Itinerary For NE-Central-SE China
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jan 3, 2013 1:16 AM Last Post By: Alontraveler
Dec 4, 2012 7:35 PM
Itinerary For NE-Central-SE ChinaHey people of the tree!
I know its not so welcome to post itinerary's here but i'm a little lost on how to get to efficiently and what to see on the way.
so i'm gonna post the estimated amount of time i wanna spend in each place and the amount of time traveling between places.
if you guys could help me on how to get to places and what there is to see on the way (and if its worth stopping for a night to see it) that would be awesome!!
So i'm arriving in Beijing on the 4th of April and will be flying from Hong Kong to Cambodia on the 12th of may.
April 4th- April 8th - Beijing - seeing the city and maybe doing a day trip or two to something not so far away (any suggestions).
Making my way to Xi'an 8th - 11th - i would like to see (if its worth it) mount Wutai and the hanging temples next to Datong but i realize its a little out of the way. plus anything else interesting on the way (any ideas).
i guess whatever days i have left getting from Beijing to Xi'an ill spend in Xi'an or Beijing (probably Xi'an as im assuming its cheaper)
11th - 14th - Xi'an - any ideas of stuff to see besides Terracotta?
14th - 15th Xi'an To Yichang - if there are interesting things to see on the way ill spend more time.
15th - 17th in Yichang - dont know how much there is to see here besides the dam, but was told its a pretty place to visit.
17th - 20th From Yichang to Zhangjiajie and back to Yichang - i would really like to see Wulingyaun (i read that its best to stay in Zhangjiajie instead of next to Wulingyaun as its cheaper and less touristy).
as my next destination Is Chengdu i think it makes sense going back to Yichang to get there...
20th - 21st - train from Yichang To Chengdu
From here i'm stuckish. i wanna spend a few nights in Chengdu so lets say from the:
23rd of april till the 10th of june i have open to get to hong kong.
I want to see on the way from chengdu to hong kong (by priority):
1. Longsheng Rice Terraces (its about a 2hr ride form Guilin) - at least 2 days
4.Xijiang Miao Village (Northeast of Leishan County) - although ive read its quite touristy...
5.Zhaoxing Dong Villages (Guizhou) - asumming the same.
I know i cant see it all, and im sure there are many more interesting and beautiful places to see along the way.
So any ideas advice would be more then welcome (i assume ill be passing through Guizhou , Guangxi and more south either Taishan and Guangdong)!!
10th june - 12th june - Hong kong - once i enter hong kong i cant really leave cause i only have a one way visa and my flight leaves form the island.
So that about it.
not very detailed i know. but that's why i'm here!!
just a few things about my trip:
1. i'm on a fairly low budget but not a tight one.
2. i prefer trains over flying.
3. I really want to get a sense of real china and not tourist china, although i understand how unrealistic that might be with my realtivly short amount of time.
4. i want to see the beautiful Chinese Landscapes and mountains.
5. i don't really want to do heavy trekking but i defiantly can handle it on a pysical level.
6. i'm not picky with were i stay in terms of quality, but i would like to be safe...(i guess that's obvious)
i will obviously be doing some of my own research but i always like to hear what experienced travelers think of my basic plans. and as experienced travelers i'm sure you can help me gauge my time needed for each place which will in turn help me make decisions on what to see.
Thanks a million!
Dec 4, 2012 8:04 PM
How to get there: I guess you'll be flying in to here.
What to see: So many things. Great wall (anyplace but Badaling unless you want your great wall experience to be like a theme park), Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen square, forbidden city, etc. Guide books cover all of this pretty well.
What to see: I haven't been to Datong, but Pingyao is worth a stop.
How to get there: Train if you can get tickets (which can be challenging on this route). There are two options for the train.
1. Direct slow train from Beijing. Usually an overnight sleeper. These are the tickets that are hard to get.
2. Fast trains with a transfer in Zhengzhou. These tickets are easier to get and the trains operate during the day. It's more expensive. Passes Luoyang, Shaolin, and Huashan, which are all worth a stop.
What to see: Many people, including myself, are underwhelmed by the terracotta warriors. However, most of those people still enjoy Xi'an. Why? The city itself has a lot of character. The city walls are huge and well preserved. Ride a bike on the walls. Visit the muslim quarter. Go to the big goose pagoda in the evening for the water fountain show.
