I've been working on an itinerary for an upcoming vacation in China in either early April, 2013 or late Oct.-early Nov. 2013.
Beijing, 3 nights
3rd night, take an overnight train (so as not to lose travel time) to Xian for 2 nights
Fly to Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong for a 2 night tour
Fly to Shanghai for 3 nights
Fly to Guillin for 3 nights
Fly to Hong Kong for 3 nights
One question I have is, thinking we wouldn't get much done on day 1 in Beijing since we may not arrive until 6 pm, this leaves us just 2 days in Beijing. Would it be better to take a day from one of the other 3 night spots? It seems to me this would give us a mixture of city life, history, natural beauty, life in smaller villages and some water activities to replace the river cruise. Not as leisurely as some would like, but as long as we have 2-3 nights in most spots, my husband would be ok with this and we should get to see some diverse areas of China.
Any comments or suggestions? On the train from Beijing to Xian, I thought I had read that there were 2 bunk compartments with a private bath. Then I saw a reference to 4 bunks to a compartment.