I'll be arriving with my husband in October for a 30 day backpacking adventure through China! We're both excited and apprehensive in equal parts!!
We arrive in Beijing and depart from Hong Kong and would be grateful for any tips/advice on the best sights to see and the route we should take. We plan to stay in hostels and travel around by train rather than plane (if feasible).
Thanks a lot for suggestions.
China is a big country, and although you might save on some accommodation if you travel by train, especially overnight, you might find it just eats into your sightseeing time... have a look at ctrip for cheap flights... often it is not that much more expensive to fly, and is definitely quicker!
From Beijing, you could go to Xian to see the terracotta warriors, and then down to Chengdu to see the panda sanctuary and Leshan Buddha.
I love the Yunnan area, and you could fly into Kunming and then use trains/buses to move between Dali, Lijiang and maybe Zhongshan. Don't forget Tiger Leaping Gorge. All these places have great value budget accommodation.
Shanghai - a big city, but lots to see. The Bund, Yu Yuan Gardens, Lujiazui high-rises, etc.
Another stunning area is Yangshuo / Guilin - fabulous place to stay there was Mountain Village Inn... if you're interested I can find exact details.
Have a great trip!!
Buy a Lonely Planet guide to China. It will tell you everything you need to know, save you money, and make sure you don't miss anything.
Use the subway in central Beijing. It can get very busy but makes getting around easier. Have your first night at least booked (hostelbookers, asiarooms, etc). Beijing has quite a lot to see, including specialist markets and the nearby Great Wall. The zoo costs peanuts to enter but is expensive if you go via a tour.
Distances can be large in China and a few times I found a flight to be about as expensive as a train (which would have taken a very long time). I booked flights by simply walking into the airport but this may not work in big cities or at busy times.
There are China Travel Bureau offices about and they are very helpful in many ways, even getting you accommodation, and normally they speak English.
If someone invites you to a tea ceremony, walk the other way as it is a con to cheat you out of money.
Accommodation is expensive in Hong Kong. Book a room beforehand through hostelbookers.
I was in China for 3 weeks in 2010...in that time we visted Hong Kong (5 days) I think 3 days would have been enough though, although if your in Hong kong, go to Macua...its a boat ride a way and is like the vegas of china. Awesome place with Portugese influences. From there we went to Yangshuo then to Shanghai via south west China airline? From Shanghai we travelled to Xian (17 hour train ride) and from Xian to Beijing was a 12 hour train ride.
On the Trains they were over night trains and we had Hard sleeper tickets which is basically 6 beds in a cabin (3 on each wall), there is a another sleeper cabin available which is more private but of course you pay more, or if you like you can just get seated tickets but as you can imagine not that comfy to sleep in. Trains do have food areas where you can drink but they eventually kick you out and send you back to your seats. There is a lot to see and do in China, we spent about 4 days in each place. I would love to go back to China, but I will focus more on the country side next time, I found being in very large cities all the time can be a bit much. Yangshuo was certainly my highlight but I think it was a very nice change to the large cities and the Great Wall is a Must See
You are advised to visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Confucian Temple and the Summer Palace in Beijing, and then you should visit Hong Kong by train.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
If you wish to do adventure tour in China, the best option is going to Tibet. Tibet, as the Roof of the World, has unique scenery and wild for adventures.
Note: If you would like to go to Tibet, you have to apply for a Tibet Travel Permit through a travel agency in China.
Go and find an agency to apply for the permit. Then, start your exciting adventure in Tibet.