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Old November 29, 2011, 05:47 PM   #76
Passepartout
 
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Welcome Home! Glad it was all you hoped for! It turned out to be a life-changing trip for us- in a good way- and we can only hope you caught a little of it too. We are looking forward to hearing about it- after you get rested.

Jim
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Old March 17, 2012, 02:03 AM   #77
flexible
 
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Location: Northern California
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Resorts: El Cid, Mayan, VacationInternationale, Velas Vallarta, RCI Weeks & Points
Smile

We are now in China - 17 Mar-4 May 2012

Arrived nonstop from REP - Siem Reap, Cambodia - great flight but 4:00 AM arrival was too early to take the Shanghai Maglev from PVG to Shanghai hotels - http://www.smtdc.com/en/ (if you show your airline boarding pass you even get a discount on the maglev ride)

17 March 2012 - Marriott Courtyard Shanghai-Pudong 838 Dong Fang Road,Pudong New Area Shanghai, 200122 China

18-25 March 2012 - http://www.wuzhenpengda.com - a DAE exchange
No.466, Longyuan Road,Wuzhen,Tongxiang city, ChinaPh: 0573-88468846 -Marriott told us to take the subway's Line 2 to the Hongqiao Interntional Airport (aka SHA Shanghai International Airport) Train Station. It took me a while to realize these were interchangeable names and not different airports. This train station should get us closer to the Tongxiang City timeshare.

We will be asking the Marriott concierge to help us get train tickets and get directions written in Chinese & English since the number one complaint people seem to mention for timeshare exchanges in China is getting lost and not being able to find someone who can speak English to direct them to the hotel/exchange. Perhaps this only happens in the more remote locations?

Information on the DAE site had: "By Train: When you arrive at Yantai Railway Station, you can transfer to Penglai by coach, ticket can be purchased at Bei Malu Coach Station with walking distance from the railway station. Coach departures every 15 minutes, costs RMB 18 and the travel time is 1 hour and 20 minutes. We suggest to take taxi or Bus No. 5 from Penglai Coach Station to Jingangwan Hotel, taxi costs approx. RMB 7. By Air: Take a taxi from Yantai Laishan Airport to Yantai Coach Station and take coach to penglai. Coach from Yantai to Penglai runs every 15 minutes between 6:00 to 18:00 daily. Price is RMB 18."

Since these 2 timeshare exchanges overlap by 2 days, we will wait until we get there to figure out how long at each resort. I am still uncertain what we will see or do 18-30 March.

23-30 March 2012 - RCI Exchange:
Ramada Hotel WuxiResort ID:A535No.190 Xicheng RoadWuxi,Jiangsu 214041ChinaPhone: 51083135555Website: www.ramadawuxi.comUnit: RESERVE Bedroom :HOTEL;NONE Kitchen Sleeps: 2 Maximum/ 2 Private

30 March 2012 - Marriott Courtyard Shanghai-Pudong 838 Dong Fang Road,Pudong New Area Shanghai, 200122 China - We plan to leave as much as our luggage here as possible. We left home 15 Nov 2011 & have mostly been in tropical climates since. Shanghai is fairly overcast today. Perhaps it is time to buy a new wardrobe considering we are going to Tibet?

http://CruiseCritic.com did not have "Roll Calls" for RCCL Legend of the Seas - Shanghai roundtrips - perhaps because most of the passengers do not speak English?

31 March- 7 April 2012 - Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) Legend of the Seas - Shanghai RT - Cabin 7532

Date Port Arrive Depart Activity
31-Mar Shanghai, China 8:00 PM
01-Apr Cruising Cruising
02-Apr Xiamen, China 8:00 AM 3:00 PM Docked
03-Apr Cruising Cruising
04-Apr Kagoshima, Japan 11:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiran_...k_Peace_Museum
05-Apr Beppu, Japan 11:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked
06-Apr Cruising Cruising
07-Apr Shanghai, China 5:00 AM

7-Apr - Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) Legend of the Seas - Shanghai RT - Cabin 7532
9-Apr - Kagoshima, Japan
10 Apr - Jeju Island, South Korea
http://wikitravel.org/en/Jeju
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...orea&FORM=IGRE
12 Apr Shanghai, China
Viking River Cruises - Four Seasons Hotel

