Keen to know who the other families are on the Pandas and Warriors trip at the end of August. We are a family with 11year old girl and 7 year old boy - who would love to facebook/email any others on the trip. Also any tips from people who have done it before us !!
Not good with this technology - so have been waiting for an email to tell us we had a post ! - so sorry about the delay getting back to you. We are really looking forward to the trip - we travel the day before the tour sets off via Paris (we live in Newcastle - so always good to avoid a london airport) arriving in Beijng Sat lunchtime. Have you done an Exodus trip before ? - we are complete novices and I am very worried we will be bringing too much luggage ! - oh well ... will make (Ian) the husband do the carrying. Haven't had any other replies - so perhaps it will just be us ?
Really looking forward to meeting you - I am Julia, the better half is Ian and kids are Emily (11 nearly 12) and Mark 7 (8 in Sept).
Have been meaning to respond earlier but so busy with work etc! And we are preparing to go to a music festival (camping!) as well! This had been booked long before our trip to China & HK. Anyway, we have been excitedly preparing for our trip next weekend. All sorted out except money. Two days ago I asked Charlotte at Exodus if it was more "advantageous" to take AMEX Yuan travellers cheques; these were only introduced a few months ago. She said she was going to enquire with her colleague/agent in China.
I am Choy, my husband is Nick and our son Alexander will be 10 in November. We are celebrating our china wedding anniversary hence this trip. My in-laws are Jon (Jonathan) and Sally.
We are flying with Emirates via Dubai and expect to arrive in Beijing early afternoon on Sunday. So, you would be arriving earlier than us. Who are you flying with? Ours is a "group flight" so there are others on this trip flying with us. Thus transfer from airport to the Dong Fang Hotel is included.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Good to hear from you. We are flying via Paris with Air France on friday - so arrive on Saturday. Mark is 8 in September, Emily 12 in October. We have dollar travellers cheques. Do you know any of the other hotels we are staying in ? - I found a list on a previous post and they all look good - but we haven't had it confirmed.
Looking forward so much to the trip
We will probably take a mixture of US$ and Sterling travellers cheques. No news as yet re. the Yuan ones. The stretch of the Great Wall we were supposed to go to is now closed and we will be doing the walk between Guibeikou and Jinshanling, also a quiet part.
The hotels we will be staying at are as follows; Dong Fang in Beijing, Jinshanling Hotel, New Friendship Hotel Luoyang, Skytel Hotel Xian (formerly City Lion), Garden City Chengdu, Morning Sun Yangshuo and the YMCA Salisbury Road in HK. They are all featured in Trip Advisor and there are mixed bags of reviews. The YMCA I am reliably informed by friends is in a fantastic location and offers high standard of accommodation. It is next door to The Peninsula, but costs a fraction. Depending on which floor your room is, you may be able to witness the light show at the harbour/water front from you room. But they also said we should go down to the harbour/water front for the atmosphere.
You arrive a whole day earlier than us; has Exodus arranged sight seeing for you? When do you leave HK? We have been advised by friends not to take too much stuff, ie: clothing. Apparently clothes are very cheap in China and HK, but would we have the opportunities to find the "right things". I think the Xian hotel is next to a Carrefour Supermarket, and if it is anything like the one I have been to (on hols) it will sell clothes, shoes etc. They may not be "fashionable" enough though. We are going to try and not pack too much!
Great that you are able to avoid a London airport. We were initailly due to fly KLM from Heathrow, but am so glad we will not be; the potential strike action may well cripple the place.
We have never gone on hols with Exodus before but so far, their customer service people have been very helpful and informative. Look forward to hearing from you.
Crikey you seem well organised and well informed ! Does the closing of the wall mean I will have to walk further ! - we in Newcastle hope not !
We haven't done an exodus trip before (my husband did about 20 years ago) and never anything like this with Kids - so we will all be in it together. So far we have 3 wheelie bags ! - but are packing an extra bag to bring back all the things we buy.
Although we are arriving a day earlier - we aren't officially joining the trip until you arrive - so we have to make our own way from the airport (a worry in itself) and amuse ourselves for Saturday (although as we are flying overnight - not sure how much we will actually do). In Hong Kong we aren't staying any extra nights - but aren't leaving until very late on the Sunday - so arrive back in the UK early Monday morning.
Can you believe that this time next week we will be in Beijing. Have you been to China before ?
Wow! You have packed already! I have been washing and ironing etc since returning from our camping trip. Have not gone anywhere near our suitcases as yet.
I think the distance of our "new" walk at the Great Wall is about the same as the previously intended one. I have seen photos on the web and the scenery is rather spectacular. Alexander and I went to see the new Karate Kid movie, and there were scenes shot at the Great Wall and Forbidden City; just so awesome. I think I will just gawp when I get there! Sorry! I am sure we can do as little or as much walking as we want to at the Great Wall. It is not going to be a marathon session so we can walk at a gentle pace. At least I hope so.
We have never done an escorted trip before. We are looking forward very much to this adventure, which is what it will be. Every bit of the trip sounds really exciting! I have never been to China. Sally has been for business trips a few times but they were flying visits only. Alexander would like to have a photo or two or three taken with a panda; I think we all would like to do the same. Do you think this is something you might want to do?
Re. transfers from Beijing Airport to the hotel. Exodus can arrange transfers if you wish. Same for return from YMCA in HK to the airport. Apparently it is very easy to get the airport train. Or could get hotel to order taxi.
It is good I think you will have a rest day before our adventure commences. It is such a packed itinerary. I think we will all meet up on Sunday evening for dinner, Peking Duck meal I believe. We are scheduled to land in Beijing in mid-afternoon.
The reason we are going on this trip is because of the Pandas -Emily is a huge fan (everything is pandas in her life - at the moment !) - so yes we are up for pictures with Pandas. We went to see Karate kid too - really got us excited about the trip and the kung fu (the reason we are going for Mark). We haven't done a trip like this before either (in fact me and the kids have never travelled East) - so am excited to experience such a different culture - although a chinese friend of ours has warned us that we may get a shock what we are served in the way of food.
See you Sunday .....
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