been planning my gap year trip for a lil while, my partner dropped out a lil while ago and despite a few doubts ive decided to go ahead anyway! so far i have my flight out to beijing on the 6th of october. really just looking a some advice/pointers from those more in the know.
first things first, i am getting my chinese visa from http://www.visaforchina.org.uk, its costing £64.50 - going to their office in manchester tomorrow. Sound a-ok?
Now to the itinery;
Those in bold are the main places i would like to see, is this a feasible trip to complete in a month? Also i would love to check out Xi'an, however it is a fairly out of the way - any thoughts?
From what i read accomodation is fairly easy to come by, although can anyone reccommend a good place in Beijing for the first few nights...just to get me settled
Ive tried not to overload with questions, any help is much appriciated
Visa sounds ok (paid 95$Can in Hong Kong)
In Beijing stayed at a Hostel near the Lama Temple (PM me if ou want the name), inexpensive and in a Hutong which was nice.
Itinerary sounds ok, I think you went the rational way with easy trains between the cities... Only problem that I see with that is that you're staying in the similar regions (more developed, modern) and so, the cities will be pretty much the same (Large boulevards, communist architecture, polluted...) The real gems in China are the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces where the rice fields are and the remaining cultures exist.
That being said, I'm sure you can have a blast in the northern parts if you manage to get out of the cities. Hiking the Great Wall at Simatai is one of those trips that is well worth it. As for Hong Kong, it's a blast, it's a great city and you'll be there with the best temperature! (I was there in July-august with 40deg and 100% humidity and Typhoons...)
I heard Xiamen and Huangzou are incredible cities to visit (Try Zhang Zhou near Sahnghai also...)
Any which way, the Chinese are very freindly (if not openly curious to 6'6" blond haired guys...) and much fun is to be had with them if you can manage the language barrier!
Have a nice trip
I'm in China, but I nerver heard about Taijin, where is it?
But I think one month is enough and Xi'an is a must visit city in China, for there are a lot of historic sites to visit (the best in China).
As for the beijing hotel, my suggestion is always to get in proximity to a subway line, as it can save you a lot of trouble during Beijing's notorious rush hour traffic jams. It is bilingual and easy-to-use.
the Intercontinental Financial Street's location is great, 2 separate subway stations for 2 distinct lines in about 5-10 minutes way. The crowne plaza at Wangfujing, which i think some people here have patronized, is very old, although it is very near to the downtown beijing and Forbidden City. IF you prefer to stay at Wangfujing, though i don't recommend, there is a Hilton newly opened. Or the new Crowne Plaza Summer Palace, which obviously is close to the palace.
Thank you both very much for the input - after doing some reading on train routes Xi'an will definately be a destination!
Sounds good Erik, how did you cope with the language barrier - did you learn a lil chinese before visiting? Also where would you suggest to see a some of the more rural areas that are along the rough route, i am quite keen to visit Yongding County.
sorry appletree thats my bad - its supposed to read Tianjin just south of beijing. Thank you also for the accomodation suggestion, ive been looking at places quite close to the forbidden city.
Would either of you suggest also possibly adding on Chengde, despite it being in the opposite direction?
My next concern is actually getting out of Hong Kong, my initial plan was to fly to Hanoi and countinue my journey south, visiting Laos and Cambodia before eventually making my through Thailand and on to Singapore where i will fly to Sydney in time for christmas. However ive noticed that flights between Hong Kong and Hanoi are rare and expensive. Works out cheaper to go via Bangkok using airasia.
can anyone recommend a suitable route fore SEA, considering i will have from round the 7th of november till the 22nd of december to complete it? seems illogical to double back, but hey...
Thanks once again for your time!