12-27 April 2012 - Viking River Cruises
Shanghai Four Seasons Hotel
Yangze River Cruise
Tibet
Xian
Beijing

27 April - 5 May 2012 - RCI Points timeshare exchange
Blg-Beijing Longtou Apartment
Nanxinyuan West Road
Beijing Beijing 100021 China

4 May 2012 - Beijing Airport
PEK- HKG via Dragon Air (part of Cathay Pacific)
HKG - SFO on Cathay Pacific

Last edited by flexible; March 17, 2012 at 02:47 AM.
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Old March 23, 2012, 06:30 AM   #78
glypnirsgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flexible View Post
We are now in China - 17 Mar-4 May 2012

Arrived nonstop from REP - Siem Reap, Cambodia - great flight but 4:00 AM arrival was too early to take the Shanghai Maglev from PVG to Shanghai hotels - http://www.smtdc.com/en/ (if you show your airline boarding pass you even get a discount on the maglev ride)

17 March 2012 - Marriott Courtyard Shanghai-Pudong 838 Dong Fang Road,Pudong New Area Shanghai, 200122 China

18-25 March 2012 - http://www.wuzhenpengda.com - a DAE exchange
No.466, Longyuan Road,Wuzhen,Tongxiang city, ChinaPh: 0573-88468846 -Marriott told us to take the subway's Line 2 to the Hongqiao Interntional Airport (aka SHA Shanghai International Airport) Train Station. It took me a while to realize these were interchangeable names and not different airports. This train station should get us closer to the Tongxiang City timeshare.

We will be asking the Marriott concierge to help us get train tickets and get directions written in Chinese & English since the number one complaint people seem to mention for timeshare exchanges in China is getting lost and not being able to find someone who can speak English to direct them to the hotel/exchange. Perhaps this only happens in the more remote locations?

Information on the DAE site had: "By Train: When you arrive at Yantai Railway Station, you can transfer to Penglai by coach, ticket can be purchased at Bei Malu Coach Station with walking distance from the railway station. Coach departures every 15 minutes, costs RMB 18 and the travel time is 1 hour and 20 minutes. We suggest to take taxi or Bus No. 5 from Penglai Coach Station to Jingangwan Hotel, taxi costs approx. RMB 7. By Air: Take a taxi from Yantai Laishan Airport to Yantai Coach Station and take coach to penglai. Coach from Yantai to Penglai runs every 15 minutes between 6:00 to 18:00 daily. Price is RMB 18."

Since these 2 timeshare exchanges overlap by 2 days, we will wait until we get there to figure out how long at each resort. I am still uncertain what we will see or do 18-30 March.

23-30 March 2012 - RCI Exchange:
Ramada Hotel WuxiResort ID:A535No.190 Xicheng RoadWuxi,Jiangsu 214041ChinaPhone: 51083135555Website: www.ramadawuxi.comUnit: RESERVE Bedroom :HOTEL;NONE Kitchen Sleeps: 2 Maximum/ 2 Private

30 March 2012 - Marriott Courtyard Shanghai-Pudong 838 Dong Fang Road,Pudong New Area Shanghai, 200122 China - We plan to leave as much as our luggage here as possible. We left home 15 Nov 2011 & have mostly been in tropical climates since. Shanghai is fairly overcast today. Perhaps it is time to buy a new wardrobe considering we are going to Tibet?

http://CruiseCritic.com did not have "Roll Calls" for RCCL Legend of the Seas - Shanghai roundtrips - perhaps because most of the passengers do not speak English?

