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Old 06-03-2008, 05:49 PM   #16
abdmom
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Dingoballs

I am not so good at bargaining. My late dh was Chinese and would always take that role. I hate to negotiate. The rule of thumb that I am told by the guides is to pay 20-30% of the initial price. This only applies to roadside vendors, not downtown Beijing stores. I made an error yesterday in my calculations, just for a couple of t-shirts, and have been kicking myself since. Ah well, I figure that I overpaid about $15, which is not so much to me, but might make a big difference to the vendor, even if they are now laughing at the stupid American.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:37 PM   #17
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Don't you just hate it when that happens?? Well, at least you're able to laugh about it...

What is on your itinerary for tomorrow?
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:16 AM   #18
Traveling Tinkerbell
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China Trip

Our family will be starting our China trip with ABD June 16. We have some questions - Are most of the members on the tour wearing shorts during the day? How dressy at night do you have to be for the dinners? We can't wait to hear the rest of your adventures in the coming days.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:54 AM   #19
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Day 4

We went to the Temple of Heaven and rode pedicabs through a hutong (old-fashioned neighborhood). We had a Tai Chi lesson near the Temple of Heaven and learned some crafts and yoyo near the hutong. Tonight we are having Peking Duck - yumm!

Most people are wearing shorts. Dinners are equally casual. They mentioned that the first night's dinner in Shanghai might be an occasion to wear long pants or a skirt, but it is not required. While we're on the subject of attire, I recommend bringing a wide-brimmed hat. Even though it is not that hot out during the day, the past few days, we have spent a lot of time outside, doing a lot of walking. My son left his hat in the bus this morning and really regretted it.

Not sure what's on the itinerary for tomorrow. LOL. We have a printed itinerary for days 4 and 5 which was revised since the earthquake, but we're not even following that! Even for the June 16 departure, I wouldn't count on following our itinerary.

I am running out of disk space on my camera -and we're not close to halfway through. I'm not so computer savvy that I can download to my laptop. I'm also running out of camcorder disk space. Bring twice as much camcorder and camera memory as you think you might need.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:20 AM   #20
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ABDMom - please tell Dusty that "Beth & Scott from Tampa" said Hello...

I just heard from him yesterday via email, and he said that all the last-minute revisions to the tour has kept him really busy.

...But I'm sure he's doing a good job for you - he's super!

Enjoy the rest of your tour!!!
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:21 AM   #21
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It sounds like you finally got over the jet lag and are having a great time.
How long have you been able to spend at each of the sites? Do you feel that the time allotted is sufficient or do you feel rushed?

Thanks for the updates. I canít wait to hear whatís on the agenda for the next 2 days.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by abdmom View Post
Day 4

We went to the Temple of Heaven and rode pedicabs through a hutong (old-fashioned neighborhood). We had a Tai Chi lesson near the Temple of Heaven and learned some crafts and yoyo near the hutong. Tonight we are having Peking Duck - yumm!

Most people are wearing shorts. Dinners are equally casual. They mentioned that the first night's dinner in Shanghai might be an occasion to wear long pants or a skirt, but it is not required. While we're on the subject of attire, I recommend bringing a wide-brimmed hat. Even though it is not that hot out during the day, the past few days, we have spent a lot of time outside, doing a lot of walking. My son left his hat in the bus this morning and really regretted it.

Not sure what's on the itinerary for tomorrow. LOL. We have a printed itinerary for days 4 and 5 which was revised since the earthquake, but we're not even following that! Even for the June 16 departure, I wouldn't count on following our itinerary.

I am running out of disk space on my camera -and we're not close to halfway through. I'm not so computer savvy that I can download to my laptop. I'm also running out of camcorder disk space. Bring twice as much camcorder and camera memory as you think you might need.
Hi AbdMom,

Thanks for the tip about bringing a hat & extra memory sticks...

How was the Peking duck?
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:30 PM   #23
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It's 6:30 a.m. now. I've been up since 3:15 when my cell phone went off. Don't know who called as it dropped the call right after I picked up. it was a male voice though and everyone who would call in case of emergency is female . Note to self: disconnect the cell phone battery before going to bed.

Many people wonder how many children are on the tours. Out of 31, we've got about 15 under the age of 25. They are almost equally spread out in ages. Out of the 15, 11 are female and 4 are male. The majority of adults are female too. I think there's 7 male and 9 female, but with Dusty and Fred we work out even. The older adults (moms and dads) are generally in the 45-55 age range. There are no solo travelers and no adults without kids. I would have thought that we would have families with adopted Chinese children, but there are none on this trip.

