Wow. Planning the China Trip is really getting exciting for me. I’m going to get to see some of the things I’ve heard about for most of my life – things that are on “The List” of stuff I just had to do like Hong Kong Harbor, Beijing, and more. China’s Yellow Mountains are on my list as are is the Terra Cotta army in X’ian, but those will probably have to wait for the next trip because this one is filling up fast and, frankly, I’d rather relax and enjoy things than try to see too much stuff on my first trip over.
It now appears that the best approach may be to fly to Hong Kong. I’m finding the Hong Kong flights are in the $700 range rather than the $1000+ to Beijing, and Hong Kong is somewhat closer to Xiamen where I’ll be at the SES China conference. Also, I’ve learned that the train system in China is modern, comfortable, cheap, and extensive. I like the idea of rolling along between cities rather than just plane hopping, and since I have the time I’m thinking a good route might be this:
Fly SFO to Hong Kong and spend a few days seeing Hong Kong Harbor and the city.
Get a deluxe sleeper car for the trip to Xiamen.
Continue on the train to Beijing where I’m meeting up with friends.
Train Beijing to Shanghai if we decide to go there.
Train from Shanghai to Hong Kong, perhaps stopping in any neat places I scoped out during the earlier trip in opposite direction.