Just want to add a couple of comments/recommendations in addition to Mary
and Sue's excellent suggestions.
You will love Guilin, Xian and Beijing, especially in October. In
Beijing, the Lu Song Yuan Hotel is terrific. It's a Chinese hotel inside
the 2nd ring road. The phone number is: (86-10) 6404 0436. I can fax you
the directions in both English and Chinese if you need it. A couple of
restaurant suggestions in Beijing: I think the best Peking Duck is at the
Chuan Lu Feng Wei restaurant. (PH: 6467 4391). Another good duck place is
the LiQun Roast Duck Restaurant. It's has great atmosphere as it's in a
hutong near Tiananmen (Ph: 6705 5578). A good Chinese restaurant is the Xi
He Ya Ju near Ritan Park (Ph: 6506 7643). I would recommend making a
reservation at all these places.
If you're looking for a tour guide in Xian, Clarence Guo is excellent.
He has befriended a group of people living in caves and will include a trip
to visit the families. There is even a Catholic Church there that he will
take you into (that is, if the people that have the key to the church are
home that day!) His email address is: clarenceguo@3... Ph: (86-29) 324
9864. I fully agree with Sue that you shouldn't miss the Moslem area. The
Mosque there is wonderful, as well as the shopping. Good place for folk
art. The Bell Tower Hotel is near the area and it's a good 3 star hotel.
Ask for a deluxe room and it will have a balconey overlooking the Bell and
I would also suggest going to Yangshuo when you're in the Guilin area. I
would suggest driving there (or I should say, be driven) and then head out
on the Li River from Yangshuo. A very good hotel there is the Paradise
Resort Hotel (Ph: 86-773) 882 2109 Fax: ...2106.
Gotta run and pack, my wife and I are leaving tomorrow for a 6 week trip
and the last leg will be a trip to Venice around the 9th of August.
Probably not a good time but that's the only time we can make it. I took
John's suggestion and emailed Helga Gross but haven't had a reply as yet.
Anybody have any other recommendations?