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$49 Shanghai Tours

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  • May 14th, 2013 9:16 am
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[OP]
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$49 Shanghai Tours

Are those cheap tours (for ethnic Chinese abroad) to China worth it? Has anyone done the $49 8-day Shanghai tour? What's the best way to incorporate that plus a HK trip together? Right now we are thinking flying to Shanghai, doing the tour, flying to HK, then fly back to Edmonton. Seems like China Eastern or AC are possible. But all has its hassles. We'd prefer not to backtrack (i.e., fly back to Shanghai and then fly back to Edmonton). Should one book flights through the travel agent, or do it ourselves and just get them to book the tour? Or has anyone tried booking round-trip HK, and then figuring out separately how to get to Shanghai (or is that even possible with these tours.... do we need to arrive from Canada?)?

Is Shanghai going to be really cold in December? Would it be preferable to do the Shanghai part end of November rather than at the end of our trip (mid-Dec) after HK?
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Feb 10, 2007
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I would go with a more expensive tour. As with everything, you get what you pay for. It's better to have a nicer experience and spend a little more than to have a bad time on your vacation. It also gets quite cold in the wintertime in Shanghai but it doesn't snow very much. It's more of a humid/wet cold as opposed to the dry cold we get here in Canada.
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Whats included in the $49 8-days tour? Sounds very cheap...
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[OP]
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AcidBomber wrote:
Sep 14th, 2011 9:22 pm
Whats included in the $49 8-days tour? Sounds very cheap...

This. Don't ask me what it says. I can't read it. :razz: Basically you see all the major attractions in the region, a different hotel a day as you travel. They are cheap because they are shopping tours (i.e., they make you go to places where they try to sell you stuff). I am planning on feining "I don't understand Chinese" if the salespeople bother me (which is partially true, because I can't understand a word of Mandarin). Hahaha.

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Sep 8, 2007
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Ohh!

I have been searching for this for some time now. Thanks!

From what I can see, it is only offered to people with Non-Chinese passports. It is their way (Chinese Gov't) to obtain more foreign currency from travelers.

I have been to China during the Dec/Jan months and It is very cold! You will need a winter jacket and layers to stay warm!
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Nov 29, 2005
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I believe the offer is only valid to people who hold a US or Canadian passport.
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Feb 22, 2007
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My parents just went on this exact tour two Weeks ago actually. They did the exact same thing add you're looking to do. They flew from Edmonton to Shanghai, then Shanghai to Hong Kong, and will be flying back to Edmonton soon.

Have you ever been on a Chinese tour? For example like those from the tour companies from Hong Kong? It's pretty much one of those. To subsidize the cheap cost, they bring you to lots of stores for shopping. My parents said they weren't pressured into buying anything, but they did get brought to a number of places.

According to my parents, all the hotels were nice, the food is ok, and the attraction is fine.
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jchin wrote:
Sep 15th, 2011 12:15 pm
My parents just went on this exact tour two Weeks ago actually. They did the exact same thing add you're looking to do. They flew from Edmonton to Shanghai, then Shanghai to Hong Kong, and will be flying back to Edmonton soon.

Have you ever been on a Chinese tour? For example like those from the tour companies from Hong Kong? It's pretty much one of those. To subsidize the cheap cost, they bring you to lots of stores for shopping. My parents said they weren't pressured into buying anything, but they did get brought to a number of places.

According to my parents, all the hotels were nice, the food is ok, and the attraction is fine.

I went on one to Taipei (Hong Thai Tour) and I thought it sucked. I saw all the major sites but so quickly and then they make you listen to these people talk about the health benefits of pearl, tea, other stupid crap, etc. But that's the difference between cheap and expensive. We didn't spend a dime except for stocking up on snacks at "village" stalls. Gotta love Chinese snacks. :-D

Which airline did they take? I think AC may be my only option due to dates, but I heard China Eastern is nice and roomy. I'm not expecting a lot on the trip but since I've never been there, it will be interesting, regardless of the shopping stops. I will feign no Chinese and listen to my iPod and pretend to be a kid. My parents can deal with the salespeople... hahaha. Wonder if I will run into any RFDers.
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kreisleriana wrote:
Sep 15th, 2011 1:01 pm
I went on one to Taipei (Hong Thai Tour) and I thought it sucked. I saw all the major sites but so quickly and then they make you listen to these people talk about the health benefits of pearl, tea, other stupid crap, etc. But that's the difference between cheap and expensive. We didn't spend a dime except for stocking up on snacks at "village" stalls. Gotta love Chinese snacks. :-D

Which airline did they take? I think AC may be my only option due to dates, but I heard China Eastern is nice and roomy. I'm not expecting a lot on the trip but since I've never been there, it will be interesting, regardless of the shopping stops. I will feign no Chinese and listen to my iPod and pretend to be a kid. My parents can deal with the salespeople... hahaha. Wonder if I will run into any RFDers.

