Hi Fellow Brave travellers whom have been to China, we are thinking of travelling to China to the following cities, in no particular order: Guilin, Hangzhou, Luoyang, Xi'an, Beijing, and Shanghai. I wanted to know if anyone has any good suggestions on which Travel tour to join or what is the best way of touring through these cities. Thanks
sorry forgot to add that I am situated in Hong Kong and will be joining tours from HK.
I think you should add small but beautiful cities like Suzhou, Wuxi, which are nearer to Shanghai.
My first tip is to travel independently of an organised your - it's a challenge (if you dont speak/read Mandarin or Cantonese ?) but you'll come away with a real sense of achievement.
As for itinerary, you should check out Yangshuo instead of Guilin - it has the same stunning scenery and is also on the Li River but is a small town whereas Guilin is a small city. To get there you'd catch the twin from Guangzhou to Guilin and then get a bus for two hours to Yangshuo - the buses go from outside the train station in Guilin, cost 10Y, and there are plenty of accommodation options in Yangshuo itself.
I didnt go to Suzhou or Wuxi but have heard that they are particularly beautiful, especially Suzhou with it's ancient gardens.
The best way to get around is by the extensive and modern train network - train lines link all the places you've mentioned going. The soft sleeper class of carriage is very comfortable but about twice as expensive as hard sleeper, so if your train is only one night then hard sleeper is good enough - any longer and the smoke, noise and crowded conditions will drive you nuts !
How much time do you have for this trip? When are you planning to travel? Do you have any specific points of entry/exit? Must you enter and exit China from the same city? (Not including Hong Kong) If you can provide this information, I'll be in a better position to give you a good answer.