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Shanghai > Tokyo > Shanghai -- Travel Report

Discussion in 'Travel' started by DavidUSA, 11 Sep 2016.

  1. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    I just flew to Tokyo on Spring Airlines from Shanghai. From Shanghai, they also fly to places such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

    A round-trip ticket from Bangkok to Shanghai can set you back less than $180 if you catch a promotion and around $207 - $250 if you do not. Like elsewhere, it depends on the dates.

    A round-trip ticket from Shanghai to Ibaraki (Tokyo) set me back exactly $102 because I was on deck and caught the promotion. I was ready to click when the first moment came (I had already created an account and I had entered my info). Check their website to catch their promotions. Cheap flights, airline tickets, find and book cheap flight online-Spring Airlines

    It is no wonder that the Chinese tourists spend so little money in Thailand. They spent little to get there, and they would not have come if it were expensive.

    So it is easy to get to China on Spring Airlines, and once you are here (China now has a 24 hour transit visa so you can leave the airport and check things out) you can continue to Japan or South Korea very cheaply.

    Ibaraki airport is one hour and forty minutes outside of Tokyo (by bus). Ibaraki's website makes it easy to reserve a bus ride to and from the airport (only $5). The airport is tiny, clean, and efficient. The bus drops you off at Tokyo station. Be aware that the place the bus drops you off is not the same place the bus will pick you up at for the return trip.

    Flights inside China can be dirt cheap. I am headed up to the far north of China: round-trip less than $50 (promotion). One-hour flights can go for $15 (similar to a promotion on Nok or Air Asia).

    Spring Airlines has good service and a solid safety record.
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2016
  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    What a coincidence, DavidUSA,

    Thinking about a double dose of Disney. Tokyo and Shanghai, this may be the route to take

    Thank you for the post
     
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  3. gungchang

    gungchang Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to take my wife to Disneyland. Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo are the options.

    This won't happen until we return to Bangkok. We'd do it on a stopover.

    Double dose? I grew up within bicycling distance of Disneyland in Anaheim. I'd go once to give my wife a taste of the childhood she never had. But twice? You'll grow mouse ears!
     
  4. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    we usually go once a year to Hong Kong for the Disney fix and once to Singapore for the universal/Lego land/hello kitty & Thomas the tank engine fix. Can't get enough of it!
     
  5. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Shanghai

    Hotels

    I stayed in a cheap hotel near the Pudong Airport prior to leaving for Tokyo ($28 a night). Be aware that Shanghai has two big airports in relative proximity to each other: Pudong (international) and Hongqiao (mostly domestic). Pudong has rail service, but be ready to sit on the train for about 45 minutes if you want to get downtown. Also, one has to get off at some point and enter the train on the other side of the same platform in order to continue towards the center of town.

    Coming back from Tokyo I stayed at the Intercontinental Puxi, which was swank. I caught a 50% off deal on Agoda and that cost me $160. Shanghai can be expensive. That hotel has an excellent breakfast (book it with the room or once you check in so that you get the discount), a cozy bar, and the rooms are posh. Shanghai is big money, and that becomes immediately apparent. First-class hotels are generally more expensive in Shanghai than in Bangkok.

    Trains

    The Intercontinental Puxi is a short walk from the Shanghai Rail Station. From what I learned, foreigners can only buy tickets at a big office that is outside the train station (or on the internet). It has "Tickets" written on the side of the building in big red letters. It is next to the building in which Chinese people get theirs. Give yourself extra time to move around in Shanghai because the place can be a madhouse, especially during rush hour. You'll see waves of people, rivers of people--you get the idea. I got to the ticket office around 6 pm to buy a ticket to Nanjing for that night--no luck, sold out. Lesson learned: if one wants to ride the train in Shanghai, reserve a ticket online ahead of time. The trains going towards Nanjing are similar to the French high-speed trains. The Maglev trains connect to Beijing, and tickets for those can be purchased inside the Pudong Airport.

    The train to Nanjing was clean, modern, fast (1 hour and 50 minutes), and had decent service.

