I have a short 15 day trip to China planned for December...luckily my deal included a couple of free internal flights so this is saving me lots of time and meaning I get to see a few different places...
So I arrive in Beijing for 4 days! I plan on visiting the great wall, forbidden city, summer palace...basically as much as I cam in this time! any gems I shouldnt miss that anyone could offer?!also Bejing is so huge, where would you guys reccomend the best area for me to stay? I was thinking around the Tiannamen sq area?
I then fly down to Hong Kong for a few days...I was thinking of spending a couple of nights in Macau also?!My next stop is over to Guangzhou for 2 nights....then I have around 4 days to play with before heading up by train to Shanghai!!!
Im looking at somewhere in between Guangzhou and Shanghai to stop off at on the way for a couple of days or so!!Any ideas?Would really like to experience somewhere a world away from all the big cities with some amazing scenery and a bit of fresh air!!!
hope to hear your thoughts!!!
Thought I would share in your excitement...my boyfriend and I are flying to Hong Kong on Wednesday to start our 2 month China adventure. Sooooo excited to be seeing China at last, although a bit worried about the language barrier!
We have been told to skip Macau as it is more expensive than Hong Kong and there isn't that much there apart from casinos. Remember to hop between Macau, China and Hong Kong you will need a multi-entry visa (you probably know that anyway!!)
Between Guangzhou and Shanghai you could stop off at Xiamen and the island of Gulang Yu a 10 minute boat trip from Xiamen. People have told us it's a lovely little island (reminiscent of the island from the tv series the Prisoner). It used to be a European community and has lots of old colonial buildings and fresh air!
The other thing you could do is what we plan and go to Yangshou (and Guilin an hour away from Yangshou) from Guangzhou, there is limestne karsts, rice terraces and you can cycle around the countryside there. Admittedly we have been told that Yangshou is nicer then Guilin but you can get a train from Guilin (25 hours) to Shanghai or get a flight.
This is all based on our research from the latest Lonely Planet, reading people's travel blogs and speaking to friends who have been!
Hope this helps!
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 5, 2007, at 8:05 AM by loubylou ]
15 day is really a very short time for China. Nevertheless, I agree with the lovely places around Beijing. My favourite place in Beijing is the forbidden city, in which you can easily stay a whole day. Don't forget, if you want to visit the great wall, you have to plan a day trip, as it is away from the city center. There are a lot of tour operators, for which you can spend a lot of money. Because they usually take you first to a manufacturer (where you have stay in the shopping mall) then propably you can visit Ming Mausoleums and then in the end, they will show you the great wall.
On your way south to Shanghai, I would not recommend travelling by train. On my first trip to China, I travelled from Shanghai to Guilin by train. It took more than 20 hours, landscape is fascinating, but for your short trip it takes too long. Why don't you fly from Macau to Guilin, as already recommended. Then from Guilin by flight to Shanghai. Guilind/Yangshuo is a very nice place. Limestone hills, beautiful scenery and some times fresh air. It is one of the most beautiful places in China. you can rent there bikes for daytrips. But be aware of the entrance prices, which you have to pay for everything, as Guilin/Yangshuo is a touristic spot.
thanks for all of your advice!! I know 15 days is such a short amount of time now I have a grown up job, it plays havoc on my itchy feet and my backpack is sitting there gathering dust and feeling unloved so time to bring it back out for a bit of excitement!!! Really looking forward to the trip...hearing all of your pearls of wisdom is making me super excited!!! I think Im going to head up to Guilin as I really dont want to miss out on there!!!And seeing as time isnt on my side and I want to make the most of my time there Im going to rely on flights and only use trains for shorter distances!
thanks so much!Oh and have a fabulous time loubylou!
I done a similar trip earlier this year where I had 17 days in China so know the feeling of having the itchy feet while having a job. Saying that, I'm away again next month though this time I'm quitting my job so I can have a bit longer away.
In Beijing, I stayed just South of Tiannamen square, among the Hutongs, which was excellent. It was only about 5 minutes walk from the square. There was plenty of places to stay. There was an amazing buzz about the place at night as I walked among the shops and stalls, smelling the fresh food being cooked by the street vendors. Transport is good around there too.
Personally, I would recommend Yangshou, rather than Guilin. You share the same sights for the windy rivers and Mountain ranges, though instead of a big city, your staying in nice cobbled street accomodation where you're only a 5 minute bike ride away from the rice fields and rivers, which was my highlight of my trip. The nightlife is excellent and I felt very safe and comfortable. Check out my blog where I briefly give my quick opinion on the 2, although I haven't actually stayed to Guilin. http://johninchina.travellerspoint.com/13/
If there is anything you want to ask, just drop me a line.....