My boyfriend and I are planning a 12-22 month round the world trip to India, Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam), China and Australia and are looking for some advice (see full thread at forum.virtualtourist.com/Asi.... We're planning to leave mid Sept. and visit the destinations in the above order, starting with India.
I had originally planned India Sept. '13 - Jan '14, China Feb - Mar, Southeast Asia Apr - Jul, followed by Australia for 2-12 months, but several people have suggested to switch around China and Southeast Asia, as China would be too cold in Feb/March and Southeast Asia too hot Apr-Jul. Hence we're now planning to fly to Bangkok from Chennai at the end of Jan '14, spend 4 months in Southeast Asia and then fly into China from Hanoi. After 2 months in China (June & July) we're planning to fly out to Australia from Beijing. - Does this sound like a good plan? I'm a little concerned about spending July in China, having read that plenty of rain sweeps the country during this month - is this a big issue?
I have compiled a list of regions and places that we'd be interested in, obviously we won't be able to visit them all due to time constraints, but which would you recommend? We're interested in culture, landscapes, wildlife, national parks, cuisine, beaches, some hiking (not trekking), adventures, photography. Also, they look very spread out, is there a logical route, and where best to start?
- Jiangsu (Suzhou)
- Zhejiang (Hangzhou)
- Shanxi (Datong, Pingyao)
- Shaanxi (Xi'an, Mt Hua Shan)
- Anhui (Hongcun, Xidi, Huangshan)
- Henan (Kaifeng, Shaolin Temple)
- Jiangxi (Wuyuan)
- Hunan (Fenghuang, Dehang, Wulingyuan)
- Guangxi *must see (Guilin, Yangshuo, Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, Li River Cruise)
- Guizhou (Chishui)
- Yunnan (Yuangyang, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lugu Lake)
- Sichuan *must see (Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou)
- Gansu (Labrang Monastery)
We also have some specific questions:
- Getting around: Which is the best way of getting around to see the above regions, and how best to book tickets? Are budget flights a good option, in addition to trains and buses?
- Visas: Since there's a lot of places we would like to see in China maybe it would make more sense to extend our stay to 3 months (to arrive one month earlier in May), cutting Southeast Asia from 4 to 3 months - but am I right in assuming that while it is easy to extend an L Visa from 30 to 60 days, it is very difficult to extend it to 90 (we are one German and one UK national)? We will be in Southeast Asia before travelling to China, where is best to apply for it (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam)?
- Budget: I've used www.budgetyourtrip.com to find average daily costs and it suggests around ¥ 156/£16.50/US$ 25 per person for budget travel in China (including Accommodation, Food, Water, Local Transportation, Entertainment, Communication, Tips and Handouts, Intercity Transportation, Souvenirs, Alcohol) - is this realistic?
Any additional tips/advice regarding independent travel in China would be much appreciated!
Many thanks Nicole & Stu
Is anyone know cheapest flight from tianjin to guangzhou? Under US$100 if possible? Thank you.
Zhaoxing or Sanjiang?
Hi all - need some advice from those of you have been there: we will be in Guilin and Yangshuo for a week (already booked at Yangshuo Mountain Retreat) this July/August. Then have 5 nights to see the Dragon's Back rice terraces area before flying from Guilin to HK.
I'm thinking of 1 night at ChengYang bridge near Sanjiang, two in Zhaoxing and the last two in PingAn. Now reading on different forums people say ChengYang is better to stay longer than Zhaoxing, and that we could even drop it. What do you think? We won't be taking busses - we are seniors and will either take cabs or organize cars. Want to do some hiking in the area, obviously, but 2,3, max 4-hour hikes rather than all day in the heat. Have already booked at Longji One Hotel in PingAn for the last two nights and the first night at the Dong Village Hotel. Still trying to book at Zhaoxing VIP. So, specific questions:
1. Two nights in ChengYang and 1 in Zhaoxing or visa versa? We'll probably arrive in ChengYang around lunchtime from Yangshuo if we leave there early.
2. Has anyone booked at Zhaoxing VIP, and if so, how? Can't find an email address, only a Chinese travel agent who says the rooms are either $75 or $150 per night! Seems steep!
3. I like the look/sound of Longji One, but also want to see Dazai. If we hike there through the terraces, which everyone says is amazing, would it be better to take a taxi to Dazai in the early morning and hike back to PingAn or the other way round? Which direction would we be going down more than up? (We're seniors, remember, although in great shape:):):).
Any other advice GREATLY appreciated from all you intrepid travelers!
We are joining a tour in May but as we are arriving two days early we took pot luck on one of the hotels that the tour group use and booked Shaanxi Business Hotel, Jing'an District. We have now heard that our tour is starting from the Ramada Zhabei and our third and fourth nights in Shanghai will be there. So we are deliberating whether to amend our initial booking so we don't have to change hotels (two nights in each).
The first day of our free time we aim to check out People's Square, The Bund and go under the river to Pudong. The second day we want to get a bus from People's Square to Zhujiajiao. Then we would come back and change hotels to join the tour.
