HK - Yangshuo - Fenguhuang - Dehang
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Mar 10, 2013 6:04 AM Last Post By: drumbrake
Mar 7, 2013 5:29 AM
HK - Yangshuo - Fenguhuang - DehangHello!
We are flying to HK for Easter and will spend 4 days there before travelling to mainland China for 6 days. From reading the guidebook, we’d be interested in visiting Yangshuo, Fenghuang and Dehang.
It looks like getting to Yangshuo is relatively straightforward – either a flight from Shenzhen to Guilin or an overnight train (we’re tempted by the train because we like travelling this way – is it bad?). Getting from Yangshuo to Fenghuang looks like a mission though. Any ideas? Alternatively we could go straight to Fenghuang – another LP poster suggested bullet train to Changsha and then buses. Any ideas how long that would take?
A more important question: is this is a good way to spend 6 days on our first trip to China? I have a feeling maybe no point going to both Fenghuang and Dehang as this may be too much moving around. Yangshuo looks like it will be a nice place to chill – we’d like to go cycling and visit villages and maybe go on the river. Anywhere else near Yangshuo (i.e. closer than Fenghuang and Dehang) that would be worth visiting. I think it is the wrong time of year to visit the Dragons Backbone. Thanks to those who gave me some tips before - now we've honed in on this part of China would be good to know a bit more about this region!
Finally – any recommendations for places to stay in/outside of Yangshuo? While we don’t mind going basic for Fenghuang/Dehang we’d like to treat ourselves for Yangshuo and go somewhere where we can have a balcony and enjoy the scenery. It would also be cool to stay somewhere a bit more remote/rustic or a homestay for a couple of days.
Mar 7, 2013 5:49 AM
16 days - stay in and around Yangshuo. Maybe go up to the rice terraces as well - maybe starting to get green by then. Going to Fenghuang and Dehang as well means a least 2 days wasted travelling.
Train is nice to Guilin. Overnight form Shenzhen.
Lots of good places to stay in and around Yangshuo - Li River Retreat, Outside Inn, Giggling Tree, Mountain Retreat,
Mar 7, 2013 10:50 AM
2Fenghuang is beautiful, but a pain to get to, especially from Guilin/Yangshuo. Having spent some time in China, I can honestly say there is no bad time to go the Rice Terraces. Each season brings it's own beauty. Having said that, Sept/Oct is my favourite.
In Yangshuo town, I like the Magnolia Hotel (and check out the amazing Pure Lotus Restaurant in the lobby, best food in town). Out of town, try the Li River Retreat Hotel.
Also check out this website: www.yangers.com
Mar 7, 2013 2:18 PM
3Fenghuang is about an hour from Changsha (Perhaps a little more) by bus but, as Drumbrake indicates, you're trying to do too much in too short a time. Either do 6 days in Yangshuo OR 6 days in the Fenghuang/Dehang area.
Getting to Fenhuang isn't that difficult from Changsha. Buses run regularly... But if you're new to China and uninitiated, getting to Guilin/Yangshuo is going to be far easier.
There is, I suppose, always the option of a flight to Zhangjiajie (Not done this myself).
Mar 7, 2013 5:37 PM
4The Yangshuo area will be much easier travelling for a first time to China.
You can only do only of the areas as others have said.
We have flown Zhangjiajie to Beijing.There look to be flights from Guangzhou to Zhangjiajie. If you opted for this area, I would suggest that you spend a few days in Zhangjiajie (Wulingyuan Park) which is stunning and then visit Dehang which would give you a taste of a small village and is also very beautiful. Fenghuang is picturesque but crammed with Chinese tourists.
Mar 9, 2013 4:09 AM
5I completely agree with the last poster: Zhangjiajie is simply fantastic scenery (to be honest my favorite park on the planet - and that's after 48 months of travelling - though I must admit I'm a rock addict, especially raw, craggy peaks - they simply look stunning - no pictures can prepare you).
I'm in Fenghuang for 2 days right now and luckily it's the end of day 2. Man I hate this place. There's only a few buildings that are not completely modernised (meaning it's either a tourist shop, restaurant or a guesthouse) and there's many thousands of Chinese tourists here to see... well... basically not much. The few buildings that are really worth the effort can only be visited buying a 148 yuan through ticket.
I'm off to Dehang tomorrow and expect very few tourists, certainly not in the rural trekking area.
Yangshuo was very nice, being there the second time. You can easily spend a day or 3 visiting neighbouring villages if you like karst scenery. Personally I would do everything to visit Yangshuo-Zhangjiajie-Dehang but it's simply a lot of travelling. The travel hubs are Guilin and Jishou. I didn't travel from one to the other, but Zhangjiajie is 3 / 3,5 hours from Jishou and Dehang 45 minutes. If memory serves me well Yangshuo is about 1,5 hours from Guilin. If you can find out about transport between Guilin and Jishou then you're done.
Mar 9, 2013 7:47 AM
Mar 9, 2013 8:26 AM
7Yes you can stay in the park. Ding Ding Guesthouse is highly recommended.
See these threads:
Mar 9, 2013 3:31 PM
8Did I say Fenghuang was 1 to 1.5 hours from Changsha? Whoop. I meant Jishou. Jishou can be reached by overnight train from Changsha. Sorry！ My bad！Must not be distracted when I'm typing. But this is more evidence to convince you to stick to one of these areas for 6 days as having to spend the best part of a full day in Changsha is about 8 hours too long.
Mar 9, 2013 5:48 PM
9Here is an alternative route from Yangshuo to Fenghuang, without passing Changsha, and going through some other nice places, if you're adventurous enough:
1. Yangshuo to Guilin
2. Take a bus from Guilin to Xinning (新宁) and ask the driver to drop you off at Langshan (崀山). Just south of Xinning. Langshan is a beautiful mountainous area on the border between Guangxi and Hunan, great for traveling.
3. From Xinning take a bus to Shaoyang and change to Hongjiang (洪江). Hongjiang has an ancient city, much less traveled than Fenghuang. The surrounding area is also very nice.
4. From Hongjiang it's easy to get to Fenghuang, either directly or by changing at Huaihua. From Fenghuang continue to Jishou, Dehang and Zhangjiajie.
Another option if you want to see the rice terraces at Longsheng and Chengyang bridge is to enter Hunan from Sanjiang, take a bus to Tongdao (通道) and visit the Dong villages around it. From Tongdao you can get to Hongjiang or Huaihua.
Mar 10, 2013 4:28 AM
10Thanks everyone! Can't wait.
We have decided to stick to Yangshuo - we are pretty adventurous travelers but are looking for something more relaxing for our 10-day break from the rat race! We will have to come back to China (again and again) to really explore it.
We're also going to risk the fog at the dragon's backbone - fingers crossed we can see something!
Mar 10, 2013 6:04 AM
11I think you have made the right decision.
Easter is a holiday in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Ching Ming on 4 April, so while China won't be that busy, there will be more tourists heading away from Hong Kong for a few days. You might want to avoid the HK-China border crossing on 28 or 29 March.
I don't think fog is much of a problem on the Dragon Bone terraces,at least compared to Yuanyang.
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