31 March- 7 April 2012 - Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) Legend of the Seas - Shanghai RT - Cabin 7532

Date Port Arrive Depart Activity
31-Mar Shanghai, China 8:00 PM
01-Apr Cruising Cruising
02-Apr Xiamen, China 8:00 AM 3:00 PM Docked
03-Apr Cruising Cruising
04-Apr Kagoshima, Japan 11:00 AM 7:00 PM Docked
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiran_...k_Peace_Museum
05-Apr Beppu, Japan 11:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked
06-Apr Cruising Cruising
07-Apr Shanghai, China 5:00 AM

7-Apr - Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) Legend of the Seas - Shanghai RT - Cabin 7532
9-Apr - Kagoshima, Japan
10 Apr - Jeju Island, South Korea
http://wikitravel.org/en/Jeju
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...orea&FORM=IGRE
12 Apr Shanghai, China
Viking River Cruises - Four Seasons Hotel

12-27 April 2012 - Viking River Cruises
Shanghai Four Seasons Hotel
Yangze River Cruise
Tibet
Xian
Beijing

27 April - 5 May 2012 - RCI Points timeshare exchange
Blg-Beijing Longtou Apartment
Nanxinyuan West Road
Beijing Beijing 100021 China

4 May 2012 - Beijing Airport
PEK- HKG via Dragon Air (part of Cathay Pacific)
HKG - SFO on Cathay Pacific
This looks like a terrific trip! I hope you are having a wonderful time.

I loved my trip to China. There was such a contrast between their new, vibrant cities (Shanghai), and their ancient sites (Xi'an) and country-side.

elaine
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Old March 23, 2012, 06:32 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by keyon View Post
10Just buy a >>>!
And thanks to you for bumping this thread --- I had missed flexible's posting.

elaine
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Old March 24, 2012, 02:30 AM   #80
flexible
 
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BBS Reg. Date: Jun 20, 08
Location: Northern California
Posts: 553

Resorts: El Cid, Mayan, VacationInternationale, Velas Vallarta, RCI Weeks & Points
Quote:
Originally Posted by flexible View Post
We are now in China - 17 Mar-4 May 2012

18-25 March 2012 - http://www.wuzhenpengda.com/ a DAE exchange
No.466, Longyuan Road,Wuzhen,Tongxiang city, ChinaPh: 0573-88468846 -23-30 March 2012 - RCI Exchange. Ethernet cable in our room. Satellite TV stations were in Chinese only.
We paid 1100 CNY (about $175) for a taxi from Marriott Pudong/Shanghai to Wuzhen Pengda Hotel because it seemed easier than guessing whether we communicate each time we would change from subway/train/bus/bus/to the hotel. Wuzhen is a small town without a railway station.

http://www.wuzhen.com.cn/wuzhen.eng/...e/railway.html might be helpful to others traveling to this area.

http://WuzhenPengda.com (which was a DAE exchange) is across the street from the gate to enter the Wuzhen East & West Scenic Zone:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuzhen Bus K350 goes to/from the Visitor Center to one of the bus stations about 10 minutes away where we took Bus 282 to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongxiang_Railway_Station to get to http://eng.hangzhou.gov.cn

150 CNY for my entrance fee, 105 CNY for my husband's senior rate entrance fee +
200 CNY (about $32 US for both of us together)= English speaking guide (Our guide was with us from 9:00 to 3:00 except while he left us while we ate lunch. He returned 45 minutes later to continue our tour.

We were able to purchase bus tickets in advance at the Wuzhen Scenic Center Visitor Center from the Wuzhen bus to Suzhou City. So we were able to take leave the timeshare exchange hotel, walk down the street for the K350 (outside the visitor's center) and show our bus tickets at the station. That made it easier for people to tell us what bus line to stand in. Seats are pre-assigned.

Once you have taken one bus or train ride, you should be able to recognize which numbers are seat numbers. If you purchase two bus or train tickets the numbers will probably be sequential. However seat 35 might be a window seat in one row and seat 36 is the window seat on the opposite side one row back.

The train car number is usually before the seat number with a space after it. After you figure out which train track to go to, if you look down you will probably see numbers like 1 - 15 or so possible in metal or more visible. You should stand near the number for your train car. You have a limited amount of time to get on the train and it should be easier for you to find your seat if you get on the correct car. The train cars have numbers near on the bottom area near the door. The last numbers usually are the car number. Some of the numbers before that might include the four (or more or less digits) that the train is listed as on the big screen and also on the middle of your ticket.

I am sure someone has written information published in a book or online regarding all of the above, but I was unaware of it. So that is why I am mentioning it in case it might be helpful to a fellow Tugger traveling to China.

We are now at the Ramada Wuxi. Wuxi is much bigger than Wuzhen. Wuxi has a railway station, Starbucks, Walmart, many McDonald's and at least one Starbucks.

