Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wanted: weekend getaway

The travel bug is back -my feet are itching!

I’ve been staying put for too long now. Need a weekend away. Need a change of scene, some new, exciting environment to get lost in, and the chance to try something new: yes, I’m in the mood for a small trip!

Can obviously only be away for the weekend. Don’t need anything super adventurous, however, some nature would be nice. Any tips/suggestions? Where do I easily go from Shanghai without ruining myself and without spending half the wknd on a train/plane? Is Guilin the place? (not too touristy?) Jiuzhaigou too far away? Qingdao any fun? Xiamen? Xi’an? Or shall I head somewhere small and unheard of?

Share your best travel anecdotes, please!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yellow Mountain

Steven said...

Hi Jonna,

Qingdao is a great place for a weekend getaway, providing the weather cooperates and you find the right mix of rest, relaxation, and activity. There are a ton of places to visit in QD, it all depends on what you like to do/see. Laoshan itself can take more than a weekend to fully explore, if you like hiking. A lot of tourists visit the Tsingtao Brewery and the museum there, and the real treat is trying all the fresh beer at one of the restaurants across the street (the original brewery is at 56 Dengzhou Lu, also called Beer Street, in the Taidong district of Qingdao.

There are a bunch of beaches, many of them numbered. Beach Number 3 in the historic international concession area called Badaguan offers nice views of the city skyline, especially after dark, and is near Cafe Roland, which is a halfway decent place to sit outside in the courtyard, though there are other more reasonably priced and less "exclusive" places along the same stretch. Shilaoren Beach, aka Old Stone Man, is scenic, out near the edge of town on the way out to Laoshan and near the flagship SPR Coffee's first and biggest location in China and a number of boutique hotels catering to vacationers.

The old town is a great place to wander around and take in the pre-liberation foreign architecture styles, like the area around the original city government building built by Germans when Qingdao was a colony before WW1, and the mix of international styles found around the Ocean University of China and Qingdao Art Museum, both on Daxue Lu.

The Spring is cool and breezy, and July and August are hot months, peak season when scores of domestic tourists crowd places like Zhan Qiao pier and the beaches. September and October are a bit warm for N. China at that time of year, this season is called the Autumn Tiger, so maybe this year would be a good time to see that.

For more info and listings, there are a number of resources in English about Qingdao:

www.myredstar.com
www.qingdaochinaguide.com
www.qingdaonese.com
www.qingdaossadventures.com

All of these websites have different styles and are quite useful to obtain information and news on Qingdao events, destinations, hotels, tours and more.

Welcome to Qingdao ~

The Tranquil Trader said...

I second to HuangShan too! (maximum 2 hours on travel time) 黄山!

Steph said...

Come to Taiwan! :)

Little Tiger said...

Hey Jonna,
I haven't been to the other places but have been to Guilin/Yangshuo village. It really was amazing. I flew from SH (Hongqiao airport) and it wasn't a long trip. There was a scenic bus ride from Guilin to Yangshuo of about an hour. I really enjoyed cycling around the villages and countryside on rented bikes. Hostels and restaurants there are good and cheap.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Woooow!, thanks for all the tips and ideas! U guys rock!

Anonymous/ Trader -My bf's has already been to Huang Shan.. maybe I can convince him to go again -this time w me?! :)

Steven -very detailed guide to Qingdao -cheers! I still don't know if Qingdao is too much "city" for me. But it's close by and easy to get to. Let's see!

Tiger -great tip, might have to check that one out.

Steph -Taiwan is too far/too expensive to fly to just for a wknd? No?

Tarja said...

Hi,

I can recommend Jiuzhaigou. It was propably the best trip we have done inside China.

Sichuan airways has straight flights from Shanghai Hongqiao to Jiuzhaigou. From there we took a bus to Jiuzhaigou valley. Hotel had a great location but was basic chinese hotel. Awfull breakfast and no heating. For a few hours per day you had hot water.

The jiuzhaigou valley park was amazing. Just avoid turist busses and walk with your own speed. There were some walking trails open but most of them were closed.The area is so big that you can easily spend one day just walking.. I would have loved to spend our second day in the park but we went to this waterwall called Mutigou. That wasn't worth four hours of driving...

Sorry I don't have more details! The trip was organized by my huspands workmates so we just followed them. The whole vacation was organized by a chinese travel agency and costed something like 3000 rmb for two adults and one toddler. Price included everything, even bottlened water.

Matthew said...

Xiamen is a good weekend trip. There's enough to keep you busy, but not too much to make you feel you need to stay longer.

Or you could skip Xiamen and just on a bus for the Fujian countryside to visit the tulou. It's a few hours from Xiamen to Shuyang. You just need to hire a car and driver to take you around all the sights. Very cool trip.

Lauren said...

Huangshan!!! So good! Anhui Province is so lovely :-)

Anonymous said...

Weekend Getaway Possibilities
1) Putou Island, ZheJiang
Hit 149km east of Hangzhou, to Putou Island( across the sea from Ningbo).
On the way, you may want to take the World's Longest Bridge, across Hangzhou Bay Bridge to NingBo.
Some info at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Putuo

2) Lishui Mountain Town, ZheJiang.
About 140 Km south of Hangzhou.
Lishui, on the Oujiang River, is surrounded by mountains and rivers.
Lishui is known as a photographer's paradise for its spectacular scenery.
Some Info, Chinese site
http://www.lishui.gov.cn/
English Site
http://en.lishui.gov.cn/
If you are more adventurous and interested in ParaGliding, stop at Fuyang town( 20 km South West of Hangzhou, along the way to Lishui.
Key word search "Paragliding China Fuyang".

Enjoy
ThirdEye