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Old 06-08-2008, 07:30 AM   #31
Kareau
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Glad youíre back Abdmom. I missed hearing your reports for the past few days. How was the river cruise in Guilin?

Yesterday I was speaking to someone who just came back from China and she told me that for all inter-China flights, the luggage restrictions were 30 lbs for checked bags and 11 lbs for carry-on. Have you or anyone else on the trip had a problem with these restrictions?

Canít wait to hear about Shanghai!
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:02 AM   #32
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Hi Abdmom,

Glad to hear that you guys enjoyed Guilin. It sounds like Shanghai will be a big change in scenery. And thanks for the warning about air turbulence.

By the way, did the ABD guides mention anything about the pandas at the Beijing Zoo or what their thoughts are about putting Chengdu back on the itinerary?
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:42 PM   #33
abd4me
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Thanks for posting! I would love to do this trip, and it's great to hear about it as you go!
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:36 PM   #34
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The Guilin river cruise was fantastic. It was difficult to capture on film/disc how beautiful the scenery was. Afterwards we had 2 hours for shopping at a local market. This is a good stop to pick up souvenirs.

The Beijing zoo just got 8 pandas from Wolong for the Olympics. We were lucky enough to see them. Very cute.

The government of China is not permitting any tour groups into Chengdu at the moment. ABD has no control over that. So, it is up to the government as to when they will allow tour groups back in. There is no telling as to when that will be.

Overall, we have had to be flexible with our itinerary expectations. Yesterday, we were supposed to see the Childrens Palace, but it is a National Holiday for the entire time we are in Shanghai, so it is unknown whether we will be able to see the Children's Palace. In general, Dusty and ABD have been fantastic in substituting other activities as necessary at the last minute.

With regards to luggage, one good thing about ABD, they do have a lot of magical pixie dust that helps our luggage fly. I would keep to North American standards and you should be fine.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:45 PM   #35
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Thanks AbdMom. Where did you guys go today? Does the Shanghai Hilton have any good restaurants like the Peninsula Beijing? Did you say you guys went to dinner at a restaurant on the Bund? How was that? (sorry for all the questions but inquiring minds want to know...)
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:27 PM   #36
Traveling Tinkerbell
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We are so excited to read about your adventures in China! We will be leaving this Friday June 13 for our flight over to Beijing for our China ABD tour. We have a few more questions - What airline is Disney using to fly between the cities? Have you used any of the laundry facilities in the hotels yet? Have you had any rainy days during the trip so far? Have you found ATM machines to be easily available on the trip? We can't wait to hear your next news about your trip! Thank you!!
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:42 AM   #37
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Last night we had dinner at M on the Bund. Excellent food and a panoramic view. Unfortunately, it has been very hazy in Shanghai, so it is difficult to see very far. Afterwards, about half of the group elected to wander around the Bund on their own. We were tired so took the bus back to the hotel.

Today we went to Fuxin Park and then did some shopping. DS found Nirvana - a place that sells Nintendo DS and Gameboy games. Very cheap compared to home. My main question was - will they work? Out of 4 games purchased, two work well and are in Engligh. The other two are in some form of Spanish/English with Chinese grammar. Well, ds is still very happy and doesn't really care.

It was very hot here and it did rain lightly today. DS complained of a sore throat and I had difficulty breathing at one point. There is lots of public smoking here. The air in Shanghai is significantly better INSIDE than out. Tomorrow, we will pre-medicate with Claritin.

We had a spectacular lunch at the Grand Hyatt. This afternoon we had off. Fred tried to take us to have laundry done, but even the local laundry was expensive, so many of us just carried the laundry back to the hotel. This is the first hotel that I have looked at the laundry prices. Laundry was not available in Guilin, but it was at the Peninsula. Here, at the Hilton, a pair of shorts is about $5 and a t-shirt is $6. Since most of my laundry is my children's clothes, I could almost buy new for that price. I did some laundry in the sink. We shall see if it dries.

The Hilton has a nice breakfast buffet, but it is a much busier hotel than the Peninsula. It does have a nice pool which I had to drag dd out of after more than an hour. There is a bakery in the lobby which looks great. We may try that after dinner. We ordered room service from a very extensive menu. The prices are not too bad for hotel room service - $14 for spaghetti, $7 for French Onion soup. After my long hot trip carrying many pounds of laundry, I am taking this option rather than trying one of the many restaurants nearby.

I have not been spending much money, so haven't had to hit the ATM frequently. There is a handy ATM on B2 of the Peninsula hotel and another one in the lobby of the Shanghai Hilton. No ATM in Guilin.

So far, both of our inter-China flights have been on China Southern Airlines. Yesterday, the plane pulled away from the gate when there were still about 10-15 people in the aisle getting to their seats. Luckily, they got seated before we started moving too quickly. We've had the same movie on both flights. It's a really bizarre movie too. Also both 2 hour flights had full meal service. ABD also gave us box lunches to carry on the flights. We really haven't suffered from a lack of food on this trip! The hotels provide bottled water in the rooms. The guides also hand out water on the buses. You can't even brush your teeth with the local water.

Tomorrow we are going to the Science and Technology museum. It's supposed to be the largest one in Asia.

The electricity is not "good" here. When my laptop is plugged in (using a transformer), the screen dims and brightens in a 5 second cycle.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:05 AM   #38
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Hi Abdmom,

Thanks for the fascinating report from Shanghai... how expensive is the local laundry? Is it a laundromat type of operation or more like our dry cleaners?

