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China voyage summer 2013
Posted January 12th, 2013 - 5:51 pm by from Shanghai, China (Permalink)

I am going to spend a year abroad in a Chinese university, most likely in Shanghai from next autumn on.
But before, I plan to travel the country, most likely together with another CSer, as much as possible -
so far the plan is as follows:

I aim to hitchhike/take the train from Europe to Russia, along the Transsib so that I would arrive in Beijing at the beginning of July. Having already travelled to China three years ago (but only Beijing and Qingdao), I am mostly interested in those remoted areas off the beaten track: so most possibly from Beijing to Taiyuan, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Xining, Haixi and southwards through the mountains to Garze and Chengdu, Chongqing, to Yunnan province, Kunming (if there's still some time across the border to Laos - do you know whether this is possible on landway?), Guilin, Guangzhou/Macao/Hongkong and along the coast to Shanghai, where I should arrive towards the end of August.

My question to you would be whether you know anything that is worth visiting/seeing/doing/eating/avoiding along the way, whether you would like to host/guide/accompagny us/me, etc.
Are there many opportunities to easily find buses or even trains in those areas I described? (even if one's Chinese is well existent, but not that fluent...) Are there any other means of transport you would recommend?

I am curious about any piece of advice! ;)



Posted January 12th, 2013 - 6:37 pm by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)

last summer I traveled through some of these places you mentioned. "Lanzhou, Xining, Haixi and southwards through the mountains to Garze and Chengdu, Chongqing, to Yunnan province, Kunming, Guilin"

How long are you planning to your whole travel plan?

To Lanzhou, or Gansu province, you should go to Dunhuang and Jiayuguan, spending between 2-5 days.

To Xining, or Qinghai province, you should go to Xining, Menyuan, Qinghai lake and Chaka salt lake, spending between 3-6 days.

For Chengdu / Chongqing, or Sichuan (let`s include Chongqing to make it simpler), you should visit Chengdu, Chongqing, Jiuzhaigou, Kangding, Mt. Emei, Tagong, Yading and Lake Lugu, spending between 4-25 days.

For Kunming, or Yunnan province, you should visit Lijiang, Dali, Xishuangbanna, Kunming, spending between 5-18 days.

For Guilin, or Guangxi province, you should go to Longsheng rice terraces (only if you didn`t go to Xishuangbanna) and Yangshuo, spending between 3-8 days.

You`re right to go to these places, but you shouldn`t travel to so many places in such a short time. If I were you, I would go only to these places I mentioned during this trip.

As you`re going to stay here one year, you`re going to have plenty of opportunity to visit nearby cities, such as coast cities nearby Shanghai. To the north, you can visit during winter to enjoy winter scenery and typical new year (spring) festival. Of course it`s going to be cold, but I`m sure you`re not going to regret.

To Xi`an, Taiyuan and Guangdong you can go during holidays, or after you finish your studies. Taiyuan doesn`t have much to see... if you go to Shaanxi province, the most important to visit is Pingyao and Datong.