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1. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 7y

Im planning to travel china for 6wks I have a rough intinery as follows: do i need to have everything confirmed to help with communication barriers?? I dont like everything set in stone I want to decide to stay longer if i like somewhere or move on if I dont. Ive heard trains can be difficult to get availability in china so would this cause problem

Intinery Beijing 8nights 12-19 October

Pingyao 19-21 3nights Anyone know bus/train times from Beijing to Pingyao?

Luoyng (debating longman caves???) 21-22 Otober

Xian 22-25 October

Want to go to Shangai maybe 3 nights Would it be better 2 go frm Xian?

want to do three gorges, tiger leaping gorge, Yangshuo, Guilin, Hong Kong. This is where i get unstuck want to travel from Nanning to vietnam so im in vietnm for the 22nd October. Love the outdoors, want to see major tourist sights but dont want to be in cities too long maybe 3days though depends what to see

Can you help finish intinery

Thanks

2. Posted by stevenwong (Full Member 28 posts) 7y

Luckily you are going after the first week of october when travel is really mad because everyone in the country gets a week off to celebrate national day.

Train tickets can only be bought upto 2 weeks in advance but it is usual that you can only buy tickets a few (3 i think) days in advance anyway. But you will have no problems buying train tickets - barring any language problems. Train tickets can easily be bought just 2 or 3 days in advance. For longer train journeys i would highly recommend buying as quickly as possible otherwise you will be in a seater!! But atleast you will get to your destination albeit with some new found suicidal tendencies.

But to reiterate there is usually no problems getting train tickets 1 or 2 days before. But get a sleeper. Best is to write down on a piece of paper in character your destination, and the train number. Since there are 3 levels of bunks you may be asked which you prefer. Just learn the characters for top middle and bottom and maybe draw a bed to choose.
Bottom is good cos you can sit, but so does everyone else. Middle is usually preffered.
Time and stuff can be found here - http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china-trains/ .

If for some reason you cant buy a train ticket ask the hostel (who usually speak good english). No real need to book rooms in advance.

Now to itinerary. To get to pingyao (which is well worth the visit) you can easily get buses from Beijing or Xian. From Xian the bus journey is shorted so maybe consider that. Relatively frequent but never leave on time. Or take a train to Taiyuan (the captial of the province) then a bus to Pingyao.

So maybe Beijing to shanghai (fast convenient trains) then train to xian, then bus to Pingyao. Then bus to Taiyuan to get a train to Xian. From Xian can go to guanxi provice (Guilin) or Chengdu (for 3 gorges).
If i remember correctly it is quite hard to get from chengdu to lijiang (for tiger leaping) due to mountains and lack of rail. Involves long train and bus ride.
Lots of buses going between Yangshuo/Guilin to Nanning.

But if you only have 20 days, maybe shorten your bejing stay?

Hope this helps you, anymore questions I would be willing to help.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Aug-2009, at 16:04 by stevenwong ]

3. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 7y

Quoting sovarn

Luckily you are going after the first week of october when travel is really mad because everyone in the country gets a week off to celebrate national day.

Train tickets can only be bought upto 2 weeks in advance but it is usual that you can only buy tickets a few (3 i think) days in advance anyway. But you will have no problems buying train tickets - barring any language problems. Train tickets can easily be bought just 2 or 3 days in advance. For longer train journeys i would highly recommend buying as quickly as possible otherwise you will be in a seater!! But atleast you will get to your destination albeit with some new found suicidal tendencies.

But to reiterate there is usually no problems getting train tickets 1 or 2 days before. But get a sleeper. Best is to write down on a piece of paper in character your destination, and the train number. Since there are 3 levels of bunks you may be asked which you prefer. Just learn the characters for top middle and bottom and maybe draw a bed to choose.
Bottom is good cos you can sit, but so does everyone else. Middle is usually preffered.
Time and stuff can be found here - http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china-trains/ .

If for some reason you cant buy a train ticket ask the hostel (who usually speak good english). No real need to book rooms in advance.

Now to itinerary. To get to pingyao (which is well worth the visit) you can easily get buses from Beijing or Xian. From Xian the bus journey is shorted so maybe consider that. Relatively frequent but never leave on time. Or take a train to Taiyuan (the captial of the province) then a bus to Pingyao.