Xi'an To Yichang
How to get there: I can't think of much along the way. You could train, bus, or fly. Whatever you prefer.
Not much there, but the city is nice enough. Found some good street food here. I didn't go and see the dam.
Yichang to Zhangjiajie and back to Yichang
Train or bus. Zhangjiajie is very good. Could definitely spend two or even three days with plenty to see. I enjoyed staying at the entrance to the park rather than in Zhangjiajie city, which didn't seem like an especially attractive place. The park entrance hotels are more expensive, but the views from some of them are quite good.
20th - 21st - train from Yichang To Chengdu
If it were me, I'd probably fly this bit, unless you have time to kill.
Sorry, I haven't been to the places you mention between Chengdu/HK. I've been to other parts of Guzhou and Guangxi though, and they are very nice. Make sure you don't run out of time before you get here.
Dec 4, 2012 8:18 PM
2This is good advice above. Just adding a few things. Understand that April 4 to 6 and April 29 to May 1 are holidays in China and everywhere will be rather crowded, especially places within a few hours of a big city. Getting train tickets wil be a challenge.
Understand that once you go to Chengdu you are not longer in east China. you have long traveling times by train. You plan generally sounds fine. For such a long time I would not have my plans too firm. I like to keep things flexible as adjust myself along the way.
Dec 4, 2012 8:36 PM
3Thanks @egjeg for such a fast and informative reply!!!
Beijing to Xi'an - so i guess i should take the indirect Train (i left 3 days open for that..). i geuss i could go either from Datong or Pingyao to Zhengzhou (maybe stay a night which will allow me to see Luoyang). also i could stop of at mount Huasahan on the way to Xi'an if transport allows. as for Shaolin i dont know what what you are refering to... (couldnt find it in a search :)
Zhangjiajie - ill definatly take into account what you said about staying close to the park, might even be cheaper with not having to travel each day from the city..
Yichang To Chengdu, its 150$ for a flight and acording to this site (http://www.trainby.com/Train-Schedule/Yichang-Chengdu.htm) its 60$ for soft sleeper...i mean its a 14hr ride, but i do have time to kill especially if it saves me a good 100$.
Thanks again for your help my friend
Dec 4, 2012 8:40 PM
4Woops i meant From 23rd of april till the 10th of MAY ill have to get from Chengdu to hong kong... and my flight from hong kong is on the 12th of MAY
Dec 4, 2012 8:44 PM
Dec 4, 2012 8:54 PM
6Airports are fine. There should be a lot of tourists at the tourist attractions but not as bad as the October holidays (see what happens in October: http://www.chinasmack.com/2011/pictures/national-day-golden-week-holiday-crowds-throughout-china.html )
Dec 4, 2012 10:01 PM
Dec 5, 2012 1:33 AM
8While I liked Chengdu, it is a bit out of your way and I'm not sure that I would go there if you didn't want to see more of Sichuan.
I'd skip Chengdu and Yichang and go from Xian to Chongqing and then on to Zhangjiajie and down the western side of Hunan visiting Dehang and perhaps Fenghuang. From there you could visit parts of Guizhou and the Rice Terraces and Chengyang and Yangshuo on the way to Hong Kong.
We were in Chengyang and Dehang over the May holiday last year and it wasn't too bad.
Personally I would stay near the entrance to Wulingyuan rather than in Zhangjiajie City. Zhangjiajie was our splurge stop and we stayed at the Pullman but there were lots of cheaper places at both the entrances to the park. Allow 2-3 days there. There is a 2 day ticket to the park which is reasonably expensive but the landscape is spectacular. It is best to avoid the weekend there as it is much much busier then. I can recommend Dehang which is quite close. There are day trippers there but it was very quiet and peaceful most of the time with some really lovely walks through terraced rice fields and waterfalls which are not taxing.
Most of the tourists in Hunan and Guanxi were Chinese and they didn't seem to venture far from their accomodation so it is very easy to get away from any crowds.
Dec 5, 2012 2:13 AM
Once in Xi'an, you could easily get the fast train to Huashan, Luoyang, and Shaolin. Shaolin is the world famous Shaolin Temple where monks practice & teach kung fu.
