I'm in China for the change of the year and debating where I'll be best off so I can have a few quiet beers in a bar someone along with fellow travellers. I'm starting in Hong Kong where I arrive on the 29 December though not sure if I want to spend new year there as I dont want to hang around there for4 days before setting off as I'm on a tight schedule. I was reckoning on yangshuo as after reading a bit about the place I think it'll be a bit more close nit where I'd be able to meet a lot of travellers like ourselves and enjoy the surroundings of the bars and cafes while Hong Kong I think is a lot bigger and wide spread.
Am I right on thinking that.... HELP!!!!!!!
How long does it take me to get from Hong Kong to Yangshuo?
Yes, Yongshuo has many bar in the West Street, and many foreigners go there to have a drink.
I think you can fly from Hong Kong to Guilin, it will take about 1 hour. Then you can take bus to Yangshuo, it's also about 1 hour.
How long will you stay in Yangshuo? Do you want to travel to any other cities in China?
I like Yangshuo very much, it's romantic place, especially for foreigners, you can enjoy life in there.
I give you a itinerary, hope to can help you
Arrive at Hongkong, the capital of China.
Sightseeing: Ocean Park
Have half a day tour to OCEAN PARK. As one of the largest Oceanaria and theme parks in southeastern Asia, Ocean Park never fails to impress. Ocean Park features aquariums, dolphin shows, thrilling rides, Asia's largest film simulator ride and giant pandas An An and Jia Jia.
- Hong Kong - Guangzhou via train or jet boat
Sightseeing: Guangzhou- Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall / Memorial Hall of the Chen Family / Temple of Six Banyan Trees
Be met at Guangzhou, then have city tours to visit the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, which is the most symbolic building of Guangzhou, and a key venue for large-scale meetings and performances as well. It was built in 1931 in memory of Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of China's bourgeois democratic revolution. The memorial hall, occupying an area of 12,000 square meters with a height of 46 meters, has magnificent exterior and elegant interior decorations. The whole building, octagonal in shape, is designed in a typical Chinese architectural style.
Then visit the Memorial Hall of the Chen Family, also known as Guangdong Folk Art Museum, built in the 1890s. It is now the largest and best preserved and decorated ancient architecture existing in Guangdong province. The decoration combines wood carving, brick carving, stone carving, clay sculpture, ash sculpture, a brass and iron foundry, a grotto, etc. The special historical, artistic, and scientific aspects of the temple have made it an important attraction in Guangzhou.
Finally visit the Temple of Six Banyan Trees. One of the most famous ancient Buddhist temples in China, the Temple of Six Banyan Trees was built in 537 during the Southern dynasties (386-581A.D). The major structure in the temple is an octagonal pagoda named Flower Pagoda, which is 57.6 meters high, the highest old architecture in the city. The temple originally had a different name but was renamed the "Banyan Tree" temple by the dissident poet Su Dongpo who visited the site in 1100. The temple houses 3 huge bronze Buddhist statues made in 1663, each of which is 6 meters high and weighs 10 tons. They are the largest old bronze statues in Guangdong.
- Guangzhou - Guilin via train or van
Sightseeing:Guilin- Reed Flute Cave / Elephant Trunk Hill / Fubo Hill
have a city tour beginning at Elephant Trunk Hill. Located on the west bank of the Li River by a small branch called Peach Blossom River, the hill resembles a huge elephant standing on the bank of the river, sucking up water with its long trunk. The trunk is particularly striking and lifelike when viewed from either nearby or afar. A circular foot cave called Shui Yue Dong (Moon-In-the Water Cave) separates the trunk and the body. A 3-story Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D) brick pagoda rises from the top of hill.
Then visit Fubo Hill, which is famous for its picturesque shape and beautiful caves. Located in the northeastern part of the city, it stands by the Li River, with half of its eastern foot submerged in water. It is known for its Tang and Song Dynasty Buddhist carvings in the foot cave named Returned Pearl Cave, all accessible by steps leading up and down the east and west side.
Finally visit Reed Flute Cave. A ten-minute drive (half hour bike ride) from downtown, the cave is one of the largest known examples of what each tropical karst cone conceals within it. The script writers and set designers for Star Trek would have a field day in this cavernous underground stalactite/stalagmite maze-style theater. The dripping water is rich and the dripstones vary in shape and size, displaying a wonderful cave world. This cave was called "The Art Gallery of Mother Nature." Colored fluorescent lights cast shadows and illuminate shapes of imaginary animals, fruits and vegetables, completing the unworldly effect.