    Time to Go

    Travel to China is more expensive during their holiday periods. I have noticed that airfares really go up during these times. I think it is best to avoid China during the Spring Festival (late Jan, early Feb--about 7 days) and National Week (first seven days of October). As you can see, they take some long holidays. Everyone goes home during Spring Festival, and that is why fares skyrocket.
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2016
  6. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    Hey.. this is great information, thanks.
    I never heard of spring airlines before, but it's because they don't fly out of Beijing unfortunately. I may be in Shanghai next year and I will definitely use it. It is too bad it only flies out of Pudong though. I would be living closer to Hongqiao. Great prices though. I see a trip to Bangkok could be less than 2000 rmb. Wow! :)
     
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  7. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    I have seen one-way fare to Bangkok at 2300 Baht from Shanghai. That was a promotion. They have a promotion once in a while, and so keep an eye on their website. My wife and I flew to Tokyo from Shanghai for about $60 each--they have some nice deals. Keep in mind that Spring Airlines flies to Pattaya and Chiang Mai too, with multiple points of departure into Bangkok from China: Xian, Guangzhou, etc.

    Spring Airlines is really a good deal. On top of all that, they have a good safety record and a solid safety rating (unlike Nok Air in Thailand). If you do some research as to the ICAO's rating on Nok Air (in Thailand), then you will never fly them again. Sorry Nok. I like the pretty girls in the ads, but I don't like the careless maintenance.
     
  8. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    ^Cool, I was just checking and see a return flight for 2,230 to Bangkok which is amazing (November travel)!

    I'll definitely be using it when I can. I see SA flies to many places from Shanghai.. woohoo! Haha! I'm used to paying high flight fares out of Beijing. I've never flown Nok. I've flown mostly China Air, China Eastern and China Southern... I hate the fact that these airlines are always delayed though. Never fails to impress (jk). :laughing5
     
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  9. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    I am all about Spring Airlines. I try to keep an eye out for their promotions. If something happens such as having a change in one's travel plans, they have very good customer service (they speak English well).
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2016
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  10. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    ^Cheers, I'll definitely be checking them out if I move to Shanghai next year.
    Have you taken the bullet train in China yet? It is a pretty good way of getting around. Travelling on holidays is a nightmare though.
     
  11. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    The Chinese Propaganda Bus

    I have not taken the bullet train yet, but I hear it is very good. You are right: traveling on holidays in China is not recommended. Not only is it tough to get a seat on a bus, train, or plane, but prices can go up enormously. National Week (first week in October) and Spring Festival (last part of January or early February) are not good times to visit China.

    But the good news is that travel can otherwise be cheap, and that includes flights and hotels. Buses are safe; they drive carefully--what a pleasant change that is. That was one thing about Thailand very hard for me to accept: the reckless driving, the buses careening down the road like they were buzz bombs. A Chinese bus is like a slow motorboat with TV. You sit there, relax, and watch the Japanese burn down a town in 1937 while the locals get together to fight. (In reality, the locals who were in the military were fond of taking off their uniforms as quickly as possible once the head-chopping Japanese rolled into town, but that is another story.) 90% of the time that I see Chinese TV, piped into a bus or otherwise, it is about the evil Japanese in WW II, their treachery, their sick brutality, their inborn sneakiness. It is non-stop. Those movies grow on you after a while.

    The propaganda bus is actually fascinating because it gives you a view into what people want others to think. One movie was actually the US and the Chinese fighting the evil Japanese together, brothers arm in arm. It was really interesting. I see zero anti-Americanism and zero anti-British stuff on TV, but let me tell you one thing for sure: they detest the Japanese, hate their guts, and to them it is still 1937. And this fire is being fanned every day on screens across the country.

    The reality for the business elite, because of the mountains of money going back and forth now, is a little different. I digress.

    In the developed parts China, take the bus for shorter trips. It is cheap, safe, and interesting.
     
    Last edited: 28 Oct 2016
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  12. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    ^I haven't taken any buses (Propaganda) in China yet, but I have taken the bullet train numerous times. In fact, I took one yesterday to a different part of China.

    My serious advice is this: Book your ticket online before you get to the train station. It is not just on holidays that the line is long to get a ticket, but on Friday evenings too. If you don't book in advance you risk having to wait two or more hours to get a train somewhere (as I had to do). You can check the train times and see them here. You can also book on this site. Another suggestion is just go to the train station earlier to buy a ticket. I have taken the train numerous times and from just showing up, I always have to stand on the train (between cars). They have tickets for standing only where there is some room to stand between cars. Next time I'm booking in advance. lol.

    China Bullet Train Tickets Booking, High Speed Rail
     
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  13. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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  14. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Use it all the time. The app is good too. Ctrip often has better deals than everyone else, but not all the time.

    I start with Tripadvisor. Words of caution: Tripadvisor can be deceptive because a better deal on airfare or a hotel might be available from the airline or hotel itself. I often end up booking with Ctrip. They accept Union Pay, and that is convenient in China.
     
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