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Author: jamn148@gmail.co...

Joined: 5/3/2016
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2016

August 29, 2017

HELP - I need some guidance.  We are booked for the China&Yangtze River Tour the last week of October.   I have sciatica pain that kicks in when I am on my feet too long.  If I can sit periodically, I get relief and then can trudge on.  GCT tells me that there are 4 days that require about 4 miles of walking and thousands of steps - many without handrails (Beijing, the Great Wall and Shanghai).   I am looking for someone who has done the trip and can help me understand how strenuous the days will be.  I'm ok if the walking and steps are not clustered all together.  I'm hoping there are spots to sit along the way (I have a cane with a seat if needed), and, it's not all climbing of steps.

It's time to decide if we will take the trip, so your feedback will be greatly appreciated.    

Author: harmstoo

Joined: 12/17/2013
Posts: 13
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Countries Visited:

Romania, France, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Grand Caymans, Mexico, China, Tibet, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Africa, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Bhutan

Traveler Since: 2010

August 30, 2017

we went on this trip a few years ago and there were some days with quite a bit of walking, but most was flat that I recall and plenty of places to stop and rest.  The only place I remember that there was a couple that used canes was at the Great Wall of China and they decided to stay at the bottom where there was a little coffee shop and outdoor seating area. They waited there and just enjoyed the view from below and talking with people while the rest of the group walked up to the top and along the wall.

Even at the huge palaces, you don't have to walk the entire place or through all the diferrent areas/layers.  There are many benches all along the area to sit down.

I think you would be fine, but I can only speak for myself !  This is a great trip and one of the best ones we went on .

Oh yes, the other place was in Tibet.  Going up to the top of the huge monestary.  Also, you can stay at the bottom and not go up and enjoy the view.  There were a few places and benches you could sit down.

Author: ray.

Joined: 4/14/2010
Posts: 40
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

August 30, 2017

The OAT trip goes to Tibet but the GCT one doesn't.

There are several different sections of the Greatwall that tourists can go to, so don't know which section your trip will be in but they all involve lots of walking and climbing of steps. But the group will come back the same way, so you can just find a place to rest and wait for the group.

The Imperial Palace could be a problem as they may go in one gate and come out to meet the bus at another gate, but it is mostly on level ground paved with large slaps of flat stone. The place is huge (something like 9,999 rooms ?) and you may also have to walk across the (huge) Tienanmen Square before getting to the entry gate of the Imperial Palace, so there will be plenty of walking in Beijing

Author: grip652

Joined: 1/18/2015
Posts: 11
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2012

September 01, 2017
On the river cruise in 2012 there were a couple of ports where we ascended quite a few steps, I recall that one did not have handrails. You could move to one side of the steps to rest and allow others to pass. I think the land portion along the river changes depending on conditions, so all cruises might not involve those steps.

Author: rkauzlarich

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 103
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2009

September 01, 2017

I remember a great deal of walking on our China trip, especially at Tianneman Square. The crowds were so thick that our Program Director told us to stick together like "sticky rice" and had us link arms at one point so as not to get separated. I suspect  that you would hate to hold your group back or worse yet--get lost. This was in July.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 1,059
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 02, 2017

It's been almost 20 years since I traveled to China, and it was with a different company.  However, most of the sites would be the same. 

On the river part of the tour, some of the landing places had long stairways with no railings and people sitting on the steps.  But that was before the dams were built. 

At the Great Wall, somehow I ended up at the back of the group which moved much faster than I did.  I got to a point where the stairway made a left turn, and there was nothing in front of me!  My vertigo kicked in and as much as I tried, I couldn't get past there.  So I went back downstairs and sat for a while in a little courtyard and then continued down to the bottom where I found our local guide and we talked for a while.  I watched other groups arriving (we had been the first) and shops opening.  When my group returned, they were all very apologetic about having left me behind.  But one woman had tripped and fallen going up the steps.  Although she made light of it, she ended up being taken to the western hospital by our group leader the next day.  Nothing was broken or sprained, so she just had to take it a little easier for a few day.

Author: grip652

Joined: 1/18/2015
Posts: 11
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2012

September 04, 2017
On our trip in 2012 we went to “Wild Great Wall, the most authentic sections of the GW which haven’t been rebuilt for tourism.” There had been some work on this section, but the steps were uneven, some very tall (I’m 5’1”), so you might want to check the section you will be visiting. Some members of our group only went a short distance up the wall path and returned to our bus (it was chilly and windy), so that is an option for you. We visited China in the Spring, there were crowds everywhere. A lot of jostling, but generally everyone was very pleasant. Our tour leader carried a pole with a silk fish and when we got lost in a crowd, we looked for the fish. usually in the croweded areas there will be a local tour guide with our tour leader and they both had fantastic eyesight and memories for what their group members looked like and could cull us out of a crowd.

Author: jamn148@gmail.co...

Joined: 5/3/2016
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2016

September 10, 2017

Thank you to all who responded to our "Concerns about walking on China ...." request.

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