I'm planning my trip to Guang Zhou, Xi'An, Shang Hai and Seoul this coming April. Can anybody advise me on the best itinerary to visit these places and whether I should travel by plane or are there choices to travel by train ?
Thank you for your help !
It`s very convenient to travel by train in China, however, as China is really large, you`ll have to spend quite some time on road. So if the budget/your personal preference is allowed, you can travel by air.
Xi`an is in northen part of China; Shanghai the east; Guangzhou the very south, so you can either go from south to north, or from north to south.
You'll have to fly (or take the ferry) to Seoul, as there are no legal land crossings. Of teh places you list, Shanghai has the most flights to Seoul and they seem to be quite cheap, so i would suggest probably a Guangzhou - Xian - Shanghai - Seoul trip (or reverse). It depends where you have to start from in terms of flights in and out. It might be also worth looking into flying into Hong Kong, as flights can be much easier/cheaper/frequent to there, than to Guangzhou, and the 2 are only a couple of hours appart by regular train (and some boats).
Train or Plane around the country are your options. Train in hard sleeper will be much cheaper than flying, although obviously trips will take a chunk of time.
I'm not sure about getting the train around China, but getting the train to China in the first place could be excellent. I was looking at getting the train from London to Beijing, and reckoned I could do it in a week or so, getting the Trans-Mongolian from Moscow to Beijing. It looked like a fascinating journey, through some really interesting places, and if you had more time you could stop off at Lake Baikal and Ulaal Baator.
Enjoy your trip.
I was looking at getting the train from London to Beijing, and reckoned I could do it in a week or so, getting the Trans-Mongolian from Moscow to Beijing.
From London to Beijing would be 10 days. It's 3 days to get from London to Moscow (Eurostar to Brussels, Brussels-Moscow overnighter). You would catch the trans-Mongolian the next day, which is 7 days straight through. I met a couple of brits doing that exact trip when I was on the trans-Mongolian earlier this year.
I did the same trip (starting in Paris and ending in Hong Kong) in 16 days, and it was TOO quick. I had to go 8 days without a shower because I didn't spend anywhere overnight between Moscow and Beijing (but I did get off the train and spend the day in both Irkutsk and Ulaan Baator).
Frankly, unless you are going to spend some time getting off and seeing the sites along the way (allow at least 2 weeks between Moscow and Beijing), I wouldn't bother with the trip. It's too long without enough breaks to do it straight.
Thank you all for your responses ! Now, does anyone know how much it's likely to be for roundtrip tickets Guang Zhou - Xi'An - Shang Hai - Seoul - Guang Zhou (I've got free tickets for Jakarta - Guang Zhou - Jakarta)? Is it better to book it in advance through internet or rather buy it in China as I've been told it's cheaper to buy domestic tickets in China ? Or maybe I can combine train and plane for this itinerary. Anyone can give me ideas/advise ? Grateful for any advise you can give me.
I think you'll have to buy your plane tickets in China, that goes for train too. Not expensive when we did it. Just find a local travel agent, or best is to use your hotel to help as not many people speak Eng in China. The fees are small from hotels / agencies.
Thank you for your advice, I'll book my tickets when I'm in China. Do you think April is the busy season for travelling there ?
April is OK, but the Golden Week starts since May 1. You`d better avoid the tides of domestic travellers.