Yunnan and Sichuan Questions
Replies: 14 - Last Post: May 6, 2013 2:51 AM Last Post By: drftr
Apr 26, 2013 8:50 AM
Yunnan and Sichuan QuestionsI am thinking about spending a month or so traveling around Yunnan and Sichuan this summer. I have heard that Yunnan is very touristy, which I am concerned about, since I don't like going to places that are overly touristy.
I am thinking about traveling overland from Burma via Ruilli then working my way up the Nujiang river valley, to Dimaluo, then trekking to the Yubeng area, exploring that area, and then traveling to Yading/Litang. From there either retracing my steps and flying out of Zhongdian, or continuing onward to Chengdu and flying home from there. I am thinking of bypassing Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and possibly Dali, since it seems like most tourist go to those spots.
1) Will this be an interesting experience in terms of unique culture and landscape ? Is it worth the trip? Will it be a unique adventure, or will I be dissapointed because it will be very touristy??
2) I am also considering visiting Xishuangbanna, but it is out of the way, so I am considering skipping this area? Do you think it would be worth the side trip to this area? If so, should I fly, or travel overland?
3) Will I be able to manage this trip as an english speaker without a guide? (I probably would hire a guide for the trekking part,only because I will be traveling alone.)
4) Is Sichuan very touristy? Would the trip from Litang to Chengdu be worth it, or would I be better off just retracing my steps and flying from Zhongdian (Shangri-La) to Kunming, and then home from there???
Apr 26, 2013 1:42 PM
1. Yes, definitely, even if some places may annoy you.
2. Don't know.
3. Yes, you would manage. Get a good Mandarin phrasebook though, and learn the basics like numbers and greetings.
4. Difficult to compare. In both Yunnan and Sichuan only particular places are obviously "touristy", while there are also many other interesting and nice places just a short bus ride away. And its Chinese tourists now, not Westerners anynore. Anyway, you won't be able to totally avoid touristy places - just minimize it by avoiding obvious theme parks like Lijiang.
Tiger Leaping Gorge is worth visiting even in spite being on the to-do-list of every tourist.
Kawagebo/Yubeng area was awesome.
Lijiang - tourist trap, just change buses there (most probably you will have to).
Shaxi - go there before it gets like Lijiang (it is still nice...), and do spend an afternoon and night in Jianchuan on the way.
Zhongdian a.k.a. Shangri La - a bit more interesting than Lijiang bud sadly also over-touristed.
Litang - definitely worth visiting for the authentic Tibetan experience, if they let you in.
Xiangcheng (between Zhongdian and Litang) - nice place to stay 2 nights and wander across the neighbouring Tibetan villages. Definitely not touristy.
Lugu Hu - avoid Lige (tourist trap), stay rather on the Sichuan side.
Xichang - maybe not a first-class attraction but a nice town, a nice hill with temples and definitely not touristy.
You can have a look at my 2012 and 2007 trip reports on http://meczko.wordpress.com/china/ for some practical details on transport, accomodation and also "touristy-vs-less-touristy" assessment.
Apr 26, 2013 2:16 PM
2A long time ago,
I traveled sichuan in winter, right around Lunar New Year when very few tourists were out an about.
okay but forgettable.
The DuJiang river diversion project was interesting.
The LeShan big buddha was impressive.
Emei mountain was absolutely positively hands down stunning. Except for the summit, I had most of the mountain almost to myself. It is not hard for me to understand why the early buddhists believed the entire mountain is holy.
i guess this doesn't answer a single one of your questions.
Apr 26, 2013 3:20 PM
Apr 27, 2013 12:28 PM
4there's a reason that certain spots attract tourists - and not just because they've been chosen for tourist development - rather because they are special. i wouldn't skip tiger leaping gorge, and even in dali and lijiang you needn't follow the hordes yet could still see plenty of cool stuff. on the other hand, you certainly needn't go there if you'd prefer not, and the places you mentioned are among those i would find interesting and beautiful - don't know how you'll like them, of course!
if you have or will visit south east asia i wouldn't bother with xishuangbanna.
Apr 30, 2013 6:11 AM
May 1, 2013 9:39 PM
6"overland from Burma via Ruilli then working my way up the Nujiang river valley, to Dimaluo, then trekking to the Yubeng area, exploring that area, and then traveling to Yading/Litang. " is a nice idea. as there have so many beautiful nature view and splendid minority culture. if you have enough time, i really suggest you to do it. but you will have to trek 3 days from Dimaluo to Mekong gorge, 3 days trek in YuBeng area, some days trek around Yading nature reserve. you have to trek with local guide and some basic equipment. I have been those places many times, if you need more information, i would like to share with you. from : w w w theyaktraveller
May 1, 2013 9:50 PM
May 2, 2013 2:44 AM
May 4, 2013 6:59 AM
I will be doing part of your trip. If you want to team up to share costs for a guide or so just let me know. I plan to arrive in Bingzhongluo on May 8th or 9th and trek from there to Deqin. Though only if costs are less astronomical as I have been quoted by a Lonely Planet recommended guide. Otherwise I will just do a couple of day hikes in the area.
May 4, 2013 2:25 PM
May 4, 2013 7:32 PM
May 5, 2013 7:48 PM
As you said, "Peter Yang quoted 2.900 yuan for 2-3 days. ", include what kind of items, such as meal, english speaking guide, transportation..... If ony the cost of guide, 2900 is too expensive. Bingzhongluo and Dimaluo area is nice, less tourists places, local Lisu minority and tibetan are kind. I know some people can speak English and guiding for tourist who to trekking that area. the cost is 300RMB per day
May 5, 2013 8:14 PM
13"but you will have to trek 3 days from Dimaluo to Mekong gorge, 3 days trek in YuBeng area, some days trek around Yading nature reserve. you have to trek with local guide and some basic equipment"
Does anyone know if these people that run the treks in these three areas generally supply equipment like stove and tent? I would rather not lug my tent, stove, etc around asia for 2 months if I'm only going to use them for a 3 day trek to get out of the Nujiang Valley.....thanks.
Edited by: neweinbe
May 6, 2013 2:51 AM
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