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Akonig1 Feb 29th, 2008 12:37 PM

2 week China Itinerary- Your Comments
I am heading out in a few weeks for about 15 days in China. Below is my itinerary. Please post your thoughts/comments on how feasible this is or if I should change anything. I am traveling by myself with a small backpack and my Air tickets to/from the US are flexible on the dates. Thanks!

Day 1: Arrive 5pm in Hong Kong
Day 2: HK
Day 3: Fly from either HK or Guangshou to Guilin
Day 4: Yangshuo
Day 5: Yangshuo
Day 6 Depart Yangshuo/Guilin arrive Chongqing- Start Yangzi river journey (not taking the long tourist boat)
Day 6-10-Boat/Bus it down the river to Wuhan then to Shanghai
Day 12: Leave Shanghai for Beijing
Day 12-15: Beijing

I will most likely fly between each destination to save on time. I'm not sure if I am pushing the limit and trying to do too much or if this is feasible. Your thoughts are appreciated.


Marija Feb 29th, 2008 01:21 PM

I would get off the Yangtze boat at Yichang. There's not much of interest past Yichang. The Buddhist caves at Dazu, three hours or so out of Chongqing, are very interesting. We went out to see them before boarding the boat at night.

rhkkmk Feb 29th, 2008 05:28 PM

imo, you have not allowed enough time for either HK or shanghai

thursdaysd Feb 29th, 2008 08:38 PM

Unless you're planning to use Shanghai as a base for visiting Suzhou, imo you don't need more time there.

guenovnd Mar 1st, 2008 02:58 PM

It looks like you are attempting to cover quite a bit of ground. You may want to scale back a city... Your choice of destinations would depend on your interests. If you would liket o see historic China, Beijing alone would require a couple of days more. Keep in mind that the sites in Beijing are a good distance apart from one another. And you have many of them...

You can check out my blog at for some ideas about Beijing and surrounding areas.

YinJun Mar 1st, 2008 07:00 PM

The 9 hours hydrofoil trip is best and fastest way to see Yangtze 3 gorges and big dam. Please browse for detailted info.


PeterN_H Mar 1st, 2008 07:38 PM

While it's true that the hydrofoil is indeed the quickest way to see the gorges, a couple of years ago I travelled from Yichang by bus to the dock just beyond the dam, then by hydrofoil to Wanzhou, and bus to Chongqing for ¥300 (the bus from Yichang was included in the hydrofoil price, and then a separate bus ticket was bought in Wanzhou). I made a separate trip to see the dam by private car which came to ¥150 including entrance charges, not the extra ¥380 being asked for by the travel agent/private guide improperly advertising his services above, but providing a good working example of the treatment you can expect from private guides, however often they may be recommended here.

Peter N-H

PeterN_H Mar 2nd, 2008 09:21 AM

One small query: If you are travelling in a fully independent manner and with nothing booked (an excellent approach), why are you considering just following the usual conga line through some of China's biggest tourist traps when you could get so much more out of your trip? It seems a shame to have so much flexibility and then waste it.

Look to fly from Shenzhen, not Guangzhou, to Guilin for maximum convenience and cost saving. Yangshuo is excellent if you like attempts at pizza, and there's a half-decent little French restaurant, too. And you can sit outside and drink bad coffee while being pointed out to Chinese tour groups as an example of a foreigner having fun in a foreign way. Might it be better to go somewhere a little more Chinese?

On the (eminently avoidable) Yangzi River trip, you'll find the regular Chinese boats, although costing a fraction of the tourist-victim cruise ships, still take a similar amount of time to get down river to Yichang (or, even longer, to Wuhan). You can get to Yichang in a day by bus/hydrofoil (which is noisy, but swift, and when you stick your head out of one of the hatches you can take all the same photographs of the same grey skies and modestly pleasant scenery with hideous modern hillside towns and soaring new bridges as anyone else, but without the bad buffet food, ersatz Western environment, and waste of several days). You cannot proceed further than Wuhan by river. The only river services beyond there are those crossing it. So overall it would be best to switch to plane or train at Yichang.

If you're seeing HK do you really want also to spend time in an HK-wannabe city, too? How about some time in more genuinely rural China? Consider cutting out Shanghai and the Yangzi and give more time to HK and Beijing.

Peter N-H

Akonig1 Mar 3rd, 2008 01:26 PM

Thank you all for your help. Looks like i will just see how it goes but probably not expect to go to Shanghai.

Peter N-H (or anyone else), do you have a suggestion on where to go that you think I would enjoy more. I really don't mind changing my plans if there is something better. I have no reservations or any particular "must see" in my mind. I land in HK and depart Beijing. The time in between can be anywhere.

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