I'm travelling around china in September for 3 weeks going from Beijing to hong kong. I was going to book an Sta trip as it's my first stop and I'm new to travelling. However the prices are quite steep so I wondered if anyone has ideas for organised trips...whether I can book from the Internet etc.
I am not familiar with organized trips. But should you want to independently, I can give you some advice on this route as I have done it myself too.
Just to give you some guidance - if you look for low budget option - you will need max 200 yuan a day - which will include transportation, lodging, food and admission to some sights.
Getting around in china - without speaking the language and knowledge of how things work - is not easy but absolutely feasible. This forum, wikitravel pages and a guidebook can help you a lot to get prepared for a solo trip.
Stay at the Downtown Beijing Packers Hostel, near Hohai lake. Tell them your travel plans. They will help you...good people in my experience. If you're on a budget, trains are the way to go. You can take buses, but they can be challenging. Take the overnight from Beijing to Shanghai...go to sleep, wake up...you have arrived!
Organized trips are okay, but expect to be annoyed by your "guide" pushing you to buy stuff at his friends shops. A better idea is to hook up with some other travelers. There are lots. You get the security of a group without having to be on an organized tour. When planning a trip, just work from hostel to hostel, as each one will help you arrange your travel plans to your next destination.
Traveling on your own in China in quite difficult due to language barriers. You can hire a guide who knows English to ease out your travel in case you plan to travel independently. A guide can give you better insight about the various spots and best utilize your time of traveling.
Oh nice one RyanWiley. Quite helpful this.Will be wanting to go from Beijing all the way to Singapore taking in as much of Asia as we can along the way (in 2 months!)
Heading to Beijing with 2 other TP peeps on 25th October and we need to book our accommodation.Thinking we may need to sort soon enough. Might check out that hostel.Need somewhere cosy enough for our first couple of nights to get grounded from flying from the UK and being in a very different unfamiliar part of the world.
Sounds like a great trip, Cazzyhugs!
When you get down south in China, you may want to go through the land border into Vietnam (get your visa first). Then head up to Sapa (nice little mountain town). Rent a motorbike and head into the hills! Unbelievable scenery! In fact, you can check out a picture on my blog
After Sapa, you can take the overnight train to Hanoi...great city to visit! Here is a great hostel...
Book a bed with them, and they will arrange for transport to pick you up at the train station. Then have the them book you trip to Halong Bay!!
I'm living not too far from the Cambodian border in Thailand. If you come by land into Thailand, let me know!!