The Shaanxi looks a more central location but as we will be travelling for 3 weeks, maybe we should just go to the Ramada for all 4 nights.......
Any advice from people who know Shanghai well??!! Thanks.
I am from USA, and I am going to be leaving school to work a 6 week internship in Beijing starting June 1, 2013, and I need to find an inexpensive place to live for that time. I am not picky at all, I would just like a place where I know my stuff is safe. The cheaper the better. I am not sure what part of the city I will be working, but on Google Maps it's located on Jinrong Street, Xicheng, Beijing. I would like to be kind of close to that, but I do not mind a commute. Thank you!
is it safe to travel sleeper class through out china
hi we are traveling to shanghai in mid February. nxt year please can someone tell me what the weather will be like and some good places to visit from shanghai, at that time of year
Hi all, I would like to go to China for a year to learn Mandarin. (At the language school we learn putonghua.) Because I'm still a beginner teachers told me to go to a city close to Beijing. But I am thinking about going to Fuzhou instead... Do you think I can practice Mandarin in Fuzhou or would I probably learn the Fuzhou dialect and it may be difficult for me to get used to after learning putonghua? Thank you for your help in advance!
To help you folks (if it gives any idea of taste) I have been to France, Italy, Turkey, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore
Should I spend a 10 day holiday in Oct/Nov 2013 in Japan or China?
In China, the idea mainly was to see the Forbidden city, the Great wall, maybe some chinese temples and if possible drink in the sights & sounds of beautiful countryside including rice terraces, huge gorges and ...... No Shanghai for me. I hav been to HK and thats good for me. My fear is that the great wall after a point maybe a let down and that a lot of china (the china I can reach in 8/9/10 days) will be industrialised steel and grey concrete strucures
In Japan, the plan would include, enjoying Tokyo, doing a bullet train, seeing Mt.Fuji if i can, watch the changing of leaf colour (autumn), those miniature gardens, seeing the all to back-to-the-future type electronic passions of Japanese youngsters, seeing a brilliantly lit up Tokyo etc
One Very Very important thing for me is Food. I live in India and what passes off as chinese cuisine here is as far from reality as Bombay is from Rio.I ate what was supposedly chinese claypot rice on the roadside in singapore a long time ago and I found the meats chewy and raw. I love to believe that I am a food connoisseur but the fact remains that strange flavours really put me off. I have tried Sushi & Sashimi and i find them at best bland and at worst, raw (Pardons from those going Blasphemy! Blasphemy!). I have munched on liver & brain, but in forms agreeable to my head.
I really want to go to a place where (yes I see something I have never known before) and where the food will be something I will be happy about over the years when I think back about it.
The other thing is people. I know Tokyo maybe an antithesis, but i really love going to places where the people are few, the sights exotic (something i have never seen before) & the experiences unreplicated back in my hometown
All of the above may seem short sighted to some.... I am sorry if anything comes across as too shallow.
If you could spend 5mins reading this and if you have been or know anything about these countries and can marry it to my conditions (ha ha ha), please share a view
What is a recommended hotel in xiamen along zhongsan ? and what are the sites to see in xiamen
I'm planning to go to Nepal through Tibet at the cheapest rate possible because I'm running low on cash.
I'm thinking of going any time in late april or may.
I already got a qoute of 1500 yuan and less from a reliable agent if I can find more people...
If you're interested let me know my email is Maxpower440@hotmail.co.uk
I am looking for a professional/reliabe driver from Kunming to YuanYang
i need football like real madrid team and barchalona team ,for my boys 7-8 years
I would dearly like to visit 'Wonderland' the abandoned theme park that is 32km outside of Beijing.
I know that it is located in Chenzhuang Village, Nankou Town, Changping District.
1) What is the best way to get there? I am assuming a taxi??
2) if a taxi is the best way, I am again assuming that I need it to wait so that it can return me to Beijing later? does anybody have any idea how much this would cost?
3) or is hiring a car with driver an affordable option?
Also, if this were to be a 'day trip' out of Beijing are there any other places worth driving to at the same time, within reason? (I will go to the wall on a different day)
This will be my first visit to China so have absolutely no idea of prices.
Any information would be appreciated, thank you.
I am planing to visit Beijing, Xian and Shanghai in October, 2013. For saving money, I choose to take trains. I know that there is high-speed train from Beijing to Shanghai. I need to know what kind of train I should take. And I want to take overnight trains. How long will it cost from Beijing to Shanghai?
I have decided I am going to fly to China from Ireland to look for a very good Chinese friend whom I haven't heard from in almost 2 years. I realise this is a massive undertaking given that I have no Chinese and little understanding of the culture or its norms.
Nevertheless, I have booked my flight from Dublin to Beijing, arriving on 22 July 2013. I am now trying to work out the most cost effective way to get from Beijing to Dalian. I am also trying to find out what sort of area my friend lives in, whether I will need to hire an interpreter when I arrive in Dalian, and what sort of cost would it be to hire an English-Chinese interpreter for an hour or two? If so, I would probably only need the interpreter in the event that something bad has happened to my friend and I'll consequently have to speak with his family (my friend is obviously fluent in English).
