Hi comrades !
I'm planning on being in China for six weeks from early May to mid June. I'd basically welcome any suggestions on places, in your experience, that I really MUST visit. I'd like to see Tibet, and I'm keen to visit isolated places like Urumqi and Kashgar. But really I'd like to focus on seeing the great monuments to Chinese civilization, so any suggestions from your experience would be very much appreciated.
For Chinese civilization, don't miss X'ian and Beijing.
The city of Xi'an (population 6 million) was the first Chinese city to open up its doors to the ancient world, during the Tang dynasty when Xi'an, then called Chang'an, meaning forever peace, blossomed as the first stop on the Silk Road. Over a period of more than 2000 years, Xi'an has been the capital for eleven dynasties. Along with Rome and Constantinople, this city was a world leader in culture and trade and played a vital role in bridging the gap between east and west.
Were you planning to enter China overland from Europe ?
Thanks for your message. I will also include this reply in the travel forum for the benefit of any others.
Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province. The LP guidebook says, "... Yunnan is without doubt one of the most alluring travel destinations in China...", and "...If you could only go to one province, this might well be it."
The places to consider in Yunnan are Kunming (koon-ming), Xishuangbanna (near the Laos/Myanmar borders), Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian (aka Shangri-La) on the way to Tibet. I know a Chinese guy here in Kunming who organises tours to Tibet. His name is Mr Chen. His English is very good, and he's most obliging. He could arrange an overland tour to Lhasa from Zhongdian (7 OR 8 days) by Toyota 4WD.
(I personally have been overland from Kathmandhu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet).
Another alternative for you is to fly to Lhas via Chengdu. Chengdu itself is very scenic. You can see the Chinese panda bear there.
I'll add other China comments direct in your thread. Mr Chen's email address is in your message center.
How's it going ?
Thanks for your reply. I'm landing in Beijing and will have a two month visa so am pretty flexibile in where I can go. I notice you're based in Kunming - is that somewhere you'd recommend ? Any advice you could give would be gratefully received - including any you could give on entering and leaving Tibet - ideally we'd like to enter from Golmud and leave by flying to Chengdu, but i'm not sure if it's possible to enter from Golmud at present (or whether it would be advisable - I've heard of a gruelling 30-50 hour bus journey).
Mongolia is nice. Or somewhere in inner-mogolia might worth to see and it's not far from Beijing.