Dec 5, 2012 4:00 AM
10Not been to Wutaishan (Not overly interested in hills) but Datong wouldn't be anywhere near the top of my list of places I must see. The Hanging Temple is OK (Although surprisingly small and a bit of a pain to get to) but the rest of the sight in Datong itself (Nine Dragon Screen, a couple of temples, the "New" ancient city wall. Not been to Yungang Grottoes) for my money are certainly not worth the inconvenience of the trip (And it WILL be inconvenient. All trains to and from Datong to anywhere interesting seem to either leave or arrive at ungodly hours or necessitate wasting an entire day on a train). If this was my trip, I'd abandon Datong and head from Beijing to Pingyao and, from there, on to Luoyang before hitting Xi'an (Which would be a much more direct route and one you'd have a better than even chance of getting sleeper train tickets for in April. Luoyang to Xi'an is only 90 minutes on the HSR).
Dec 5, 2012 4:21 PM
11OP, you've obviously done some research and sorted out the places you want to visit--probably from a LP guidebook, ehhh.
Anyway, everyone has his/her preferences and opinions about what to see and not to see. My advice: just start traveling, take your time, explore, do sidetrips, and don't let your itinerary control you. China is a wonderful place to visit and you'll enjoy your stay, moreover, you'll probably return (so don't worry about missing something).
Dec 5, 2012 5:56 PM
thanks guys for all the info!!!
lets recap what i've learnt and update some stuff (YOU guys were super helpful so thanks again!!)
Beijing AND Pingyao April 4th -10th - ill play it by year when to leave for Pingyao allowing half a day (night) for travel.
Then from pingyao to Xi'an - 10th - @egjeg makes a good point, getting from pingyao to Xi'an as apposed to getting from Luoyang (or Zhengzhou) to Xi'an is difficult. plus getting from pingyao to louyang isn't easy either.....
Huashan, Luoyang, and Shaolin are all about 3hrs (average) from Xi'an and Xi'an will be a good base to get to these places.
Xian/ Huashan, Luoyang, and Shaolin 10th - 16th - allowing for day trips (or overnight) to those places as well as seeing Xi'an. IS THIS ENOUGH?
16th - 18th Xi'an To Yichang - allowing time to travel spending the night.
18th - 22nd Yichang to Zhangjiajie - i realized that i really really want to spend some time at Wulingyuan it fascinates me...as for where to stay ill see when i get there but ill remember what you guys said about staying next to the park.
22nd april - may 12th
From here i'm going to leave it semi open but just as a general idea here's my 'open plans':
Zhangjiajie To Dehang (through Jishou)
Jishou to Kaili city (get some Miao culture)
Kaili city to Huangguoshu Waterfall near Anshun (maybe skip this and go straight to Guilin)
Anshun to Guilin (longsheng and/or Yángshuò)
from Guilin go to Guangzhou
Then either straight to HongKong OR to to Taishan then to HongKong (if time permits)
Do you think this is doable?
Thanks again guys,
As always you were a major help and as @china1979 said: its not good to be tied down by Itinerary.
i agree but still like to have a base plan!!
Edited by: Alontraveler
Edited by: Alontraveler
Dec 6, 2012 2:49 AM
13Make sure you leave enough time to explore Beijing - 5 or 6 days would be more realistic. Not much to do in Yichang, in fact I was pretty bored there relative to other places in China, ended up going to the cinema to waste some time... As for Zhangjiejie, I would recommend staying overnight in the park. There's a perfectly pleasant YHA hostel within the park at the top of the karsts. The YHA in the city can arrange it for you if you leave it last minute (we left our big bags in the city YHA) but you should also be able to book ahead.
Dec 12, 2012 6:27 PM
14@rhinotraveller ill definatly take into account the extra nights in beijing as i read that yichang (as you said) isnt so special, or just not as special as beijing!
as for the hostel, ill check it out, but i think im going to couchsurf in some places, and there seems to be a good place to do it..but ill play it by year and bookmarked the YHA website (what a cool idea, i never heard of it before!!) thanks!
@doublewide009 thanks so much for the tip!! Mutianyu looks to be much more suited for me with less tourists and a nice little adventure!!! thanks again!
(4 star Hotel)
From US$155.60 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.12 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$212.66 per night