Would anybody be able to give me advice on any of the above?
The snailmail address which I have is for "Jiao zhong street, Gan Jing Zi District". I cannot find that address through a Google search. There's obviously no point in my going if the address is incorrect. Could anybody confirm if such a place exists? Thank you very much.
Hi All! I'm thinking about moving to Guilin, so did my research on the city. Accidentally, I read some stories online where travellers said they encountered huge spiders in their accomodation (hotels and apartments). I don't panic much about nonvenomous, small spiders, though I still dislike them, but one of my biggest fear is that I will encounter a spider in my room that is way too big to be killed with my slippers.... Did any of you had any unpleasant experience with such creatures in the city? Was it because the place wasn't cleaned properly or is this an everyday thing? Thanks!
Me and three of my friends are planning to do two weeks in China. We land in Beijing then fly out from Hong Kong. Within that time we'd like to see Beijing, Xi'an, shanghai and then of course finish in Hong Kong. We cannot however find a tour within our dates and if we do it's very pricey! So we're now looking into city tours and getting the train alone. Would anyone recommend this? Is it easy to get around? We're in our 20's and all girls, I want to make sure we're doing this as safe as we can. Would love some feedback.
Is it possible to do shrimp cast net fishing in rivers near shanhaiguan and does a tourist needs a fishing license?
Which one of the Ibis hotel at Shanghai (Lingyang or yu Garden) or should i select for stay between 13th and 16th April. Just sightseeing and easy access to places and int'l airport. Thanks. Amitabh
My dad and I plan to travel to Beijing. I am very much hesitant to join group tour as my dad walks slow requiring in between stops as such it will be difficult for us to follow the pace of tour. My dad would really like to visit the great wall and forbidden city. After much consideration, the best option is probably to hire a car with driver that will allow us the flexibility of time to follow his pace. I noticed from reading all the posts that there is very few drivers that can speak english. Would any one be kind enough to know any reputable travel company/ driver that offer such services? I am fine with limited english spoken by driver as long as he/she can follows the itinerary that we set along and meet us at meeting points within agreed times. I've been to Beijing before but this will be the first for my dad and plus he is a non english speaking person so a guide is probably will not be of much value to him.
On a separate subject, planning to take a night/sleeper train. How safe is it and will there be a separate luggage storage in the train or we simply fit all into the compartments (4 beds soft sleepers)? I recalled my train trip in India where we had to practically chain our luggage (as highly suggested by my Indian friends) to the rails nearing the berth where we were sitting.
How convenient it will be to bring wheelchair? He doesn't use it much but it will be more convenient for him to have when the distance to be covered is say more than 20 minutes walk.
Many thanks all before hand.
I've read up on the LP guides but I was hoping to get a personal response to a question.
I'm planning to visit China in June with my wife. We are in our early thirties and interested in both the city and more rural areas as well as Chinese culture and history.
I hope to visit Hong Kong, Beijing, Xiamen and around Guilin. Is this feasible in 3 weeks? What else would people advise seeing? Could anyone suggest an itinerary?
Also is it better to fly in to HK and depart from Beijing or vice versa? I've never been to China before.
Thanks in advance for any help
Hi Guys, it will be my first time going to Beijing so am excited to see everything! I am an expat living in Hong Kong, so I relatively know how to bargain in Hong Kong, but wanted to know if it's the same in Beijing or there's different tactics with it? Is there anything I should be careful with or not bargain for? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
One day in Shanghai what should I see?
Hi, chatting to a local guide in people's park yesterday and he mentioned a place called the landlords house. Apparently,it is a house that was left standing after the cultural revolution and is now a museum. Cannot find any info on line - any ideas? Thanks
How do I get from the hanging monastery to Taihuai? Are there differences in transportation schedules on Sundays?
We are traveling from Hong Kong to Taishan and want to know how to get to get there
Planning to Xi'an, Lanzhou (Gansu Corridor), Jiayuguan (deserted sections of the Great Wall), and Dunhuang (Mogao Caves, Dunhuang Museum, Echoing-Sand Mountain, Camel Ride, Crescent Lake). Does anyone know if I need additional travel permits on top of the 3 months china tourist visa to visit these places? I'm planning to fly from Shangri-La to Xi'an and then take a train/bus from there to the other cities along the way to Dunhuang. Also, would a tour guide be necessary? I'd prefer traveling on my own but would still be fine with joining a tour group if that's the better way. Thanks!
Hi all ,
We 're two girls from HK, will travel to Tibet between 3/4 and 9/4/2013
just wonder is anyone wanna team up with us to visit the surrounding area .
We're not really care where to go ( coz i've been to tibet before for couple times) , would be great if we can find someone to share the cost of hiring driver.
simply leave me a msg on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86 15546965867 (china) if you're interested, looking forward to see you.
Can anyone point me to a decent men's suit store, i have about 1 week and i need to buy two tuxedos, lookin to spend about 150-200$ on each.