I'm planning a solo trip, a first in Asia. My only other experience for the region is a group trip to Japan. As usual my trips have never been longer than 2 weeks so I'm not sure when I'll run out of steam here. I've been reading a few guide books and forum posts. I've made note have extra patience and always have places written down to show for directions/buying transportation tickets. : )
Travel style: I enjoy walking around, finding smaller streets and snacking on whatever looks good. Although I'm no expert, I appreciate interesting architecture and artwork. I like to take trips outside of the large cities to see rural areas and scenic hikes. I'm not big on clubs and a lot of drinking but I do like to have a drink with my meal. For accommodations-- budget friendly and clean within walking distance of sites. Prefer private room but willing to share as long as it's not a lot of people. I've used Airbnb in the past as the cost has been similar to hostels.
So is this itinerary looking crazy or what?
Day 1: Summer Palace
Day 2: Temple of Heaven park + Beihai Park
Day 3: Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square-- Is entering the square free? And then pay for different areas?
Day 4: Lama Temple + 798 Art Zone?
Other things... maybe another day added?
-Houhai (Back Lakes) - Nighttime walk
-Wangfujing Street - Night Market - for snacks
-Ghost Street (Gui Jie) - Show I eat here or just walk around?
-National Stadium / Bird's Nest at evening
-Hutong - walks
-Niujie Mosque (Ox Street Mosque)
-See a show?
Jianbing (savoury pancake)
Great Wall (2 days)
Jinshanling + Jiankou
[Train, 6 hours / overnight]
Datong to see Yungang Caves and Hanging Temple (1 Day)
[Train, 8 hours / overnight] Should I buy these tickets when in Beijing as well?
Pingyao (2 days)
[Train, 8-10 hours / overnight; There's a new (faster) train now right?]
Day 1: Walk/bike around the city walls + Great Goose Pagoda (outside area) + Shaanxi History Museum
Day 2: Muslim Quarter + Great Mosque + Bei Yuan Men 144
Day 3: Terracotta Warriors
Day 4: Hua Shan-- 1 day for hiking, stay overnight to see sunrise, then go back to Xi'an
At this point I assume a train will take at least a full day so I'm up for flying if the prices are not very expensive.
Day 5: Take a flight from Xi'an to Lijiang
Will I need to come back here to go to Hong Kong?
Tips-- Where to find and book tickets? What do I need to know about domestic flights-- Weight or size limit? Security? How early to get there?
Arrive and go to hostel near Tiger Leaping Gorge to rest up for the day before starting 2 day hike. OR skip it and continue to Dali... Save the hike for last?
Dali (1 day in town, 1 day bike riding around nearby Erhai lake/villages)
Day trips from Dali:
-Weishan / Weibao Shan
Shaxi / Qianshi Shan (One Thousand Lions Mountain)
Spend arrival day in town. Next day at Lions Mt and return to Dali
Train to Hong Kong?
Hong Kong (3 days)
I haven't researched much here. I'm sure there's a list a mile long. I'm thinking I'll be tired so I want a nice bed to catchup on sleep, maybe get a massage. Stuff my face with great food. Hop on a ferry to see the harbor views... wander around.
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