Peking duck was OK. The hour of dinner was kind of late for us - we left at 7 pm and got to the restaurant at 7:30. Dinner didn't end until after 9. Dd fell asleep just before we left. I wanted to fall asleep during dinner. I'm fairly used to Chinese food and am surprised at the Western dishes - generally vegetables, that show up on the table. Last night we had corn niblets. One of the kids favorite dishes is potstickers - which are supposed to be Beijing -based - I haven't seen those. I also love hot and sour soup and haven't seen that either.

Timewise, I think I would have liked to spend more time at Tiananmen square and the Forbidden City. However, we did spend about 4 hours there and it was quite hot and we were very tired by the end. There are a couple of days where we have the afternoon off, so we can go back and visit those sites that we would like to see. The hotel is very close to Tiananmen square. I would have liked to spend more time at the Great Wall. However, it was a 2 hour drive there and back. We left at 8 a.m. We had lunch and noodle making and glass blowing after seeing the Great Wall. We probably got back around 4:30, but I don't remember exactly.

Today's itinerary is the one with the most, shall I say, flexibility? We won't really know what we're doing until we get where we're going. Off to breakfast now.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:20 PM   #24
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Hi Abdmom,

Where did you guys have dinner last night? Those items (potstickers & hot and sour soup) are among my favorites too.

Did you guys have a chance to check out the Olympic venues like the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube?
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:51 PM   #25
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Dingoballs,

I couldn't tell you the name of the restaurant we ate at last night. We got on the bus and drove for about 20 minutes and there was no English sign on the restaurant. There are almost as many restaurants as there are people in Beijing. There's no lack of places to eat.

Quote:
Did you guys have a chance to check out the Olympic venues like the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube?
If I told you everything, you wouldn't need to come on the trip, now would you? I need to leave some Disney magic.
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:57 PM   #26
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Dingoballs,

If I told you everything, you wouldn't need to come on the trip, now would you? I need to leave some Disney magic.

hmmm... I guess you're right.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:53 PM   #27
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We leave for Guilin today. We will hate to leave the Peninsula. It is a really great hotel. Last night we had a buffet dinner in Jing with fabulous food. Yesterday we had a hotpot meal in a restaurant. We finally had the dumplings that we had been missing. My ds ate so much that he didn't want to eat any thing at dinner.

After dinner we saw a kung fu show. I slept through much of it, but ds loved it.

About a block from the hotel is a pedestrian street - Wangfujing street. It looks like this will be a main area for the Olympics festivities- shopping - hanging out etc. Definitely a place to check out.

With regards to the Olympics, they are doing so much renovation throughout Beijing to get ready. I feel like I've arrived early at a party. Construction is proceeding rapidly. Yesterday, Dusty told us that starting July 15, they will shut down several thousand factories in the area so that the air is clean(er) for the Olympics. They will also limit the number of cars on the roads. The air has not been too bad - dd had asthma when she was little, so I brought an inhaler. I haven't needed to use it.

Today we are off to Guilin. We are leaving the hotel at 10 a.m., flight takes off at 12:30 for a 2 1/2 hour flight, so it will be mostly a day of traveling. We stay there only 2 nights before heading to Shanghai.

We are all enjoying the trip very much. I wouldn't hesitate to book another ABD trip again. What am I saying, I am eager to book another ABD trip. I just have to come up with the money!
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:08 PM   #28
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Hi Abdmom,

Good to hear that the Peninsula Beijing is a great hotel and that you guys are enjoying the food & having a great time so far...

Looking forward to reading about your Guilin adventure. Thanks for posting!
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:25 PM   #29
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Thanks for your travel report so far! It looks great
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:40 AM   #30
abdmom
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Hi Everyone

There was no internet service in Guilin. We are now in Shanghai. Even though I have a transformer, it got very hot when I plugged in my computer, so I can't use too much computer time.

Guilin is very beautiful. The hotel was slightly hit and miss. Still first class though. We were there for two nights. The hotel is set in an outdoor modern sculpture park. We did bike riding around the hotel which was great. The BBQ was excellent and probably the best meal we have had so far.

One thing we discovered is that the air over China is always bumpy. There is always turbulence on every flight, so if you are susceptible to that, take precautions.

We are now at the Shanghai Hilton. Nice hotel. Very nice shopping mall down the street, but the prices are higher than in the States. The pool is supposed to be very good, but we haven't seen it yet.

Tonight's dinner is at the Bund. It is the one night where we can dress up, so I'm off to get the kids ready now.

The two English channels on Chinese TV are National Geographic and CNN. The kids are learning a lot from National Geographic.
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