area (Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Changzhou, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Taizhou: more Zhous than you can shake a stick at) and most of them have hostels or, if they don't, 7 Days Inns/Motel 168's.
If you're coming to practice your Mandarin, you're not really going to the right end of China.
Dec 22, 2012 4:12 AM
5Compared with Nanchang, I'd say Wuhan is an exceptionally interesting place.
First advice would be to avoid doing too much travelling, Second would be to choose smaller places over big ones. Yangzhou over Nanjing, for example. For nature, you could easily do Huangshan or Jiuhua Shan or Wuyishan, though the first two might have weather problems in January. As said, there are many small water towns and old towns in the Hangzhou-Suzhou area.
Third advice would be to avoid Yuyuan Gardens. And the Oriental Pearl Tower. Etc. Etc.
Dec 22, 2012 7:15 AM
6Why am I coming to China: a plethora of reasons. I would like to practice my Mandarin, but I do understand the regions that I will be in are keen on a different dialect. Also, my minor is in Asian Studies/Mandarin so I will be visiting two, three college campuses as to get a gauge on my future study abroad.
I don't want to be perceived as a typical lǎowài.
Thank you for all the help thus far!
Jan 5, 2013 3:19 PM
7It's hard to comment on specific hostels and eateries without knowing your itinerary. Right now we don't even know which cities or towns you're planning to visit.
So you've got an open itinerary between Nanchang and Shanghai for around 15 days? You've got lots of good options there, as the route from Jiangxi to Anhui to Zhejiang and Jiangsu is full of fascinating places.
Starting out from Nanchang, you can move east to Wuyuan, perhaps stopping by either Jingdezhen (bus) or Sanqingshan (train to Yushan first, where there are frequent buses) depending on your interests. After Wuyuan, there's the whole area of Huangshan/Hongcun/Xidi to the northeast (2 buses per day from Wuyuan to Tunxi in this off-season). After Huangshan, the city of Hangzhou is only 3 hours by bus.
Between Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai, transportation gets much easier and you get lots of options. Perhaps spend a little time in the little waterside towns like Wuzhen or Xitang, after which you can take a bus in the direction of Suzhou. The rest of the travel can probably be covered by high-speed rail.
Let us know your itinerary, and we can all give you more feedback on the finer details on lodging and food.
Jan 6, 2013 11:26 AM
8In Shanghai, we stayed at the Blue Mountain Bund Hostel and loved it. The location is perfect and the people are beyond helpful. It is also easy to get there using the metro if you fly into Pudong Airport. From that hostel we were able to walk to the Bund, Nan'Jing Road and a lot of other places.
We took a minibus from Shanghai out to a water village. Jia Jiang, I believe it was called. Took a pink bus. That was a cool place that didnt feel like we were in the city. Since you'll be there in January, I highly suggest that instead of Wuhan, you go north to Haerbin. Get a direct train and go there to see the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. It will absolutely blow your mind. We went last year and it was the clear highlight of the trip. Rent a hostel early. There is one in the LP that is an old Synagoge that is now a hostel. Totally awesome.
Finally, you wont be there to experience the Chinese New Year, which is too bad. If you got to extend your trip that would be a great reason to do so. We were in Harbin for it last year, and that was also a trip. Fireworks everywhere. People on the streets.
Harbin for me was the highlight. It is very different from Shanghai. Lots of Russian influence and of course the Ice Festival.
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