Is the Grand Hyatt located within a skyscraper?

How are the rooms at the Hilton compared to those of the Peninsula and Guilin?

Glad to hear that the Hilton has a nice breakfast buffet. It's very important to start the long day with a good meal...
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:15 AM   #39
abdmom
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Local laundry is more like our drycleaners. There are no laundromats in Shanghai, or Beijing or Guilin. If I had to do it again, I would just send them to the hotel laundry. The local laundry prices were not really any different from the hotel laundry.

The Grand Hyatt is located within a skyscraper in the financial district.

Rooms at the Hilton are not as nice as the Peninsula or the Moma Hotel in Guilin. I have heeard from others that the climate control in their rooms is not adequate.

It has been raining in Shanghai today and last night. It is very damp everywhere, including within the hotel.

We went to the Science and Technology museum this morning. Excellent museum.

We must pack this afternoon for our flight to Hong Kong. We leave the hotel around 6 a.m. and have dinner and an acrobatic show this evening. Luggage must be out of the room at 5 a.m.

It seems to me that the planning for Shanghai was not as good as for the other cities. We are here for 3 days, but only 2 in Hong Kong. There have not been many activities in Shanghai. Just activities planned for yesterday morning and this morning and night. I am planning to spend extra days in Hong Kong so that we can see more. Most of the other travelers are going straight home though.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:10 AM   #40
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Thanks for the update Abdmom.

When you say the hotel is also damp, do you mean it's humid INSIDE the hotel?? Is it because the hotel doesn't set the A/C properly?

And please confirm: did you say the luggage has to be ready to go at 5 AM???

Also, if you haven't been keeping tabs, the heavy rains have caused flooding and landslides in Hong Kong. I hope things have tried out a bit by the time you get there tomorrow...
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:16 PM   #41
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Thanks abdmom.
I was wondering about all of that free time in Shanghai even before you reported!. Are the guides giving people ideas to do with those 3 days? Why are you having to leave the Hilton so early? Does that give you more time in Disneyland?
Is it better to use umbrellas, raincoats, or ponchos? I hope it has dried out for you in HK.
Which city have you enjoyed the most?
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:06 PM   #42
abdmom
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They amended the time the bags had to be outside out door to to later: 5:15 a.m. We had to be on the bus at 6 a.m. The Hilton opened the breakfast buffet early for us. It was a very long day on Wednesday.

Hong Kong Disneyland is fantastic. A very small park, but very uncrowded, at least at the time we were there. It closes at 8 p.m. By the time we got to the hotel and had a short orientation, it was 3 pm. We also had a full tour day the next day. If we had left Shanghai later, we wouldn't have had any time at the park. We all felt that the 5 hours at the park the first day and a couple of hours that we managed to squeeze in the next day were not enough to "do" the park. In addition, there is much to see in Hong Kong. We really would have liked AT LEAST one or two additional days of tour in Hong Kong. As it is, we are spending 3 extra days here and I fear that we still won't be able to get enough Disneyland in.

Yes, the Hilton was damp. Things that we take for granted, like air condiitoning, are not always a given in China. The drivers are a little crazy too. They don't follow the same driving conventions that we do. I would not want to drive there.

The Hong Kong Disneyland hotel is very well appointed. It's had the best air conditioning of any hotel that we have had so far. The airport had been shut down for some time the week before we arrived, but we did not see any effects of the flooding, except for very green foliage everywhere. It is extremely humid and warm here.

Just some random summary thoughts. If I had to do it again, I might consider a double and a single booking instead of a triple. It has been quite crowded in the rooms with all our luggage. Right now dd and ds are sharing a bed - not the best arrangement. The guides, Fred and Dusty, were FANTASTIC. The planning for the trip was superb. I would have preferred to cut out Shanghai completely - I found it very smoggy and there wasn't much to interest us - and add more days in Hong Kong. Even though we had 2 extra days in Beijing, that was about right for us with a total of 5 tour days there. Three would not have been enough. We flew economy over here - we're flying business class back. Business class upgrades were not available when we booked. People who did fly business class had much fewer problems with jet lag than we did. If you can, try to get an upgrade. The kids have loved the tour, their guides and the other travelers. I have to get them up for breakfast now and I expect some tears after they see their fellow travelers for the last time.

abdmom
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:47 PM   #43
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Good to hear from you again abdmom! Thanks for all of your info
It sounds like you had a great trip. I am glad you think HK Disneyland is worth while even though it is small. It is nice to end the trip with a nice park and good hotel. We are packing right now and leave tomorrow to follow your steps Hope you have a great flight home.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:20 PM   #44
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Hi Abdmom,

Thanks for taking the time to blog during the trip. I really enjoyed your reports and found them very informative and useful for our trip in Sept.

Have a great post-ABD time in Hong Kong visiting with the family. I'm sure you guys will have a great time in Hawaii too.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:08 PM   #45
Kareau
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Iím going to miss your reports abdmom. It sounds like you had a great trip. I didnít think it was possible, but now Iím even more excited about my trip. Have fun on the rest of your holiday and have a safe trip home.

Traveling Tinkerbell, have a terrific time. I hope that you post either during or after the trip so that we can hear about your adventures.
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