Help Me Plan My Trip to China

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This is an installment in my series on my January 2012 trip to China. Posts include: Help Me Plan My Trip To ChinaFlight Review: American Airlines 777 International Business Class to BeijingHotel Review: St. Regis BeijingBeijing Overview: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Peking DeckA Great Day at the Great Wall of China,  Flight Review: Air China 777 Domestic Business ClassHotel Review: Andaz ShanghaiTrip Report: Terra Cotta Warriors and a Wild Goose Pagoda in XianHotel Review: Sheraton Xian, and My China Trip Wrap Up: China Eastern, Hainan Airlines and the Westin Beijing.

One of my travel resolutions this year is to explore more of Asia. For the past couple years I’ve almost been exclusively traveling to Europe and South America, so 2012 is going to have a strong focus on Asia and Australia/New Zealand.

In fact, this week I leave for China on a trip that was originally planned to maximize the current American Airlines double elite qualifying mile promotion, but is now going to be an 8 night excursion around China. The $1,600 fare will net me almost 32,000 elite miles. I could have stretched my routing out even more, but I try not to exhaust myself too much before going on a trip to Asia and I certainly don’t like unnecessary segments after coming back from a long trip.

I’ll be writing trip reports of my experience, but unfortunately won’t be able to Twitter from China (unless someone has any tips to get around that), but you should still follow me if you aren’t already!

I’m flying on America to Beijing and my current plan is to spend the first two days in Beijing, then spend 3 days over the weekend in Shanghai, then Xi’an for two days and then one final day in Beijing. Hotels are still TBD, but will be a mix of Hyatt and Starwood properties.

If you have any insider tips for any of those three cities, please feel free to share. I’m traveling solo and meeting up with friends in Beijing and Shanghai, but I always like meeting TPG readers on my travels, so email me if you’d want to meet for a meal or something of the sort (I’ll even treat so I can get the points! ;-))

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