It's pretty much one of those Hong Thai tours, but with more shopping. They will bring you to all the sights they say they will, but you just go through them quickly so they can bring you to shopping. My parents said for the Shanghai tour they got brought to shops for jade, tea, silk, etc.

If you look at a pure dollar point of view, it's a steal of a deal. You get 6 nights of hotel, all food, and transport paid for. My parents said for the first night in Shanghai they stayed at the Ramada. However, in exchange you just have to put up with the shopping excursions. You also can't "leave" the tour without a penalty. For example, you just can't decide to skip a day with the tour, and do your own thing.

My parents took AC. They did a multi-city segment so they didn't have to backtrack to Shanghai coming back to Edmonton. That might be a bad decision now considering AC flight attendants might strike when they are supposed to be coming back.

One point of note, I don't know if you can actually read the brochure, but it's specifically specified that the tour guides will only speak Cantonese/Mandarin, no English.

As for the weather, Shanghai is definitely not as cold as Edmonton. If you're looking to go in late November it still can't be that bad. I went to Beijing a couple of years ago in January and that was pretty cold. Didn't help that I underestimated the weather and didn't bring enough clothes.
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actionj wrote:
Sep 14th, 2011 9:27 pm
Here's one of the links:

http://www.supervacation.ca/ch/content/china/sha07.pdf

You'll have to understand chinese to read it. :confused:
kreisleriana wrote:
Sep 15th, 2011 4:48 am
This. Don't ask me what it says. I can't read it. :razz: Basically you see all the major attractions in the region, a different hotel a day as you travel. They are cheap because they are shopping tours (i.e., they make you go to places where they try to sell you stuff). I am planning on feining "I don't understand Chinese" if the salespeople bother me (which is partially true, because I can't understand a word of Mandarin). Hahaha.

http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n59 ... AG0012.jpg

So its actually a 8-days tour of Shanghai/Nanjing/Suzhou/Hangzhou...
i guess with the hotel its worth the money, but you really dont get to visit many attractions at all.

For Shanghai, you only get to go to: -玉佛寺-上海城隍廟-長江大橋 -上海世博園區-外灘... which you can do in like half a day... :confused:

I was in Shanghai for 4 days last month so i can comment on that portion a bit...
on that list, the only thing worth going to (imo) is The Bund (外灘). the World Expo area is pretty crap now after they took down a lot of temporary structures - not much to see. if you go to the Expo, its only worth visiting the China Pavilion (line up to get in was like 2 hrs...). so i think with the tour, you probably just get to walk (or sit on the bus) around along the expo streets instead of going inside.
Im not a big fan of temples, so 玉佛寺 would be boring for me.
上海城隍廟 is OK, but its basically streets with lots of shops in olden structures... Yu Garden (豫园) is within the area which was pretty cool i guess (kind of like an ancient mini-palace).

personally, i would pay more and go myself to visit attractions since i hate being dragged to shop by the tours...
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My brother-in-law, his wife and daughter did the $99 Beijing tour in August. They said the hotels were 5 stars, the food were good (breakfast was the best with tons of variety) and yes, it's more of a shopping tour. They weren't pressured to buy. I was told that their daughter had to pay more (kids have no buying power it seems, LOL!) and Mandarin/Cantonese were spoken. There are similar English speaking tours but it costs more than $99.

FYI, they flew to HK from YVR and bought tixs to Beijing as they wanted to visit relatives in HK.
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yogilo wrote:
Sep 16th, 2011 12:32 pm
My brother-in-law, his wife and daughter did the $99 Beijing tour in August. They said the hotels were 5 stars, the food were good (breakfast was the best with tons of variety) and yes, it's more of a shopping tour. They weren't pressured to buy. I was told that their daughter had to pay more (kids have no buying power it seems, LOL!) and Mandarin/Cantonese were spoken. There are similar English speaking tours but it costs more than $99.

FYI, they flew to HK from YVR and bought tixs to Beijing as they wanted to visit relatives in HK.

Another option would be to buy a multi-stop ticket with different arrival/departure city.
For example, Toronto - Shanghai, then Hong Kong - Toronto. That way you can join the tour and save a 1-way ticket and the hassle to go back to Shanghai or wherever.

For Air Canada I think it's usually a bit more expensive if you're not doing round trip... Better to play around with the fares or contact a travel agency.
I bought tickets from Toronto - Beijing, Hong Kong - Toronto on United/Continental which worked out to be cheaper than round trip. And it was more convenient and made sense to squeeze a trip to Shanghai in between so I didn't have to back track.
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[OP]
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So I booked. $1232 total flight. AC Edm to Shanghai. Some other airline Shanghai to HK. AC HK to Edmonton. Those in Vancouver can probably get a bit more cheaper with a Chinese airline but they don't fly out of Edmonton nor have a partnering airline, so the extra AC/Westjet YEG-YVR would make it cost even more.

I think one has to really shop around the travel agencies. Another quote I had today was $200 more!!
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