Hoping someone can suggest where to go for 2 nights in between Beijing and Shanghai and then 3 nights in between Shanghai & Hong Kong. Off the beaten path and away from large tour groups - the hidden gems & Anthony Bourdain adventures. Thanks for any advice!
Sorry to admit my ignorance, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by Anthony Bourdain adventures (?). I googled it. Is that more food related?
I have wanted to go forever to the Yellow Mountain "Huang Shan" but have not been able to make it. The most famous ShanShui style paintings (Mountain Water - Water colors) are of the mountains in this region. It's one day out and back. I dont' know how the food is. But it is in the right direction between Beijing & Shanghai.
There are a series of little villages just outside of Shanghai that you can take a speed bus or rent a driver to take you to. They are suppose to have a delicious tea. Hangzhou and Suzhou are beautiful and each are have their own regional delicacies, though I'm not sure if you would consider the parks there to be "touristy". I haven't been there in ages, but they were beautiful then even before the renovations.
Nanjing has a number of great monuments as well as some local delicacies. Is that the kind of thing you're looking for?
These are great! Sorry, by Anthony Bourdain I did mean food but on his show No Reservations he often visits interesting areas that only the locals know about in addition to the bigger cities
Any more suggestions out there? Keep 'em coming my trip is 3 weeks away! thanks!
If this is your first time in China, I suspect you will have more than enough in the way of interesting pictures. I am sure everyone will enjoy if you are able to post a few for the LL community.
I think your best bet is the water villages outside of Shanghai. You can either take the city bus which is quite convenient, or you can hire a car, which you can arrange with the hotel. Hiring a car for the day is fairly affordable all things considered. Though I have heard it's possible to do all four in 1 day, most people take about 2 days using Shanghai as thier base. They are known to have some of the best Shanghai dumplings. In case you are not familiar, Shanghai steamed dumplings differ from regular dumplings in that they are watery/juicey in the middle releasing a broth that comes from the steamed meat goodness contained in the dumpling. YUM!!
Anyway, the Shanghai local government renovated the area and have brought it back to it's beauty.
Hangzhou and SuZhou are nearby Shanghai. Both are very lovely and big tourist spots, though that is a very relative term in comparison to Beijing and Shanghai. SuZhou and Hangzhou, I believe are known pork delicacy that is very fatty, but delicious.
Xian might be nice, though. It is a "smaller" city that is pretty much there for the Terra Cota Warriors. Venturing out and around Xian might be interesting from a "places no one has scene" perspective. If you like the Chinese Farmer Paintings, this area will be better than Shanghai and Beijing for purchasing them. There will be more seleciton and better quality.
Happy to keep sharing. Let me know what you are interested in.
Beijing and Shanghai aren't terribly far from each other. Most people would take the overnight train (sleep in train) from Shanghai and awaken fresh for Beijing. I don't really hear too much people stopping in between. If you want to go out west (though you'll be making a bit of triangle), I would suggest Xian, which is truly amazing. But the cities in between Beijing & Shanghai, might have small cultural areas, but are for the most part industrial. Xian to me is one of the most amazing cities, so if you can fit it in definitely go and see the terracotta warriers.
I would mention though to be careful to give yourself enough time in each city. Often people try to fit in a ton in China which has itself a pretty fast pace. This can really be a bit draining. One can really spend a whole weak in Shanghai or Beijing, particularly if you are shopper like I am. Also, the expat mags tend to have great resources for any hobby you might enjoy. For example, when I was in Shanghai last, I found a cooking class that was taught that I joined. Shanghai to me is wonderful b/c if you ask, the city will provide whatever experience you are looking for. The Chinese love clubs and they are a very approachable helpful people by culture. If you interest is photography, I suspect - particularly given the stereotype of my peeps - that there will be no end in suggestions from the locals.