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Guangxi (Guilin, Longsheng, Yangshuo area) vs. Yunnan?

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Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:43 PM
  #1
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Guangxi (Guilin, Longsheng, Yangshuo area) vs. Yunnan?

My wife and I are planning a 2-week first trip to China in 9/14 (we have been to Hong Kong). I appreciate the arguments for traveling independently, but for various reasons we will be using Wild China (a local guide in each location). In addition to Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, we will be going to either Guangxi or Yunnan for about 3.5 days. If you have been to both, which do you think is the better choice?

Guangxi itinerary: Longsheng (Li'an Lodge, hiking Dragon's Backbone Terraces), Zhuang and Yao villages on the way to Guilin (Shangri La Hotel), Li River cruise, Fuli Village, hike around Yangshuo area (stay at Yangshuo Moondance Resort outside of Yangshuo for 2 nights), bamboo raft ride, cormorant fishing demonstration, Impression Liusanjie show.

Yunnan itinerary: Lijiang (2 nights), drive to Zhongdian ("Shangri-La") via First Bend of Yangtze River and short walk on Tiger Leaping Gorge, Zhongdian (Songzanlin Monastery, lunch in Old Town, Trinyi Village Community Center, Ecolodge, Tibetan dinner). Hotels are TBD.

We are about 60 years old and have travelled to many countries (mostly independently). We like to walk/hike, but not on scary or challenging trails. My wife does not like to bike. We are interested in culture, uniquely beautiful scenery, and good food. We hope to go back to China again in a few years, perhaps including Tibet. If anything else about us would affect your recommendation, please ask.

Thanks very much!

Len
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Nov 4th, 2013, 12:37 AM
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I have been to both and I much prefer Lijiang over Guangxi. However, for the the Yunnan area I suggest that you cut out Zhongdian and spend the whole 3.5 days in Lijiang and the surrounding area instead. Zhongdian, apart from the Tibetan monastery, was boring and pretty much another nondescript city in China. The drive was long and after an hour out of Lijiang the country side were pretty much the same.

I wrote trip reports for both places so if you're interested in reading them just click on my username.

Update for the links to my pictures:

Lijiang: http://khun-pook.smugmug.com/Holidays/Lijiang
Zhongdian: http://khun-pook.smugmug.com/Holidays/Shangri-La

Guilin: http://khun-pook.smugmug.com/Holiday...July-09-Guilin
Yangshuo: http://khun-pook.smugmug.com/Holiday...ly-09-Yangshuo
Longsheng: http://khun-pook.smugmug.com/Holiday...y-09-Longsheng
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Nov 4th, 2013, 04:13 AM
  #3
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Thanks, Hanuman. I seem to need a password to view your pictures. Can you provide it to me?

Your Guangxi trip report is fascinating. I gather you had a tremendous amount of rain and flooding. What month were you there?

Len
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Nov 4th, 2013, 05:11 AM
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Hi Len,

The password is "Fodors". I think we went in June or early July.
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Nov 4th, 2013, 05:34 AM
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I haven't been to the Yunnan area but was at the places in your Guanpxi itinerary. I can tell you that at the time my husband and I went-2007-we were around your ages. We absolutely loved the area. The scenery was breathtaking and the hiking not too strenuous. My daughter currently is working and living in China. Her Chinese friends recommended that the first trip she took in visiting the country was to Yangshou. She stayed at the Giggling Tree and loved the area.

We went to China for the month of September and had great weather throughout the entire trip. Even in Beijing, we had blue skies!!
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Nov 4th, 2013, 10:02 AM
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I'm originally from China, have been to both places and am still in the tour industry. From my experience,to answer your question: I would vote for Guangxi based on your info. First Guilin is the most beautiful city in China, if you are after the scenery, you shouldn't miss it! Second, you probably will have more hiking opportunities in Guilin/Yangshuo/Longsheng area. Since Yunnan, particularly Lijiang area has much higher altitude: 7,000 - 15,000 feet, which you will need time, at least a day or two to adjust your body to it so you can enjoy it more while you are there. Of course Lijiang area is beautiful too, however if you are planning on going back to China to visit Tibet, you may wait until then to visit Yunnan area, it's next to Tibet. This way, you don't have to adjust to high altitude twice.

Hope this helps! Have a great trip!
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Nov 4th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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With regard to what chinatravelgal wrote above. My family and I, as well as everyone I know who has visited Lijian, did not have any altitude sickness or felt uncomfortable in Lijiang. However, in Zhongdian we had a lot of problems with the altitude and felt tired easily.

For 3.5 days, or 2 nights IMO you don't have the time to visit Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng.
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Nov 5th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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Are you doing the Essence of China tour? If so, it appears from the itinerary that you have 4 nights in the Guangxi area with 3.5 days for the sightseeing which covers what you listed.

1 night L'ian Lodge-Longsheng
1 night Shangri La Hotel-Guilin
2 nights Yangshou Moondance Resort-Yangshou
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