East Coast China - Between Shanghai and Xiamen in July/Aug.
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jun 24, 2010 8:08 AM Last Post By: alicehuang
May 7, 2010 3:53 AM
I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about travelling on the east coast between Shanghai and Xiamen in July/Aug.
We've been looking at Shanghai (expo etc), possibly Hangzhou, Shaoxing (Yu Ling and waterways - my Dad found this place but I can't find any info!), Wuyi Shan, Xiamen and Gulangyu island, and the Hakka roundhouses and countryside near Yongding.
Does anyone have any ideas about this itinerary?
Is Hangzhou going to be overrun with crowds and therefore not worth it? Or is it a must-see in this area?
Is there much to see in Xiamen except the island? Is it worth it?
Most importantly, is there anywhere really cool we've missed out?
I'm travelling independently with my parents. We have just under 2 weeks, most probably. Can't go anywhere too off the beaten-track, or take any nasty bus journeys or very strenuous activities. However we're interested in museums, bustling places, people-watching, countryside walks, history, nice beaches etc.
Thank you all in advance for your help! ;)
May 7, 2010 4:22 AM
1The trip out to the water towns and Suzhou or maybe to Hangzhou would be fairly close to Shanghai within an easy train ride to most. From there you can take another train down to Nanjing for history. Then east into Fu Jian Province by train to Wuyi Shan. Again a short train ride from Wuyi down to Yongding area to see the Hakka round houses and finally a bus or train ride over to Xiamen and the island of GuLangYu. While in the Xiamen area I'd suggest going up a couple of hours to Quanzhou for museums and history as well as over to Chongwu.
You can go swimming on GuLangYu and also at the beaches in Chongwu area. These are not the world's best beach areas, but doable.
Do a search on this site and you should pick up several threads that discuss these areas. I am sure that Drumbrake will respond to this soon and he has descriptions of several trips to these areas.
May 7, 2010 4:24 AM
May 7, 2010 4:27 AM
3As folks have said here before, while the urban parts of Hangzhou aren't much anymore, the walk around West Lake remains one of the great experiences of China.
Shaoxing is relatively small and not so attractive -- or touristed -- as some of the water towns near Shanghai.
Wuyi Shan is not worth the effort, I'd say. Not unattractive, but not extensive, and can't compare with other famous scenic areas in China.
The Hakka roundhouses are quite an experience, but they're spread out and you'll need to arrange private transport if you want to see them at all conveniently.
Xiamen mainland isn't much, but Gulangyu is indeed a very nice place to stroll around.
There are also various islands off the coast, Putaoshan in particular.
(There's one really quick D-train from Fuzhou to Shanghai at 5h40m; the rest are around 6h15m.)
May 7, 2010 5:26 AM
4John33, thanks so much for your ideas. I don't know why my Dad (who has done all of the planning so far!) hasn't considered Nanjing, and the other places around Shanghai. Part of the reason might be that he doesn't like over-touristed places (he prefers quieter, more off the beaten track places) and the cost of staying in Shanghai for too long, & the original plan for the coast. And my Dad it seems likes the idea of a car-free island! But your ideas sound very much worth perusing.
They are the real big tourist spots - less hassle, and more impressive stuff to see I should imagine. Although I'll check out Quanzhou and Chongwu too - never heard of them.
I feel like it's nice getting off the main track in China, especially because of the people you meet and strange sights you see, but sometimes getting around, finding suitable places to stay and then the quality of the tourist attractions tends leave one with much less of a impression.
Thanks for your answers too - it sounds much like I expect - a mixed bag of interesting but not astounding places.
Still in a quandry! Yikes!
Anyone else care to chip in?!
May 7, 2010 10:51 AM
5If you want to include great mountain scenery you should skip Wuyi Shan and go to Huang Shan instead. Around Huang Shan there are also some nice villages like Hongcun and Xidi. A little bit further is Wuyuan with nice villages like Xiao Likeng. But Hongcun and especially Xidi are enough. Both are touristy but also very beautiful.
When you want to see the Tulous you can go to a place known as "Tulou". There is a nice Tulou-Cluster with different Tulous (round and square ones) or to the famous but still not very touristy Tianluokeng-Tulou-Cluster. The Tulous only have very basic accommodation, but I enjoyed it. I stayed 3 nights at the first mentioned Tulou-Cluster (in the Fuyu Building) and 3 nights at the Tianluokeng-Tulou-Cluster. At both places I did some hiking and travelled to many other Tulous. It's an interesting experience.
May 8, 2010 8:40 AM
6Huangshan is better than Wuyi shan.
I am live in Fuzhou city ,so if you have any trouble in Fujian ( include wuyi shan, xiamen) ,you can contact me.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
By the way, My job is help Chinese school to look for native english speaker, if your friends or you have interesting to teach in China,you can contact me.
May 9, 2010 9:17 AM
Jun 24, 2010 8:08 AM
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