i would like to visit beijing and xian in the spring. i have always been an independent traveler, but wonder if this is a good idea in china. does anyone know if it is difficult to arrange tours once you get to china? or would this be better arranged as a land package from home? there seem to be a lot of packages available on the internet, but i have never done this type of travel. i would prefer to go there and then make arrangements that appear suitable if this isn't foolhardy. my previous travel has been for 2-3 months at a time in europe and and australia and i had no problems as there were always enough english speakers to make good choices. i will only be in china for about 2-3 weeks this time though and am not sure if this would be wise in this instance. can anyone please advise me on the smartest way to approach this trip? thank you, omax
Independent traveling in China can be frustrating at times but is also rewarding.
I have not been to Xian and not been to Beijing in a long time, but,
Hotels/hostels should be able to arrange local tours. Or you can take the bus/metro and do it on your own.
English should be ok at tourist spots. You can have your hotel write things down in Chinese to help you.
You may want to learn some basic Chinese greetings just for fun. I like http://www.chinesepod.com for that.
Remember the first week in May is a public holiday. Travel is more difficult during public holidays.
It'd be cheaper to do it on your own. Many travellers come to China without being on tours, they bring their guidebooks and a phrasebook to ease out communication problems -- Rough Guide's Mandarin is a good choice.
If you want ideas and help with itinerary and logistics for your trip, feel free to VTMail me directly. I'm studying in Shanghai and have been travelling extensively in mainland China for the last 3.5 years.
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