So maybe Beijing to shanghai (fast convenient trains) then train to xian, then bus to Pingyao. Then bus to Taiyuan to get a train to Xian. From Xian can go to guanxi provice (Guilin) or Chengdu (for 3 gorges).
If i remember correctly it is quite hard to get from chengdu to lijiang (for tiger leaping) due to mountains and lack of rail. Involves long train and bus ride.
Lots of buses going between Yangshuo/Guilin to Nanning.

But if you only have 20 days, maybe shorten your bejing stay?

Hope this helps you, anymore questions I would be willing to help.

Thanks Sovoran for all you info defo food for thought thanks, that was a typo I dont have to be in Vietnam till the 22nd November for have 6wks in china. I never considered Beijing to Shanghai- how long would it take to get there? How long train from shanghai to xian? LP recommend beijing, pingyao etc. Can you recommend any hostels, any treking companies and companies for 3 gorges. Is there a company that does hikes around tiger leaping gorge??

4. Posted by stevenwong (Full Member 28 posts) 7y

oh in that case you have plenty of time!
You can definately visit all the places I have mentioned.

You just need to plan the connections. but in china it shouldnt really a problem with so many buses and trains. The easiest way is just take a map and do point to point, as there will be direct ways to get there usually.

Beijing shanghai is 10 hours, but can take a sleeper to save time.

if i remember correctly you can take sleeper buses to/from beijing or xian to go to pingyao. Its an experience, just dont drink too much before you get on as there is no onboard toilet (and toilets on the road are not even toilets. - imagine fours walls and 5 holes in ground.)

3 gorges i have not been but you can take boat rides and cruises.

Tiger leaping gorge is fun. no need a guide. If you are alone you will defo meet people also doing it, so just tag along. Your hostel will arrange transport to the gorge (although to get back is a little harder - have to wait for bus or pay a car to drive you, cheaper in a big group). you can do it in 2 or 3 days. This was a highlight of my trip and really enjoyed it (the first day is the hardest as you have to climb but once up it is spectacular). Everyone in lijiang basically goes to the gorge so you will get lots of advice there.

5. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 7y

Sovran

Thanks for info.Can you recommend any accommodation got my accomm sorted for Beijing. Also what wud i budget for 6wks in china?

6. Posted by stevenwong (Full Member 28 posts) 7y

mostly you can stay in the yha or hi ones as they are cheap and clean.

for lijiang stay at 'mama naxis' everyone loves it there. its in the lonely planet.

drinks can be western prices although they still havent grasped the idea of using mixers. most drinks are 90% alcohol 10% mixer so maybe you will save money cos you will drink less.

depending on type of holiday, but you can definitely do it for less than £1000 inc trains etc.

7. Posted by faysie (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

Hi Annie,

sounds like an awesome trip!! for the end part you can get a train from nanning into vietnam (i'mconsiderig it myself:))

a great website for details on trains is www.seat61.com it has pictures, prices etc!!

good luck

8. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 7y

Ive been looking at that website

Thanks Faysie

9. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 7y

Ive come unstuck re my intinery can someone plz tell me the best route to see the following

Beijing, pingyao, xian, shanghai, three gorges, yangshuo, hong kong,macau, lijiang (tiger leaping gorge), nanning to go to vietnam.I have 6 wks. Have I missed anything out??

10. Posted by stevenwong (Full Member 28 posts) 7y

that seems like a good/easy plan, probably can fit in a couple of others too.

Many go to Chengdu and Chongqing on the way to 3 gorges, most tours start there i think.

also when going to lijiang you can probably fit in Dali and a couple of backpakery type places too. Kunming the capital of the province so easiest to get to lijiang.

Also maybe if you want fit in Guilin with Yangshuo (4 hours by coach) and Longsheng rice terraces if you have time.

But the plan seems good.

To get from Yangshuo to Hk, i recommend getting an overnight bus to Guangzhou East bus station (if you cant gz main statino is also ok), take the metro to the East railway station and get a 1 hr train to the border then walk across to HK. I have editted the GZ guide if you need more help.

to get to macao the cheapest way would probably be to go to the border (take a free shuttle from any casino) then walk across to china, across te road is the bus station, 4 hours to gz again and take a bus/train/plane to lijiang or Kunming (recommended as more transport links).

hope this helps.