Travelling during winter has its pros and cons.
Yes it is cold, and yes it does mean sometimes you can’t feel your fingers. You need to buy winter clothes that you will never ever use again in Brunei and I’ve even heard of people experiencing skincare freezing on their faces.
But, if you are lucky, you get to experience: SNOW.
Coming from Brunei, snow to me is romantic and magical. It’s a weather phenomenon that brings with it notions of softness, delicateness and all around siukness. You get to build a snowman (cue Frozen’s snowman song) and make snowballs!
Most people think that you need to go to travel far and wide to Europe to see snow but as it turns out, there is a surprisingly affordable snow destination only 4 hours away from Brunei.
To be honest, China was never on my “list”. Yes, I have dreams of traversing through the Great Wall of China but I’ve always thought China would be a crowded mess, difficult, and noisy. Unfortunately, the Chinese that I come across during my travels are not great ambassadors of their country.
I would like to admit what a gross misjudgment that was.
Both Shanghai and Beijing were amazing cities! People were so friendly and kind to us, it’s so lovely to walk around in, amenities are clean and conveniently placed, plus they have the MOST AWESOME PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD. Best of all, it did not feel crowded at all!
Over the month of February, I’d be posting about my trip, plus tips to get around the Shanghai and Beijing, apps you can download, how to communicate, how to keep in touch with people back home, and the halal food situation.
For now, check out our budget and itinerary for the whole trip below!
|Return Airfare from Brunei to Shanghai||
|Overnight Sleeper Train from Shanghai to Beijing||
|Overnight Sleeper Train from Beijing to Shanghai||
|2x Nights Accommodation at Beijing 161 Wangfujing Courtyard Hotel (Per Person)||
|3x Nights Accommodation at Shanghai Jinchen Hotel (Per Person)||
This is a close estimate on how much we spent of accommodation and transport. Our trip lasted from 19 January to 26 January 2018 – meaning it was a 8D7N thing. As we mostly got around by subway, which is super cheap in China, this is definitely one of the cheapest snow vacations ever!
|DAY 1||Arrived in Shanghai Pudong Airport|
|Off to Shanghai Main Train Station|
|Board Train to Beijing|
|DAY 2||Arrive in Beijing|
|Check in Beijing 161 Wangfujing Courtyard Hotel|
|Visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and surrounding areas|
|Peking Duck Dinner|
|DAY 3||Spend whole day at Great Wall of China at Mutianyu|
|Dropped off by tour group at Olympic Park to see Bird Nest Stadium and Water Cube|
|Shopping and dinner at Sanlitun area|
|DAY 4||Visit Dongsi Mosque|
|Check out from Hotel, Lunch and cafe hopping in Dongsi area|
|Off to Beijing South Train Station|
|DAY 5||Arrive in Shanghai|
|Early check in at Shanghai Jinchen Hotel and rest|
|Hang out at Xintiandi – French Concession area in Shanghai|
|Dinner at Wolfgang Puck|
|DAY 6||Visit The Bund, cruise over Huangpu River and go over to Oriental Pearl Tower|
|Early dinner at Pudong area|
|Shopping at Nanjing Road|
|DAY 7||SNOW DAY! Visit Qibao, an Ancient Water Town and spend whole day there|
|DAY 8||Check out from Hotel, and off to Shanghai Pudong Airport by Subway|
|Flight from Shanghai back to Brunei|
For me, on any trip, I find any excuse to go on overnight sleeper trains. I like to see how people are on trains, which usually are full of locals, and it gives me time to observe the culture and how people really are. But if you can’t stand the long ride, then an airplane ride would be more your thing.
Our itinerary was very relaxed – as are all my trips. While both Shanghai and Beijing had a wealth of tourist destinations, you should create an itinerary that reflects you and your travel style.
Anyway, till next post!