Ramada Hotel Wuxi Resort ID:A535 No.190 Xicheng Road Wuxi,Jiangsu 214041 China Phone: 51083135555 Website: www.ramadawuxi.comUnit: RESERVE Bedroom :HOTEL;NONE Kitchen Sleeps: 2 Maximum/ 2 Private.

The hotel arranged a full day tour for us tomorrow.

This was the first time a RCI exchange asked us to show them our RCI membership cards. I was able to access the internet from the front desk so I could show them our membership information on RCI.com. I had the printed confirmation from RCI but I think they were expecting something different. They have been very nice and several employees speak enough English that we are able to communicate.

When traveling in China:

1) Passports were requested when we purchased railway tickets and bus tickets. When we didn't have our passports when we needed bus tickets, they were ok with our only having our California driver's licenses. Foreigners are not allowed to use the self-service ticket kiosks.

2) It is helpful to carry the timeshare exchange location information in both English and CHINESE! Strangers who cannot speak English might be able to point you in the correct direction that way. If you can print a photo of the exterior of your hotel/timeshare on a sheet of paper it might help you communicate to a taxi driver too. Bringing directions from your arrival point (airport/railway station) to your destination from http://maps.google.com might help with a Chinese translation.

When we have found someone who understands some English they have nearly always looked younger than 25 years old. Two of the concierges at Marriott gave us their cell phone numbers which we keep with us (just in case). Nearly everyone has a cell phone in China. I suppose we could get a SIM card so our T-Mobile would work here. But so far, we have encountered doormen at hotels (not where we are staying) willing to call the phone number for the location we are trying to go and then finding a taxi willing to take us there. When we first arrived at Wuxi Rail station, four different taxi drivers declined to give us a ride. Our hotel told us it was because we were less than 3 miles and those drivers wanted more profitable passengers needing to go longer distances. It might be that we misunderstood though.

The Marriott Pudong/Shanghai had cards with "Please drive me to ______" in Chinese and English. There are 10 choices with a check box, then the Chinese translation followed by English for airports, railway stations, maglev, Bund etc.

The same Marriott had a postcard size map with all street names nearby in Chinese and English.

3) Even Chinese women carry rolls of toilet paper when traveling by rail or bus. I've noticed the western style toilet is usually the first or the last if there are five or more stalls. An alternative is to look for a 'disabled person's toilet' outside the men & women's toilets - better stores often have a Western Style toilet for the disabled.


-

Last edited by flexible; March 24, 2012 at 06:10 AM.
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Old March 24, 2012, 03:24 AM   #81
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Resorts: El Cid, Mayan, VacationInternationale, Velas Vallarta, RCI Weeks & Points
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Originally Posted by glypnirsgirl View Post
It was a great trip. I took more than 900 pictures. I will be editing them before posting to photobucket.

elaine
Elaine,
Can you please post a link to your photos onhttp://photobucket.com/ ? Sounds like your planning really paid off to make it such a great trip.

I am able to access Photobucket without a VPN (Virtual Private Network) but not http://Webshots.com where I have a lot of previous travel photos. I started posting travel photos only on facebook a few years ago since I could set the privacy settings for who could see them, but I cannot access facebook in China without a VPN either.

-Georgeann
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Old March 24, 2012, 05:40 PM   #82
glypnirsgirl
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Originally Posted by flexible View Post
Elaine,
Can you please post a link to your photos onhttp://photobucket.com/ ? Sounds like your planning really paid off to make it such a great trip.

I am able to access Photobucket without a VPN (Virtual Private Network) but not http://Webshots.com where I have a lot of previous travel photos. I started posting travel photos only on facebook a few years ago since I could set the privacy settings for who could see them, but I cannot access facebook in China without a VPN either.

-Georgeann
Hi Georgeann - I ended up using Smilebox --- a really dumb decision --- to edit the photos. I would be happy to send you the albums that you are interested in.

I loved the trip. I find myself frequently reflecting on the things that i learned there. I especially enjoyed the private guides. Because we were in most cities for several days, we got to know our guides fairly well. I especially learned a lout from our Beijing guide talking about the differences between now and the cultural revolution.

elaine
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