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China

Best Time to Go to China

China's climate is as wide-ranging as the country is vast. Overall, fall is best for an extended visit. Spring can be nice, but also damp, and may even be disrupted by a dust storm. Summer is swelteringly hot and rainy, and winter is cold to the north. September is the only time of year when weather conditions allow certain ancient paintings to be displayed at Beijing Palace Museum. There's really no avoiding crowds in China, and the first week of both May and October, the months of June through September, as well as January and February will be especially busy with fierce competition for hotel rooms or space on planes and trains.

China on a Budget

Accommodations, more expensive in the east than in the west, range from modern to rustic. The more rustic, the less likely you'll find staff who speak English, but also the more likely you can partake in a national pastime: bargaining. Unless you're in a supermarket or department store, bargain, barter, negotiate -- don't show your enthusiasm for an item and don't get angry. It's a game. Learn a few phrases and be willing to walk away if you don't like the deal. Taxi drivers, hotel and restaurant staff are generally not allowed to accept tips, so there's one place you'll save money. One place not to economize: bottled water. The local tap water could make you sick.

China Trip Reviews

Fantastic trip to Beijing by Alan Liebowitz
Thank you, Independent Traveler, for turning me on to China Spree's 8-day Timeless Beijing tour. When I saw it advertised, I really thought it had to be a scam as the price was so low. It wasn't, and I had a tremendous experience, also fulfilling a lifelong dream by walking on the Great Wall. Traveling alone ... Read more!

Japanese Hot Spring Inn (Onsen-Ryokan) by rogue.wave.traveler
In early 2014, I had the incredible opportunity to travel around Japan by cruise. It was a 14 night sailing on Azamara Journey, a smaller ship hosting only 694 guests with a focus on the destinations as well as fantastic customer service. The itinerary began in Hong Kong and included stops in China, Taiwan and ... Read more!

From Guilin to Yangshuo, The Li River Cruise - China by Lara G
October 4, 2012: Video: http://youtu.be/OOhkMASv5XY Today we enjoyed a half-day excursion cruising the Li River, with its dramatic limestone peaks and serene scenes of rural Chinese life that is so different from the city life. The Li River is the only river in China that runs from north to south, all other ... Read more!

See All China Trip Reviews
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