Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 22, 2013 5:46 AM Last Post By: drumbrake
Feb 19, 2013 12:07 AM
Itinerary ideasHi Everyone,
I will be in China for the first time from the middle of March to the end of April and would welcome any ideas about where to go and what to see. I will be arriving in China by bus from Vietnam and have fight tickets out of Beijing - six weeks, please share your knowledge!
Feb 19, 2013 1:51 AM
1Since you have 6 weeks for your China travel, which is more enough for discovering China. For the first-time China travel, i think you should never miss the following sites: Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, Yangtze River cruise, Tibet, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hong Kong, Silk road. Your travel time is so sufficient, you could visit the attractions in these must-visit destinations heartily. China does have much to offer to you.
Feb 19, 2013 1:55 AM
Feb 19, 2013 2:03 AM
3OP, first are you sure you will have a 6 week visa?
Second, what are your interests? Cities or rural areas?
If you want the normal itinerary for a first time visitor, perhaps the following is suitable:
Arriving from Vietnam:
Into Yunnan and see the Yuanyang rice terraces.
Then Jianshui, on to Kunming and Dali and Lijiang.
Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge, then further up into Yunnan - Zhongdian and perhaps Deqin.
Depending on how adventurous you are, and what is open, you could then try the 'back door route' into Sichuan.
Or back to Lijiang and then Lugu lake. That will be around 2 weeks gone.
Into Sichuan. Emeishan and Leshan, Chengdu, Langzhong and then Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong and Songpan. You could head further west into Sichuan - Kangding - depends what is open, and could be combined with the back door (see above). Sichuan - 2 more weeks.
Next, depends where you are, but from Chengdu you could go to Chongqing (Dazu rock caves and Laitan), or towards Xi'an, Huashan, and then places such as Pingyao. Then onto to Beijing (4 days recommended).
So, that will be around 5-6 weeks, and you just seen a little of what China has to offer.
Feb 19, 2013 7:20 AM
4Wow, that sounds great fun, I am really jealous!
Some places not already mentioned; Macau is quite a nice city, lovely architecture and interesting nightlife, and it's right by Hong Kong, so if you're going there anyway then it's worth a night. Wulingyuan Scenic area in Hunan is apparently stunning, and was the inspiration for the floating mountains in Avatar. Hangzhou is beautiful, pretty close to Shanghai. A friend of mine spent a couple of days there touring tea plantations and taking some sort of tea tasting course, and he loved it.
Maybe also the Shaolin Kung Fu school in Henan? I don't know whether or not they allow visitors, but I would assume so. Qingdao has some lovely beaches and great beer, touring the breweries is quite fun. And don't forget Inner Mongolia, ride horses, check out some desert, sleep in a tent with a yak, etc. (Disclaimer: tents are not guaranteed to include yaks. It depends if the yak likes you or not.)
Since you're coming from the south and then flying out of a northern city, if I were you I would work out a logical route and then stick mostly to trains. I've found sleeper trains in China pretty comfortable, especially if you book a soft sleeper, and you save on the cost of a hotel. Maybe start in Yunnan, it's the closest to the Vietnamese border, then go to Sichuan, which is the best place to see pandas, and then work your way east through Chongqing (for the Yangtze river cruise) and Wulingyuan. Then you can go east to Shanghai or north to Xi'an.
Hope you have an amazing time!
Feb 21, 2013 12:21 AM
5drumbrake's itinerary is full of fun and can see a lot of China. And I also think Guilin is a good place for visiting. The Yangshuo country. And Shanghai is also a choice, nearby you can visit Suzhou and Hangzhou if you like Jiangnan style of China. Gardens in Suzhou is famous, and there are also water towns, Zhouzhuang and Tongli.
Feb 22, 2013 4:43 AM
6Thanks for all of your great ideas. My tentative plan was to get the bus from Vietnam to Nanning and then head slowly to Hong Kong, from there Guilin and on to Xi'án, travel from there to Shanghai and finally on to Beijing.
I plan to get a visa in Hanoi and another in HKG. I might need some beach time, so Qingdao sounds interesting (thanks VictoriaLaoshi) and I love your itinerary Drumbrake - I'll be getting the map out later !!
Appreciate your help - Safe travels to you all.
Feb 22, 2013 5:46 AM
7It might not be easy to get a Chinese visa in Hanoi. If you are able to get one beforehand, it would be wise.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$10.15 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$212.02 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$129.95 per night