Hey everyone! This is my first post so go easy...............
Anyways, I've managed to convince a friend to travel to China in Feb 2010 for approximately 3 weeks. I have travelled China before, almost 6 six years ago and throughly looking forward to my trip next year. I want to visit the main attractions including The Great Wall, The Terracotta Warriors, The Great Mosque in Xian, Tiannanmen Square, The Forbidden City and Pu Dong River. I am fairly certain our travel will encompass the use of busses and trains and this is the best way to interact with populous. However, I also want to make it to Guilin...............the pictures of Guilin and Yangshuo are enough to make me think I have to travel there. I also feel, this is also slighly off the beaten track and want to experience something different, even though Guilin is becoming touristy by the day. Not only this, I would also like to travel to Guangzhou and Hong Kong. I am planning to do research on the best itinerary and if anyone can give me dig out on the best plans, it would be a great help. However, I am open and flexible as one has to be when travelling. I am also prepared to extend my my travelling period by a couple of weeks if required.
Below is a rough guide of where I would like to go. If anyone has or is currently doing a similar route, it would be brilliant to share your views and opinions.
Fly to Shanghai and then I'm open to anything.....
Any replies and advice would be great.
Im doing a similar trip in late march/april 2010
I would have a look at the weather in the north of china in feb (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT002100) as it will be pretty cold probably minus temperatures only reason i mention is i have no idea if say some of the things you want to do would be affected by this.. worth checking
3 weeks will not be enough!!
Also in 2010 chinese new year is on valentines day. So for travelling anytime around that date will be very difficult. i.e. a week before and a week after. Sleeper trains will most likely be booked out. So your only method of travel would be soft sleeper (more expensive) or flying. or coaches but they may be full.
Also on the eve and day itself, plan to stay in one place cos it can get quite hectic around CNY.
If poss, leave after this date.
consider Pingyao, which is near to xian (6 hours by coach) as it is the best preserved city in China, lots of old architecture.
Don't stay in guilin, just go straigt to Yangshuo and stay there for 2-3 nights so you can cycle/hike around.
There are many daily buses fron Yangshuo to guangzhou but only a few night buses. Try to take the sleeper bus as it will save you time and boredom.
For one more suggestion, though may be out of the way - visit Haerbin. and the ice festival, freeeeeezing cold but amazing.
Thanks for the replies so far. Definately food for thought. May have to consult with my travel partner, but regardless of the weather, travelling would still be fun!
It would be nearly impossible to get train tickets from Feb 1st to Feb 28th, coz that's the Chinese new year period. Bus should be fine, but it would be crowded and you have to be really careful about the pick pockets. So i'd recommend booking the flight tickets way in advance.
If you fly in and out of shanghai, i'd recommend that you fly to beijing from Sh, and then to Xi'an, and then to HK, then work your way up back to SH.
I have been to all the cities, don't think there is much to see in Quzhou...