Help with an Itinerary - Not much time left
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 25, 2012 3:53 AM Last Post By: anneo
Oct 21, 2012 4:25 PM
Help with an Itinerary - Not much time leftCould you please give me a suggestion about an itinerary? i leave from yangshuo on october 30th and i have spare days (10) till november the 8th, when i have already booked my accommodation in Xian (still, not the flight getting there). i would like to include Huangshan (1 night at the top, 2 days assuming leaving/flying late afternoon), Tiger Leaping Gorge (1-2 nights at nearby accommodation - not Lijiang), Zhangjiajie (1-2 night there), Yangtze River Cruise (3 nights, 4 days including Dazu, this affects the downstream/upstream option of course). for each of the above (i am aware of the cruise lines and quality), i am looking forward to a guided tour (separate for each destination, not including a package with all tours), but, since i am a solo traveller, i cannot afford paying for "private" tours from renowed agencies (they have a 2-5, 6-10 different price policy), and i also don't have much trust on my orientation skills, in a totaly unknown vast country (maybe, finding a local English speaking guide would solve that). moreover, can you suggest an order of the above, in terms of distance and travel time to be most suitable? Thank you in advance. Flying from Europe in 3 days!!!
Oct 21, 2012 5:19 PM
1So you have 10 days, and you want to see Huangshan, Tiger leaping Gorge, Zhangjiajie and do a Yangtze River Cruise, and Chongqing (Dazu)? Simple answer - impossible.
Choose two and do at a fairly relaxed pace - still need flights between the places.
Oct 21, 2012 5:39 PM
2drumbrake, you r so right! any suggestions/choices from those destinations? from a quck research, Yangtze and Jiuzhaigou are the most expensive with Yangtze being the most time consuming, too! if i skip the cruise and try to "copy" the tour operators itineraries as a solo, could i make it or will i end up screaming "got looooost" and "heeeeeelp" at a valley or a mountain path? could you also put them in line for less long journey between each one?
Oct 21, 2012 9:24 PM
Oct 21, 2012 9:32 PM
4I don't think it's worth going to Yunnan just to spend 2 days at TL Gorge; you have to do something else in Yunnan to make it worth the expensive flight or time-consuming ground travel. I would go from Yangshuo to Chongqing and get your Yangtze cruise done, then from Yichang go down to Zhangjiajie (somehow?) and get that out of the way. Then make your decision on how to get to Xi'an depending on how much time you have left etc. You might have time for Huangshan if you can catch one of the few-and-far-between Changsha-Huangshan flights.
Oct 22, 2012 9:53 AM
Oct 22, 2012 5:20 PM
6If I were you I would just do Yunnan - Huangshan - Xi'an. Zhangjiajie is nice but Yunnan has some nice landscapes too. Getting from the Yangtze cruise to Zhangjiajie is a pain, getting from Zhangjiajie to Changsha also a little bit time consuming. Hang out in Yunnan for a week, then go to Huangshan for 2 - 3 days, maybe visit the UNESCO Villages there before your flight to Xi'an. This limits your time spent traveling between places even if you don't get to see as many provinces
Oct 23, 2012 2:52 AM
7thank you wolfy. here's what i came up with, after a 2 day research (i will check out from Yangshuo on october the 30th): Yangshuo -> bus to Guilin -> flight from Guilin to Chengdu (afternoon flight, maybe i have some time for a half day trip to Longsheng on my way to Guilin) -> spend the night in Chengdu -> 31st of October early morning flight to Lijiang (arrives at 08:20) -> do the TLG (2 days/1 night hike packages are very expensive for me though, found nothing below 2000 rmb, maybe i do it on my own despite difficult) -> fly back to Chengdu on November 1st late afternoon -> sleep in Chengdu -> do a half day Panda tour on the 2nd and fly late afternoon to Huangshan (arriving at 22:00) -> sleep in TYunxi -> go for a 2 day/1 night summit to the Mountain (cannot find a budget tour, too, someone told me of budget guides at synotrip) -> find the rest of my way towards Zhangjiajie (Huangshan->Chongqing->Changsha somehow). must fly to Xian on the 8th, probably from Changsha. what do you think?
Oct 23, 2012 3:03 AM
81) no point in going to Longsheng for a few hours
2) Why are you going to Chengdu on the 30th? Just for the flight to Lijiang? Skip Longsheng, fly from Guilin to Kunming and Kunming to Lijiang on 10/30, overnight in Lijiang on 10.30 and then go to TL gorge on 10/31. Easy to do TLG on your own, especially if you spend the night in Lijiang-- your hostel can arrange it all
3) You can see pandas at almost any zoo, not sure why you would go to Chengdu just do see the pandas for a few hours (the "good" panda tours go to the panda research base much farther from Chengdu and can't be done in half a day, so you will probably see quasi-sedated pandas just like in the zoo
4) Definitely don't need a tour for Huangshan-- when you arrive at the airport, buses should be waiting to go direct to the huangshan scenic zone where you transfer to a ~15min bus ride to the base of the cable car/steps and then jsut follow everyone to the peak. Booking peak hotel can be done online.
Are you in China now? Your itinerary posts always seem crazy and impossible. I think when you arrive you will find traveling/transferring to be more time consuming than it seems. And even if you can manage to swing it all, you won't enjoy it and it will all be a blur... just my opinion but I would never advise this. Still think you should skip Hunan and make your trip enjoyable by not jumping all over the country.
Oct 23, 2012 3:15 AM
9yes, i know i am too ambitious but what can i say...it's a one time trip! i fly from europe 24 hours from now, booked many things already (shanghai, yangshuo, a 10 day gap, xian, beijing, end of trip). this gap is that i try to fill with many representative sights of China, being less orientated to religious sights (although i have included Dazu, Datong), that is why i change itineraries often, cause distance-time-low budget could never match! ok, i look through skipping chengdu for a kunming flight hub, however, hike the TLG, step up Huangshan, and watching the avatar mountains of Zhangjiajie are a must for me! ig tour guided trips weren't that expensive...any opinions on synotrip guides? since you told me i can go solo to the hikes, maybe i need a guide for Zhangjiajie...
Oct 23, 2012 3:52 AM
10you don't need a guide for zhangjiajie, TLG or huangshan. BUT you may need someone to organize your transport eg from Zhangjiajie to Changsha so you don't miss a flight. This is somewhat expensive though as it usually means long-distance private transport...
Oct 25, 2012 3:53 AM
11Mate, take other's advice and don't try and do all that. There will only be tears and frustration. China is wonderful but it is not the easiest place to navigate around. Do yourself a favour and pick 2 of the places as Drumbrake says.
In 10 days I worked my way up freom Guilin to Chengyang, up the west side of Hunan to Dehang, Fenghuang and Zhangjiajie. That's it. It was fantastic but I can't imagine trying to fit anything else in. If you love your first trip you will return.
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