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11

As with everything else in China - if you go to a place that is opened for tourists, be prepared to see a lot of them. You can usually avoid the hordes by going on a weekday (as opposed to weekend), avoiding national holidays, going early in the morning and picking a place that is less-known (pick #3, #4, ... place as opposed to #1, #2 place). That being ...


10

Personally I didn't plan much, just went with the flow, but that depends on how much freedom you have. Work out how much time you have. Bear in mind that a Russian tourist visa is 30 days, but you can get a Business visa for tourist purposes (I had zero problems) and that's valid for 60 days, multiple entry. Work out your budget. Hostels are pretty cheap ...


10

Generally, Hep B is the more common disease in Asia, however that does not mean that there is a significantly lower risk for Hep A. A general overview of the various types of Hepatitis can be found at this link. I have not found any recent epidemics published in China, however, they have happened in recent history (a paper discussing one in 1990 here ...


9

I would worry less about the Shanghai-Beijing train being full than the Hong Kong-Shanghai train - unless you travel over Chinese new year or another holiday. There are trains in intervals of 10-40 minutes and should allow you to at least get on the next train in case the current one is full. There is a website that lets you check the availability of seats ...


9

China Transit Visa (G): (Updated: 2010/12/20) Visas are not required of aliens, who hold final destination tickets and have booked seats on international airliners flying directly through China, and will stay in a transit city for less than 24 hours without leaving the airport. Visas are not required of Citizens of the following countries, who ...


8

I took the novel step of calling Air New Zealand, and they said the flight was booked directly through them even though he used webjet.co.nz (which was why I was reluctant to call them in the first place) the flight is connecting and he will be issued tickets and have his bag checked through from his point of departure.


8

There are a great many locations on the Great Wall that can be visited. Narrowing the choice to those within day trip or single overnight stay from Beijing, we get the following list. I've added my comments as to their merits. Miyun County Simatai ( 司马台; Sīmǎtái) a popular but remote. Quite far from Beijing. Currently (2011) this section is closed to ...


7

Author Peter Hessler visited some of the most remote parts of the Great Wall and seemed to do an excellent job of avoiding other tourists. He took measures to avoid catching the attention of the local government, though. In planning your trip, you might do well to read his account of the journey: Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory


7

This rather more than a "shopping answer", hopefully. How to determine if Jade is genuine: This webpage provides an excellent discussion of types of genuine jade and of non genuine alternatives. This page is also very useful Excellent characteristics table for Jade and other materials. A pocket spectrometer is possibly a really good tool. These are ...


6

I lived in Beijing for a couple months in 2008: Get there at least 20-30 minutes before sunrise, you don't need to be there much earlier but having a bit of extra padding won't hurt. I can't say for sure, but I don't think there will be much of a difference on International Workers Day. Visit the Forbidden City. It's just across the street from the square. ...


5

Wangfujing shopping street is the most famous for visitors--nice environment, adjacency to the Tian'anmen Square and Forbidden City, clean street bars, and backstreet traditional snack bars, etc. Xidan shopping area is most popular for the local youth. There are quite some modern shopping malls with comfortable shopping environment. Qianmen and Dashilan ...


5

When I was in Beijing in 2012 Sunday was not really a big deal. Maybe some shops open a little later, but generally they're all open. I would advice against buying gadgets in general markets like the Silk Market as they're either fake or faulty. If you absolutely need to buy electronic gadgets go to an electronics store. General markets are good for ...


5

The bullet trains from Beijing to Shanghai are very comfortable (like business class on a big plane) and not at all overcrowded (cheaper/slower trains will be very crowded and will take days to get there), but you should try to book in advance. They only allow purchasing of tickets a maximum of 7 days in advance so you have to time it correctly. Tickets ...


5

For train travel stuff your best first resource is Seat61.com, here's the relevant part for Beijing to Shanghai. From the info there (How to buy tickets) it seems you cannot book on-line directly, but you can go through a travel agent to have them book the tickets in advance. The trains do sell out, but you don't need to book months in advance (unless ...


5

I assume that since AirNZ and BA don't code share, your trip is on two separate tickets. This might be a problem. The best bet is to ring AirNZ and ask them about the luggage being checked through. If it's not, you're going to have to clear immigration (with a visa) pick up his bag, check in to his second flight, and go through security again. This can take ...


4

In theory a China Mobile SIM card should be able to provide 3G services. In practice I have not been able to get my (3G only) HTC phone to access the internet via such a card. China Unicomm seems to be a better offering in the 3G field. While China Mobile supposedly provides both 2G and 3G services, in practice it is a 2G service. Buying a SIM may be best ...


4

He'll be fine. Even switching airlines you can usually get the bag checked through. As for changing flights, this should be possible in transit, and even if he has to leave, assuming he's on a NZ passport: Chinese Transit Visa(G): Visas are not required of aliens, who hold final destination tickets and have booked seats on international airliners ...


4

China is notorious for having much heavier tourism during public holidays. I would expect much more people than the other days. Here is an image from the 2012 labor day flag raising: This here is from the forbidden city 30th April 2012: And this here from the great wall May 1st: I would therefore strongly advise you NOT to go there before 4th of May. You ...


4

'How bad' is hard to argue as it varies from day to day. But regularly in recent times it's been in the news for having awful levels, especially concerning to the athletes and spectators in the 2008 Olympics. In summer it can be worse as the hot sun aggravates the situation. Others like you with similar concerns have asked the same questions and found some ...


4

I hope this article will help you http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/beijing/shopping.htm You can also use these maps http://www.chinatouristmaps.com/shopping/beijing.html - it's really usefull. You may point out where the main shops is Largest Beijing Shopping Areas Wangfujing Dajie - the most famous shopping street in Beijing, ...


3

There's usually at least one counter at the train station that has English speaking staff for foreigners. As @Richard Fong says, don't expect them to be overjoyed to help, but I've never had too much trouble with them (way better than the bad old days). I know what train number, class and the destination I want in advance. Don't bother trying the automated ...


2

Before I list a few recommendations, I'd like to present two realities for anyone else ever wondering about this in the future: People in China don't really buy books. So many books, like music, film and television, is easily downloaded in China. Mainstream book stores exist in China (ex: the Xinhua Bookstore chains), but mostly these stock text books and ...


2

The legal answer, as you've already found out, is "no": 4、Are the foreign visitors who completed 72-hour visa-free transit procedures and entered into China permitted to leave Beijing to other Chinese cities? 72-hour visa-free transit foreign visitors are not permitted to leave Beijing to other Chinese cities during their 72-hour visa-free ...


2

In Schengen area, in most airports (as far as I know, all airports you might transit through), there are distinct Schengen airport zone and an international zone. As a general rule, you cross the border in/out of Schengen only if needed. If your origin and destination are both out of Schengen area, if you stay in the airport, you do not need to cross the ...


2

There are public buses that depart for the Great Wall from Tienanmen Square, so you could watch the flag ceremony and then afterwards spend the rest of the early morning traveling to the Wall. This might be the most effective use of your time. (Beware of touts trying to get you to use their own private buses to the Great wall from Tienanmen Square, they are ...


2

Ooh, I was literally there last night...well, yesterday their time! I arrived from Tokyo, Japan. All passengers disembark at the same time, and then around the corner there are two lines - international transit, and other. If you're flying domestic, this is the point at which you enter China, as anyone who wasn't joining me for more international flying ...


1

If you are into antiques (mostly fake ones) you can try LiuLiChang or PanJiaYuan Antique Market. It's fun to just browse or get something cheap but interesting, I'll definitely get a second opion .



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