In a recent discussion, we expressed our surprise at the latest move by Wilson Wu, the wonder-boy of travel to China. About a week ago, he completely re-did his website (www.chinaspree.com) to announce wide-open flights to Beijing in November through February for only $888, including round-trip air to Beijing from San Francisco, Los Angeles or Houston, and six nights with full breakfast daily in a fine Beijing hotel (plus many other features, including several full-day tours with lunch). That package had earlier been shown as sold out on numerous fall/winter dates, and then it suddenly reappeared, wide-open and as cheap as ever. The price from New York is only $100 more--and note again that the package costs less than airfare alone to Beijing.
Well now, a similar package is available to both Beijing and Shanghai, for an extra night (three nights in Beijing, four nights in Shanghai), for an equally amazing $999, including not simply round-trip trans-Pacific airfare but also air transportation between Beijing and Shanghai. This time, however, the $999 price is available only from San Francisco (though Los Angeles and Houston departures cost only $40 more, and New York remains at only $100 more (with intermediate gateway cities also well-priced). You'll receive, for those sums, excellent hotels in both cities, full American-style breakfast each morning, two full-day sightseeing tours (one apiece in each city) and three lunches. Your only other cost (except for other meals taken at your choice of the many colorful restaurants of each city) will be for a Chinese visa.
I'be been speculating as to why Wilson Wu, the dynamic founder of China Spree (I've met him at various trade shows in the U.S.), should be pricing his fall/winter packages so low. It's either for public relations purposes, establishing China Spree as the price leader to everywhere in China, or else because he earns considerably more money from the sale of optional tours in China to his passengers, once they are there. Whatever the explanation (and China tourism may simply have slowed), the several fall/winter packages he offers--costing far less than you'd pay for similar air-and-land packages to Europe--are undoubtedly the top bargains in travel today.
So if you're able to take off a week in November-through-February, you might consider turning to the ChinaSpree website, clicking on China tours, then on Specials, then on Dates and Pricing, and you'll be mightily impressed by what you see.