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China - agghh!!!

Travel Forums Asia China - agghh!!!

1. Posted by DoA (Budding Member 84 posts) 8y

Hi guys,

Just gone out today and bought guide books for all the destination we'll be visiting.

We arrive in China in June for a month (perhaps 2 since there seems to be too much to do!)

Anyway, we land in Beijing and we need to end up in Laos.

Sites we want to see / Places to visit

Forbidden City
Great Wall of China (perhaps with a not-so-well travelled tour - slightly out of the way of the usual tourist sections?)
Temple of Heaven
Summer Palace
Yugang Caves
Hanging Temple
Yungang Caves
Longmen caves
Terracotta Army

Thats as far as my research has got so far.

Are we being too ambitious? Considering we aren't even out of Northern China yet??

Any advice please! Also, have we missed something vital that you would recommend?

2. Posted by Philca (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

I don't think you are being over ambitious, you can easily do the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace in 4-5 days. Where as for the Yugang Cave and the Hanging Temple, you can do them in one day. As we got the overnight sleeper train to Datong and then got a mini bus trip to take us to the two places. To be honest Datong is a bit of a hole so it isn't worth spending too much time there.

I spent 6 weeks there and saw loads, so 2 months is definitely a lot of time. Pingyao between Beijing and X'ian is also worth going too as it is a beautiful town.

Phil

3. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 403 posts) 8y

Thats a very realistic itinerary... although I really liked Datong - lots of hidden places to see.

Make sure to spend a day or two in Wutai Shan though.

I agree about Pingyao.

Make sure to allow extra time for transit as you'll find many trains are sold out way ahead of time.

And personally I think the terracotta warriors are less impressive in person than in the books.

4. Posted by Lavafalls (Travel Guru 155 posts) 8y

I agree about the sight in Xi'an, the sights i found the most impressive in Xi'an were the City wall and the Great Mosque. As for sections of the great wall around Beijing there are so really cool off the beaten track ones if you do some web searching or willing to pay for a taxi. Spend the night with a local family or camp. Then on the way back you just flag a bus or mini bus going to Beijing on the side of the highway.

As for the rest of your trip i would aim for more western stuff, since you are already in Xi'an. Depending on how off the beaten track you want to do there are many great places to visit in Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai.

The cool part about Gansu and Qinghai is that you can get into Tibetan areas with out a permit legally. Xiahe south of Lanzhou is great! Amazing Tibetan temple/traditional university.

Another favorite site of mine is in Guyuan, Ningxia which is Xumi Shan. You can get there by bus from Xi'an. Amazing Buddhist statues from the 12-14th century. Really cool, and it is located in a muslim area which is very different from the rest of China. Also in Guyuan is a nice local museam that is not in the Lonely Planet. You walk east from the train station until you hit the next major street and turn north. You can't miss it.

North is the capital of Ningxia which is Yinchuan. Located in Yinchuan are some cool sights such as great earth pyramids, pretty mountains and a remote section of the great wall. If you want to see a section of the great wall that very few people see this is it. There will be no vendors, no fees and wall is about only 4 meters high and made of mud. Holes have been punched in it so goats can graze better. Lastly there is a cemetery on the south side of the wall. North of there is a nice little Mongolian temple in Zouqi which is a fun visit.

If you want to do a more Tibetan thing you can go to Xiahe (as mentioned before) and work your way south into Sichuan or work your west jumping small town to small town before getting to Xining. Both places are great but a little off the beaten track, be prepared not to have 24 hour hot water and some pretty basic local buses. But you will go past some amazing scenery that very few none locals have seen.

Although there will be very few English speakers you can get by if you are patient and bring a good phrase book, I am big fan of the rough kind Chinese phrase book and think it is much better then the others.

Best of Luck

Michael

5. Posted by avonclint (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Great plan.

so you are going to stay in beijing for at least one week, aren't you? lately, i'm a little bit crazy about the accommodation in beijing. i'm going to beijing this aug and am trying to find an apartment for 4 of us. do you have any idea on this?

i tired "beijing sweet home", who provide short-term apartment, but want to have more options.

6. Posted by avonclint (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Great plan.

so you are going to stay in beijing for at least one week, aren't you? lately, i'm a little bit crazy about the accommodation in beijing. i'm going to beijing this aug and am trying to find an apartment for 4 of us. do you have any idea on this?

i tired "beijing sweet home", who provide short-term apartment, but want to have more options.