We had a couple of things in mind when deciding where to go; mainly avoid big cities, have more contact with nature,
skip some too touristy places.
We also had the challenge to choose places not too far from each other (you only realise how big the country is when you´re working on the logistics) and make it easy to fly to our next destination: Vietnam, Hanoi.
So, we decided to stick with the southern area (after landing in Beijing) and our itinerary in the end worked out like this:
Now here is the thing, we thought in the end it was a pretty good plan but there were certainly some small regrets:
Beijing: We wish we´d stayed 5 nights or more. Why? We were working loads before our trip and when we arrived in Beijing we were really tired. Six hours difference may not seem a lot, but if you add up with a long flight with little sleep, not much rest in the previous days before the trip, all this adds up and in the end you don´t have much energy to spend the whole day sightseeing.
On our second day for instance we slept about 12 hours straight and didn´t manage to explore the town as much as we´d have liked. To visit the Great Wall for instance and the Forbidden City you´d need at least a day for each attraction. Bear that in mind if you start off here!
Kumming: Although it´s reasonably big, we wished we could´ve stayed longer. Nice town with enough going on and things to do. As we´d initially thought it would be more of a stopover, we didn´t allow enough time to do everything we wanted.
Lijiang: Perfect! 5 Days for us was just right. This place has a chilled vibe, with pedestrianised streets in the old town. If you decide to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, you´ll need a day just for that. Tip: if you can, avoid the weekends. It can get packed with tourists especially on Sundays.
Dali: Unfortunately, we didn´t really like it here. And probably one of the reasons was because we had high expectations after reading a blog. We´d rather have spent longer in Kumming and skipped Dali or visited somewhere else instead. But sometimes, you only find out if it´s worth it after visiting the place. And as we always say; tourism can be very personal and what´s great for one, might not suit the other.
Yangshuo: Perfect too! 5 Days or even a bit longer, why not? Small town, chilled vibe, nature, many things we appreciate in one place while travelling.
|Destination||No. of nights|
Here we put some more info on the logistics.
We bought all our tickets on Trip.com as we found it user friendly and according to Al (he´s really into finding the best deals!) it´s competitive!
One final tip: train tickets are generally available two months prior to departure date, so try to book them asap as they tend to sell out pretty quickly.
The prices below are per person.
For more info: Tips for travelling to China
|Origin / Destination||Ticket prices||Observation|
|Flight Beijing - Kumming||1.000¥||China Eastern Airlines|
|Train Kumming - Lijiang||250¥||Second class - high speed|
|Bus Lijiang - Dali||50¥||Checi bus|
|Train Dali - Kumming||170¥||Second class - high speed|
|Train Kumming - Guilin West||389¥||Second class - high speed|
|Train Guilin West
Yangshuo train station
|31¥||Second class - high speed|