2 months in China
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Feb 3, 2013 10:48 AM Last Post By: Iza34
Dec 3, 2012 11:29 AM
2 months in ChinaHi, January 2014 i plan to backpack across China with my girlfriend
I am having trouble planning it due to the overwhelming amount of information on the web
Would love for people to recommend places that they really think i should visit
Travelling on a low budget though !
Thanks in advance for any replies
Dec 3, 2012 3:40 PM
I went to China for two months last year and loved it. I'm planning to go back there for a year in the Summer to explore more! I don't know it really well etc, but I'll give you a couple of fairly obvious places maybe you should know :)
Depending on what kind of experience you're wanting really, as you should probably know, the East side of China is far more developed than the West, so this will effect prices of food/hostels etc, the more inland/towards the West you get, the cheaper but less developed the places are AND the less foreigners and travelers there will be. The key thing is I think with a country so big as China is just don't underestimate the time it'll take you to travel around once you're there, the bullet train is good, but also sleeper trains are an effective way to improve efficiency ... if you can sleep on them!
Shanghai I believe is overrated, it is simply a big cosmopolitan city, with not too much real soul about it. Beijing on the other hand I found to be amazing (and of course you must see the Great Wall). Everywhere else I suppose depends on how long you want to spend in other places. I spent time in Nanjing, Ning Bo, Hangzhou and loved them all... but there is simply so much to see! Maybe the best thing is to work out a few sightseeing things you'd like to factor in (ie Terracotta Warriors) and then wing it when you're there, with a few goals in mind, but not keeping to such a strict schedule. The lonely planet book on China is really quite good, I also found the AA guide to be pretty useful too.
Dec 3, 2012 4:46 PM
Dec 3, 2012 5:31 PM
3I would not visit China in the depths of winter, its ugly, damn cold, and heat sucks. Go to Se Asia, or Central America, far nicer too...
Dec 3, 2012 9:39 PM
4As #2 says, around Spring Festival is NOT a good time to come to China, especially for a budget traveller, as train tickets will be virtually impossible to get (Even hard seat), accomodation prices will be at their peak and many hostels will be full (You'll still be able to find accomodation but you'll have to pay top-dollar for it).
Furthermore; we have no idea of what your interests are so suggesting a route for you to take is not an easy ask. As #1 says, the east is far more developed than the west (And more expensive) but, keep in mind, if the west of China interests you and you decide to go out that way, it's best not to tell this to the Chinese Embassy when you apply for you visa.
Dec 3, 2012 10:31 PM
5Since your travel date is in January and it is very cold in most places of China. Actually, January is NOT a good time to visit China, because such must-visit places like Beijing, Guilin, Xian, Shanghai, Jiuzhaigou, Yangtze River, Yunnan are either covered by snow or too cold to travel, so the original highlight of these places are missed. I think it is money-inefficient.
Also it is around the Chinese New Year and many Chinese people take this time to travel, which makes the transportation and accommodation hot cakes and causes the soaring price of these. So you had better avoid this period for China travel.
Hope it helps
Dec 4, 2012 3:46 AM
6Yangshuo Town in Yangshuo County in Guilin, Guangxi Province in Southern China is a popular stop-off for backpackers as it is a great access point to the country side and is a good escape from the bigger Chinese cities. This website is written by a backpacker who traveled through Asia and has some good insider info: http://travel-in-asia.co.uk/china-overview.html
Dec 4, 2012 8:22 AM
Dec 4, 2012 2:47 PM
8I'm not saying the east would, necssarily, be more interesting than the west. If you're interested in minority culture (And we still don't know what your interests actually are), the west (Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan) is where you'd want to be. If, however, you like big, modern cities; you'll want to say in the east. If you like historical sites; you could go east or west (Although, Beijing aside, the north has very few of these in comparison with the south).
When to visit is also still an open question. Do you like cold? Can you deal with heat? Basically: there are 2 or 3 times every year when it is unwise to visit (Or, at least, to begin to visit) China... Spring Festival (Jan or Feb), National Day week (Oct 1) and maybe the May Day holiday.
How long should you stay? How long is a piece of string? I've been here close on 9 years and I still haven't seen everything.
Dec 5, 2012 7:43 AM
I visited China this year and the year before and both times I went from mid October to mid
November. Both times the weather was reasonable with temperatures neither unbearably hot
or too cold and it practically never rained. I know this is not very representative but from my experience (and from what I have read) autumn seems to be a good time to visit China.
This year I backpacked through Gansu Province, from Xi'an to Dunhuang and out of 21 days I had 18 days of sunshine. Temperatures were probably around 4 or 5 degrees Celsius most of the time. I had a very good time and although most sites within Gansu might not be quite as well
known as others in China they are all pretty spectacular - Maiji Shan, Bingling Si, Water Curtain Grottoes (Shui Lian dong), Zhangye Danxia Landform, Mogao Caves.... Moreover, in late autumn these places also seemed to be less busy.
Other places I visited last year and I really liked were the Great Wall at Jinshanglin/Simatai, Yungang caves at Datong, Pingyao, Xi'an (there's is lots to do and see) , Longmen Caves at
Luoyang and Tai Shan...
Feb 3, 2013 10:48 AM
10If you are still in China and planning to go to Ningxia or yinchuan, you might want to contact www.loessplateau.org. Those guys really helped me out last year !
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