My friend and I are both junior high school English teachers here in Nagoya, Japan. We are finishing our contracts and have decided to travel to China for at least 2 weeks!! We're considering 2 possible itineraries:
1. Beijing (Great Wall), Xiahe (Tibetan Monastery/Grasslands), Xian (East tour of Terra Cotta Army), Pingyao (Walled City), Taihuan (15-20 temples), Yungang Caves, and then finally back to Beijing...
2. Beijing (Great Wall), and then fly down to the Guilin and Yangshou area...
Hmmm... Decisions, decisions....
About the Great Wall: Are there any places to stay near the Jingshanling section of the Great Wall?.... or between the Jingshanling section and Sumetai??
How does the Huanghua section of the Great Wall compare to Jinshanling/Sumetai? (If we could only do one, which should we visit?)
Sleeper bus/trains: Does the sleeper bus from Xian to Taiyuan stop in Pingyao?
Is there a sleeper train from Xian to Pingyao?
Is there a sleeper train from Datong to Beijing?
Which temples are worth a visit in Taihuan?
Sorry... I know these are a lot of technical questions... I truly appreciate the help!
Thank you very much,
It's actually Taihuai near/at the foot of Wutaishan, not spelt Taihuan.
The 2nd itinerary is much simpler and easier to do.
However I would say that the 1st option is more diverse and interesting, especially if you have more time than 2 weeks... probably about 3+ weeks.
Hopefully you're not planning to travel anytime in the near future (ie before mid-March as this's presently the Spring Festival season and transport around the country is crazy. Not a good time to be travelling in China at all, especially if you're on your 1st trip here without any knowledge of the Chinese language.
The Jinshanling-Simatai Great Wall is usually done as a full daytrip so you don't need to be looking for somewhere to stay. In case you're wondering, there's nowhere to stay on the Wall unless you bring your own sleeping/camping gear.
Jinshanling-Simatai is fine for your 1st visit to the Great Wall.
Don't take sleeper buses, sleeper trains are cheaper, more comfortable and safer.
There're sleeper trains available for Xi'an -- Pingyao and Datong -- Beijing, and also Pingyao -- Datong.
I need some info as I'm going to Shanghai from Singapore to meet my Chinese colleague in Jiangsu, Changzhou on 21 Feb. After visiting him about 3 days for Chinese New Year, I'll continue my journey to Beijing. He says he wants to go to Beijing too but not confirm yet. If he is going together with me then it would probably be much easier to get around cause i'm not quite fluent in mandarin but if he can't make it, I'll be going alone. Which is a better way to go from Jiangsu to Beijing? By train or by plane? Any suggestion on budget accomodation to stay in Beijing for probably 5-6 nights? How do I get to the accomodation from Beijing Airport? Any idea accomodation in Beijing might be full or not during CNY period? Are the great wall and other tourist attractions centre opens during the period from 24 Feb - 1 Feb as they are still CNY period? I'll be coming back to Singapore most probably on 1 Feb. Do hope someone would assist me as it's only 4 days away before I fly. Thanks and God bless.