Yunnan or Guangxi?
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Dec 12, 2012 6:04 AM Last Post By: absy
Dec 5, 2012 10:36 PM
Just posting this in the hope of getting some advice.
I'm currently in Yangshou and thoroughly enjoying my stay here. My girlfriend and I were initially planning on heading over to Yunnan, before heading down into Vietnam, however we are wondering now whether it would actually be worth it.
Yes, Yunnan is beautiful (all least that's what it looks like on google images) but if we went there we would be going for only a few places (Dali, Shuhe, Lijiang) as we touched on Tibetan culture earlier in the trip (in Qinghai) and don't really want to see it again, and we aren't particularly keen on the rice terraces (which we are planning on seeing in Guangxi anyway).
So I guess it would be great to hear your opinions on whether it's worth all the time (2 days travelling) and expense of heading to Yunnan for Dali/Shuhe/Lijiang.
Many thanks in advance
Edited by: absy
Dec 6, 2012 1:04 AM
1The Dragon back rice terraces bus tour can be organized at the Wada Hostel in Guilin, just up the road from Yangshou. I've been to Dali twice & Lijiang once. Worth it imho. Stone Forest outside Kunming was so so. Jianshui & Geiji enroute to Sapa in Vietnam were worth seeing too. Never been to Tiger Leaping Gorge or Shangrila Deqin which is the Tibetan culture area. Black Dragon Pool at Lijiang was nice. http://www.treklens.com/viewphotos.php?l=7&p=71130
Dec 6, 2012 4:34 AM
2it sounds like you're happy where you are, you don't really want to go to yunnan,
but some guide book says you just gotta go, right? you just want someone to
say "don't do it!"
okay. i'll say it. you're enjoying guangxi, so just enjoy the hell out of it. you
don't need to traipse over to yunnan simply 'cause it's on the banana pancake
Dec 6, 2012 7:16 AM
3It's hard for anybody to give a meaningful answer when you don't say how long you have between now and the time you need/want to get to Vietnam. If only 5 days, stick where you are. If 2 weeks, I'd do Yunnan. You don't get into Tibetan culture there until you get up as far as Zhongdian (Shangrila) which is well north of Lijiang. So that's not going to be redundant. TLG is not Tibetan area, at least not anymore.
I will admit I'm in a minority around this forum and don't find the Guilin/Yangshuo region to be a particularly favorite part of China. Or all that special/scenic, when you've seen the alternatives.
Dec 6, 2012 12:36 PM
Dec 6, 2012 5:58 PM
5Yunnan is a complex society of minority nationality, e.g. Dali for Bai people, Lijiang for Dongba people, Shangri-la for Tibetan people. Lijiang old town is somewhat similar with Yangshuo West Street, and Shuhe old town you mentioned is more primitive. 5 to 6 days at least is required for Kunming, Dali and Lijiang. So if you have time, why not just do it and head to Vietnam from Yunnan.
Dec 6, 2012 9:42 PM
6"Or all that special/scenic, when you've seen the alternatives."
What are the alternatives for stunning karst scenery in China, jiejie? Have seen some other spots mentioned in LP China that have karst but they are remote. I was happy with what I saw in Guangxi:
Dec 6, 2012 10:35 PM
7Of course, Yunnan is worth visiting. Kunming, Dali and Lijiang do have something to offer, the peaceful ancient tows, profound ethnic minority culture and breathtaking scenery.
Yi people, Hani people, Dai people, Zhuang people etc are all inhabitted in Yunnan, whose culture are different from the ones discovered in your Tibet travel. So i think it is still worth visiting.
Dec 6, 2012 11:09 PM
8"TLG is not Tibetan area" Agreed, maybe I should have had a semicolon or new sentence for Dequin / Shangrila. Have never been to Zhongdian either. Be aware also that this area of Yunnan is several thousand metres above sea level, and altitude sickness can be a problem for some (but not all) people especially if you've come in by plane.
Dec 7, 2012 4:22 AM
9Chris J - cheers for the info, much appreciated. And definitely agree with you on the 2nd post. I don't think I've ever seen much in the way of the scenery around Yangshou in all my travels and it is stunning.
Choudoufu - best advice I've heard. cheers for that.
Jiejie - we have all the time in the world, but we are on a budget and so need to weigh up the pros and cons of going
kunminggirl - I liked Beijing
Johnlau - cheers for the info, really appreciate it. Money sufficing I think we would definitely do it
Belle_China - Yunnan sounds great and one day we will definitely head back to visit
Thank you all for your input for our dilemma. I think we'll be heading straight down to 'Nam after spending some more time enjoying Guangxi. One day we'll come back to Yunnan though...
Dec 7, 2012 5:51 AM
10@chris #6: Surprising as it may sound to you, I don't find karst scenery all that interesting after a couple of days of it. It's more impressive coming out of water, as at Halong Bay (Vietnam) or Phang-Nga Bay (Thailand). I think China's different mountainous areas are more fascinating. Also, I don't much care for the people in the Guilin-Yangshuo region. In short, while the area is worth visiting for a short period of 3-4 days, I can't imagine parking myself there for longer. I think the place is oversold. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
Yunnan is one of my favorite provinces in China with much variety to see and do. If the OP thinks it's not in the cards for this visit, that's OK. S/he at least is wise enough to put it on the future "to do" list.
Dec 7, 2012 1:11 PM
Dec 7, 2012 3:24 PM
12Jiejie, I'll agree with you on the lack of friendliness by some locals in Guilin, which is notorious for scams & price gauging. Had a scowling girl trying to poke my camera with a bamboo stick when trying to take this photo.
Set on wide angle, and she's not even in the shot. Never encountered that anywhere else in China or Asia. I also like Yunnan.
Dec 9, 2012 1:13 AM
Dec 9, 2012 12:11 PM
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