A week in Mainland China?

Hey Guys,

I wonder if I should take a week in mainland China this summer??? I’ll be in Taiwan the month of June on vacation and I was planning on staying there the whole time… but it suddenly hit me. There are direct flights to China now and I wonder where I might go.

Like many of you, I cut my linguistic teeth in Taiwan and I don’t expect many communication problems. Where have you gone that rocked? Where would you go? Where is the REAL interesting and fun China?

‘Real’ is hard to come by as almost cultural relics you might find interesting are recreations of things destroyed to a greater of lesser degree during the cultural revolution. I don’t find much interesting in dirty, congested cities, dirt-poor countryside or phony tourist attractions packed with huge crowds of dirty, unwashed, so-called middle-class oiks from the cities. There are some decent bars and clubs in Shanghai and Beijing, but you can find those almost anywhere in the world.
Really, almost anywhere else in Asia is more real, more interesting and more fun than China. But hey, it depends on how you define interesting and fun.

What part of China is NOT the mainland, apart from Hainan, Macau and Hong Kong?

Go to Vietnam instead, or Cambodia, or Thailand. Much more interesting: they still actually have a culture.

With due respect to urodacus and redwagon, they absolutely have no idea what they’re talking about. The “cultural” experiences I’ve had in China, being a young guy with a backpack, not a lot of money, and the ablility to speak Chinese, far outstripped any of the “cultural” experiences I had in Cambodia, Thailand, or Bali (Myanmar’s the exception; that place blew my mind.)

Being able to speak Chinese, you’ll have a much more interesting time deep in western Fujian province, southern Guizhou province, or western Sichuan approaching Tibet than you would in some backpacker haven in Thailand. The problem is that for all of these really fascinating places, a week is not nearly enough. Even if you just chose one and was able to fly directly there, you would still need really at least 2 weeks to enjoy it, but ideally a month.

A week in Shanghai or Beijing wouldn’t nearly be as interesting, but as a Chinese student I’d recommend at least checking Beijing out and trying to chat with a taxi driver or a bicycle repairman.

Another problem is getting a visa to China, especially if you’re an American.

Beijing-xian-datong and Chengde if you still have the time.

Taiwan. :slight_smile:

Chris, Taiwan is not part of China, fer feck’s sake. That’s the whole fucking point. Taiwan is part of the Republic of Wishful Fucking KMT Thinking (including Penghu, etc), while China is the only part of the People’s Republic of China.

Calling China “Mainland China” only reinforces the totally misguided idea that the KMT never lost the war, are not a government in exile, and shit gold bullion and piss champagne.

[quote=“urodacus”]Chris, Taiwan is not part of China, fer feck’s sake. That’s the whole fucking point. Taiwan is part of the Republic of Wishful Fucking KMT Thinking (including Penghu, etc), while China is the only part of the People’s Republic of China.

Calling China “Mainland China” only reinforces the totally misguided idea that the KMT never lost the war, are not a government in exile, and shit gold bullion and piss champagne.[/quote]

:bravo:

I nominate this for classic post status. Though totally off-topic!

:popcorn:

I second that nomination.
Knowing Chris was being tongue-in-cheek ( I think…) makes it even funnier.

Of course I have no idea. I only lived there for 2.5 years. WTF would I know?

I would have nominated Tibet, but that’s been totally fucked up and any tour there now reeks of mind-control.

I would have nominated SzeChuan, but that’s all been flattened, and besides, the propaganda pandas can be seen in Taiwan too…

I would have nominated Inner Mongolia, but Mongolia’s much better, and it’s a bit cold at the moment.

I would have nominated Beijing, but they’re cunts, and besides, the better goodies are sitting in the National Palace Museum in Taipei, having been looted by the KMT.

I would have nominated the Gobi Desert, but go to Azerbaijan instead for much the same experience.

Why hand your well earned cash directly to the commercialised money grubbing sons of Mao when you can instead hand your well-earned over to any of a vast number of other Asian commercialised money grubbers and have vastly better weather, air, water, and food?

Western Sichuan is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Not commercialized, polluted, dirty or anything like that. China is a big place, and there are many great places to visit.

Personally I enjoyed China much more than South East Asia.

From what I know he is not permitted entry to Chung Nan hai, if that is what you mean, so where will he meet them?? The people of Beijing however are fantastic.

My best ever holiday was in Xinjiang. Better than anywhere I’ve been in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australasia, well, anywhere. But that’s closed off now, mostly.

There are other parts of western China that are still mostly unspoiled, less visited. Sichuan would be good, I reckon. Urodacus says it’s been flattened, but the best part of it is the countryside vistas and mountains. The earthquake was not so powerful that it flattened all the mountains.

Think also about Guizhou - very untravelled but very beautiful. It can be combined with Yangshuo/Li River near Guilin.

China is a big place. There are many beautiful places in it. Personally, I wouldn’t visit (not sure they’d actually give me a visa anyway), but I am sure you can find much to do. I just like taking the piss out of China. :slight_smile:

Yup, that’s a fun activity. Particularly when they respond with the typical sense-of-humour failure.

Datong is definitely on my to-do list, but try to do the direct flights from Shungshan, it is cheaper and easier,transport wise.

harbin in this weather. How could I forget???

Yunnan province would be great to visit I’d guess…food, minorities, great landscapes, interesting mix of SE Asian and Chinese culture. I think people are overly negative about China…such a huge and diverse place.

India is huge and diverse, and every day will bring at least one moment of pure magic. So will Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam etc.

All the time I spent living, working and traveling in China I was waiting for one magic moment to come. Just one.

Fail.

Yes China is big and yes it is interesting in a way, but no magic. Ever. For me it will never anything more than a place to work and make money, and rush away from as soon as work is done. I would go to any other country in Asia to travel but never again China.