Sightseeing: Full day Li River Cruise to Yangshuo
The Li River is by far the main reason to visit Guilin. Double-decker and triple-decker river boats weigh anchor from a pier at Zhujiang, about 40 minutes from Guilin by bus, and meander through the sleepy countryside offer a relaxing way to enjoy the superlative river scenery and life along its banks. In contrast to the burgeoning cities of the north, it is quiet here; the rural scenery is magnificent. You will enjoy the picturesque mountains, peaceful green fields, farms and villages with water buffalo and cows wandering around on both sides of the river bank.
After about 4.5 hours, the one-thousand-year-old town of Yangshuo, the disembarking point, comes into sight. It is well worth browsing around this quaint town and its environs.
You can stay some days at Yangshuo
- Guilin - Shanghai by train (about 28 hours)
Sightseeing: Full day private tours to the Bund / Nanjing Road / Yu Garden / Jade Buddha Temple / Shanghai Museum
Have a stroll along the waterfront to experience the smells, sights and sounds of the old "Wall Street" of Shanghai. Banks, trading houses, residences, hotels and clubs all had a view of bustling Huangpu River traffic as they shared in the city's rising and falling fortunes. Then walk along the famous shopping street-Nanjing Road. It is said that shopping in Shanghai is the most varied and rewarding in China
Then visit the Yu Garden. This delightfully restored labyrinth of tiny specialty shops, tea and snack houses centered around a Ming -dynasty mandarin Suzhou-style garden is a fascinating spot to people-watch over a pot of tea, to shop for unique souvenirs and to get a feel for Old Shanghai. It is well worth a meander through the Yu Garden, which has many scenic courtyards decorated with baroque rockery, pools and flora, all connected by corridors and passageways.
Follow with the Jade Buddha Temple. Built in 1911, it is the most famous and one of the most active Buddhist temples in Shanghai. Named for its two bejeweled white jade Buddha, one is 1000kg, 1.9 meter-high figure carved from Burmese jade brought to China in 1882, and a smaller reclining Buddha, the temple receives thousands of visitors and worshipers daily. Although Chinese New Year and the Buddha's birthday are the most popular time to visit the temple for the faithful, it is possible to witness ceremonies at other times.
After having lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Shanghai Museum. As a museum of ancient Chinese art, the Shanghai Museum possesses a collection of 120,000 precious works of art. Its rich and high-quality collection of ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy is specially celebrated in the world. The present Shanghai Museum has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls.
- Shanghai - Xian by train (save money but it's long time)
Sightseeing: Xian-Shaanxi Provincial Museum / Ancient City WallTerra-cotta Warriors and Horses / Huaqing Hot Springs / Big Wild Goose Pagoda / Tang Dynasty Show
Visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, which is the largest comprehensive museum in the province. It is also the fist national-level grand museum equipped with modern facilities. It exhibits primarily historical relics of past dynasties and displays precious art treasures and stone carvings of the Han and Tang dynasties. Walking through the exhibits in the museum is like walking through the 3000 years of China history.
After having lunch at the local restaurant, visit the Old City Wall. It is the most complete city wall survived in China as well as one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. The wall was built in the Tang dynasty (618 -907) and enlarged in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. It has been regarded as THE 8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD! Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in search of immortality, ordered the construction of a vast army of 8,000 life-sized Terra-cotta warriors and buried them with him to protect his empire after his early death. They were discovered accidentally in 1974 by farmers digging a well. For history lovers, the sight is truly breathtaking.
After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Huaqing Hot Springs. Located 35 kilometers east of Xian at the foot of Lishan Mountain in a large park where there are a number of public baths and some modern palaces built in the Tang style, the hot springs, rich in minerals, were highly regarded more than 3,000 years ago.
Sightseeing: Tiananmen Square / Forbidden City / Temple of Heaven / Summer Palace
Beijing Hutong tour
It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people. Have a free walk there, imagining the great historic events of the 20th century that took place there. You will also see legendary landmarks including the Great Hall of the People and the towering 125 foot granite obelisk, Monument to the People's Heroes, honoring those who died in revolution.
Walking across the Golden River Bridge, enter the Forbidden City, the inner sanctum and palace where for centuries Chinese emperors ruled their world. It has a 9000-room maze of courtyards, palaces, and ceremonial halls, where 24 emperors used to live. The Forbidden City was indeed a forbidden place, where commoners were kept out for nearly 500 years. Tour the palace and imagine the mystery, intrigue and incredible power that reigned here.
That's a classic China tour, I hope you can discover China
[ Edit: Edited at Nov 10, 2006 1:31 AM by Rong ]
I would suggest that you stay at least 2 days in Hong Kong. It is a fascinating city with exciting nightlife. And the lighting along the Victoria Bay during Christmas and New Year holiday is awesome. All the buildings are decorated with beautiful lights, so you can really feel the Christmas atmosphere there.
But the disadvantage is the accommodation will be more expensive during this period.