Land tours on Bangkok.Beiing cruise
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If you need to fly between cities, the one suitcase per person rule is enforced by the airline for tour group because we pay a special airfare.
You may take a small carry-on bag that fits in the overhead storage on bus. The tour bus are nice but the overhead storage basket is very narrow. A small flattened backpack or a notebook bag may fit into the slot.
There is no duty so much underrated as the duty of being happy
Do you know if we need visa's?
I think since we are checking back into the same hotel in Beijing as we were in prior to the trip, the hotel will most like store the luggage in a secure area.I think this is the best way to store your luggage as I don’t think you can store the luggage at any airports in China except Hong Kong. Since you combine cruise and land tour together, you have a big dilemma. They don’t share the same clothing.
Are you doing the Yangtze cruise as well? We figured we'd better before it's gone!I think the dam was closed in the fall/winter of 2002. We went to the Yangtze River Cruise in April 2002. At that time, the river was at the lowest point. We saw workers trying to move artifacts to higher ground. The cruise director said that many art works, temples, statutes, caves, rock paintings, would be buried under water as they don’t have enough time to move everything. We saw many deserted villages. Some taller buildings were dynamited so that they would not create hazards for the ships when the water level rises. Eventually, the water will rise to 175 meters. Since it has been more than 3 years after the dam closing, most of the artifacts are gone.
I also understand there is a weight limit on luggages in most of the Chinese airlines (domestic flights). Here is an example from Air China web page:
China Southern has the similar regulation:
However, they might not enforce the rules diligently if the luggage is not too obviously over the limit. Did you buy the land tours from Princess? They should tell you the luggage limitation. Perhaps you can phone the Chinese tour operators in SFO or LAX pretending that you are thinking to join their tours. They have a lot of experience organizing China tours. Good luck on your land tours.
Is there a place in Beijing to leave a bag when we go to Xian?We did independent tour of Xi'an from Beijing (which by the way was VERY easy and much less costly--even with the best hotels and tour guides). There is a place to leave your luggage at the airport for minimal $$$. We packed all luggage for Beijing/Xi'an (4 days) separately and planned on leaving the remainder at the airport. As luck (?) would have it, our luggage didn't make it to Beijing the same time we did. Since we had a flight out from Beijing the same day we landed we ended up going without our luggage...and picking it up on the way back into Beijing. The carry-on change of clothes came in VERY handy.
We did buy the land tour from Princess, just because of the ease of the arrangements. We have friends who are doing nearly the same land exercusion, but they booked with another company. We are planning some serious note taking when they get back (two weeks before we leave)
It is going to take some clever packing, but we pretty much wear the same clothes on and off ship, so it (hopefully) won't be too bad. I pack pretty light, it's my hubby who's the clothes horse. We're going over with one 'empty' suitcase, so hopefully we won't be flying back with seven new cases, but with him, it's hard to tell!
Also, thanks for the hint about the airport. If we were changing hotels, that would definitely be the key.
Thanks to everyone who's posted - all sorts of great tips!
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